12:35 pm

The other day, while having a talk about Singapore, I realized, that if Jonathan Swift were alive today, he’d get the shock of his life. All that he predicted way back in 1735 in Gulliver’s Travels has come to be true in our times. The catch is, back in 1735 he was being sarcastic. Very sarcastic.

For all those ignorant people who think Lemuel Gulliver was a nice, brave, noble man who travelled to the two opposite (in one sense) lands of Lilliput and Brobdingnag, before finally settling down at home in the midst of his loving wife and cute children, I shall enlighten them about this book. Lemuel Gulliver did travel to the fine lands of Lilliput and Brobdingnag but it most certainly was not it. I pray to God that it was, but it wasn’t. It so happens, that Gulliver traveled to other countries called Laputa, Balnibarbi, Japan and to the country of Houyhnhnms.

In his book, Swift had, as a way of mocking the society he lived in, wrote about a series of ‘bizarre’ things Gulliver saw in his travels. The funniest part is, a lot of them are a part of our everyday reality. Seriously, all we now need is a flying island and talking horses, and we’re done. Swift wrote about a machine called The Engine. Critics and everyone else who has read the non-abridged version and has a sense of language, has noticed that The Engine is a description of the very idiot box you and I are staring into right now…the modern computer. It is also argued that The Engine is the earliest reference to the modern computer in literature. Yes, the joy. That’s not all the man predicted. He predicted that Mars had two moons and about 200 years later, they find that Mars indeed has two moons. Festivities! However, all that, Swift would have lived through if he were alive today. What I doubt he could comes now. He wrote that in one of science laboratories, some people were trying to make human excreta (yes, you read that correct!) into (hold your breath) food. How Swift came up with such glorious ideas way back in the 18th century remains a mystery to me. But they did come to him and he wrote them. Anyways, the point is that we all can eat those junk food in peace; as far as I know, they were not shit the minute before. It’s something else that happens, but is related. My friend (while waiting foe the teacher one afternoon) told the rest of us that in Singapore, they purify urine into water. I don’t know for a fact whether they do or not. But if they do, Swift would probably go like “Heck, I was only joking, people!”. And it also happened geographically where he predicted where it would happen. No, he did not pin point Singapore! All he said was an island near India.

I have nothing against the way Singapore provides its citizens water. It atleast does. Our country boasts of abundant water resources in the Incredible India campaign and still parts of it, go dry and thirsty.

Thank God, Swift has come to mean something this different in our times. Otherwise, it’s a pretty dry way of narrating a tale where you meet talking horses, little humans and giants. I hope the day when nations have wars over which side an egg should be cracked open is 200 more years away from now. Because I do see the possibility of that happening!

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