Sunday, May 1, 2016


When I search for 'ant' on google, the prominent results are on 'Apache Ant', some software. Why?

When I click on the Images tab, the images that turn up are totally unpleasant to the eyes, some are creepy as well. I feel sad for this little nice creature! :)

In my school days, when I was in classes 2-5, we used to go to a small evening school called the 'Hindi School' in this place called Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh. It used to be an independent school in itself. It had proper classrooms for its standards/classes (like the classes 1,2,3 in a regular school). Initially of course I only used to mug up things and just give the exams. Doing that, I passed the preliminary class with flying colours and moved to the 2nd class of this Hindi school, the class/exam was called 'Prathmik'. Now I had small stories in my books. It was then, from the story of Shahjahan that I learnt that he built the Taj Mahal in the memory of Mumtaz and that he amputated the hands of all the labourers who constructed the monument. I could not sleep for a few nights after learning that. I kept reading the story again and again, and kept feeling sad!
There was another story called 'Gora aur kaala' which was about 2 girls one of whom was 'gora' and the other one 'kaala'. The story was about fair girls insulting dark girls and the moral of the story was that one should not look at the colour of the skin but the person :) It was a very cute story.

That was the starting point of my interest in Hindi. As I moved ahead, I became very good a grammar (even things like sandhi & samaas), reading, writing, reciting and so on. I was good at interpreting poetry as well and my teachers were quite amazed by that, and the credit always went to the fact that my upbringing happened on-and-off in Ahmedabad.

And that is how I actually know a lot of Hindi literature poets like Makhanlal Chaturvedi, Maithili Sharan Gupt, Sumitranandan Pant, Kabir, Rahim and Tulsi ke dohe and all. Kabir ke dohe are the easiest to interpret and while there is a tie (at least for me) between Rahim & Tulsi, my vote for the toughest goes to Tulsi(das). I actually don't remember any of the Tulsi's dohe now (sad!).

Coming back to the ant, I grew up with too many creatures around me - the prominent ones I recollect are: birds (sparrows mainly), cows, pigs, buffaloes, catterpillars, lizards (both domestic & garden lizards), rats (my favourite in this family is something called 'pandikokku' in Telugu; everyone was so terrified just by its sight, it used to be a huge rat, its sign used to be a huge hole among the bushes in the garden) & snails.
While I did notice flies & mosquitoes also around me, what I never thought of was this creature that was nearer to me, more than the rest; until I came across this poem called 'Cheenti' in my Hindi text book. It was a wonderful poem written by the great poet Sumitranandan Pant. I had not preserved those books but thanks to this wonderful invention called the 'World Wide Web', I could to locate the poem. Since my encounter with that poem, I started noticing the ants a lot and started admiring them so much.

This new house we have moved in to, is a slightly old construction and is cozy with respect to the atmosphere and the climate (I mean good insulation etc.). This possibly is the reason, I again got a chance to have these little creatures around in my kitchen. A few days back, while filling the water bottle from our PureIt (in a nuclear family, even filling water bottles is a task), I noticed this line of very, very small ants, on the edge of the wall, moving up, to somewhere. I could not figure out where the line was ending. I think I found a reason to fill the water bottles again, only to attempt to resolve that mystery! I was successful in my 3rd attempt and a few cms below the ceiling, I noticed a small little black dot. And on observing this line very carefully, I noticed that the line was disappearing at that small black dot. I then realized that small black dot was a tiny hole in the wall and noticed these little ones entering into that hole. We covered the hole this morning and since then, this group seems to be at work for a plan B. They have not given up!

[And I googled, there are quite a few articles on corporate lessons to be learnt from ants - haven't found an impressive one yet though!]

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