Friday, February 5, 2010


When JBS Haldane was asked what his scientific research had shown about the nature of God replied, 'The deity seems to have an inordinate fondness for beetles'. If I was asked a similar question, I will say it was ants that the deity was fond of. Much care is taken to ensure that the area around me is an ant-free zone but sometimes an intrepid ant decides to explore the forbidden territory. Ogden Nash tells us why ants are so antsy,'Would you be calm and placid/ If you were full of formic acid?'

When an ant (especially a red ant) explores your body and you are unable to do anything to discourage it, your face tends to become a bit expressive. Noticing this and the unexplained jerks of my hands and legs, the nurse will correctly intuit that some little creature is up to no good. She will move with admirable dispatch to scratch one of my ankles. The ant meanwhile will be scurrying around one of my knees making a speculative bite once in a while. Hearing the commotion Jaya will rush into my room and try to find out the problem. I will dictate a few key words which will place her in procession of the salient facts regarding the current location of the peripatetic ant. The result would be a dead ant. She is too big to fail.

Ogden Nash wrote another poem about the splendid skill of the gifted hunter:
The hunter crouches in his blind
'Neath camouflage of every kind
And conjures up a quacking noise
To lend allure to his decoys
This grown-up man, with pluck and luck
is hoping to outwit a duck.
Forget a duck, I need competent outside help to deal with a determined ant.


  1. You know, after reading some of your blogs, I have come to respect Jaya so much...Kudos to her and to u too...

  2. Reminds me of the poem 'The Mosquito'by DH Lawrence..and I remember Freddie Gomes teaching us the poem too with all his usual animated gestures and dramatics!!

    Such silence, such suspended transport,
    Such gorging,
    Such obscenity of trespass.

    Peripatetic ant....intrepid ant....What a wonderful usage of words...
    I sense your helplessness behind all that humour..Really admire your indomitable spirit.