Saturday, June 11, 2016

Life in the Paddies

Nostalgia drove me to the erstwhile paddy fields of Thrikodithanam in Kerala.

A few decades ago a river of fluroscent green rice saplings stretched as far as a child's eye could see. Neat fields separated by narrow strips of slushy mud, clear streams teeming with Manatthu-kanni (eyes-to-the-sky) fishes and the smell of overturned earth.

All that has disappeared now. As in much of Kerala, paddy fields have been abandoned, filled-in, turned into tiny parcels of land and sold as residential plots. A little patch that now remains of my grandfather's paddy fields is now home to hundreds of unfamiliar insects.

A ten minute walk along the edges of this wild patch revealed these new inhabitants. What are they called?

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