Monday, September 20, 2010
Last Month at Native Place
A story you wont belive.
I was on the tandoor terrace in the morning leaning out and adjusting the fragrant Madhu-malati (Quisqualis Indica) vine that climbs up here.
I was so busy stretched out over the railing and pushing the vine back that I did not realize that I had upset a wasp’s nest just above. It was on the little parapet by the tandoor and as I pushed the stubborn branches to one side I shook this wonderful looking but very dangerous wasp’s nest.
Suddenly I began to hear a buzzing sound. It was not coming from nearby but from in my head I stepped backwards in front of the tandoor and put my head down whipping my hair forward. I put my hands in my sleep tousled and many days unbrushed tresses and began to do the don’t give a damn dance.
Daniel, Dwane , Michelle and Sanjay watched me for a while and then Daniel dashed forward – inserted his fingers into my knotted hair and began to comb them out one at a time – yes there were 12 of them all together , more than an inch sized wasps buzzing about in my hair.
One by one he snagged them out and they fell out to the ground got up and flew menacingly towards him – he dodged and kept at it and I kept doing the don’t give a damn dance and continued to mess with my hair. Above on the top terrace Apporva, Dylan, and some others stared over at me wondering what was going on.
By this time Daniel was telling me ‘they are gone they are gone’ and michelle was shouting ‘no no I can see them’ All the while I remained silent but continued to do the dance. ( dwane calls it the avatar dance)
Then Daniel got stung once and then again on the head. Now sanjay enters the fray with his slipper in hand – slippering my hair as I encourage him to go for it and not worry about hurting me.
Each time a wasp flies out of my hair I see him dodge it even with my head hanging down. Apporva and gang watch as Sanjay takes a chappal (slipper) to my hair.
Finally I pull the last one out but not before I get stung on the thumb. Mercifully with all that went down instead of multiple bites in the head face, legs, arms ( I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless tee) and they were buzzing around my face and body as they got out of my hair and flew about angrily before moving out.
Now Hiren who was earlier asking questions like what shampoo or conditioner I had used – comes back with a hairbrush to assist the operation.
It was all over by then – adrenalin was pumping full on and my thumb was swollen and throbbing
Sunith who was in the room all this while gets to hear that Daniel has been stung and immediately checks the EFR manual – he washes daniel’s forehead and makes him lie down, elevated his feet with a pillow and covered him with a blanket and sat to monitor his condition. He does not realize that I was stung too.
I look for the apis mel bottle ( homeopathic medicine for stings ) and find it has all but evaporated and the bottle is empty. So we used ice instead – as instructed by Sunith who also insists that I wash my hand.
Sunith then went online to try and identify the offending creature so as to decide what to do next !!!
The buzz in my head continued for a while – I kept imagining myself as the wasp lady – walking about with a big jumbled hairdo full of buzzing creatures – everyone was telling stories about each one’s reactions .
Serioulsly Daniel (one of my nephews) saved me from a swollen head and other complications
Happy to get off with just one sting
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The mystery climber I mentioned in a previous post continued to remain nameless for a while. This winter it flowered profusely drawing my attention each time I walked in or out of Native Place. I began to visit this climber every afternoon to watch the sun birds drink nectar from its hanging flower bracts. It continued to flower and show off up until the end of March inspiring me to keep the search on for its true name. Recently while browsing I hit pay dirt.
Thunbergia coccinea, Wall. (Hexacentris coccinea, Nees). A very tall climber: st. much branched, 4-angled: lvs. short-petiolate, variously shaped, the lower broadly ovate, with a hastate or cordate angled base, the upper ovate, cordate, all angularly toothed or the upper entire: fls. in terminal or axillary racemes, 1-3 ft. long; bracts large, inflated, as long as the tube; limb scarlet, of 5 reflexed emarginate lobes; throat orange. Autumn and winter. India.
Source: Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings