Upon reading a beautiful text, I could not help but think of the countless stories and poems that I had begun insinuating as a child. The awareness that was extracted from the stories of Ruskin Bond’s pets and their adventures to Vikram Seth’s intricate personification of the beings, which we, now, as grownups can only refer to as ‘it’, the invaluable wisdom from the astute characters of the Panchatantra and Jakarta tales, has all been lost in the ‘education’ I acquired.
Before too long, I had lost the joy of imagining orchards and farms to comprehending the meaning in Ogden Nash’s words. The mountains and ravines in Percy Shelley’s Mont Blanc, to me, reduced to description of a picturesque setting. Spiders and moths captured attention through the words of Robert Frost.
The croaking playmates, before I realized, were objects of study. Manicured lawns replaced the fruit laden trees. The sensitivity of being scared by an owl’s hoot or crying on seeing a pupa struggle only to be awestruck by the colors of a butterfly were all overridden by the “scientific learning”. The world of the living beings was lost in the ink of my textbooks.
No longer were my surroundings mesmerizing. The perplexity has taken over by information, information that has taken me farther from knowledge, the knowledge of life and existence.
The advances of a world of intelligent short- lived mortals has been successful in giving intelligible voices to Bambi, Simba and Winnie on-screen and drown out the language they were familiar to. The aberration is conferred upon by myriad terms that intimidate and overwhelm – ‘modernization’, ‘westernization’, ‘technological revolution’ - whether that or our ‘perceptions’ are the anomalies is something beyond me!