Saturday, November 27, 2010

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, there existed a prosperous animal kingdom which was poised to be a superpower in near future. The government used to tell all animals that it was a true socialist kingdom, dedicated to the welfare of animals. The government was run by pigs. The general population in kingdom always used to work collectively because they were taught by pigs that each animal exists only for fellow animal. Almost all animals used to hate pigs, but they thought they were helpless. Pigs had also taught other animals that tigers, lions and elephants were very greedy species and have no morality. Tigers and Lions were owners of big businesses. Pigs however, had jackals on their payroll, specifically assigned the task to appease tigers and make sure that they pay taxes. The jackals and pigs had a nexus with wolves who used to run news channels in the kingdom. There were suddenly too many wolves in the kingdom all around, creating utter chaos. Monkeys were the most sought after specie to work in news channels.

Amidst all these, towards eastern corner of the kingdom existed a highly rated management institute. All animals wanted to study there, but only rats were admitted. Rats were supposed to be very talented individuals but they always professed the importance of collective. All rats used to race to get bigger pie of cheese. All the naive animals outside the institutes used to envy rats. Rats had a very peculiar way of going about their professional life. They had never identified what exactly is ‘life’ but they loved ‘segmentation’ and classified it as professional, personal, social etc, each segment supposed to have different codes of ethics. It never occurred to them that ethics ought to be objective, purely based on logic and reason. They had only one passion, networking. All codes were defined as per this passion. They had learnt early in a totally useless course that “only those rats who do networking succeed in organizations. “ Most of them considered learnings from important and core subjects as redundant and spend most of the time getting ‘contacts’ and more ‘contacts’. The rat which knew more number of rats was considered to be ‘made for the future’. When in doubt about the ‘need of networking’, they used to console each other by telling, ‘but there is no other way to succeed!!”. Eagle was the animal which rats hated the most. Eagle used to fly alone at high altitudes. Rats, coming out of their rat hole, used to bare their teeth at eagle. Eagle, oblivious to what is happening on the ground, used to fly alone hoping that at least someone will reach the heights he has reached, as it was lonely up there. Rats’ philosophy on the other hand was about getting everyone down to their level, so everyone has ‘level playing field’.

In the outer world, a scandal involving some modern technology was exposed. Tapes were released showing the ugly nature of the nexus between pigs, wolves and jackals. The general animal kingdom talked about it for few days and forgot because they were buoyed by a huge landslide victory of a pig in backward area of the kingdom. This pig was thought to be less corrupt and every animal hoped that he will bring that area back to glory. Animals were hysterically telling other animals, “See, not everything is bad. There is some good left somewhere. God is there.” Nobody for sure knew what this meant and for that matter what would happen next day, but it became fashion to forecast that this pig would transform the kingdom. It was not a belief formed from any study or information, but somewhere inside, they had this fear, “I hope it doesn’t turn out the other way, we can only hope.”

Rats too had joined the hysterical feel good fever, but they were more concerned about the scandal. “How can pigs, jackals and wolves form such nexus?” “How can they lobby?” Somewhere, it sounded similar to networking concept, but every rat hastily put that thought out of its mind. They convinced themselves, “these animals are public servants, whereas networking is the necessity of private life of uncommon animals like us.” Call it irony, but a scandal broke out at the same time in this famed institute. This institute, which was famous for branding anything and everything done in institute as ‘culture’, didn’t quite know what to do about the scandal. There was a ‘rat affairs council’ (RAC), in the institute dealing with all the rats related activities. RAC was (in)famous for tweaking the rules as per its whims, precisely because nobody cared to remember what were the rules last time. The rat involved in scandal was summoned to face an audit. All rats had gathered to witness the drama. Rats were used to having useless discussions for hours but sounding as if they were discussing something gravely important. So this being an issue of grave importance and consequence was discussed for 2-3 hours. All kind of words such as ethics, moral right, moral obligation, conscience etc were thrown into discussion though no one actually cared about them. Rat which did the scandal was trying to save itself while those on the other side were trying to get this rat ousted. They didn’t give a damn about ethics. Their basic problem was, “How can this rat try to get bigger pie at our expense?” Nobody cared to admit, but other rats were actually ‘disappointed’ that they were not the benefiting party of scandal. In rat and pig world, committing sin was not a crime, getting caught was.

Eagle, for once decided to stop and think, “What it is that keeps this mess going?” Eagle had studied history of human race which was extinct few centuries ago. It recalled how it became extinct and saw parallels between current animal world and extinct human world. It recalled the premise on which pigs, rats and jackals survive. A teaching learnt from a philosopher who was truly ‘human’. As long as no one names the exact nature of what is going on, anything and everything works.
Eagle pronounced the judgment and named the exact nature. Those who had the capacity to understand, but were often cursed for that very reason, withdrew support and left the kingdom for a place where only eagles had dared previously. Those who continued to evade reality perished fighting among themselves.


  1. Awwwwwesome! The rat race, the 2G scam and the Audit..seamlessly intertwined.

  2. Does the author have a better way of running this animal kingdom?
    Can he guarantee that if everyone becomes an "Eagle", an Eagle race will not start up there?

    And leaving this kingdom is quite possible. just that most of the rats don't have that fire in them. But one cannot blame a rat for being born a rat is it ?
    He should not.

  3. analogy straight to rodents....hmm..nice way to vent out still confused..what the heck that Eagle was doing in a rat world??

  4. @Mangoman
    Thanks :)

    Yes, author has a better way.
    No, he won't guarantee for someone else. If rats reach the level of Eagles, the Eagle race will have a completely different meaning than rat race.
    The eagle is symbolic representation of someone who wants to achieve on his own through rational acts. When the basis of trade is rationality, there aren't any conflicts of interests.

    :) :) Eagle was flying in the sky, alone. He pointed out what was wrong not only with rats but whole kingdom and tried rescuing those who deserved to be rescued.

  5. It's a brilliant satire, Kunal! It brings your point across very well. I'd have normally pointed out my favourite part of the post. But it's all so relevant that for once, I can't do that. Really. In a world run by eagles, there will be no conflicts of interest. Rather than trying to bring everyone down to the same level for 'social equality', every animal must try to reach higher. That's the only way we'll survive.

  6. bhai... ka ye chuha suar likh rahe hai....:P

  7. nice one!!!.....but too many issues were confusing....

  8. Where Eagles Dare - the cherry on the pudding. Lovely!


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