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A jungle that “saved” itself

August 12, 2012

Monkeys had already been talking about it for long, over lunch, over dinner, even during sex. The word, Globalization was now quickly spreading and everyone in one of the few forests left near Tanzania had heard about it. “They say either take it or leave”. They were all worried and equally curious. Some were already carrying the banners and some already claimed to have become globalized.

And so a meeting was called on a Sunday afternoon and everyone including the newborn caterpillars was invited. Almost everyone had come for the meeting, meeting that would change a lot things for them.

It was all very quiet when finally the squirrel broke the silence, “We… We should decide – whether to be this side or that side”.

“We decide to be this side”, said all the monkeys in unison grabbing the chance.

“Hello! Monkeys! Seriously are you all nuts?” asked the squirrel.

“Why what happened?” asked one of them.

“Do you even know which side is which and what are we talking about?” asked the squirrel.

“Ahem… No, not really”, said one of the monkey. “What is important is to choose the side and we chose first”, said another. “Yes, we chose first”.

“Shut up! Shut up all of you” roared the lion. “We are here to discuss something very important”

All the monkeys climbed back on the trees and hid themselves.

“What is happening? Anyone any clue? They say this forest might no longer be. Can we do something about it” asked the lion.

“I know why” said the frog. “It is because we are not globalized”

“Globalized?” asked the lion.

“Yes, globalized. It is the in thing today. Someone was saying it is being regarded as God’s word today. Humans have already started climbing the ropeway” said the squirrel.

“Yes, I have heard that Tarzan too was seen wearing a tie and coat. They say that he has started showing the first few symptoms of globalization”, squealed the rat.

“They say be globalized or leave” said the frog.

“Leave what” asked the Lion

“Hmm… I don’t know. We do not really have anything to leave. But they say leave” said the frog

“We don’t want to leave. We want to be globalized” shouted the monkeys, still sitting up on the tree.

Everyone joined in. They all wanted to be globalized and were super excited. A new culture was about to set in.

And so on a sunny hot Sunday afternoon, a little patch of forest somewhere in Africa, just to be part of the world that was running ahead, decided to become globalized. And then when the celebratory mode cooled down the pig said, “Good now that we are all globalized we can go back to what we were doing. I feel relaxed”.

“You just do not become globalized just like that” said the frog. “There are rules, regulations. There are lessons to be learnt. You will have to come out of the chaotic life and live a more.. a more… a more Sattaak life”.

“What is a Sattaak life?” asked the lion

“Hmm… I mean… don’t know really, may be a more straightened life where things are defined for you… something that we for sure have not lived for long now”.

“Things like?” asked an elephant.

“Well we would have to start defining a few things. Understand them better and follow certain rules”, said the zebra coming out in front. Zebra and a few others had spent more than a year at the National park and understood a lot more about the word.

“Defining a few things? Like what?” the deer asked.

“For instance beauty” said the zebra.

“Understand beauty? Don’t we understand beauty? Isn’t everything around us beautiful?” asked the deer.

“That is how even I used to think” the zebra laughed. “Until I learnt… learnt how can everything around be beautiful! I learnt how humans define beauty. They know what’s ugly and what’s beautiful”

“What is ugly?” asked the elephant.

“Well to start with and I hate to say this now – You are ugly” replied zebra.

Everyone in the jungle was shocked at the rudeness. They all looked at the elephants.

“I am sorry. But that’s the way it is. God made you ugly. We just did not know it till now. You guys are so fat” said the zebra.

“What the hell are you saying?” said one of them.

“God made it this way dude. But am sure you can work on it. I have seen a lot of humans doing anything and everything to become beautiful.”

“Shaaah, for so long we have been living and we could not grasp a simple truth like that”, said the monkey. Another one threw the mango she was eating. They all started looking at their tummies.

The elephants were all looking at each other and sulking. They moved a step back. Hippopotamus did not really know where to go and hide.

Everyone was looking at them sympathetically.

“Talking of beauty, I remember someone was telling me how all colors are not meant to be equal”, said the parrot.

“Colors”, asked the wolf.

“Yes, for instance do you know that patch on your neck, it is black color. They say it is the worsssst color of all? White for instance is the color of purity, a color of heaven” said the parrot.

“Oh that’s why in all there horror movies they have crows” said the wolf.

Hearing this, the crows flew and hid themselves behind the big leaves.

White pigeons very casually came out of the trees and sat down right in front of the group. All animals including the lion bowed down to them.

“That is how foolish we are! We had these pure souls all along with us and we never realized it” said the cat. “The time of enlightenment has come” said the other.

Zebra was asked to make a full list of beauty parameters and put it up by the next week. “That will help us segregate Beautiful Vs Ugly and learn more. We need to be quick. It is a shame that we do not know about so many things” said the lion.

The cats got together and started talking. “If it was not for globalization, we would have never ever understood the difference between good and ugly” said one of them. “Yeah, I always knew that there was definitely something wrong with these elephants” said the other. “Yeah you should look at their tummy when they walk… Twong Twong.. It goes from one side to other… Gross” said the third.

“Do you know, no globalized person gets anything for free?” announced the donkey. “They all have to pay something or the other for it”

“Yes, smart humans have put a price on everything. They even pay to see us. And we keep seeing each other for free” said the Zebra.

“Yes yes, last month when Tarzan had come, he was telling me that in the globalized world even mud and sand are considered valuable and are sold for a price. Not a single thing is free” said the parrot.

“And we like junglees (uncivilized) have no sense at all. Centuries have passed and we never thought of coming up with any system… continuing to hog on anything and everything, see everything and anything for free” said zebra annoyed with the jungle. The zebra had grown a special liking for everything human.

And so slowly the animals learnt new things. With super duper excitement they walked on the new beliefs they had imbibed. Every month a meeting was called. A lot of new things were discussed and implemented.

To give final touches to the process, the animals decided to cut down on the innumerable sounds that each one made. Someone suggested that for a more conformed environment, they should limit themselves to not more than 3-4 sounds. These sounds had to be learnt by one and all. Specials schools were set up for the same. The lion made sure that one of the sounds was a ‘Roar’.

Within a few months, the jungle had transformed itself.

Elephants and hippopotamus were always seen running around trying to shed the extra weight. Suddenly everyone was dieting and there was food left untouched.

Everything white in color became valuable and was being revered. Everyone was trying to cover themselves with chalk powder. Extra food from the forest (left out as a result of excessive dieting) was being exchanged for the chalk powder.

Even frogs had managed to learn how to roar. Birds were seen having a hard time learning how to produce the 3-4 sounds that were picked up. That was when the animals realized how intellectually dumb these birds were.

For years this little patch of forest kept simmering with the rest of the world under the ‘soothing’ heat of globalization. It too started walking on the path to save itself from whatever had been saving it for so long… some say that humans who had started to consider it as their own did not destroy this little patch till he very end.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. pratibha permalink
    August 12, 2012 21:13

    Hit directly in ur head.can i share it with others as i am nt able to explain abt globalization to people much

    Like

  2. Hema S permalink
    August 13, 2012 08:19

    Ha ha. Quite an innovative way to explain someone about the stupidity of it all. “They even pay to see us” 🙂

    Like

  3. August 15, 2012 13:54

    Absolute gem of a piece, Amit!!

    Like

  4. Richie permalink
    August 15, 2012 13:58

    Great post Consty! Very well written. I amazed about the how a lot of people (recently) have taken up the cause of doing social good. But in the same breath I wonder if they understand the result of their actions, the bigger picture – one such thing is education initiatives – maybe you have already posted about them – but would love hear your thoughts on recent upsurge of education initiatives and mentoring.

    Like

  5. September 20, 2012 14:06

    Amit, did you excerpt this or you wrote this? This post is indeed amazing. I wish this could be narrated to little kids in schools

    Like

    • September 20, 2012 15:12

      I wrote this.. and also narrated it to the older group in cfl.. children loved the story 🙂

      Like

      • September 21, 2012 07:57

        Woww!! What a lovely narration!! You should expand this into a fable!

        Like

  6. Srikanth S permalink
    March 22, 2013 22:20

    They say that if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Regardless of who said it, I tend to agree with it. And this post is a perfect example of that.

    Amazing article.

    Like

  7. March 23, 2013 21:38

    Absolute Gem. Wonderful imagination to bring out some of the dumb stuff around 🙂

    Like

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