Saturday, October 13, 2012

Imitation Aedes M.

We are such an amazing country. We even call ourselves incredible. 

With dengue being rampant , with water deluges, clogged storm drains, unmanageable  big city infrastructure , and construction material and junk left strewn around  by those who know that the powers that be will ignore it  for reasons of votes,  the government seems to have a knack for maintaining a severe disconnect between a person's qualification/training, and his work.

The youth of the country, tackle a whirlwind of entrance tests to qualify for what they hope will be a good course that will give them a job.  There are all kinds of training Institutes,  some even teach you to speak like someone from another country, so you can spend your sleeping hours on a phone, choosing one of the set answers. I know someone who did a technicians course by day, college by evening, and has inexplicably landed up in a job wrapping chocolates by the kilo.

In this scenario, we have our esteemed ministers for various departments, appointed on their sole ability to nod a Yes.  The assumed versatality of the individual in power is unbelievable.  There is no entrance test, exam, or even certificate from somewhere required for someone to  head any department of the government .

And so we have a health minister ,  unshaken by the encephalitis deaths in eastern UP, and now in Chennai, because of the dengue epidemics, advising folks, to wear full pants and full sleeved shirts  to keep Madam Aedes Mosquitowalla  from biting  them .

(Takes me back to 2009, when I accompanied someone to the suburb of Malad in western Mumbai . The person was new to the area, had to appear for an exam, and I waited at the appointed centre, a local women's college  while the exam finished.  Right from my childhood (an that is more than half a century ago) , when Malad was yet undeveloped , people always spoke of the area being mosquito prone, possibly due to being a marshy area.  My visit confirmed it, as I sat on a bench, in an ill kept garden, slapping and scratching my limbs for the 3 hours that I waited. Mind you, I was not wearing shorts or a miniskirt;  I was swathed , in what would be considered the height of decency, in a full length salwar, almost 3/4th sleeves long knee length kurta and a chunni measuring 2.5 metres.  I came home with red welts all over the lower limbs and arms. )   

I often wonder if this proclivity of offering foolish solutions arises, from the gross ignorance,  inability to learn, lack of curiousity, or simply the conviction that maintaining an "image of a public servant", (band-gala, achkan,chudidaar,,jacket, assorted hangers on, sirens, red beacons  on cars,  impressive security)  is all that they have to do.  It is all a question of appearing to be something. That you are not. The Aedes mosquito is smarter. It knows you have a face. And bites.

I also often wonder why no one thinks of appointing a senior excellent doctor as health minister.  And an experienced agriculturist/development expert as agriculture minister. And maybe a troika of some very experienced grass routes people as rural development GOM.   A senior captain of industry in the relevant ministry. And so on and so forth. But that is not our style.  With a few exceptions (maybe),  the common aim of all those in power is to enhance assets. Not the country's, but their own.

And then I came across this : (The left section is the scientific stuff from the Singapore government page on Dengue.. The section to the right is an example of how it is so easy to emulate the powerful mosquito : a sociological observation. Both entities , in the left and right sections, feed on the general public; sometimes we call these entities,  parasites. Just saying . )

Fast facts about the mosquito

Under optimal conditions, the egg of an Aedes mosquito can hatch into a larva in less than a day. The larva then takes about four days to develop in a pupa, from which an adult mosquito will emerge after two days. Three days after the mosquito has bitten a person and taken in blood, it will lay eggs, and the cycle begins again  Only the female aedes mosquito bites as it needs the protein in blood to develop its eggs.

The mosquito becomes infective approximately 7 days after it has bitten a person carrying the virus. This is the extrinsic incubation period, during which time the virus replicates in the mosquito and reaches the salivary glands.

 Peak biting is at dawn and dusk.

The average lifespan of an Aedes mosquito in Nature is 2 weeks

The mosquito can lay eggs about 3 times in its lifetime, and about 100 eggs are produced each time.

The eggs can lie dormant in dry conditions for up to about 9 months, after which they can hatch if exposed to favourable conditions, i.e. water and foo

Fast facts about the leaders/ministers

 Under optimal conditions, the leader aspirant  can hatch into a pucca leader in less than a day. The leader then takes about four days to develop into a candidate, from which an adult minister will emerge after two months. Three days after the ambition has bitten a person and absorbed in blood, it will start seeking funding , and the cycle begins again.Only the powerful  grab as they need the funds in cash to develop their votebank

The leader becomes effective approximately 7 days after he has gifted monies to  a person carrying the vote. This is the extrinsic incubation period, during which time the person tries to replicate  the leader and reaches the remaining voters.

 Peak intake is at election time.

The average lifespan of an Aedes minister in a capital is 3 years

The minister  can get elected  about 3 times in his lifetime, and  100 times the previous funding is produced each time.

The minister  can lie unperforming in "dry" conditions for up to about 4 months, after which his future depends on whether he is  exposed to favourable conditions, i.e. good rain, water and food in his constituency.


  1. The other day I was sitting in a park somewhere when a black and white striped tiger floated out of somewhere and started piercing my knuckles with his trunk. I snapped him hard, squishing him to a pulp but my finger swelled, making me wonder if I has broken off its trunk under my skin, malignant virii and all.

    You have given a new meaning to the mosquitoes ensuring that whenever I see them, I'll think of our politicos!

    1. USP, I pray that the variety was not a relative of the Aedes. Though I guess any other variety needs to be smashed equally fast... but you know what, at least the mosquito is following its dharma; the same cant be said of the politicos .....

  2. Haha...Suranga and her inimitable style! Loved reading about blood-thirsty creatures of both kinds !!

  3. hahahah1 you are hilarious :) only you could come up with such a funny comparison :)

  4. hilarious!!! Read it a couple of times and the effect did not dull one bit!! :-D!

  5. How can we ever think of comparing ourselves to Singapore.
    I have been there very often.
    That country is setting standards and examples of governance