The Shere Khan Angle

Well then, another round of vilification. Another round of – as the bear put it – “propaganda“. And then being bumped off in the end to a round of raucous cheers and claps.

And what for? For making the right prediction about a species that’s always wreaked havoc? A species with all kinds of wrong tricks! A species whose touch turns beauty to ashes, green to red. They brought him into their fold, nurtured them as one of their own, defying the laws of nature. Yet I gave them a chance to make amends. But they did not, choosing instead to side with the outsider than the one who is king by right and by might.

At the end, I fought them all because they forced me to. The sloth bear punched away, the pack of wolves brushed aside, the panther all but laid to waste – I had that nuisance all to myself. But then, he used the Red Flower. A sorcery as devious and dangerous as befits his race. Yet, it’s him that they sing their paeans too. Of course, it’s to your selves that you sing these songs of glory. Because your ego needs the boost of winning over your closest rivals in the food chain. You need to establish your supremacy, stamping it with subtlety-sacrificing crassness. So you can feel like gods up there, ruling over us all. Hence you use elephants in a weird plot twist to undo the damage you did in the process of murdering me to stamp your ugly mark on this beautiful home of ours. I have the decency to maintain peace when times are difficult, the decency to spare cubs even when I have them literally in my grasp. But you don’t have the decency to leave either our homes to us, or us to our laws and our lives. Well, so much for your insecurity. You can’t just be done showing off your tree-swinging and basket-weaving skills. You even need a tiger in the role of a pantomime villain to put you on your pedestal. Fair enough, I will be your prop. To scare you in 3-D with a voice as deep as gorge, and then be sacrificed to make your popcorn taste doubly good in the end.

Just promise me this, just like you bow to the elephants, remember to have some respect for the rest of us too. Live and let live – that’s all I say!

Reference: The Jungle Book (2016); Dir.: Jon Favreau

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