Treasure Island

Venkateswaran Krishnan Sreenivasan

(JULY 14,1935 / ERNAKULAM, KERALA, INDIA)

A mosquito tale


I remember this intruder as a mere meddler
When I was just a toddler
With little sting in his armoury
His innocence is green in my memory

There were stagnant ponds all around
Wherein algae and hyacinths did abound
Where they could in safety breed
And there were juicy plants on which to feed

We smeared our body with repellants
While sitting, working or eating
And we burnt incense and fumigants
That kept them outdoors fleeting

Few arms we had against the mosquito bite
DDT and BHC we sprayed on the site
Of their breeding; the fish we grew
In the pond would finish their larvae, we knew

The net won’t let in the pests by night
To suck their fertile nocturnal delight
We killed them too by hit at sight
By the pyrethrum spray against the blight

To drive them away we used mat and bat
To receive in return tit for tat
They changed their habitual nightly roam
And transformed into miniature form

Chikungunia, encephalitis, malaria and filariasis
Chicken us out with fever, pain and elephantiasis
Dengue drowns us in pain and haemorrhage
And a near death feeling at the extremes of age

The mosquitoes, like microbes, have genetic change
To resist the onslaught with the vast range
Of missiles, chemicals and all
The enemy survives in strength and humans fall



Mosquito borne maladies mend no cure
The remedy rests in utmost care
To maintain our habitat clean and pure
A distant dream for our dreadful lifestyle, for sure

Our apathy to healthy environs creates the scourge
And dubious means then we adopt to purge
The pests; they graze them not
And time and again they harm us a lot

Science marches on and humans innovate
Deadly devices and drugs to decimate
This dangerous disease causing menace
That grows ever stronger in defence

Submitted: Friday, November 15, 2013

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