Monthly Archives: December 2004

Elegy Written on the Death of my Favourite Sock

Elegy Written on the Death of my Favourite Sock

Where art thou now, O lonely, left-footed friend of mine?
Wandering through Valhalla, some afterlife divine?
Art thou gone to oblivion, or to burn forever in Hell?
Or reborn as a handkerchief – who among us can tell?

Last morning you were sprightly, with your mirror image paired,
Your right-footed companion with you my drawer shared.
This evening I am gloomy, aye, sunk deep and morose
And from out of my left sandal, do coyly peep my toes.

Into the great round portal of the washing machine you went –
(I cannot bear to think of it, in grief I am double-bent)
To have your sins all washed away, and your purity restored,
But the omens I did not heed, and the warnings I ignored.

And when the buzzer sounded, I knew not that I had erred,
I could not know, in truth, that ’twas your death-knell that I heard.
I opened the great round door, and eagerly peered within –
But you were gone – GONE! – amid the fury of Wash and Rinse and Spin.

Now I am a shadow, broken where once I was bold.
With frost-bite in my left foot, and other ailments of the cold.
I pass my time in listening to the meaningless tick of the clock,
And in cursing the foul machine that went and ate my sock.

Bloody frogs! Everywhere!

And no, this is not an insult to the French. I do mean literal frogs. Well, toads, for those among you who are taxonomically minded (and why, might I ask, are you taxonomically minded?), and they are infesting my life. Living as I do in a fairly wooded neck of the woods, I’m quite aware that one must encounter amphibians of various sorts at quite frequent intervals, but this is really taking it a bit too far. I have the strongest possible reservations about finding toads in

a) shoes
b) bedrooms
c) bathrooms
d) cars

Yes, I have found toads in all them places. I put my foot into my shoes last week, and there was a big fat squishy blob against my toe. Yuk, in a word. I’m just grateful that it didn’t exhibit toadish tendencies and pee when under pressure (literally and metaphorically). It did however, cause me to have near heart failure, because I thought it was a scorpion for a moment. Bad as it is to find toads in one’s shoes, scorpions are far worse. However, the truth was bad enough. Then I opened the car and found one hopping hopefully around the floor. How it got in defeats me entirely, but there it was, in all its warty glory. And going to the bathroom in the middle of the night and almost stepping on another member of this tribe is not a pleasant experience when one is only semi-conscious and somnambulistic.

Why me? Why why why? Don’t they have someone else they can gang up against? Or have I committed some toady sin (forgive me) today?

In other news, visa paperwork steams on. I think I will need to take a truck to Chennai when I go to meet this visa officer (assuming that they will call me for another interview). Bah. Why can’t these things be simple? “Welcome to the UK, Mr. Jaithirtha, how long would you like to stay?”

In still other news, the lake has been layered with a sprinkling of leaves and twigs by some sadistic moron from the village, and the mud has been stirred up to the point where everything feels stale and airless. Yes, I know it’s a contradiction in terms to talk to airless water, but it really feels like that. Horrible swim today.

I am definitely peeved at these developments. Still, remain quite chipper and satisfied with life on the whole.