Sunday, 16 October 2011

10. Untied Wings

Forty-watt table lamplight rains through my moldy mosquito net and spotlights on the book I am reading. Apart from this light my bedroom is murky under near-midnight moonlight. Silence wraps my whole room. I am interested in an article about animal research- according to the author, animal research benefits for both human and animal. “But some animal activists said animals are needlessly used and …” Eh! What a violent shoot by a mosquito! Itchiness after brief sharp pain makes me unable to continue reading. “Why do you come into my net? Perhaps there is a hole or tearing.” My thought leads me to close the book and scan around for searching the mosquitoes. No, my eyes skip them.
      “ weee…weee…weee”
      Yes. This sound is like a broadcasting noise of an airplane, which is taking speedily off to the sky. I can’t concentrate on the article any more. I am angry as I heard a loud car horn when I across the zebra of road. You are hungry Dracula and thirsty Bee. The pointed sharp needle of your antenna pierces my sensitive skin and prints a ruddy wheel. I feel hot and pain all over whereas you feel happy with my thick blood. You make a living with our blood. Your fangs are satisfied with sucking blood and anointed with tenacious saliva. I hate you.
      You may even be proud of breaking down the superficial covering of a human being, the greatest living creature, with your lips. My heartbeats can race with your wings’ beats. “How dare you are!” 
      That’s a challenge. All right! I start looking for you.
      Failure. Now, you are a Concord. My ears left behind your speedy fly and hum. “Could you be more powerful?” You run like an arrow jumping out from a bow of a mercy hunter. I can’t see your tiny dark body under the forty-watt light. Mosquitoes are coming in more and more. “How can I tolerate with your hums?” Neither north nor south wind kisses my matches-box room. Light source sits close to the net. More and more mosquitoes approach me in the net. Their humming makes me deaf with “weee”. I blow out all residual air from my lungs. I am stuffy, hungry and thirsty. I feel I am imprisoned in this net with those Draculas. I hate them. I do want to be free from them.
      “Should I kill them?” I never kill any living creature since I were young. Hate doesn’t mean wanting to kill. “Why do I kill you? I always take five precepts including refraining from killing others.” However, you are only fiends, never friends. You carry life-endangering diseases. We should get rid of you all. Otherwise you will make trouble to us. No, each and every living creature has a desire to be alive. This is a most problematic question- is there any reason to kill weaker fiends only because of their existence and making living? If there is no mosquito in our surrounding, will the surrounding be better? Not guaranteed. “What is the meaning of better environment?”
      Shoot after shoot!  Pain after pain; noise after noise and wheel after wheel!
      “Weee…” and “wheel” drag me falling into a rage. Please keep you away from me. There is no place for hiding from them. I am afraid either to kill them or to stay together with them in this stuffy net. So, “Should I catch them alive and throw away from the net?” Fair decision. Let’s do right away.
       Adventure starts with bare hands. My eyes are wide as an owl’s. Fast running with petite body make me crazy looking for. Rainbow spots appear on the site where I stare. I can’t follow them. I make a round twisting of my frail body to scan the whole net- from left to right, from front to behind, from top to bottom, and even on my own body and clothes. Activity and close light burn me and sweat quench heat on my skin. Thirsty! I lick my dry lips with flaccid tongue and then swallow scanty saliva. Yes. Perhaps they sip my precious blood because they are thirsty. Water or juice quenches our thirst but our blood extinguishes their thirst.
      Along the path of the mosquito fly I peep at them with curious listening to their hum. It steps mutely on the net cloth like a ghost. OK! My hands leap bit by bit onto it at a snail’ speed. Nearer and nearer, I try to catch it in my soft fist. “Wheee…” It sprints away. This is an uncountable missing to catch. Exhausted! Am I wasting my valuable energy by growing this sort of grudge? This first doubt pauses to continue catching.
      “Ooos..”  The mosquitoes ambush me while I get tired. What a trouble scratchy hurt! No, I have to catch them alive and fling them away from the net. Don’t give up.
      I couldn’t turn my body anymore. I get vertigo. I recline down on the spongy pillow and don’t move like a corpse in a prison cell. That’s another strategy. The mosquitoes approach me as they think I fall into asleep. When they land on my belly, I catch suddenly. They take off quickly. And I am defeated again. My heart is pounding with anger. I hate you.
      Yes. I won’t sleep tonight until I don’t get you in my fist. I see my flush, stern and frown face in my mind.
      I sit up again. My ears wear temporary silence. “Where are you all? Are you practicing alternative strategy?” I stretch my hearing wings apart with my will power until I can hear buzzing of their wings. Here you are. You can’t skip me. I catch it with deep inspiration.
      “ I did. I did it. At last, you are imprisoned in my fist.”
      I feel that you foolishly blink your wings and touch my rough palm. Hay..Hayy.. I win you. I bend my elbow in order to listen your buzz in my fist.
      Much louder hum shakes me alert from being anger mood. “I do want to be free.” You are shouting as I speak to myself. I can translate your hum. Actually you can suck and sip my tenacious blood while you are close to my palm. No. You don’t. I see a flash in my lethargic brain.
      I stretch my hand out of the mosquito net and open the fist. You flew with being out of breath. Bye Bye my dear!
      I notice that I am no longer angry or hatred. I am just contented, zesty and liberated. You are free from my hand and I am free from my hate.
      We are altogether liberated.
 Ma Thida (Sanchaung)
This English version was written in 2000 but in 1986 author wrote quite similar story in Burmese and published in Thabin magazine. This English version was never published. That was polished by

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