Mosquitos: Nov. 21st
Two days ago, I woke up with blood spattered across my pillow. Looking at my arms and legs, it didn’t take me long to realize this used to be my blood. I’ve been going to bed at night, turning on the ceiling fan, and living with the 5 or 6 mosquito bites at night. Lately, though, with the reduction in power, I’ve been getting pretty badly munched on. With the horrifying rise of a virulent strain of malaria that kills within 24 hours, I’ve decided to give up on the macho sleep routine and have invested in a mosquito net for us. As a result, we have installed a cage in our bedroom. It was designed for a four-poster bed, but since we don’t have such a useful device, we have stretched the four corners of the net to the window bars, using knots and bed-robe belt-ties. It’s a typical kludge solution. I tend to get guillotined in the middle of the night when I wake up drowsy and go into the kitchen, but it’s a small price to pay for peace of flesh. Sue’s hand gets bit whenever it gets too close to the gauze. When we get up in the morning, we always kill a few buggers trying to get in. There’s a message in Hindi written on the outside of the net. I’m not sure, but I think it translates to "Do not feed on the animals".
At uncle’s house, I sometimes discreetly catch and crush mosquitos in my hand. Last night I got caught, and uncle jumped up, "I’ll turn on the fan,......I don’t want you killing my relatives". It’s that that transmigration thing. When we got home, three or four mosquitos had made it into our net, so for the first couple of hours Sue kept hearing this "thwack", followed by "You’re transmigrated, sucker".
Monkey Menace: Nov. 22nd
An item from the local paper — life in Bangalore: the great Bangalore Monkey Menace
Monkeys Terrorize Jayanagar Residents Monkeys are terrorizing the residents of Jayanagar 8th block. The simians have bit at least eight people in the recent past.

Though the monkey menace surfaces in the City from time to time and later subsides, never before had the problem assumed such ominous proportions, say residents of the area.

"Not only do they ransack our households but they also attack womenfolk when they try to shoo them away" said Srinivas whose mother was bitten by a ferocious monkey inside the house last week.

"They dirty our water tank, carry away and tear clothes which are put out for drying, snap telephone and cable wires, drop tender coconuts from tree tops", he said. Though the coconut drops have not injured anyone, people are scared to even step out of their houses said Srinivas.

"The monkeys enter houses and pick on anything they fancy, from eatables to show-pieces". There have been innumerable complaints of monkeys scratching and injuring suspecting people, said residents.

Interestingly, the simians seem to have targeted only the fairer sex until now, but they may soon become bold enough to attack males, including the old and infirm, apprehends a resident.

What is instilling fear into the minds of the residents is the opinion of doctors that monkey bites were more dangerous than a mad dog’s bite. Anti-rabies injections were being administered to victims, the residents point out, but fear that they may still contract the disease if the monkeys are rabid.

About 70 to 80 monkeys are usually present in the area from morning to evening causing untold anxiety and trouble to residents, said another resident, Ravindra.

Even as the numerous pleas and representations to the City Corporation and Bangalore City Development authorities have failed to yield any result as the officials keep passing the buck, the monkey menace rages unabated.

Though Minister of State for Bangalore City Development Minister R. Roshan Baig and City Corporation Administrator A. Ravindra had assured the residents that action would be taken nothing has been done, the residents said.

Robert Lewis, is a scientist who has been studying the interaction of monkeys and humans in urban settings. His interests include answering questions such as "What diseases arise when humans move into an area once only occupied by animals?"... "What diseases will I get if my neighbors are, literally, monkeys?" "What diseases will the animals acquire by having me as a neighbor?". Check out his site The Monkey Room Debacle.