I don’t know anything about ants
On my kitchen platform sits a steel plate. This is not the permanent position of said plate. It has been placed there only temporarily and at the time was for the purposes of holding something that will be described in the very next para.
The steel plate, last night, was filled with some quantity of water, perhaps to the 75% mark and squarely in the center of the circular plate sat a plastic container which housed, as of that moment, 2 Gulab Jamuns.
It was 1 AM and I found myself at the crossroads of DecisionLand. On the one hand, there was the healthy, sane option of brushing my teeth, drinking a glass of warm water and going to bed at (what is now considered) a reasonably early hour. On the other, there was the far more tempting, but highly detridental option of tiptoeing to the kitchen and gorging on the gulab jamuns that had been procured earlier that evening. Why, you may ask, must an adult tiptoe in the comfort of his own home. But this is the vice of a habit developed by an individual who has been a minor for some years longer than he has been a legal adult.
Anyway, I found myself in the kitchen with my hand on the plastic container before the results of thorough deliberation were out. And it is at this point that I noticed One ant. A lone warrior, clinging to the side of this container and if it had eyes that I could spot, possibly they would have been full of focus waiting for this precise moment when a human would come and unblock its way to what-it-had-no-doubt smelt its way to – sweet, divine ant-treasure. I wondered how it had made its way across the body of water in the plate but did not linger much on it. Meanwhile, evident that things had not gone the way the Warrior Ant had planned, it darted in the direction opposite the cover sensing perhaps that I had spotted it before the cover was opened. For good measure, I lifted the box out of the “pool” and decided to open it held in my hands, away from a place of familiarity to the Warrior, who had by now dropped into the water below. And it is at this point, that I noticed an extremely disturbing sight. Close to 20 more ants lay scattered in the water, some hidden from view by the box that was now in my hands, and some in plain sight that I had simply not seen. These were Warriors who had not made it to the Holy Jamun Land :O My mind at this time was racing with multiple thoughts, some for the Fallen Warriors, some about the box in my hand. What if the Warrior was just the last one who was about to enter the box and many had already succeeded and were now already partaking of its contents? What would I see when I opened the box?
I stood in silence for a few seconds contemplating the possibilities. It was probably a lesser duration than I exaggerate at this point, but the thoughts were there. “Let’s assume that the worst has not happened”, I thought, “and that this singular Warrior was the only one to make it. “. How did he (not necessarily, might have been a Wonder Womant as well, but for the purposes of this anecdote) make it? Had there been a plan of attack? Was this the leader of the troop? Had the army decided that it would be sufficient if one mant made it, for the greanter good? Was this the ant version of a heist? Did ants have heists? I’d learnt in the few minutes that I’d concentrated in my biology classes back in school that there was fierce collaboration in ant colonies, but was this a part of it?
I moved closer to the platform and looked again at the fallen Warriors….Noble souls, one and all. They drifted there…unaware of their sacrifice’s futility. I placed the box on the side and sadly emptied the contents of the plate into the sink. This was the order of Nature and I was a cold blooded ant disposer 😦 I refilled the contents of the plate with some more water than before, making the moat a little harder to wade than before …My heart wept for the sacrifices to come as I thought about the next batch of Warrior Ants that would indulge in the pursuit of sweet fortunes..And my mind decided. No more.
There would be no more mindless sacrifices. No more Ant drownings.
Not on my watch.
I opened the box and popped the last two Jamuns in my mouth.
Time to brush and go to sleep.