Monday, February 9, 2015

Panchatantra with a twist - Netted Pigeons

Now, there was this flock of pigeons whose head was friends with a mouse. One day, the pigeons found a lot of grains scattered in a field and descended to peck at them, only to find themselves trapped in a net. The head of the flock suggested that all of the them should unitedly fly with the net. If they could reach the mouse, he could gnaw the ropes of the net through and release them. Otherwise, they would be killed by the hunter.

Being merely bird-brains - literally - the flock carried out the plan and were freed of the net by the mouse. Not being gifted with the sophisticated brains of human beings, they had no real idea of the big picture and the entire conversation of the rest of the flock could be reduced to "Yes, Boss". Not particularly an intellectually stimulating conversation, right? If only they had been over-burdened with brains, they could have seen the situation from all angles and been much enlightened.

So, let us like Albert Einstein suggested, do a thought experiment and see what the gift of human intelligence would have done to enrich the conversation.

Head Pigeon: We are caught in a Net. If we can all fly off with this together, we can get our friend the mouse to gnaw through it and release us. Otherwise, we will be killed by the hunter.

Pigeon 1 (sitting on a hoard of grains): That is a panic reaction. We have ample time to finish all these grains before the hunter comes.

Pigeon 2: I did not expect this of you, Chief. You want us all to fly away so that you can have all these grains to yourself, later.

Pigeon 3: Who knows if we can really fly with the net all the way to the mouse. Even if we do, the mouse may not want to help us. Even if he does, it may not be possible for him to cut through the net.

Pigeon 4: This must be some conspiracy. The mouse must be involved in this somehow and will charge a hefty fee to cut through the net.

Pigeon 5: Even if it is really a hunter's net if we plead with him, he will let us go. Why take recourse to any hazardous ventures?

Pigeon 6 (whispers to pigeon 7): How many can the hunter eat? We are in the center, anyway. After he eats those ones at the edges, he may let us go.

Pigeon 8: There is no net. This is merely the way the land is, here. It is an unwarranted conclusion from our temporary inability to move to postulate the existence of a net. Even if there is a net, there is no evidence that there is also a hunter. This is either irresponsible scare-mongering or an attempt to push us to closer friendship with the mice.

Pigeon 9: You people landed where the grains are thick and have eaten well. I and my family have had little to eat. We will help you but you will have to do most of the work, since we are too weak.

Head Pigeon: Either all of us work equally at flying away with the net or none of us will.

See - the entire flock of pigeons has been educated on all possible facets of the problem thanks to human intelligence.

So what if they all ended up getting digested finally?

P.S: Seeing any similarities with international discussions on Global Warming and other such issues are at your own risk.

32 comments:

  1. Things have come to such a pass that we doubt the intentions of those who try to help us.Only yesterday someone advised my maid to construct a toilet in her home offering to contribute half the cost.The maid tells me that the benefactor wants to grab a commission in the whole expense.
    This--coming from an illiterate woman.

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  2. Hehe, perfect! Pigeon #6 is most dangerous ... :-P

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  3. Pigeon-8 was brilliant :)

    Through the entire post - I was reminded of the great Arvind ji's dialogue - 'Sab mile huen hai ji'. :)

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  4. Thanks for the warning in your P.S. I am really not in any risk-taking mood today :) A great post!

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  5. I am actually finding similarity to human thinking. It reflects our characteristics - naive, clever, calculative and the like. Great post, one of my favorites from your blog.

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  6. Yes, I am not going to hazard drawing any parallels to any human-created menaces. A fantastic post, Suresh.

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    1. Thanks Rachna - and, yes, it is safer that way these days :)

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  7. I can't decided between 6, 8 and 9 , which are the most hazardous of all!

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  8. I loved Pigeon 8 - a true scientist and philosopher ! Thank god they remained bird brained :) Brilliant post !

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  9. Where's that line on carb....ERM...grain credits?

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    1. Good one - Should have added a pigeon saying "Maybe if we give the hunter a few of our grains, he will let us go" :)

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  10. LOL... I cannot decide which Pigeon to choose :) But yes developed a weak spot for no. 4. Lovely post :)

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  11. Brilliant! Fantastic sir. I loved this one..

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  12. Wow Suresh ... We are one species that simply thinks too much eh ? How can we think positive of others suggestions when its against our DNA ? :D

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    1. Hahaha! True Jaish! We are genetically coded to disagree with everyone else :)

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  13. This is a kahaani mein twist, Sureshji.
    Instead of flying away to safety, the birds get trapped & digested thanks to employing human intelligence! Perilous indeed :)
    I like the simple Panchatantra kahaani :)

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    1. Ah! You prefer the simplicity of the birds? This complex human thinking does not appeal to you? How sad :)

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  14. True - that is when people get frustrated with democracy and start hankering for dictator. You should do more of these story based musings - it has come out very well.

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