Much of this story (is it?) is inspired by my recent college experiences, India’s reaction to and its perception of the ongoing Olympics, an old quote said to have been Einstein’s and a rather boring English class.
It is commonly believed that travel widens one’s horizons and opens up a number of philosophical and practical opportunities. The protagonist of this collection of words too held a similar opinion.
Yet, along his travels, his seemingly mature thought process seems to have failed him, and consequently, us. Having discovered a great variety of organisms he shared the Earth with, this man believed he understood them all. So as he undertook this fateful journey to a forest, this man, dictated by his ego and condescension, decided to judge the inhabitants of the forest.
DISCLAIMER: At this point, I would like readers (if any) to understand that while much of the following may seem outlandish (and even stupid), it is quite prevalent in our world. Anybody who would like to get offended can please do so, and anybody who wishes to disagree/discuss this is welcome to do so.
So this ambitious man is our protagonist – the man who judged a forest.
Often, a man is known by the company he keeps and/or by his work. Being the insatiable traveller, that he was, our man was quite famous. So when the forest received news of his journey, the inhabitants were overjoyed. The animals decided to welcome him with great fanfare and were sadly in for quite a shock.
After their welcome, the traveller broke the news to them. He told them about his grand plan to judge the animals and told them about a series of tasks he had in mind. The tasks were going to be announced the next day, but the animals were already preparing – the cheetah ran faster than it ever had. The lion roared louder than ever before. The monkeys completed their obstacle tree courses in record time. The eagles flew above the clouds and continued flying higher. The nightingale sang the sweetest songs the forest had ever heard. Please get the picture.
The day finally dawned, and all the animals were ready, but more importantly, they were excited. They couldn’t wait to show the world, through this man, what they were capable of doing. What they were good at and what they wanted to achieve. But wait. The man greeted them and said, “You will now begin your swimming assessment.”
The animals were shell shocked. They had not expected this and were not in for some generic judgement. Consequently, a majority of them failed the swimming assessment, and thankfully for the crocodiles who offered to be guards (thanks to their outstanding abilities) no animal physically died. 100 animals had signed up for the first task, all of them survived it, but only 86 decided to continue. “Your next task is to fly and get me a portion of that cloud you see, “ said the man, pointing to one of the biggest clouds in the sky that night. The eagles and most of the birds had already given up, and some of the remaining animals fainted trying, and the others did not bother to try. Only 59 animals passed on to the next test.
“Sing me a song,” was the next task and even the lion gave it a shot. It was a miracle that the man survived, but hey the animals were now getting used to this, and only 20 of them advanced to the last two tasks. “I want you to dig a hole for me,” said the man this time and as much as the monkeys and some of the big cats tried, they couldn’t go too deep. But a few of the rabbits who had already given up tried helping out the other animals, and at least the task was done, while judgement had already been passed.
There were very few animals willing to go on and surprisingly, the lions, tigers and the elephants were still a part of this circus. “Your final task,” the man said, “Is to climb the tallest tree in this forest and bring me the highest leaf from it.” The lions, tigers and the elephants were done. They looked and at each other and decided that it was now finally time to do what they should have done, a long time ago. But hey, now they had a hole, thanks to this man. So they ended up beating the life out of him and promptly returned him back to the task of his life.
On a side note, welcome to India. The land of mostly being judged for those things that you have no clue about. And yet, during those four election days or that Olympic month, there’s really nothing else we talk about. Except, of course, core company placements.
Because outside of #sindhuroxx and outside of Snapchat filters, if we want gold, we need to dig for it.