The Parrot In The Cage - Four Levels | Flax Golden Tales

Lekhanath Paudyal (1885 – 1966), Translated by Laxmi Prasad Devkota

The Parrot In The Cage

Literal Comprehension: Lekhanath Poudel composed the poem “The Parrot in the Cage”. The theme of the poem is about freedom, justice, happiness, and serenity. The poem is a bitter satire on the then Rana regime that deprived Nepalese people freedom. The speaker has carefully painted the conditions that surround the parrot’s life. The speaker is disappointed by the harsh reality of man’s life. Away from its family, home, kin, friends, and the natural freedom man has forced the parrot to live a tragic life. Similar is the condition of human life in Nepal of that period. Being a worshipper of nature, Poudel expresses his deep affinity to the natural world that provides him childhood appetite, which he wants in his later life. Having compelled to live away from his family, home and friends, Poudel pains for it and expresses nostalgia towards it. Finally, through the medium of parrot, voices of political, social, religious, spiritual and habitual lifestyle and situation of human beings are exhumed in the poem. The poem clearly advocates the human instinct to live a free and struggled life away from the crowd.

Interpretation:  In this poem “The Parrot in the Cage”, the poet is trying to advocates the freedom of people in the Rana regime. The Nepalese people had been ruled by the Ranas for one hundred and four years. During this period, people were deprived of enjoying all kinds of freedom. The speaker in the poem is disappointed by the harsh reality of man’s life. Besides, man has been found to live away from his family, home, kin, friends, and the spiritual freedom that surround him in rural life. Thus, man has been forced to live a caged life like the parrot. Man’s indifference to animal’s plight and the mentality of getting entertainment from imprisoning lower animals has been criticized in the poem. Living away from the natural man has invited more tragedy and sorrow in his life.

Critical thinking:  The speaker has carefully painted the conditions that surround the parrot’s life. Through the plight of the parrot, the speaker compares the sorrowful description of human life, lack of justice and freedom, the aggression and the cruelty prevalent in the society. Being a worshipper of nature, Poudel expresses his deep affinity to the natural world that provides him childhood appetite, which he wants in his later life. Having compelled to live away from his family, home and friends, Poudel pains for it and expresses nostalgia towards it. More than that, Hindu tradition to pray and appeal to God at the time of difficulty is spread all over the poem. In the philosophical level, the poem may be faultless, but I have reservation towards the voices of the parrot. In real life, does a parrot speak like a human to express his sorrows?

Assimilation:  After reading this poem, I have realized how cruel the Rana regime was. I always stand for the freedom of human beings. As Jean jacks, Rousseau said, “Man is born free and wants to live free”. Thus, I request all the human beings not to capture any animal as well as not any citizens at the name of the ruling system or any pleasure.

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