I use ride-hailing apps regularly to get myself from one place to the other. Almost every ride is an interesting journey, because of the traffic, or the conversation with the cabby, or the conversation the cabby is having with someone on his phone.
One fine morning, I got into a cab and settled down comfortably, looking forward to a pleasant ride to my destination.
Suddenly, I noticed I had company…
About a minute into the ride, I noticed that I had company in the cab. This companion insisted on singing into my ear! If it was good music, I might have enjoyed it, but mosquitoes are not singers by any stretch of imagination!
In under a second, I was irritated by my companion’s buzzing, and started swatting him. I am well trained in mosquito hunting. If there is ever a certification for mosquito hunting, I would probably be the class topper!
I waited patiently, tracked the mosquito with razor sharp vision, and made a quick swipe with my right hand. My fingers closed around the mosquito, squished it, my left hand opened the window, and the body was thrown out, all in a wink and a blink.
I wore a satisfied smirk on my face, and settled down to enjoy the ride.
Not meant to enjoy the ride
No sooner had I reclined and closed my eyes, when that irritating buzzing was back in my ear. I opened my eyes, and thought, ‘what the heck!!!. Did I not just throw that buzzing bugger out of the window??!!’
And then, to my horror, I realized that there was a whole family of them in the cab.
I raised my concern to the cabby, and told him to keep the windows open for a while to allow them to fly out.
But the cabby couldn’t be bothered. He was deep in conversation on his mobile phone, discussing all his financial troubles. A stray mosquito was nothing to him. He just mumbled something having parked near some bushes with the window open, and continued to drive on.
And then the game started
By then, I was completely caught up in my mosquito hunt, and was unable to relax or enjoy the ride.
All my focus was on restoring the mosquito-free state in the cab.
I swished and grabbed and started making all kinds of crazy movements to grab those pests and exterminate them.
I caught the cabby looking warily in the rear view mirror to check whether his passenger was suddenly having an epileptic attack.
Suddenly, one of the family decided to entertain the cabby. Sadly, I could not see the look on his face, but I saw him swiping, grabbing, and opening the window, while the mosquito smoothly flew to the back seat. Hah! I hope he understood what I meant earlier about keeping the windows open.
Let us keep score
While all this action was picking up, I was also texting one of my WhatsApp groups about the excitement of the ride. Now the reporting took on a new turn.
The group was also excited about the game in the cab, and started urging me to compete with the cabby to see who gets rid of maximum mosquitoes.
By now, I had already patented a fool-proof method to get those critters out of the cab.
Wait till one of them is close by.
Roll down the window.
Quickly swat them out of the window, almost like batting in cricket, except, the bat is my hand, and the ball is the mosquito.
Roll up the window.
If I successfully send one out and close the window in time, I score 1 point.
I was already at 1, having pushed one guy out at the beginning of the journey. The poor cabby was trailing 1–0.
With my group egging me on, betting on me, and providing unstinted support, I quickly notched up 2–0.
Through all this, I carefully watched the cabby to see if he was using any other better technique. Nope! He was struggling manfully at keeping the steering in place, discussing his financial woes, and swatting at those mosquitoes.
I became complacent. This game was going to be a cakewalk. Suddenly, the cabby caught hold of one of those babies deftly, and flung it far away outside his window.
I was aghast. How did he get so good so soon?
I reported to my cheerful spectators, and there was a roar of impatience. They all gave me advice about what I could do to maintain my lead.
One advice went as far as to say I should poke my finger since fresh blood would draw the mosquitoes to me. They were mosquitoes, not vampires! Sheesh!
The match continued, and I notched up one more. The score was now 3–1.
The mosquito family had probably sent out all their best and youngest ones by now. Another mosquito dragged along as if in a daze and sat on my lap. He must have been drunk to be so stupid. One light tap, and he was out cold. I picked him up by his leg, and threw him out.
4–1!!!! My faithful spectators provided me with a lot of clap emojis and a roar of approval.
And then there was silence. I think between the cabby and I, we got them all!! Yay! I actually got to enjoy the rest of the ride.
The ride ended, and I got out with a swagger as if the paparazzi were waiting to click photos of the winner. Meanwhile, the poor cabby continued on, with absolutely no clue that he had lost an important match!!