The Ant In My Paratha


Being Gujarati essentially means having something sweet on your plate for most of your meals.  And no, we don’t consider ‘Gud wala Dal’ a sweet! I am not exactly a typical Gujju, but yesterday the Gujarati in me was wide awake and craving for something sweet in my plate for lunch. Short of options, I did what we generally do: Reach out for that Jaggery Dabba!

After opening it, I realized there is something super tiny moving inside it: two on the lid and one very close to the jaggery level in the jar.  ANTS!  Involuntarily, I tapped the lid twice on the kitchen counter and got rid of the two on the lid and started wondering what to do to get rid of the one inside the jar!

I kept staring at it while it was struggling, moving around to get out. (Or get in! God knows!)  I felt like I should put my finger inside and drag it out….but it was so just so tiny! It was not the normal variety of red ants that we normally see. This one was extremely small with kind of white body parts…(Okay! I know it’s getting weird! But stay with me! I promise I will get to the point)  It just seemed so unfair to kill it just like that! I mean, just compare the sizes! Very unfair!

After staring at the ant for a while and weighing my options…I made up my mind…I shut the jar and decided to do something about it ‘later’. (Because procrastination rocks!) Made a mental note of ordering a jar of ‘Murabba’ for such emergencies and went on with my chores! 

Well, procrastination does have a price! It increased my work ten folds! Plus, It escalated from just a “Dilemma” to proper “Dharma Sankat”!


In the morning, Sheeba (our cook) came at around 9 and checked the fridge to see what veggies were available.  While I was talking to a friend on the phone, she waves a bottle gourd in my face with intentions of making ‘Doodhi Chane Ki Subji’. Since I was mighty bored with eating that, putting the call on hold for a quick second, I asked her to make ‘Doodhi ke parathe’ and again got back to my banter.  Absentmindedly, I also said “Don’t forget to add Jaggery!” (Yikes!)

After the giggling session on phone, when I saw the steaming hot parathas in the plate, I just wanted to go for it but then I felt like I was missing something, something really important.  And then it hit me! The Ant! I immediately tried to confirm with Sheeba! “Gud daala kya?” And she shook her head. I wish it were the sideways nod. It wasn’t.

I pursed my lips while sitting down on the chair and thinking about my plan of action! After brief analysis, I thought of the possibilities.

  1. The Ant went out the same way it came in. (Ideal situation but very less likely)
  2. It ate a huge chunk of jaggery and died inside the jar but is still in the jar.  (Not a good thing but atleast my paratha would be edible!)
  3. It went into the paratha dough and got rolled into one of the parathas! (Eww!)

As I said, It was a proper case of ‘Dharma Sankat’!  I had two choices and both sucked!


I seriously, genuinely, believe in the message in both the videos!  Keep animals off your plate and DO NOT freaking waste food.  So, it was either eat a paratha that might or might not be embedded with the ant OR throw all of them away! 

Both the options sounded just so wrong but desperate times-desperate measures!  I did two things right away!

  1. Emptied the jaggery jar in a plate and thoroughly searched for the Ant. (Couldn’t find it!)
  2. Picked the paratha one by one and hunted for the (now dead) ant! (Wasn’t helpful either!)

So, I smiled to myself and believed that the ant would have taken the same route to go out! Succumbing to my hunger, I went in an took a bite of my now not-so-hot paratha! (And I realized that I probably should have taken the ant out while I had a chance! And killed it in the process! No! Arghhh…) 

I am super embarrassed about the whole scene! For Ram, it would have been a no-brainer! Throw away the parathas AND the jaggery in the jar!  What do you think? What would you have done?