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Animal Farm Revisited

It is the urge to quell the queerness of the ‘After Blenheim’ syndrome [do a google and read the poem guess what I mean – I hv coined this term especially for this piece] that has made me want to re-read a few books which I had enjoyed years back. Books, whose impact on me and their core message I could vividly remember. However, when I confronted my self with more probing questions - I found I was woefully short in citing anecdotes and plot to a degree of detail.

That led to my re-reading two books which adored big all my life – ‘Siddhartha’ and ‘Animal Farm’ – another of my big favourites – ‘The Old Man And The Sea’ I will re-read shortly too ….Well lemme take another digression, from the main plot and make a ‘pithy’one-liner – the best stories are the ones pithy!! [?].

But then, lemme end the meanderings and return to the caption. Animal Farm’s re-read – this time threw up a new dimension of thought – as a re-read of any good book does.

How often we humans change during our lifetimes…our philosophies, our aspirations our ideologies, our temperaments etc…with the different roles that we play. The transitions from a young boy in school – senior classs student; student – teacher; employee – employer; child – parent…..well the pairings could just be endless….. can be quite intriguing. Many times the transitions would be inevitably positive and most desired – a manifestation of the lack of the understanding of the totality at an earlier age and/or the effect of a ‘genuinely’ changed context down the years. But, obviously am not writing this piece for that – instead the satire in Animal Farm rudely reminds me the irony of all our lives. That of how we end up [deliberately or inadvertently] changing colours and tastes to suit the conveniences of a changed context. Many times not just being unbecoming to the people around us [as the pigs did to the lower animals]; but most importantly hurting ourselves. Am pretty sure – the Pigs didn’t do themselves any good in Animal Farm; in the same way the changing political class in most revolutions have not done for themselves after assuming ‘freedom’.

It is not about – trying to ‘highlight’ an outstanding insight about life. Much further, actually. This happens to all of us. And we all know that . It is just that, we can observe that happening with others with greater objectivity. But with ourselves we can innately justify…we almost have an inadvertent good canny reason. What is intriguing – and I don’t have an answer to that – is why does it happen in the first place. How come we human beings – who intrinsically look for self actualization – actually veer away far from it. That too very often in our lives. How come we act in such a manner [well this is inevitable, we are humans after all – we wll be happier if we have the requisite humility to accept our transgressions] and more importantly justify our action.

Even more intriguing is that; this happens even as collective human wisdom and the influencing world philosophies seem to move in an opposite direction. The world over the past 400 years has moved from industrial revolution – modernity – existentialism – post modernity – and now spirituality. Despite the violence and chaos we see in a few quarters – human race as a whole is demonstrating greater maturity and accommodation – or so it seems to me. But the individual human being’s natural / conditioned instincts still are as awry – maybe more – than what is was earlier. It is possible individuals were happier 400 years earlier than they are today. I ll be happiest if this hypothesis of mine comes unstuck [the bold italics is to state that the statement is too bold one to not get one pondering a bit more than usual]. But it does seem to be a good probability that communities that I grew up in were happier / wiser and more relaxed than the ones I am participating in.

That’s the intrigue [I know I have used this word bit too often in this piece]. What is it that we need to do collective and - separately – individually to correct this anomaly this is the question.

I do not have an answer, while I have some hypothesis. I hope to form some definitive view on this. Dunno when – in two days or twenty years.


Jan 22, 2010
Mid-air
Kolkotta – New Delhi
Cheers! & Good Day.

PS: ‘After Blenheim’ was a poem which was one of the 20 teams poem had to study for ICSE. In the poem [if I remember correctly]..the poet satires war. But what has stuck in my mind about the poem is that ….An old man, keeps re-collecting that they had a good war. But isn’t quiet convincingly able to tell what was so great about it.

Comments

  1. u remember the no. of poems we had to study for icse? wow! beautiful peoms - weren't they?

    ReplyDelete
  2. yah...i oer the yrs...in hindsight..hv realised, how much they hv helped to mould errant minds..:)

    ReplyDelete

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