The Parrot In The Cage
Lekhnath Paudyal (1885-1966)
Translated by Laxmi Prasad Devkota
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1. Literal comprehension
This poem is a monologue in which the parrot laments his life inside the cage, shares his story of pain & separation from his dear ones. The parrot recalls how he used to fly & wander around the forests eating wild fruits. But now fate has tricked into the cage. He is deprived of cool water, shades & delicious fruits. All those things have vanished & they are like dreams. His parents may be weeping to beat their breasts. Because he separated from them. He does not find any escape from the cage because he sees only enemies around the cage. He tried to break the cage & fly away but his beak is blunt now. His feet & wings are cramped & he as felt a sense of defeat.
He is given stirred measure of third class rice & devoid (lack) of water. Even his throat is dry he compelled to prate. If he refuses to prate, his master threatens. He forced to respond to the caller. He curses God for giving him the power of speech because it is the reason for his grief. Finally, the parrot tells how the human race in hostile (unfriendly) & how there is exploitation of one’s talent. He strongly prays to the God not to let anyone have the life of parrot until how long the men are on the Earth.
Indirectly, this poem is trying to show us that condition of Nepali people in Rana regime. The Nepalese had been ruled by the Rana’s for one hundred & four years. During that period people were deprived of all kinds of freedom, justice & happiness. People forced to live the caged life. In the poem, the parrot represents the whole suppressed people of the Rana regime. It shows human takes pleasure by giving pain to the parrot. Also, it shows, in the difficulties, Hindu culture people pray to God, similarly in this poem parrot also pray to God. And, the torture given by Rana’s to the Nepalese people is described & indirectly criticized in the poem.
3. Critical thinking
Although this poem indirectly criticized to the Rana regime, there are some points in the poem with which I do not agree. In real life, can a parrot speak like humans to express his sorrows? How can the bird organize the feasts? In the poem, the human race is hostile. How can all humans be hostile to their pets? Many people have kept the dog, cat, rabbit, parrot, etc in their homes as the 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 has not defined clearly what does third class rice mean? Who are the parrot real enemies? How can they stay every time around him?
After reading this poem, parrot in the cage I came to know to realize that how cruel the Rana was. I have determined that I will always stand for the freedom of human beings. Thus, I request all the human being not to capture any animals in the race of pleasure & not to dominate to any citizens in the name of the ruling system.
Four levels of The Brave Little Parrot