Animal Farm – A Review

This review is written with the intention of keeping it absolutely spoiler-free and hence, I have avoided names, characters and absolutely anything at all about what is part of the story. I believe, it’s best if you start the book knowing nothing about the plot or the basis of the story – at least, that’s how I like to read books. This is because I feel the best introduction of the story and the characters for any book is when the author himself brings them to life.

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Cover of the book

Coming to the matter at hand, Animal Farm turns out to be the best satire I have ever read, and I include newspaper articles which are known for their metaphorical wit. The greatness of the book, I believe, is in the depth of the story, the true-to-meaning symbolism and the effort of the author (George Orwell) to create the characters that fit so beautifully into the stereotypical pawns, citizens and rulers in a political system. The story does a great (this adjective is an understatement) job of mimicking the Russian Revolution, not only in following the basic plot, but also marking its important events as well as bringing out the characters who were responsible for and active in the revolution – Marx, Stalin, Trotsky to name a few.

The simplicity of the plot and the language, however in no way reflects that the writer had an easy job completing this marvellous piece of literature. The whole book is a metaphor on a revolution and the subsequent political scenario – a perfect political allegory. However, the whole book is built up of innumerable (not literally of course) sub-metaphors that stand clearly for symbols of the political system, mocking them so subtly, not in words, but the way they creep into your thoughts. The number of times I could relate the happenings in the book to political happenings I have heard about in newspapers was so great, that the relevance of the book is undoubtedly apt even for today, and I’m sure it’d stay for centuries to come. The human mind is after all a slave when it comes to power.

The entire story is written in such lucid language, that at times, I felt the book was purposefully made simple, to ensure that the complexity of language or the literature does not act as an obstacle to the intention of the writer – that is, to let his message seep right into the minds of the readers.

Frankly, I like to rate the books I read in terms of how many times I have uttered the f-word per page, and let me assure you, this book stands high on that scale. I have no doubt that the thoughts this book bore in my mind will keep pulsing for a very long time. I’ll keep coming back to the book as a recourse to whenever I fall into the trap of believing in the absolute power of ideologies and lose the sense of reality.

George Orwell
The hero behind Animal Farm

Thank you very much, Eric Arthur Blair, or as you liked to be called, George Orwell.

Ironclad Clouds (Sonnet)

Have kissed me goodbye the days of promise,
Has withered what seemed to stay forever.
Was a summit what seemed all ascending
A bolt back in time, is now my prayer.

Had vowed to rain on us, the clouds,
To keep us alive, the showers glad.
But swept them away, a breeze and a storm,
And what’s left of them look ironclad.

These fingers pine for the camaraderie,
That entwined with and made them able.
The looks of the now descry them nowhere
It looks to form a funereal fable.

Dreams of calm and togetherness buried deep in memories firm;
Shall return in sleepless nights and honour me an eternal squirm.

Her Socks Are The Culprits!

Her socks have created within me a new sense of appreciation for beauty. I would not call it a sudden development; rather a slow progress from gleeful glances to profound observations. My eyes now demand to be fixated on those small pairs of clothing that have the gift of fortune to stay so close and hug her shapely ankles, often helping them play peek-a-boo. I don’t know if it is the colours of the fabric that demand my attention or (at the risk of being exposed to accusations of perversion) if it is just a fetish I have developed for feet, but I find it difficult to stop staring at those socks and imagining the landscape underneath. How could something that has the ground and its dust for regular company create such a strong affinity within me?

Maybe I’m just fascinated with the choice of the colours she decides to wear on her feet… But then, I find myself least interested in the same colours when they await moisture’s farewell on her drying line! It is only when socks envelope her body’s lowest (strictly in an anatomical sense) beauties do I find myself staring at them with no sense of what the waiter standing beside us with our coffee might be thinking of me. I have even found myself to be slightly absent to what she might be saying, and I must add that I’m not exaggerating one bit because I do remember incidents when it happened (even though as I write this, they do seem to be some quite peculiar memories I have gathered).

I am almost completely sure it is not a perversion I have given myself access to, because I don’t find myself staring at other feet around me. I understand that this is not a very logically reasoned argument, as the pervert within sometimes comes alive only when a certain prerequisite is met – that you are attracted to the said subject. So, I should not really dismiss the idea of perversion completely. I may have developed a liking for the lovelies closest to earth. Like I said a few lines ago, her socks have managed to fill me with a new found sense of beauty, or if words were scarce, I’d say her socks have made me a pervert.

A Return to Lunacy

[Lunatic has worn his best suit (his only one) and his best perfume (of which he doesn’t know the name) for his talk tonight. He has arrived at the broadcasting studio, and after all the necessary make-up (which demanded a lot from the make-up artists who were probably hired for a radio show the first time in their lives), is now about to begin his well-prepared broadcast. He expects this to be a big deal. Others in the studio have no idea what in the world he is so confident about. Frankly, they couldn’t care less. ]

Lunatic (into the mic):

My dear friends, it has been a long sabbatical fro….

[Lunatic is interrupted when a studio personnel comes rushing into the broadcast room. Lunatic looks at him, annoyed. The personnel switches on the mic into which Lunatic was speaking, and rolls his eyes at Lunatic. With a sheepish grin that he cannot stop from erupting out, Lunatic restarts his broadcast.]

Brothers and ladies, it has been a long sabbatical from writing on my blog, and I am here, therefore, to offer an apology to all the expectant multitudes all over the lands, whom I have kept waiting for my next words.

[Voice in a hushed tone is heard from outside the radio studio. Lunatic is being informed of his fan following stats. From his reflex expressions, it is clear that the stats don’t quite match the picture he had painted in his head.]

Lunatic (covers the mic, replies to the voice) : 

What? There were just 3 people who wondered why I wasn’t posting regularly?

[Lunatic scratches his head (some dandruff brats jump from his hair onto his black suit, exposing themselves to the world) and ponders for a while. A smirk comes to his face. He asks the voice with an expression of brimming confidence]

Multi means more than one, right?

[Lunatic receives a nod from the across the glass wall of the studio. He seems pleased with himself. (Apparently, nothing can damage his over-inflated ego tonight.)]

So, technically, I’m not wrong when I call three people as MULTI-tudes, right?

Lunatic (into the mic) :

 Well, I have just received news from my stats team. I am glad to announce that the MULTI-tude can now delight themselves as I have decided to start writing again. I’m indeed sorry that I could not serve you with my thoughts for the past three and a half weeks. However, my friends, you must understa…

[A crackling noise is heard and Lunatic notices that the mic now shows a blinking orange light. He looks up at the display board which now says “Commercial Break”.]

Lunatic (to himself)

Damn it! Just when I had started rolling nice and smooth…

Lunatic (signals to the personnel outside)

How long will this break go on?

[Lunatic does not look pleased with the reply. (Apparently, the sponsors haven’t really paid enough to have the privilege of interrupting his speech.)]

Lunatic (replies back to the personnel)

Okay, but make sure that next time we get sponsors who allow me more time than they themselves use for their stupid breaks. I’m primary here, for God’s sake.

[The personnel goes out and visualises himself peeing Lunatic’s recent orders out of his mind. That thought makes him happy. It also makes him want to go and physically pee, and he goes out seeking directions to the restroom.]

[Meanwhile, inside the studio, Lunatic listens to a familiar jingle about some overenthusiastic people who cannot have enough of how refreshing their toothpaste is. He is visibly angry as he realises that his train of thought is broken. He tries to remember what he was saying, but in vain. Now he wishes he had written down what he wanted to say.]

I became aware of something now, as I desperately tried to finish this piece. A writer’s block may force you to take a break from writing, but a break from writing will definitely build up a mighty writer’s block.

I shall henceforth write routinely (the cyclic period for which I will have to think upon and decide).

If you did go through the piece that was struck through (where Lunatic is at the end of a failed attempt), you have my sincere apologies…