It's a vacationed-off weekday and I sit in my usual place, opposite the beacon of irradiance that happens to be my ancient CRT monitor (kept around working for sightseeing purposes), in my ever usual posture (read, knees drawn and one foot crossed over to the adjacent table and stroking the UPS subconsciously). Ahem. The room's abuzz with mosquitoes feeding off God Knows What appetisers during daylight hours, to return in full force and smother me with extremely passionate and buccal kisses. The haze of vibhuti surrounding me as a result of today's Avani Avittom rituals isnt helping either. Apparently they've woken up to the fact that the 'bhuti is only skin-deep.
Long years ago, my readers, existed the original form of the meek insect which we now call kosu, bloodsucker, mosquito, kothu (not to be suffixed with paratha), etc. Incidentally, the first one, the Tamil word, despite sounding the most affectionate, is also part of one of the greatest inventions by mankind (more on that later). The earliest record of existence of the creature is recorded by our good old friend right here. The Latin-speaking blokes called it the culicidae, which is derived from a corrupted version of the Tamil "Kulikkaadae!", a sarcastic warning "Dont bathe!", hinting at the fate of the person at the mercy these creatures had he followed what was said. The name mosquito also is said to have sprung from the Chinese Mu Chi Tao - equivalent to saying Musky Toe. The Chinese had, long before the creature even came into existence, prepared recipes such as "fried Mu-Chi-Tao leg" or "Wingy side-up", thus leading to the latter word.
A very very (*prepares to run*) corrupted origin of the word can be traced back to Mallus living in Hindi speaking North India long back (Yes, we were all over the earth right from the age of the dinosaurs). Legend has it that malaria was on the rise in those days, and poor, impoverished people looking for ways to kill themselves found a fascination to die by the bite of this buzzing winged menace. The desperate (mostly driven to mental retardation) ones used to open up sewer slabs et al, looking to get bitten by the kosu, muttering "Mauth Kitto?" to themselves. Mauth (hindi) - death. Kitto (malayalam) - would I get? Ah now you see it. It's construed. I'd warned you in advance, so dont whine.
Enough of history. Now that it has been bitingly proved without doubt that this eternal pestilence is better off having been wiped off the earth, mankind looked for ways and means to send this thing for a tea-party with its maker. And the efforts started quite early, I assure thee. Homo habilis, that stooped miserable ape-man had gotten quite pissed at receiving pricks of an apparently invisible (they didnt have rear view mirrors then) pest. The poor forefather having barely mustered up courage to start a vocabulary, could only growl "Go.. Shoo!". (There. Now you know where Tamil picked up that word from). And it was in a flash that he invented fire, to keep this things out of the way. (The fire proved handy in that he could also light the stick of tobacco he kept in his mouth for peter-purposes).
Fast forward. By the time Homo Sapiens evolved out the assembly line, we possessed juice in the lemon to know that "Use the force" actually made sense. Hence, swatting. Medieval England saw the rise of a different form of weaponry against the raptors. Inspired by fighting lance-men on horses, the Good Knight mat was born. The theory was simple. You hung the mat out to dry at night and the next morning it would have gone. Given the rate of theft those days nobody complained. Then the golden age of physics, and mathematics and geometry. The cheap, retail version - The Martein coil. Inspired by Einstein and Rammstein (Feuer Frei, remember?), and marketed in Elizabethean Walmart stores, this symbol of conservation of angular momentum became the Vishnu Chakra for the gnats for a horrifying(for them) period of time.
Fortunately for the mosquitoes, Darwin had said they'd still keep evolving.
And finally we're blessed with the epitome of good (Chinese) technology - The kosubat. The beaming, arcing kilovolt of goodness. The weapon of godawesomely swift and satisfying justice. They say, In the wielder of the Kosubat, we trust. And so we do. What better way to arrange the divine tea-party (spoken of earlier) than to apply a blessed kilovolt pulse between the limbs and wings of the bug? No blood, no gore, no need to say "Gaaaddammit!" and walk to wash off the blotch of blood off your leg. And sparks. Which means fun. Whee.
There's also an open source version project to develop an OS for the kosubat, for all you linux geeks out there. Try telneting from the kosubat terminal :D Awesomeness.
Have been truly sleeping. Shoots a glance to the KB charging in the wall socket. Looks at watch. Smug grin. Narrows eyes. Kosus, tonight, we dine in HELL!!!