The Brilliance Of Termites::By:Arindam Nath
 

The Brilliance Of Termites

By: Arindam Nath

The given below is an excerpt from one of my previous postings:

 Today is Tagore’s birthday. He is an icon for a majority of Bengali speaking people. I also belong to this bracket. From the morning I was planning how best I could offer my homage to him. Nature was moody from the morning. We witnessed intermittent heavy rains mixed with sunny weather at Agartala. Yet, enthusiastic persons, in almost all the localities organized cultural functions to pay respect to the poet. I also attended a program organized by the Police Ministerial Club, at A.D.Nagar. Some eminent singers of our state had also participated in the program. The biggest surprise was the speech on the influence of Western songs in Tagore’s work delivered by Mr. Tarun Baran Roy, our IGP. He is celebrated for his tenacity to anti-insurgency operations and use of uncanny phrases. His power-point presentation was impressive. In the afternoon I brought out the Sanchayita from the book-shelf to go through some of the poems which I like by heart. In the process, I checked the books lest these were eaten by termites in the damp weather. I am a worst sufferer from this insect.  At least thrice, this inhabitant of earth from the Dinosaur ages has eaten my books. Their latest Bibliography is as under:

1.A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism by Klaus K. Klostermaier

2.Panchajanya by Gajendra Kumar Mitra

3.Duranta Egal by Dinesh Chandra Chottopadhyaya

4.Five Points Someone by Chetan Bhagat (English)

5.Ulanga Proja by Pradip Nath

6.Amar Meyebela by Taslima Nasrin

7.Bomkesh Samagra by Saradindu Bandopadhyaya

8.Dhalaiparer Ruplotha by Jahwar Debnath

9.Gujrati Golpoguchchho  by Jyotirmoy Das

10.A Class Book of Botany by A.C.Dutta

11.Karagare Atharo Bachar by Azizul Hoque

12.The World’s Greatest Trials by Tim Healey

13.The Oxford History of India by Vincent Smith

14.Chorapath by Dr. Nazrul Islam

15.Tripura Upajati Nritya –Ekti Samiksha

16.Love and Longing in Bombay by Vikram Chandra

17.Five Points Someone by Chetan Bhagat (Bengali)

18.Mental Maths

19.Hello, Squirrel! By Dmitriev Y

By any standard these are books worth reading. They have caused substantial damage to first seven books. They are equally voracious towards the work of foreign and the Indian writers, irrespective of caste, creed, gender and religions. But, mysteriously the termites didn’t touch the Sanchayita and the Geetbeetan. This insect with the longest life span in Nature has great regards towards Tagore. We also know the influence of Adi-kobi Valmiki in the life of Gurudev. His work Valmiki Pratibha  tells the genius of Valmiki. The plot is based on the story of Valmiki, the robber chief, being moved to pity and breaking out into a metrical lament on witnessing the grief of one of a pair of cranes whose mate was killed by a hunter. He uttered the following Shloka:

"MAA NISHAADA PRATISHTHAAM TVAMGAMAH SHAASVATEE SAMAH|

YATKROUNCHA MITHUNADEKAMAVADHEEH KAAMA MOHITAM||

It means, “O cruel hunter, you will never get respect in this world because you have killed the innocent heron who was engaged in making love."

This particular Shloka is thought to be the first verse ever created in this world. He afterwards composed his Ramayana. Valmik is actually termites. The combined weight of all species of termites in the earth is more than that of Homosapien.

There is yet another facet discovered my son Neel. When we cleared the books after the termite attack he picked up Bomkesh Samagra. Next few days, he read the book leaving his other areas of interest. I felt a bit surprised how he could establish the missing links in the stories created by the termites. So, I asked him the question. He said, “Boy-aakar! (He calls me by this name.) These stories were written by Saradindu Bandopadhyaya in Sadhu Bangla. The termites have converted these to Chalti Bangla by eating some portions. There is no problem in making out the stories.”

This experience, of course I have encountered at my previous place of stay at A.D.Nagar Police Quarters. Recently, I have enlightenment. As we know some termites build nests in wood, some in trees and posts, and some below the ground, though it begins its nest below ground, forms large mounds or towers of soil. The nest is constructed of sand and clay. Building activities are most intense at the beginning of the wet season. Termites undergo incomplete metamorphosis, but most of the individuals in a colony remain as nymphs and function as workers or soldiers. The workers collect food, chew wood-pulp, enlarge and repair the nest, make tunnels, and look after the queen, the eggs and young nymphs. The soldiers keep ants out of the nest by snapping their large jaws or blocking the tunnels with their heads. Just before the rainy season, some of the nymphs continue their metamorphosis, developing reproductive organs and wings. Early in the rainy season, these mature termites swarm; that is, they emerge in their hundreds from the nest at night and fly off into the surrounding countryside. The males and females mate and start a new colony. As soon as there are enough worker nymphs to maintain the nest, the queen settles down to uninterrupted egg-laying.

In the first week of April this year we have witnessed heavy downpour and cyclonic storm in our state. It has caused considerable damage and inconvenience. So, we were keenly following the metrological report in newspapers. But, it appears wayward to me in contrast with the ground situation. On April 7, 2015 evening we witnessed mature termites swarm flying on the support of wings in the evening. This is a usual scene. But, seeing this one TSR jawan with rural background said, “Ulu Urtache..Aar Brishty Hoito Na…Ekhon Sudhu Kichudin Khora…Termites are flying. Now, rain will stop and dry spell shall continue.” Perhaps, he is right.

About the Author:Arindam  Nath is one of the most popular writers of Tripura. He is an IPS Officer. He is presently serving in Tripura as Assistant Inspector General of Police. He wrote both in English and Bengali.His first book is Tarmuj  Pagla  O  Anyanya  Galpa (Bengali, published by BOOK WORLD). His second book is Bridging Souls A Journey From Mahabharata To Bharata, in English published by Peacock Books, New Delhi (Atlantic Publisher & Distributors). He regularly contributes short stories, plays and essays in newspapers and journals. 'I Adore' is his second English book. This is a collection of short-stories. You can write to Arindam  Nath  at  arindamnath1962@gmail.com

 

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