It's a little unusual for my blog to go silent around Diwali, that special time of the year when we fill our homes with the endearing aroma of sugary syrups and hot oil! Like every year in the past, I had plans of making chavde, chakli, chivda, and nankatai. Perhaps even besan ladu, which I last made ten lunisolar years ago. But the universe had other plans for me.
Last week as I settled into my chair, with a hot cup of tea, to start the week on a rather cheerful note, there was a thump on the garden window right next to my desk. Pressed against the glass and slowly sliding down was a fat garter snake. Did I freak? Did I scream? Did I run for my life? Yes. Even though I knew that there was glass between us and that it could not come inside? Yes. I ran out of my house until I realized that there were probably more snakes out in my yard than in that window, so I ran right back in again. I made an incoherent phone call for help and since it sounded like I was in cardiac arrest - which I was - my husband dropped a client meeting to rush home.
He found a thin snake curled up in the foliage, probably more frightened than I was. But that was not the snake I saw pressed against the window. Since I am prone to hallucinating when it comes to the slithery denizens of our 'hood, my story was taken with a pinch of salt, until a fat tail made a downward descent when the lovely Laura Labato, Animal Control Officer with Louisville Police, was explaining what our possible options were. But I wasn't listening. I was in pain, without being in physical pain. It is a curious affliction, this phobia.
All I could think was: In my window. Next to my desk. In my family room. In my basement. In my space.
Critter Control decided to take us up on an urgent and emergency basis, which means a good $70 more than their usual charge. Jake the snake guy removed the thin long one and promised to come back on Wednesday to remove the others, who had by then gone back into hiding. Wednesday? 48 hours later? But I made it.
In order to retain whatever was left of my sanity, I decided to look at everything in a positive light. The snakes were being removed on the first day of Diwali, Dhanatrayodashi.
Instead of buying gold, as is the custom, we made Critter Control richer by several hundred dollars for snakeproofing that window. Ouch! As soon as my Book Group pals found out how much I had spent, they each offered their various services, including their children, to remove any critters that might make their way into my home or yard for a deep discount.
With such a fantastic start to Diwali, there was not much more that I could top it off with. I was paralyzed into inaction and the plans I made in my head became increasingly overwhelming with each passing minute. My birthday hike of almost 9 miles and an altitude gain of almost 3000ft seemed like a piece of cake in comparison. So I decided to do nothing and blamed the universe instead.
I needed to get this off my chest so that I can move on. I promise to be back with a post about a beautiful evening I hosted to celebrate a close friend and her pregnancy, and maybe even a recipe!