‘Thud’. My mind woke up from a deep sleep to a soft noise. It sounded as if something fell. My body has not regained the level of consciousness required to open my eyes yet. My mind started analyzing the situation.

Where was I? The first thing that my mind was trying to ascertain was where I was at that moment. I quickly realized that I was sleeping in the hall as the bedroom was too hot for four of us to sleep. We were not switching on the air-con due to covid-19 paranoia. It was impossible for the four of us to grab a place directly below the ceiling fan. I decided to sleep in the hall instead.

After the location was ascertained, my mind started analyzing the sound that I had heard, with my eyes still closed. What was that sound that I had heard? It was not that of the magnet that fell off the refrigerator. That would make a hard sound and the sound was not coming from the kitchen.

It was not the monthly calendar hanging on the wall that swayed in the breeze from the ceiling fan. The sound was different and also, the fan was not generating enough force to cool me lying directly under it. Forget the calendar 3 meters away. It was out of the radar. 

Was it the sound of our milk delivery guy trying to place the milk packets in the bag kept for it? It was not. That was a familiar sound. This was not. And this came in from the opposite direction. 

Did something fall off the dining table that I was sleeping next to? The dining table is a mess as it’s a temporary place to keep stuff out of the reach of our son. But, the sound was that of a single drop. There was no second bounce like thud, thud. It was unlikely that something fell off the dining table. 

With my mind exploring all the possibilities in the span of 300 seconds without opening my eyes, with heightened auditory senses to pick up any follow up sound, I decided to slip down to the subconscious level and continue my sleep. Maybe my mind was just playing games, an after-effect of watching ‘Freud’ on Netflix the previous week. 

Nope. I was not able to sleep. It was maddening that I was not able to identify the sound. It was not a familiar sound and my brain was sending signals of impending danger which didn’t allow me to sleep. I checked the time on my mobile – 5.30 am. It was that in-between time when you can neither wake up and be productive nor go back to sleep comfortably knowing you have to wake up in 45 mins. I looked around the hall using the light from the mobile screen to see if there is anything unusual. Found nothing. 

As I was about to force myself to sleep again, my mind started questioning again. What did that sound like? It was definitely something hitting a heavy plastic to be more precise, something fluffy hitting a heavy plastic and staying in its place. What was the heavy plastic in that room? There we had a couple of plastic chairs, a few toys, my son’s chair and his scooter. From the trajectory of the sound, I remembered the sound to be coming from near the floor level but not at the floor level. Slightly elevated level. I was more than sure that it was my son’s plastic chair placed at a distance of 3 meters from the back of my head at a 30-degree angle. It is fascinating to see how physics is not a subject that I was strong in and yet, my mind is doing all these calculations even while I am half asleep. 

And then it hit me. Could it be that? No, I hoped not. It is next to impossible. I had taken care of it already when it happened last time. I plugged every hole. It better not be that. With a morbid fear, I inched towards the chair using the light from my mobile. I looked if I could find that. I was not able to. All I saw was a ball of cloth or something. Relieved, I started retreating. And then it struck me. 

There was nothing that I could remember that looked like a ball of cloth that could have been there. Learning from the experience last time, I slowly tip-toed towards the bedrooms and closed the doors of the bedrooms. I had to be stealthier than that thing which by itself is stealthy.   Then I slowly opened the main door, just in case. I switched the lights on and took a closer look. It was what I had suspected. It was a freaking bat. A smaller one but a bat nonetheless. 

I am okay with bats when they are outside. My area has a huge population of bats of enormous size. In closed places, I don’t like a flying cockroach only. Forget a bat. The speed in which it loops to and fro is frightening. At least this time, it was not flying around but was lying there on the chair. I guessed from the sound and the pose and the location that it must have hit the ceiling fan during the flight and fell down. Shit must have literally hit the fan for that bat. I wasn’t sure if it was capable of moving or not. I had to be careful. If it moves while I am trying to get rid of it, the probability of me waking up our neighbours by dropping the chair and screaming was a perfect one. 

I gathered a newspaper, lifted the chair and moved towards the main door while maintaining the parallelity between the floor and the chair’s base so as not to disturb the bat that is sleeping/dead/being a wimp. I slowly pushed it out of the chair when it made the screeching noise that could scar one’s soul. It opened its wings and it was long. It is astonishing how when its wings are folded they are the size of a small mouse and squeeze themselves through any gap whereas when they open their wings they cover a large area. 

Art courtesy: Yours truly

Now that I have gotten rid of it, I made a mental note to find out that small hole through which it could have squeezed inside the house. I checked my body for any scratches or bite marks and couldn’t find any. Since, it was too late to sleep again, I prepared my coffee and let my thoughts run wild.It can’t go for a run outside, at least my thoughts can. I realized then that I could write a blog post about this. I went awol from the blogging world as last week was a hectic one. This could be a good way to come back. 

I opened my google doc and typed the title – Bat’tling Thoughts.

I wrote the first couple of sentences

Thud’. My mind woke up from deep sleep to a soft noise. It sounded as if something fell.