Since childhood and till recently, after the first few rains after summer I always got a chance of coming across Arudra Purugulu that is Red Velvet Mites. They pop up from the soil around this time, with the onset of monsoon. During childhood I used to play a lot with them. I used to pick them up and put them in boxes with some soil and grass, enjoy watching their movements for some time and then let them go. I loved holding them on my palm and tenderly stroking their soft velvety bodies and feeling their crawling on my palm and hand. They appear just for few days after the initial rains and then vanish. But now they seem to have permanently vanished from our small garden and the areas around our house in Secunderabad. I hope they still do come out in large numbers in open and unpolluted lands outside our city. Many years ago I used to see countless of them in the large front and backyard gardens of our house at Kothagudem and also all around the house. It is a beautiful memory that will live with me forever.
For those of you, who do not know about this awesome creation, please see the attached pictures and video intently. They are called Arudra Purugulu because they surface around an auspicious day called Arudra Karthi in Aashada Masam of Telugu Calendar and Purugulu means insects. These Arudra Purugulu / Red Velvet Mites / Rain Bugs, are very tiny as you can see in the above pictures, bright red in color with a body covered with velvety coating of red color hair which sometimes act as feelers, two tiny eyes and four pairs of legs. They are harmless to humans and that is why children are allowed to hold, play and snuggle-wuggle with these cuddly-wuddly tiny teddy bears!
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