Ants in my garden

Dozens of anthills in my garden are witness to the thriving ant population in all its variation under the blazing summer sun.

Busy Ants


Dozens of anthills in my garden are witness to the thriving ant population in all its variation under the blazing summer sun. Hats off to the inhabitants who go about their daily lives oblivious to the soaring mercury, power-cuts, absence of ACs or chilled water!

Black ants, brown ants, red ants, grey ants, Big ants, small ants, smaller ants, tiny ants! They work through the day, digging out globules of mud to extend their ant colony. They toil to get in that dead cockroach into their stock chamber. They move around with honey in their little bellies, carry food in their mouths, care for the little ones, socialise with other ants, all under the challenging sun! And they win hands down. No ant is known to suffer from heat stroke, or dehydration. They're miraculous, these little ones!

After the summer-storm cum rain last night, I went out with the daily bowl of flour and sugar for my hard-working and happy friends in the morning, but was half expecting to find them moaning under the stroke of fate. Oh no, not they! The topsoil had been washed away, but the ants were as busy in their homes as if nothing had happened last night. They had cleared out all debris that had forced its way along with rainwater into their homes. They had also found a reservoir of corn somewhere and were already filing out of their home to fetch the booty in. The line was about 50 meters long, as far as I could follow it, before it disappeared into a neighbour's garden.

The smaller ants were still struggling with house-keeping, but without a complain, unlike my maid who would bring the house down after seeing a layer of dust on everything under the roof. She would blame everybody under the sun, then God and the natural forces for radiating intense heat and then these fiery dust-storms. May be ants didn't know about God as the doer of all things good and bad, not at least as we humans commonly do! Anything that goes wrong in the human world, is quickly blamed on God the all benign force who can do all the good that he wants, but doesn't despite prayers and visits to religious places and bribes of 'prasad' worth Rs 5! And we start doubting the integrity of God as an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving entity or force. We feel let down by misfortune, be it a dust-storm, power-cuts, road-accidents, failing exams, water-crisis, garbage heaps, losing a loved one, disease and heart-break. "Why doesn't God help", is a common refrain.

We humans think, that once God has created us, he should be baby-sitting and keeping watch over us all the time, keep us from falling off the balcony, spoon-feeding us baby-food, switch on cartoon-network for us on the TV, take us for walks in the park, buy balloons and ice creams for us! After all why did he create us if he doesn't want to take care of all our demands?

Blame game, anyone?

We humans are mean enough to bring God down to his knees in apology to us! And force him to give us the best of comforts in life, without our doing anything to earn it. A life of comfort is a priority for us. So what if the ants work, and birds fly in search of food, the animals hunt for food, the river flows to bless all life-forms, the sun shines to give all that it has, the clouds busy themselves day and night to gather precious drops of water to take to places where there is none! We as humans have every right to be lazy, to pass the buck on to others, to play the blame game and spend time in 'who dunnit'. We are the 'best of God's creation'!

I think I can see God screwing up his nose in distaste, and considering giving the title to the hard-working ants who use their intelligence, and physical strength to make the best of everything. I guess if I leave my philosophising and go in and clean the dust in the house, I'll earn some grades vis a vis the ants in God's eyes, and may be he'll give humans another chance to keep their title!

Anisha Sharma
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