Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Concerning animals and allegories - II

The state assembly elections are approching, and every party has a promise to make, every statesman (ahh, what am i saying! politician is more precise) has a speech to deliver; criticism to make - to criticise the government about the lack of development (like development is a two-day ride), & other parties for making exaggerating promises - & also, to deliver a few promises himself!
Anyway, the hyprocrisy of such 'statemen' is not my topic of discussion today (though i think now that i might like to criticise every one of them, elaborately - maybe later perhaps). What i want to talk about is the more intense and all-pervading battle between the ways of governance..

It was a usual weekday night: the usual cresent moon in sky, the ususal food on the dinner table, and the usual people eating it - me & my parents. The voting for the general election had taken place earlier that day. so i asked dad whether he had voted.
"No, didn't get the time.. was too busy at work", dad replied.
I looked at mum who, too, was busy - with her food though, & said playfully,"no sense in asking her, it wud be a stupid question with a stupider answer."
And with that she got into the argumentative mode & started talking about the useless of voting, that no matter whoever you elect it's still going to be a corrupt bastard (she didn't exactly use the last word, i'm just conveying the gist), that it would have been better with monarchy, and that 'is desh ks kuch nahi ho sakta..', and she went on and on with it...
Then after the storm had subsided, i getting into my philosophical mode, and almost like socrates - after his wife had poured a bucket full of water onto him - said, "No sytem is perfect; it's all about using the flaws to our own conveniences", and smoked from an imginary pipe.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On why I'm not a Greek god...

It’s Global Warming. Now, I won’t go into what Global warming is all about, because I think Education has already grilled – and, thus, ruined - the intelligent-born Man with its intricate details. So, preferring to have my head propped on my neck, I’ll skip exploring that thread of ideas. But yet, the fact stands, and stands tall, that the Climate is changing; there are hardly any noticeable showers – this much to the dismay of Delirious who keep shouting at the heavens at the top of their voices to Rain Down!; and, especially this summer, as the days pass by, its getting hotter and hotter in geometric proportions. It is as though the Sun is being cold and stern towards an erring son, who even after constant reproval keeps erring in the same smooth fashion, unabashedly. Now, most of us will be judgmental about such child rearing practice, stating that the Sun, in being cold and stern - even towards such an unheeding son - has gone a bit too far this time. This would, however, be a view over-flowing with prejudice: for even the earth, or more specifically we, are not so clean in this matter as one would expect to be. We are responsible for this increasing heat – using all those equipments emitting Greenhouse gases to name but one fault. So, when the poet said that ‘summer joys are spoilt by use’, he sure knew what he was talking about.

These days, in order to compete with the heat and the humidity that accompanies it only to make matters worse, I spend most of my time locating electric fans and sitting right below them. And when I get tired of searching fans and sitting below them, I take a nap.

Taking a nap, especially in the afternoon, presents itself with an excellent opportunity to refresh your memories about the yonder days when you were a child of the tender young age of two, since the heat makes you perspire so, that you make wet anything that comes in contact with you – mainly, your bed sheets. Keeping yourself cool has, thus, become more of a quest for survival.

When Wodehouse tried to seek solace in the Solitary Triumph of men over women in the field of notorious businesses, they forgot to slip it to him that surviving in extreme heat was another sphere where men have an edge over the fairer sex. When he was trying earnestly to gain proficiency at solace-seeking, clinging on to his glass of port for support and encouragement, he could see no success. Had someone, at this juncture, treading softly, appeared by his side, and, observing the dull despair that spread over his features, whispered into his ears this most credible success of men, he would have leaped into the air with excitement, fully restored to his former self again. However, it was not to be, and we can only muse in dismay at what might have been.

Just to make all handicaps clear, men have an edge in this matter as a direct outcome of the Dawn of Civilisation. The Homo habilis would have contested with complete fairness in this showdown of the sexes, but the same cannot be asserted about Homo sapiens. Unlike women, men can run about the place, shunning any garment that may pose a threat of covering their bare bodies, with few going to the extent of stopping in front of the mirror from time-to-time to observe their features, looking like some Greek god who had forgotten to take his pants off. For the ancient Greeks, when they bare it, like to bare it all. My Mum often raises this point in the height of the summer months, and deems men as being lucky as they can bare it, if need arises, while women have to bear the heat without choice. But hey, blame Civilisation for that!

When we wrote the final exams in our college this year, it was an unwritten maxim obeyed by all that it is a sin leading eternal torment to forget your handkerchief at home. So, out of the fear of Damnation - and also the act of having to squeeze your answer sheet dry, the scrupulous student always had one on his person. Also, if you, by any chance, carried a water-bottle extracted straight from the Frigidaire, after an hour or so, you were almost certain to find it warm enough to go along with honey (if you were careful enough to carry some) as a treatment for your throat infection (if you were lucky enough to contract one).


Life, these days, is really becoming miserable, what with hot air blowing straight in your face and the humidity to give it company. These two assure that you, dripping in sweat all the time, give the impression of having just emerged after tripping over a slippery surface into the water pond. Well, to avoid such fate, you may suggest installing an air conditioner and basking in the cool environment of that isolated room, but that will only add to the outer unbearable heat, taking it a step further in the measure of unbearableness – as even a dim-wit grilled well by our Education system could figure out by himself.

Actually speaking, Life will become more like hell as the years go by. The two aforementioned phenomena will give you the sensation of squatting on burning, red hot coals, as you crave for a drink from trained-hands. Gunga Din, where are you?
(As it is, it’s getting hotter every summer and I don’t doubt that there will come a day one summer, when the whole world with all its populace will get baked into biscuits!)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Concerning Animals and Allegories...

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.

These are the Seven Commandments of Animal Farm; the laws that govern its functioning. It is a farm entirely controlled and looked after by the animals themselves in absence of ‘Human Tyranny’. The animals work in the fields all day long, working for themselves, taking pleasures in their toil and its yield and no one to rule over them. Sounds like a utopia, eh? It is how it all began, but that was the highest point of its utopia…

Animal Farm is a book by George Orwell, which tells the story of this ‘Animal Paradise’.
The idea of a farm For-and-By the animals is conceived by Old Major, a pig and the wisest animal on the farm. After his death, the animals, filled with revolutionary sentiments, rebel against the human controlling the, then, Manor Farm and secure their motive, of liberty and happiness. Manor Farm becomes Animal Farm. The pigs, being the most intelligent animals in the place, learn to read and write, and educate the other animals – though except for the dogs and the donkeys, no one else goes beyond learning the alphabet. Their sole objective is to achieve prosperity, enjoying this newly-found independence.

This, however, is just the beginning. Ideologically, Animal Farm’s development may be represented as being a place where ‘All animals are equal’ to a place where ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’. From its liberal and humble beginnings, Animal Farm turns into a total dystopia, full of scared, mentally tortured and manipulated animals, with the pigs slowly and gradually assuming absolute control over the place. What is initiated to curb tyranny becomes tyrannical itself. However, while all this gamboling between slavery and liberty goes on, the development and progress of the Farm is never compromised with. FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD', a chant that summed up the values that were the supposed to be the foundation of the Farm, gets modified into ‘FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER'…..


Animal Farm is not just another work of fiction. It is, in its essence, an allegory full of satirical intent, with its primary target being Joseph Stalin, under whose leadership Communist Russia gained much of its prosperity (They have a law in France that you can’t name a pig as Napoleon. I suspect, it is because of this book).

The whole account is presented in an unbiased fashion. Orwell never firmly states anywhere in the whole of the book that the pigs are cruel; or that the animals are leading miserable lives of slaves under a tyrannical and manipulative leader. Instead he leaves it to the readers, inducing them to think and to decide what’s really going on around the place.

On the whole, I think Animal Farm is really about political ideas – their efficacy and inefficiency. I feel it allegorizes the fact that no political idea can be defect-free, no matter how irresistible or irreproachable it may seem in the beginning. Nothing’s perfect, as it is.

P.S: Oh, and the communists hate the book!