Two big, pale house lizards with fat tails live behind the A/C unit in our living room. I hate them. They come out whenever we are watching a movie in the evenings and creep around. My husband cannot understand why I would be bothered by them, after all, I did grow up in India with these Geckos. He pointed out that I did not even bat an eyelid when we had some mice scurrying along the rafters (during our holiday at a camping hotel) or cockroaches that are as big as mice or spiders, but when it comes to lizards, I freak out.
Why is that? Am I a speciest? Do I hate reptiles but like mammals? But that is not completely true, as I find snakes and Komodo Dragons rather fascinating. So what is it with me and Geckos?
Its because of the movies, of course. My childhood was molded by not just the people around me but by the movies I grew up watching. And I remember this particular Tamil movie- I do not remember the name, only thing I remember is that, I went to the movies because I liked the vanilla ice-cream at the movie theater. Anyway, this movie, the mother makes a big pot of some food as she has a huge brood of children to feed and a gecko falls into the food (or is put there by the villain, I am not sure anymore) – all the kids that eat the food die and the mother is devastated and is racked by guilt. Then there was another movie in which a lizard falls on a man’s head and its said that a gecko falling on the head is a bad omen indicating a King’s punishment – which, in other words, is a beheading!
This picture of those geckos falling on our heads, into our food and poisoning us, is in my head in all its technicolour splendour! How can I not hate these lizards?!? I know that geckos can’t just fall off and that studies are being done on how to make adhesive that could work like gecko’s feet but when I see these two run across the ceiling and start moving their fat, pale tails sinuously, they give me the heebie-jeebies, as King Julian would say! Its unnatural for a creature that big to defy gravity, when its not done using computer graphics!
The next installment would be on crocodiles and how I am scarred by their depiction in Indian movies….