WELLISIAN….. The frog in the well

The frog is happy, believing that it’s the best and smartest creature alive.
WELLISIAN….. The frog in the well
Representational Picture

R K Narayan, the renowned author of 'Malgudi Tales', defines Wellisian, as small little frog that has lived in the well for a long time. It's born and brought up there. The frog is happy, believing that it's the best and smartest creature alive. For it the well is its world. It's every reason to feel completely satisfied with the cool surroundings and soft moss-upholstered walls around. For it the day means the period when the sun appears over the pulley overhead. Wellisian seeks extra-social life by moving on to other parts of the well to hobnob with the fellow Wellisians for community (chorus) singing. They croak, dine and breathe air pregnant with water droplets.

"Come out of the well & see the whole sky!" Wellisian gets a call. "Whence are you?", "I'm from the sea." The frog-of-the-sea replies. "The Sea…, how big is that?" "It's very big." The frog-of-the-sea says. Wellisian stretches its legs and questions, "Ah! Is your sea so big?" "It's much bigger". The frog-of-the-sea says. Wellisian then takes a leap from one side of the well to the other and asks, "Is it as big as this, my well?" "My friend," says the-frog-of-the-sea, "how can you compare the sea with your well?" The Wellisian asserts, "No, there can never be anything bigger than my well. Indeed, nothing can be bigger than this! This fellow is a liar, it must be turned out." Sitting in its own little well, it thinks, the whole world is no bigger than its well.

Frogs are found all over the world, apart from some isolated islands and Antarctica. They're amphibians, well known for their ability to jump and croak. Why on earth do frogs croak hoarse into our hardened heads? If you wonder why they make this noise, keep surfing to find out. Some frogs croak for a territorial call. Others make a high-pitched noise to distract the predator. Each species of frog has a unique call. Most frogs amplify this sound with their vocal sacs, but some frogs have other ways of amplifying the noise.

We've all been guilty of being the-frog-in-the-well at some point, but some people truly do believe that their experiences are the only possible experiences. Wellisian has a knowledge limited to the well he lives in and/or the circular patch of heavens over the pulley above. He doesn't know anything about the frog that lives in the sea. Nor does he know about his way of thinking, experiencing, understanding and accepting all the highs and lows of life.

Our noisy/jumping amphibian maybe the loudest in the well, for everyone looks up to him and praises him. "I'm so happy to live here… When I go out, I jump about on the railing beside the mouth of the well…..when I come home I rest in the holes of the wall…..the water comes up to my armpits and holds up my cheeks when I jump in……if I walk in the mud, it covers up my feet…. look around, the wriggly worms, crabs or tadpoles, none can compare with me here….. I'm the Lord of the well'.

Wellisian doesn't have the slightest of doubt that he's the beater who knows every damn thing on earth…..humanity needs his wise counselling/guidance every moment…..he's the bearer of all the light that world needs…. he's an expert on everything…. and therefore, has a say in any every matter and in any manner. The self-styled whiz-kid, keen to say something,…… he wants to tell everyone what to do and how to do…..he may even advise the army general how to fight and God Himself to manage the universe. Enamoured of the sound of his voice and quite fond of brief-case-display, inside the chauffer-driven car on the back-seat he sits with his neck, rather body stiffened as if the car, driver and the road all were under obligation to him. Outside his posh office-chamber chic-looking secretary dials for him and fixes appointments for subordinates and visitors.

The male working uniform is a badge of belonging to the white-collar class and a symbol of respectability…. and therefore the Wellisian's fascination for high profile labels like, Anderson Sheppard/Donna Karen /Louis lapez, Bijan Pakzad suits worn by Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Obama, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jordan. While thinking in terms of his persona …an image howsoever bizarre that makes diet of daily news and keeps him in the limelight …the itch, to-leave-something-for-posterity about how he got to the-top-of-the-heap is overwhelming. Wellsian won't hesitate to go to the extent of calling ghost-writers to lace his life with their own imaginations.

The sea doesn't change along with time, nor does its level rise or fall according to the amount of rainfall. Ironically while Wellisian is lost in his world of fantasies and vulgar ostentation he can't understand the greatest happiness of a frog that lives in the Sea. The tragedy with our Wellisian is that he's no idea how significant the world outside the well is.

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