Since the mosquito menace is spreading and the municipality has asked citizens in the city to spot the mosquito carrying the dreaded dengue, I thought I’d do my bit for the country:

“What are you admiring your arm for?” I asked my wife.

“Sssshhh!” I whispered, “you’ll scare it away.”

“Scare what away?” she asked, puzzled.

“The mosquito on my arm,” I whispered back.

“Kill it,” she roared.

“Wait!” I whispered hoarsely.

“Kill it!” she said again.

“Wait!” I said, “I’m looking for its stripes.”


“If it’s a tiger mosquito it will have stripes.”

“And you shouldn’t kill it?”

“No,” I said, “we have to inform the municipality.”

“That there’s a tiger in the house?”

“That there’s an aegypti mosquito in the vicinity.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s a mosquito that carries the virus.”

“Kill it!” roared the wife as she slapped my arm with the newspaper and laid flat the poor fellow.”

“Now I’ll never know,” I said looking at the smashed insect with crestfallen eyes.

“You’ll never know what?” asked the wife.

“Whether it’s a tiger or not.”

“So who cares,” she said.

“The municipality,” I said, “the commissioner has said it’s the duty of the citizens to keep an alert for the mosquito.”

“That’s why you were staring at your arm?”

“Yes,” I said, “I was trying to be a good citizen.

“And if you were bitten by it while looking at it?”

“I expect that’s the risk he expects us to take as good citizens,” I said.

“Something like giving up your life for the country?” asked the wife cynically.

“Yeah,” I said.

“I guess they’ll give you a medal posthumously for such gallantry? “I’ll have to go to Delhi next Republic Day and get decorated on your behalf!”

“Why?” I asked, “I’ll go myself.”

“You’ll be dead,” said the wife, “killed in action while spotting the tiger.”

“I don’t think I like the idea,” I said uncomfortably.

“Of me getting the medal?”

“About me being dead.”

“Then why don’t you tell the municipality,” said the wife.

“Tell them what?”

“That if they ask citizens to do their jobs which is actually fumigating the city and keeping it mosquito free, then they will soon be unemployed and jobless,” said the wife.  “What are you staring at?”

“Nothing,” I said quickly as I killed the mosquito on my arm and decided I would not help the poor municipal workers lose their jobs..!

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