The Parrot in The Cage – Four Levels of Interpretation | Flax-Golden Tales
The Parrot in The Cage – Lekhanath Paudyal (1885 – 1966) – Translated by Laxmi Prasad Devkota
This poem is a monologue in which the parrot laments his life inside the cage, shares his story of pain and separation from his dear ones. The parrot recalls how he used to fly and wander around the forest eating wild fruits. But now fate has tricked him into the cage. He is deprived of cool water, shades and delicious fruits. All those things have vanished and they are like dream. His parents may be weeping to beat their breast because he is separated from them. He doesn’t find any way to escape from the cage because he sees only enemies around the cage.
He has tried to break the cage and fly away but his beak is blunt now. His feet and wings are cramped and he as felt a sense of defeat. He is given stinted measure of third class rice and devoid (lack) of water. Even when his throat is dry, he is compelled to prate. If he refuses to prate, his master threatens to catch cane. He is forced to respond to the callers. He curses the god for giving his the power of speech because it is the reason for his grief. Finally, the parrot tells how the human race is hostile (unfriendly) and how there is exploitation of one’s talent. He strongly prays to god not to let anyone have the life of parrot until how long the men are on the earth.
This poem is trying to show the people were suppressed during the Rana regime. The Nepalese had been ruled by the Ranas for one hundred and four years. During that period, people were deprived of all kinds of freedom, justice, and happiness. People were forced to live the caged life. In the poem, the parrot represents the whole suppressed people of the Rana regime and its master represents the Rana regime. The torture given by Ranas to the Nepalese people is described and indirectly criticized in the poem.
Although the poem indirectly criticizes to the Rana regime, there are some points in the poem with which I don’t agree. In real life, can a parrot speak like humans to express his sorrows? How can the birds organize the feast? In the poem, the human race is said hostile. How can all the humans be hostile to their pets? Many people have kept dog, cat, rabbit, parrot etc. in their homes as the pet animals and they are friendly to their pet animals. We have seen many people behaving with their pet animals as if they are their best friends or they are their children. The poet hasn’t defined clearly what does third class rice mean? Who are the parrot’s real enemies and how can they stay every time around him?
After reading this poem, I came to realize that how cruel the Ranas were. I have determined that I will always stand for the freedom of human beings. Thus, I request all the human beings not to capture any animals in the name of pleasure and not to dominate to any citizens in the name of the ruling system.
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