Bowled By Bat

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 PMNov (Friends, Slice Of Life)

03 September 2009: “Bhaiyya, Bhaiyya,” I heard Shoaib calling me while it was still dark outside. He had woken up at 3 a.m., before sunrise as it’s the month of Ramzan. I was wondering why he was waking me up and he showed at something on the floor and said, “Bat has entered the house.” I saw it lying on the floor and got up and stood next to Shoaib for and to provide ‘moral support.’ I asked Shoaib if it was really a bat because I had never seen a bat lying on the floor. It usually, to the best of my knowledge, hangs on trees or else flies. But here was a bat which was resting on the floor.

As I was asking Shoaib this he went to the empty room in the house and brought a long stick to chase the bat. As he brought the stick he told me that it made some weird sound which made him feel that it’s a bat. He said that he assumed it to be a rat initially but later looking at its shape and structure he came to a conclusion that it was not a rat but something else. “The kind of sound it produced made me assume that it’s a bat,” said Shoaib. Arguing with Shoaib that it cannot be a bat I took the long stick from his hand and using it switched on the light.

With more light in the room to see what the weird creature was, Shoaib and I stared at it for a while. Face, leg, hand, nothing was visible. All we could see was a weird looking body on the floor. Standing far from the weird creature that was lying on the floor, using the stick I tried to open the netted door (The wooden door in the house is kept open to let wind blow in and keep the room cool and only the netted door is closed) While doing this I had also opened an umbrella to shield myself from the creature, if it jumped towards me. As I opened the door the weird creature opened its wings. Shoaib and I bent with our hands covering our face. But we relaxed when we saw that it had moved to the right hand corner of the room.

Being convinced that it is a bat I kept staring at it as it was lying between the bed on which I was sleping and the bed on which Shoaib was sleeping. Shoaib went to brush his teeth and I kept watching the bat wondering how to chase it away. As I kept watching it opened its wings again and sat on the door which was a factor of relief for me as i thought that it would fly out in its next move.

“Aaaw,” I screamed and went running to Shoaib and closed the bathroom door when the bat came flying towards me. Inside the closed bathroom Shoaib and I laughed at our situation at an ungodly hour. After a while we peeped outside the bathroom to see where the bat was. Unable to see it within the limits of our view, we came out. At this point I closed the doors of the empty room in the house. I did so because the bat would get caught in that room if it had entered that room.

“Let’s take the bed to the room where Faizan is sleeping and sleep there,” suggested Shoaib and walked into the kitchen to have his breakfast. I was looking around if the bat was anywhere aroun. I turned towards the room where Faizan -unaware of the bat and our sleepless battle- was sleeping and started calculating as to how to arrange three beds in that room for three of us and I hear Shoaib scream. I turn towards the kitchen and I see Shoaib sitting on the floor with his hand, which held a slice of bread, covering his face and head. The bat came out flying and comfortably rested on the bed where I was sleeping.

“Kya hua,” a voice comes from the room. Faizan was awake. Shoaib slowly steadily coming out of the kitchen with a bread packet and a cheese packet in his hand with that gentle smile on his face said, “Khan sahab, a bat has come in.” As Faizan got up to have a look at the bat, Shoaib and I entered the room where Faizan was sleeping and sat down. Faizan walking bravely towards the netted door opened it completely.

Switching off the fan Faizan asked if the netted door was kept partially open for the bat to come in. Shoaib replied saying “It must have come in from the window. The netted door was closed completely, as usual.” Shoaib asked me if I would like to have bread with him. I said, “No.” This offering of the bread by Shoaib had brought down the room temperature for both of us and we started recollecting the incident from the beginning as if the bat had already been chased away. Our relaxation was mainly because now Faizan was awake and had taken up, voluntarily, the task of chasing the bat out.
“Shall we kill it?” asked Faizan and the bat as if it heard Faizan came flying towards him and to save himself Faizan bent down and out of fear I closed the door of the room, with Faizan out of the room. Shoaib asked me what happened and I said “It came this side instead of flying out of the open door.” I asked Faizan if he was ok and Faizan, a man of less words, did not reply. Getting anxious, and feeling ashamed about myself for having closed the door leaving Faizan all alone outside in the hall, I opened the door to see Faizan stare at the door of the closed room.

“Where is it?” I asked Faizan and he pointed towards the closed door of the other room. The bat was hanging on the right hand top edge of the door. Standing near the room which we use, Faizan and I started making paper balls using newspapers and throwing it at the bat. The aim is always bad when there is fear inside, I guess. None of our paper balls managed to destabilize the bat from its place on the door.

“I will open the door of that room, go inside and try chasing it to this side. Meanwhile you ensure that it doesn’t come into this room,” said Faizan and ran into the other room pushing its door and partially closing it. With a stick in his hand, through the partially opened door, he started destabilizing the bat which after screaming for a while opened its wings and flew towards the main door and hung itself on it. Brave Faizan now came out of the room with that long stick in his hand. As I kept looking at him he ran towards the main door and using the stick pushed down the bat from the door in a diagonal direction so that the bat fell outside the house and is a split of a second closed the door.

“Waah mere sher,” was the only expression that I voiced and I could have voiced. The slamming of the door scared Shoaib who asked what had happened and I was turned mute by Faizan’s action which was smart and clever. Looking at the closed door and Faizan next to it and my expression Shoaib understood that the bat had been chased away.

What a relief it was for all three of us. I went to take a leak (until then, out of anxiety, I had not realized that my urinary bladder was filled completely) Coming out I explained Shoaib how wonderfully Faizan had tackled the bat during its last minutes in the house. Faizan went and washed his hand and Shoaib his hand and mouth. We discussed the matter for next five minutes and Faizan opened the main door and shut it immediately saying the bat was still at the threshold. Taking a smaller stick in my hand I asked Faizan to open the door slightly so that I can chase it using the stick. Faizan took the stick from me and opened the door partially to chase the bat from the threshold. Opening the door partially Faizan kept looking out. As I was wondering what was he examining like a scientist he said, “It is dead.” Being shocked I asked Faizan “What? Dead? How?” and opened the door to see the bat lying down dead.

I guess when we pushed down the bat from the door it must have hit the floor in great force. As it hangs upside down, its head must have crashed on the floor first. Head injury must have caused its death. Using the broom I tried to push the dead bat down to the ground from the space outside the house in the third floor. But I failed to do so. It fell down few steps below and Faizan had to use a dust collector to throw the bat down to the ground.

It was 4.10 a.m. then. All three of us went back to sleep while the bat which disturbed our sleep went on to a permanent sleep.

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