The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.
Monday, April 6, 2009
The Tree of Life
There is a family of squirrels that has built its home in the dense foliage of the three creepers that cover our house and keep it cool in summer. They consider all the flowers and fruits on the various plants and trees in our house to be their property. Consequently whenever other birds too come to feast on these luscious foodstuffs a lovely orchestra of sounds starts off. The squirrels chirp in anger at the birds for trespassing on their preserve. The birds too not to be outdone respond with their own chirping. Yesterday there was a squirrel on one of the top branches of the drumstick tree chirping away in anger continuously. There was a lovely little black and blue coloured bird with a long beak which could fit into my palm on one of the lower branches which was sipping the nectar from the flowers and in between giving a fitting reply to the squirrel.