Friday, December 12, 2008

Aspirations of a worker ant

Our regular lunch meeting today had an interesting twist. Lemme share what happened.

As we looked outside the window, we noticed workers hoisting large machinery atop the skyscraper coming up next door. The equipment looked uncannily like a giant's shoe, and then, next thing we know, the conversation had moved from giants to little people to life cycles of insects like ants. How long do ants live? Why do they work so hard all year round, if they know they are not gonna live to see the next winter? Do they even know? Do they even consider all this as they toil? Someone said, they are wired to perform whatever role they have in the nest--all instinct, not much thoughts put in there. Very true.

But what if? It would be interesting, if at all, consciousness became a part of worker ant's life, and it suddenly realized that it's working away without putting self-interests into the picture. What then, would the ant want to do? Would it ever aspire to be queen? Would it instead want to be a warrior ant or a drone? Would it spread its thoughts to its fellow workers, much like an enlightened guru or leader do? Would we see revolutions to bring about social change in the ant world? Would the queen ant ever agree to abdicate, or would it heave a sigh of relief at having been decommissioned from bearing armies of offspring? How about the drones? Would they still want to lead the elite life, of being fed and tended to, or would they want to do something more meaningful, like talking about the futility and banality of the bourgeois life? Would they want to be commissioned into the army as a warrior ant or become a worker?

Read all about an ant's life here...meanwhile, for those of you who like to fantasize, you can watch Antz!


Jayanta Oinam said...

thats a good piece. wanted to see more of these.

Thangjam said...

Thanks for the encouraging remark, Jayanta!

atreyee said...

Tani... start writing seriously.. it was a pleasure reading the piece.