9 Feb 2007


I wrote this story about a year ago. Its about an anthill that exists as a whole new world of its own....

If you ever visit Sanjay Gandhi National Park, you will see rows of ant hills, each with their own unique characteristics. One such anthill was a beautifully designed one. It was like a spiral cone, so the rain drops will just slide by. It was red and green in patches which made it look very artistic, like it was covered with mosaic from head to toe [the secret was fresh and dry leaves carefully stuck on mud and cemented with wet sand.] The ant hill had twelve gates. Six for coming in and six for going out.

The queen of this wonderful palace - like anthill was a systematic ant. She was an ant of many interests. She was a master in interior designing and architecture and the mother for more than one lakh ants, each of them very well bred. The anthill extended more than twenty feet below the ground. This place was used to park their leaves. Each ant had their own leaf to help them get out during the floods. They also stored their supplies for the winter here . Heaps and pile of sugar, bread pieces, snake skin with salt [ methods of preserving] and many other wonders lay there. It was kept a strict eye on, by the Food Department, that was in charge of all the administration [ in matters of food] in the ant-hill.

The upper part of the anthill were filled with tiny houses. A special section for the soldiers, a special one for the workers. The queen ant who lived on the top with her princesses [ tenth set of eggs], sent out instructions through her special scent to the organs of her anthill, [like the brain]. Also there was a small room called the radio department where different channels were broadcasted and would reach any ant, as long as his/her antennas were straightened. The ants were allowed to listen to the radio only before bedtime and during the afternoon. There was also a small party area for the ants [ usually used for the little princesses birthdays]. This whole anthill was like a miniature world.

One day there was an unusual excitement in the anthill. At two a clock, just after the show, ‘ Recipe-o-ant’, [sponsored by the food department] the news channel, ‘ Ant news’ reported that there was a golden creature just five inches away from the ant hill. It had a strange face, with two hands stuck on it. It had twelve –thirteen bruise marks on it’s face. It was injured as it lies motionlessly still and that this was the best opportunity to attack, before the other ants grab it.”

All the ants in the anthill listened intently. The soldiers were all ready to attack. The chef ants put on their caps and got out their vessels. The food department remained alert. How wonderful it would be to have this creature for lunch! They had eaten snake tarts, elephant meat, rat soup, now they were waiting to taste this new dish. It sounded lip smacking. All of them waited for the queens instructions. But the queen climbed to the top of the anthill, looking at the gory scene. The soldier ants from every anthill [ but hers] were fighting for the creature. She sighed. She knew, just when her children described it to her, that it was a golden watch. This war was a complete waste!

In the mean while all her subjects sat as still waiting for her voice. She told them the news. There was a nasty silence….. and then a hearty laugh. A golden watch! Imagine eating that! Soon everything came back to normal. The anthill was buzzing with work again, and then, just before tea, the workers brought in…. snake tarts… yumm! What a feast they had.