We lived in a small town called Manipal for twenty three years. In 2005 we constructed a house, two kms from Manipal centre and shifted to it from the campus. Our postal address is of Udupi. Long back the two towns were far from each other but now we do not know where one ends and the the other begins. We like to think that we live in Manipal and in Udupi.
The Syndicate Bank was founded in 1925 in Manipal. Recently it was merged with Canara Bank. Syndicate Bank has its Institute of Management in Manipal. We called it SIBM and now it has become CIBM.
In the grounds of this Institute there is a walking track and general public are allowed inside, morning and evening for a few hours. We have been going there at least once a week for many years. There are many mango trees by the side of the track. We were there on Saturday evening. Many of the trees have weaver ants in them. They weave beautiful and compact nests with the mango leaves.
There are many Weaver ants in our garden too, on the star-apple trees and mango trees. There is a sting and an acidic smell when they bite us. Our star apple tree had been their domain 😊 and it was difficult for us to pluck the, fruits but we managed. Fortunately, this year the ants have gone elsewhere. One interesting fact is that they die the moment they bite. One of our relatives had told us a story about this from our mythology but I cannot recollect it. One evening I was about to open the gate when we saw weaver ants on the gate. There is a gap between the two gates. We watched with fascination when two ants formed a bridge and all the other ants went on them. My mobile was in hand, immediately I took a video and sent it to our grandchildren 😊. They too were fascinated.
There are different types of ants, some bite and some do not. The ones that do not bite are black in colour and move at a very fast pace. I think the ones that bite are called army ants. They are here in plenty. I think they never sleep. We see them moving all the time. They make life difficult sometimes. After lunch , in the kitchen, on the ledge, I keep the dishes in a plate of water. Once, I had to throw away a bowl of rice as it was filled with ants. They move to and fro on the clothesline and many a time we have been stung. The after-effect of the sting remains for some time. We always look closely at the clothes before folding and keeping them inside.
I get quite fed up with them. Once in a while we get an insecticide chalk called Laxmanrekha. I draw a line with it on the wall where the ants move. I think when they cross the line, some ants die and immediately other ants do not come there.
Ants are amazing creatures. I read that they are found almost everywhere in the world.