Saturday, September 25, 2010

the ant and the grasshopper

When we were in class 7th,our english text book was changed from the age old classic Gulmohar reader,to Modern English reader.it was a remarkable change,in the sense that healthy,moralistic reading was suddenly transformed to challenging,and more realistic reading.
it was difficult no doubt,our marks took a nosedive,but English classes became interesting.
has anybody read the original Grimms fairy tales,or the unabridged Hans Anderson,these are definitely not books one would give to children,but they are good read for children-if you get what i say,i mean one would really not present a child with a playboy,but that is exactly the book the child would like to read.
coming back to the point,Modern English was a great book,it opened up contemporary writing to us,along with Keats ,Shelley,and Wordsworth.
For the first time i read the original ant and grasshopper fable..
it was but a few lines,
The ant slogged away all summer,saving food for the winter
the grasshopper idled away
the cruel winter found the grasshopper at the ants doorstep begging for food,
the ant asked-and pray what were you doing during the summer
the grasshopper replied:why i sang,i sang all day
then the ant gave his all time classic answer: why then,go and dance!

a
ll the time before this i had heard many variations of the story;all of them ending sweetly,with the ant forgiving the grasshopper,and sharing his food;some stories even ended predicting grasshopper slogging next summer onwards,having learnt his lesson!
grasshoppers can not slog,they can never become ants,they are different species alltogether
so are human beings,
we are who we are,people dont change

6 comments:

  1. so true.

    I can still remember those 'gulmohar' days...they were great in the sense that our teachers used to get ample scope of declamatory speech, it was night mare for us because of the same reason. we just loved the transformation to radiant reader and modern english. I personally never followed any morals even though my conscience always haunted me for that....in spite of being guided by all ants my metamorphosis didnt take place... really...grasshoppers can never become ants.

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  2. The transformation is not desirable, I feel. Else there will be no grasshoppers only ants. Div. of labor and reaping of benefit are a topic that has been interpreted by many. Deriving benefit without sowing seed by either beg/borrow/steal is OK as long as the other party are not harmed seriously. Asset does not only mean money/land/material kinds but also refers to more metaphysical matters that gives us pleasure and happiness. So cheers to grasshoppers...

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  3. cheers to all grasshoppers,who wants to be an ant anyway!
    As we say-the meek will inherit the earth,till then it is ours.

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  4. frown! y should the grasshoppers want to be ants, if they are happy being their own god given way? mmmm let me guess a bit. Grasshoppers do not want to be ant but they want to be safe like ants during winter may be. But in order to do so, they do not want to work and work throughout the other seasons but they may very well sing and dance and give happiness to all ants, who can save them during harsh winters. After all, ants too want to enjoy pleasure and happiness that is given them by the grasshoppers, isn't it?

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