Sunday, November 13, 2011

Too scared to look.

The recent reports of an asteroid (2005 YU55) passing too close to the earth for comfort reminded me of a childhood incidence. I must have been four or five years old when there was a report that a comet with a long tail was to be sighted from India. The fool that I was, I denied myself the sight of the century out of fear. There was a distant relative of mine, a kite-flying bum about whom I have written earlier. . He spun to me a fantastic yarn about a monstrous comet with a fierce moustache and a fiery tail out to devour little boys. When I cross-checked with my parents , they kind of smiled indulgently and shrugged leaving me thoroughly puzzled. I’m sure they wanted me to be brave all by myself and conquer my fear of the unknown by staring the so-called ogre in the skies right in the eye. But born coward that I was, I slunk to bed early and refused to step out on the terrace for the next couple of days. My cowardice has not disappeared with age. It has only ripened into a set pattern of behaviour. Even today, I tend to turn my back on the unpleasant, unsightly and unacceptable facts of life. Curiously though, movie monsters don’t scare me. They make me laugh.