Wellisian, The Frog in the Well

{I’m croaking! I’m croaking! (another frog ‘well, of course we’re frogs!’) No, I’m dying! They told me my fortune! (‘Oh well, I’ll help you with that…he hits him over the head with a rock and knocks him into the pond…now your fortune was right!’}.

The Frog in the Well is about exactly what the title implies…a frog that lives in a well. RK Narayan calls it Wellisian… a little frog that has lived there for a long time. The latter is born and raised there. The frog is happy, believing that he is the best and most intelligent creature alive. For him the well is his world. He has every reason to be completely satisfied with the cool surroundings and soft moss-covered walls. For him, the day means the period when the sun appears over the pulley above. Wellisian seeks an extra-social life by moving to other parts of the well to rub shoulders with fellow Wellisians for community singing (choir). They croak, eat and breathe air pregnant with droplets of water.

‘Come out of the well and look at the whole sky!’ Wellisian gets a call. “When are you?”, “I’m from the sea.” The sea frog answers. “The sea, how big is that?” “Is very large.” Says the frog of the sea. Wellisian stretches his legs and asks, “Ah! Is your sea that big?” “It’s much bigger,” says the sea frog. Wellisian then jumps from one side of the well to the other, asking, “Is it as big as this one, my well?” “My friend,” says the-frog-of-the-sea, “how can you compare the sea with your well?” The frog in the pit states, “No, there can never be anything bigger than my pit. In fact, nothing can be bigger than this! This guy is a liar, he needs to be kicked out.” Sitting in his little well, he thinks, the whole world is not bigger than his well.

Frogs are found throughout the world, apart from some isolated islands and Antarctica. They are amphibians, well known for their ability to jump and croak. Why the heck do frogs croak? Are they trying to convey some kind of vital message to our hardened heads? If you’re wondering why they make this noise, read on 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 to amplify the noise.

We’ve all been guilty of being the frog in the well at some point, but some people truly believe that their experiences are the only experiences possible. Wellisian has very limited knowledge, limited to the pit she lives in and/or the circular patch of heaven above the pulley above. He has no idea about the frog that lives in the sea. He doesn’t know about his way of thinking either. Experiencing, understanding and accepting all the ups and downs of life, in all its different colors, cultures and flavors are necessary in life. Our noisy frog is perhaps the loudest in the well because everyone admires and praises him, not only in front of him but also behind his back. He is happy, content with the life he leads. “I am so happy to live here… When I go out, I jump on the railing next to the mouth of the well… when I come home I rest in the holes in the wall… the water comes up to my armpits and holds my cheeks when I jump… if I walk in the mud, it covers my feet… look around you, the wriggling worms, crabs or tadpoles, none can compare with me here… I am the Lord of the Pit.’

Wellisian has no doubt that he is the striker who knows every damn thing on earth… mankind needs his wise advice/guidance at all times… he is the bearer of all the light the world needs. .. he is an expert in everything… and therefore… he has a say in any matter and in any way. The self-proclaimed child prodigy eager to say something… he wants to tell everyone what to do and how to do it… he can even advise the general of the army (as RK Narayan says) how to fight… and God himself to manage the universe.

The smartass has a swollen head… he’s vainglorious, he’s always proud of himself and he’s in love with the sound of his voice. Quite fond of the display of briefcases… which suggests the low end of pecking order…, inside the car driven by a chauffeur in the back seat, Wellisian sits with his neck, rather stiff as if the car, the driver and the road were all under obligation to him. Outside his elegant office, the elegant-looking secretary dials for him and sets appointments for subordinates and visitors…they must be kept waiting…Saab is busy at the meeting.

The male work uniform is a badge of membership in the white-collar class and a symbol of respectability. The swellhead goes to cloud 9 for the accolades he gets for spending lavishly on high-profile tags. Given the chance, Wellisian can pick up a piece or two of Anderson Sheppard/Donna Karen/Louis Lapez, Bijan Pakzad’s high-profile suits worn by celebrities like Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Obama, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Jordan. He even thinks in terms of his persona, an image, strange as it may be, that is part of the daily news (in the office, society, and even the media) and keeps him in the spotlight. He may even go so far as to call ghost writers. The desire to leave something for posterity about how he rose to the top of the heap; he may feel that future generations should learn from the experience of him may be satisfied. Because ghost writers, after all, know how to intertwine other people’s lives with their own imaginations.

The sea does not change over time, nor does its level rise or fall depending on the amount of rain. Ironically, while Wellisian is lost in his world of fantasies and vulgar ostentation, he fails to understand the greatest happiness of a frog that lives in the Sea. The tragedy with our poor myopic Wellisian is that he has no idea how significant the world is outside the well.

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