I had a meeting with a yellow Indian wasp recently that brought the fear of God into me. Though I am a fairly experienced in encounters with fearsome insects as I have my share of insect stings, bites and sprays during my childhood to adulthood, but their experience was nothing compared to this one.
It happened when I was enjoying a solo ride on my bike from Delhi to Dehradun. I had just crossed busy suburbs Meerut and was leading a snarled traffic thanks only to a bike, the sun was setting on a cold Feb day and people were eager to head back home. It was then I became aware of a moving object inside my visor closer to my left eye. It had come down from nowhere and it positioned towards the visor as if to enjoy the scenery passing by. I could manage to see that it was a yellow Indian wasp.
It didn’t take me too long to realize the situation, I was nearing triple digits on the speedometer so jamming brakes in panic on a busy highway was out of the question. Next I thought to flip up the visor, but soon decided against it as opening the visor would let in a windblast and along with it the wasp will be pushed directly over my eye, an angry wasp near my eye a situation I wanted to avoid at all costs.
The wasp which was at the moment comfortable peeking through the visor as if admiring the constantly changing scenery, her comfort was probably the warmth inside the helmet, or maybe he/she just didn’t understand or care for the ruckus it had created by appearing into a tight scene.
Gladly my mind accessed all possible scenarios and decided to wait for all those moments that I needed to safely get out of traffic and halt. I ensured that I didn’t so much as flinch my eyelid to avoid any unnecessary anger management by the wasp.
Once stopped I opened the visor smoothly and waited for what it felt like an eternity for the wasp to fly off, and she did eventually, that flight has probably more to do with discomfort from the cold, not of that wasp’s intent to fly. I sighed a relief and shut the visor back immediately before the wasp could change his/her mind and decided to ride along.
As I shifted gears towards Dehradun my belly brimmed with tizzy warm feeling over the scene of that wasp’s presence inside a very snugly fit helmet and what on earth motivated it to come out before my eyes just as I was speeding, I laughed at my successful and lucky escape…