The annual meeting of the Nikhil Bangladesh Mosha (mosquito) Samity has been convened. This is the time of year when there is relief from stinging in other parts of the city because the two-winged gnats congregate in large numbers at a particular dump. Established under the Bengal Presidency of Governor Victor Bulwer-Lytton, the setting for this special centenary year was Demra. The purpose of the assembly was not only to take account of previous bites and stock of sites, but also to exercise their democratic right.
They were wary of freedom of expression, seeing the aftermath of Brexit, although it came about after the Britishers debated for months, learnt the pros and cons, and exercised their independent privilege, only to be overwhelmed by the cons. More recently, Liz Truss lasted less than the 60 days they took to elect her through several rounds of democratic roulette.
Little Aedes, sitting on Mama's lap (they always travel as a family), said, "So many slogans: No bribe – no service; no blood – no job; frying an egg – visit the Hague. Why can't they have Aedes-Manush Bhai-Bhai – insecticide bye-bye? I can hardly breathe!"
"Shhh," said Papa. "Wear your spray mask and learn how to. We cannot betray the pharmaceuticals; they are paying us handsomely. We have to breed and satiate our greed for blood. Actually, this year's slogan is 'Stop the aerosol.'" Little Aedes exclaimed, "But that's hypocrisy!" "What is not? Tell me, my son."
They had been gathering in hordes at the convention venue – flying in, hopping over, ride-sharing with humans, and by quick breeding. At one point, there was a drumroll. The wasteland fell into a murmured silence, broken moments later by the shrill of the trumpet. Then entered the delegation of celebrity Aedes mosquitoes.
There was reverence for the females among them, for only they bite the humans. They were fewer than expected. Begging excuse, albeit immodestly, the lady leader of the mission said that many in the force were busy in the epidermis frontier (Clap).
This year, representatives of the municipality health and wealthy officers, killer pharmaceuticals, and the old tyre business association were also invited; small Culicidae flies were the gracious hosts.
The chairperson began by declaring his satisfaction with the city municipalities, "Because in their dengue panic, they were spraying ditches, drains and canals with insecticides, useless (sniggers) (Audience: clap), because we do not breed in wetlands, rivers and lakes."
Compliantly, the pharmaceutical rep raised his hand, covered in full sleeves, "We too are happy because we are selling more chlorine." The municipality health and wealthy officers were coaxed into speaking. "Medicine is bad for human and aquatic life, so we have been taught," sighed their superintendent. "But on the wealth side, the companies are making sure we use their product." He got a pat on his back from the pharma rep.
The agenda moved on. "We will not bite the politicians, no! Don't bite them, please (Loud cheer). Their unscientific rhetoric gives us free publicity, and longevity," said one speaker. "Sometimes we wonder whether they work for the companies or maybe the H&W officers – definitely not for their itching voters.
"Our target should be researchers, scientists, and media people. Bite them. Don't let them work and discover the means of destroying our habitat. We shall take revenge. Sting!" The crowd roared.
"We are looking for New Territories to proliferate. We appeal to our politician friends and municipality allies to create dumping grounds, preferably within the city. We urge relevant businesses to leave behind some old tyres for ecological balance.
"Let there be no awareness programme at schools or on TV that preach against water-filled pots and pans, and ceramic containers. Do they know that we thrive indoors, in small, dark corners, behind curtains? By making a fuss about the outdoors, they are diverting the matter for politico-economic benefits.
"Tragic though the end may be, we can actually be eliminated, or in the least controlled, if only they would stop taking pictures of ineffective sprays. They are not informing, thank God, their fellow humans that dengue mosquitoes lay eggs on the walls of water containers, and hatch underwater. We shall not die alone. We shall take with us insecticide manufacturers, municipality officers, and all conspirators against our mighty kingdom of over three and a half thousand species.
"Some in the municipality and businesses have begged us not to go. They would be jobless, ruined, if we left for good. Each of us live only for a month anyway. But, because it takes only a few mosquitoes to cause a major dengue occurrence, our kind shall survive. So, for the sake of the corrupt few, the vast population of Homo sapiens shall suffer." Sting, sting, sting.
Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed is an architect and a professor, a Commonwealth scholar and a fellow, Woodbadger scout leader, Baden-Powell fellow, and a Major Donor Rotarian.