The Cockroach

This piece is autobiographical, All the events in this post occurred 8 years back when I was in Pre-University College. I had selected Biology as one of the subject during my PUC. Which meant I got to do few biological stuff like dissection, testing blood group in the lab, examining plant tissue under the microscope, etc. It was cool and I don’t regret selecting Biology.

Lets roll the time back by 8 years. It was a Thursday evening. I was sitting with one of my close friend Avanish in somebody else’s place. We were a little excited and also a little worried because we were supposed to dissect a cockroach, I had to do it on Friday and Avanish had to do the same on Saturday.

The special thing about that Thursday was the fact that guys from the first batch would be dissection their cockroaches that day. So lots of guys had brought cockroaches to class. Unfortunately none of the stationary stores around college stored and/or sold cockroaches(so unlike Harry Potter world, where you could get things like spiders too), we had to catch them on our own. It was especially hard for a guy like me who believed in smashing them on sight.

There were few guys, the self proclaimed cockroach catching gurus, who would give tips to anybody who would listen (actually most of the guys listened to them). The simplest way I was told to catch a cockroach is to spot one and throw a cloth on top the cockroach. Darkness has some magical effect on them, they don’t run around when they find dark corners. Unfortunately none of these pro were selling cockroaches. I would have definitely purchased one. And I am pretty sure I won’t be the only one.

I unfortunately could not spot a single cockroach in my home(My mom would have used the word fortunately), so I didn’t have a cockroach, Avanish didn’t have a cockroach either. So we were discussing what we would do in the lab without cockroaches. Avainsh happen to see a match box. The match boxes were used for transporting the cockroaches. Both of us instinctively decided to do some cockroach darshan and ended up creating a chaos in the class.

Avanish opened the box a bit. The cockroach on seeing the sunlight poked it’s head out. Kind guys that we are we didn’t want to hurt the cockroach before it had to be dissected. So gently, Avanish tried to push the cockroach back into it’s match box using his finger. The cockroach turned out to be well-educated. It used Avanish’s finger as a leverage and walked right out of the box and onto his shirt.

It’s an odd feeling to have cockroach on your shoulder, Avanish jerked a bit and the cockroach jumped on me. I don’t love cockroaches either, so I instinctively pushed it off my clothes and it fell on Avanish again (I hope he doesn’t hold that against me). He had a match box in his hand and he couldn’t catch the cockroach and like a true friend that I am, I came to his rescue. I don’t know why I did that instead of catching the cockroach I pushed the cockroach off his shirt and in the direction of the girls who were sitting in the benches next to us. That was the start.

We heard screams, and in jiffy more than half the girls in the class had run away from their places and were standing outside the class(Pretty sure Usain Bolt would have been embarrassed) and were pointing at the cockroach which looked like was running towards the window. It’s freedom escape from certain death. But that was not to be.

Just when it started climbing the wall to run through the window somebody caught it. It was not a guy but a girl, poor cockroach, when it was few seconds away from a new lease of life. She caught it and brought it back to us. We were sitting there and enjoying the scene (I was enjoying it and Avanish had a huge grin on his face). We put the cockroach back in the box and that was the last we saw of that fighting, misogynist, brave cockroach.

The labs went great for both of us. I didn’t get my hands dirty dissecting cockroach one of my friend did it for me and I answered the viva questions. Not sure what Avanish did.

Eight years from that day. Life has moved on for all of us involved in this incident

He is Mangalore and banging his head on a computer.

I am in Bangalore and am banging my head on a computer

Well it died in it’s sleep. It was given some medicine to put it to sleep(not kill it, just sleep) and some genius dissected it. Poor chap never woke up from it’s sleep.

If I have hurt any insect right activist am very sorry. I just wanted to share this story.


8 thoughts on “The Cockroach

  1. After reading this I rolled back to 9 years.. 🙂

    In my PUC even we had to do Cockroach dissection.

    One of my friend got me a cockroach ( As I am scared of it )…
    When we went to lab to do the dissection … Some of the cockroaches escaped & we all girls started screaming 😀 ..

    But our lecturers was successful in catching those cockroaches & killing them.. 😦

    I got scared when I took the dead cockroach in my had to do the dissection… then I started screaming loud..
    (I cannot explain that feeling…)
    then one of my friend did the dissection for me… 🙂 ( thanks to her)….

    Nice memories.. 🙂

    Good Vishvash…
    nice blog.. I am sure that every one who reads this blog will go back to there PUC & remember about there experience 🙂

    • Thankfully I am not petrified of cockroaches. Our lab assistant had tough time catching all the roaches. Before he could give the put them into the flask, few clever cockroaches jumped out and ran all over him but he was good enough to catch them. May be it’s because of experience.

      Dissection wasn’t easy either, we had no gloves had to dissect them using our bare hands. Thankfully two guys had to share 1 cockroach. I removed the mandibles and few other stuff after that my partner dissected the rest.

  2. Hmm… good old memories …. 🙂
    still i remember ,
    when i got this opportunity of cockroach dissection in my PU lab ,
    i was really excited and i was thinking as if i was a
    doctor and operating on some patient ha ha 🙂
    when i was in a middle stage of operating it, one of my friend ( that’s suma )came to my place and as
    she had already done this dissection before , she took the tools out of my hand and finished the dissection for
    me, even without asking me …
    well, i was very angry on her that day 😦 ….
    but thanks to her , dissection was successful and i got a gud score 🙂
    And one more thing ,
    i got the cockroach from a store near the college ( for free ofcourse 😉 )

    • Don’t tell me, you went to the store looking for cockroach. Is this Suma working in CG? You should have punched her in the face or even better could have tried human dissection.

  3. ha ha ha …. thanks for sharing this man… u just took me back to good old college days.. lab was fun.. i still remember , our bio madam had instructed us to get cockroaches by whatever means the previous day.

    The Great D ( Dissection ) day..
    We were asked to put the cockroaches into a bottle . There were around 15 cockroaches i guess. When they feel threatened , they leave some strange disgusting scent. yukkk ..

    Lab assistant then put a cotton ball soaked in chloroform into the bottle. within minutes all of them were unconscious .

    vishvesh, u were lucky.. ur partner dissected it for you na ?
    but in my case , i had to do all the things with my bare hands .. !!

    When it was all over and came out of the lab , I felt as if I achieved something great ( a medical certificate or something) !!

    • I should thank Sudarshan for dissection the internals of the cockroach, I just took out the wings and stuff.

      Mam had used a pair of gloves for dissection, we had to do it with our bare hands. I am not sure now, But I guess there was a lifebouy soap. I had washed my hands about half a dozen time with it.

  4. HEY DUDE …i remember you telling this story to me too … that was fun .. we had a good laugh in the hostel u remember .. when we used to goto naveens or yogi’s room and used to see movies .. i guess u need to share those experiences too … maybe the manmohan hand pulling scene of abhijith.. or maybe our bunking spree ie me u and nishanth … maybe that will be a good one too … check it out .. or else i will share those info in my blog after 26th …

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