Animal Tales – Newspaper – DAWN.COM

Is there an elephant within the room or not? If there may be, is he rogue or sober? Is it secure or faltering? Is he full or about to overeat? These are vital questions as a result of other than the chaos they’ll trigger, elephants eat loads, each in nominal and actual phrases, and these are days when many different jungle dwellers are ravenous.

It is a troublesome query as a result of there are not any elephants within the wild on our land and plenty of are unfamiliar with what they’re able to. Most carry solely a fond two-dimensional reminder of the lovable animal related to “hathi wali hay” in grade 1 Urdu qaida that won’t have survived the groundbreaking distinctive nationwide curriculum that banned the beautiful “fakhta” perched on the letter “fay. ‘ May the brand new “fayvourite” be a coded reference to an elephant? Each share the identical gloomy shade of mud: “khaak mein kya sooraten hongi ke pinhaan ho gaeen” (“that which all remained buried within the mud”).

It’s true that there was an actual elephant within the capital however it was toothless and so mistreated that it may barely transfer; Type-hearted strangers had been to return to his support. All our dignitaries gathered to serenade him and ship him the place the elephants had been cherished and appreciated. After congratulating the nation on their magnanimity, they should have thought it was the top of the elephants within the land. Now solely daytime monkeys and owls at the hours of darkness stay within the capital perched on every department serving what stays of its gardens after their transformation into housing firms and golf programs. However these should not the Minervan birds of knowledge that grace the seals of many abroad schools. Our owls are celebrated for different attributes.

Not even a lion can compete with a predatory dingbat.

Confusion abounds. Some argue that the monkeys, which aren’t even native and dishonest in addition, are ruling the roost whereas the elephants sleep behind the wheel. Others swear that owls are retired elephants. Nonetheless others denigrate the elephant and argue that the lion is the actual king of the jungle. However there are not any lions within the wild right here both and it is easy to take a paper tiger for one. In any case, even the paper tiger was taken by the toe and exiled for consuming past her means to get replaced by docile doubles of the pack.

To the cacophony are added tender loving parakeets accompanied by colonies of screeching bats, blind however omniscient or so that they declare. A few of the latter fake to be crickets however are literally dingbats, very uncommon flying animals with brief deer-like horns on their heads with which they’ll stumble their opponents. Not even a lion can compete with a predatory dingbat that may swoop down from above when the timing is true and the sunshine turns from impartial to inexperienced. Particularly harmful is a huge dingbat if it lands on the again of an invisible elephant; and much more when it’s despised.

So, given this state of affairs, what’s to be carried out with the periodic assertion that there’s a actually huge elephant within the room? Is it nothing greater than a fruit of feverish imaginations after we’re repeatedly informed underneath oath that there are not any elephants on the earth or, if there are any, are they benign and busy baking bread? Literary sorts attempt to educate us in regards to the world of metaphors by pointing to Wikipedia the place an elephant within the room is outlined as “an vital or enormous subject, query or controversial situation that’s apparent or that everybody is aware of however nobody mentions or desires to debate as a result of it makes one uncomfortable. not less than a few of them and it’s personally, socially or politically embarrassing, controversial, provocative or harmful ”.

These few who imagine this could increase their hand; nobody will crush them underfoot to verify their suspicion. However most deny any such metaphorical beast, attributing the accusation to a Western conspiracy. Up to now few days, some appear to be listening to the humorous “qissa” of a dingbat dashing onto the again of an invisible elephant that first captured a lion, having fun with the experience on the identical again for some time, earlier than being dumped when he tried to scratch the elephant. However even these heretics are torn between denouncing the elephant and counting on its strong legs and sharp tusks to maintain wolves inside and jackals outdoors at bay.

Finally, it’s claimed that we’re in determined want of an elephant, actual or metaphorical, and prayers are provided for its larger glory. On the similar time, buckets of crocodile tears are shed to protest his innocence. There are only a few crocodiles left in Manghopir, however there are nonetheless sanctuaries the place elephants can shed crocodile tears all evening comforted by flattering monkeys, ambiguous owls, fangless lions and blind bats.

The author is co-author of Pondering with Ghalib: Poetry for a New Era, Folio Books 2021.

Printed in Daybreak, July 31, 2022

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