>December, and the so called rainy season in Chennai, sure brings back a plethora of memories (good and bad). The other day, I was reminded of a morning, say 7 years back (yes 7, not a typo). It was raining cats and dogs, there was one hell of a downpour. My dad and myself generally had to walk up to the end of the street for the school van and so we did, and while we were waiting there, we got the news that schools were declared a holiday.I was pretty happy, because our school declares a holiday only if we are in the middle of an ocean, not for torrential rains. So, why was this a bad memory again? This is why : on the way back to our home, my dad was a few steps ahead of me, when he suddenly turned back and saw something like this:
Yes, he had the same expression as you, WHAT the hell IS that?! QUICKSAND! Aand, yada yada , he came and pulled me out of the mess (I was not THAT heavy back then ok!). But the point is, what would’ve happened if he wasn’t there?! I would NOT have sunk! Yes. It is NOT possible to sink in quicksand.Let me tell you why.
Quicksand is made of: water, clay, salt aand…yea, sand. So, together they form a structure like a house of cards, with large water filled gaps between sand particles, loosely held by clay.It is safe when left alone, but when you step on it, it becomes million times runnier- its something like stirring a pot of yoghurt. Eventually, this house of cards comes stumbling down (with you inside it).Now, this is where the salt comes in- as soon as the clay particles liquefy, electrical charges make them stick together to form bigger particles.The result is a stodgy (yucky) layer of clay and sand, which is twice as dense as the original one. Wait. That means..YOU ARE STUCK! Well, I say next time, have your dad around or just be happy school’s out.
>Wait. Before you think this is some lame emotional feeling one gets in Manipal, you aren’t even remotely close. What im freaking talking about here is about a deadly mysterious so called ‘bug’ (in the literal sense of the word) which is apparently gives us hostellites the jitters. Of course you might ask, why i decided to sit next to the window in the night and blog about a stupid bug instead of arming myself with defense tools (yeah, its that deadly…and by defense tools i meant a bottle of HIT). But to cut a long story short, my roommate got a nasty scar on his neck which hasn’t gone for months, and one of my good friends got kissed by the bug ( by that I mean, the bite was not as bad as my roomate’s) ;coming back to the point, get ready, because the mysteries behind the MANIPAL BUG are now about to be unveiled! (claps please) .
First of all, this neither has anything to do with manipal nor anything to do with a bug! This lethal insect is called ‘The Blister Beetle’ that belongs to the paederus genus ( if you dint get the genus part, never mind, neither did I). So….tadaaa!:
This bug becomes active in the first two to three months of rainfall (It rains throughout the year here, which are the FIRST three?! So assume it is eternally active). The Blister Beetle does not bite, as the usual conception goes ( Initially, I could’nt believe this either). The body of the beetle as a vesicant or an irritant, which when comes in contact with the skin, leaves behind a mark that is similiar to a burn mark. In technical terms, a linear pattern inflammation, redness, burning sensation, and a pain similiar to a patch of burnt skin are the most obvious ways of identifying a blister bee lesion.
The best part, this manipal bug is very attracted to light and is most commonly found in your BED! So next time you hit the sack, roll over the bed, and nicely give the bug a body slam, be careful, you might just end up scar(r)ing yourself the following morning.BEWARE.