Sunday, June 05, 2011


I was walking in the busy tunnel at Downtown Crossing in Boston to catch the Red Line subway train to South Station when I noticed a cockroach on the wall. Such a sight is very uncommon and it attracted a lot of attention. I was amused by its presence but kept walking. At about the same time, I saw an American lady walking in the opposite direction and she too noticed the cockroach. Her reaction was noteworthy.

She stopped in her tracks, pointed to the cockroach and made an ugly face. She said something like ‘Ugh’ and finally, after exhausting all her reactions to the innocent animal, continued on.

I could not help remembering my after-dinner 10 pm walks with my pregnant wife in my hometown in Bangalore. My wife who calls cockroaches as Jondgya (due to which I call them as Jondig, just for fun!) has a very alert eye for such pests and jumps at the very sight of it. Many a time, we had to see twice before stepping to ensure we were not squashing any crawling cockroaches on the road. They were that many in number. Some even used to fly around causing that much more thrill in a simple boring activity like walking.

Anyway, as I saw my Red Line train approaching, I could not decide what was more amusing. The cockroach or the lady’s reactions. Or the lady’s reaction if ever she took an after-dinner 10 pm walk in Bangalore.

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