Almost at the end of the Under graduation course everyone in the class thought that a BELLWETHER was the ram which led the whole flock to the fold. Later it had also derived a very positive meaning in the technology circles to mean “technology which is avant garde”!
But my understanding of the whole thing changed when I was told that a BELLWETHER is nothing but a CASTRATED RAM, to which a bell was hung around his neck, but all this happens in a sequence. What is the sequence?
Firstly, the biggest and the most unruly of the rams is chosen by the owner of the sheep. Then that chosen ram is castrated. The idea is to tell the other rams that this ram is bigger in size and could perform any feat that any other ram presumes to have the ability to perform and ewe being ewe is overawed by the size of the ram which is not willing to perform any of those sexual functions! Those functions are no more in its domain as the “structure” has been altered! The ram had been castrated!
This ram which has been INSTITUTIONALIZED serves a bigger purpose for the owner of the sheep by becoming the leader of the flock. It appears as if the flock would follow this BELLWETHER and as if the bellwether has the “liberty” to go wherever he wants to. But that is not the case, the bellwether of the flock is very conscious of the “whistle” of the shepherd and follows the shepherd.
Since the shepherd desires to have well fed sheep and rams, the shepherd wants to lead the flock to pastures green. But how to communicate? The easiest way is to CASTRATE the best RAM of the flock and give him the incentive of leading the flock for following the whistle of the shepherd. The ram had not only lost its ability to propagate its genes, but is made to GLORIFY in the fact that the rest of the sheep are his followers! WHAT A GRAND ILLUSION the owner has created.
When the bellwether was given a bell round his neck, he thought it was an honour, but upon calmer reflection realized that the bell was to alert the unruly sheep and make them follow the shepherd’s whistle through the clanging of the bell around his neck.
The bellwether had been INSTITUTIONALIZED and had NO OTHER OPTION.
I thought the bellwether being an animal and devoid of understanding submitted to such castration, but a friend of mine narrated the history of a haveli, which was the harem of a nawab. The nawab had to collect land rent from the tenants in and around Delhi and so he had to go on long journeys to declare his power and also keep the revenues flowing. So one day he called his Vizier and told him that he wanted to have a trustworthy person for keeping his harem.
This Vizier was upset that the Nawb had not asked him to keep the harem straight! The nawab realizing the hurt of the vizier said, “I NEED A MAN WHO IS CASTRATED AND CAPABLE!” The vizier told the nawab, am I not capable? The nawab said, “Of course you are. But I cannot be open to speculation by the hoi polloi that the kids born to the begums in my harem were not mine, by having a virile man like you around.”
The Vizier straight went to the barber, as the custom was then, summoned him to his haveli and told him to bring all the equipments meant for circumcision. The barber reached the haveli of the vizier at dawn with all the instruments. The vizier took the barber to a room and told, “IF I DON’T GET CASTRATED TODAY, I SHALL BE DAMNED!”
The Vizier offered the barber a 100 gold coins for performing the debilitating surgery. The DEED WAS DONE and the vizier was missing from his official duties for a week and had informed that he had fallen sick- which the Nawab believed.
After a week, the Vizier beaming with pride and loyalty overflowing in his looks reported before the Nawab and said, ” Sir, I am not only capable but also CASTRATED!” The nawab was stunned and asked the Vizier why he had taken such a hasty decision?
The Vizier said, “I CANNOT BE WITHOUT SERVING YOU. IT IS MY DUTY TO BE WORTHY OF ANY TASK YOU MIGHT ASSIGN TO ME- AND NOW I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT I AM WORTHY.”
The Nawab was stunned at the loyalty and the irreversible condition caused by the Vizier. The nawab asked him, “What will you do with your begums and their children?”
The Vizier replied: I have had my times and it is time for me to SERVE you well.
It is this Haveli near Qutub, which was manned by this Vizier, which is presently THE address for haute couture and gourmet food!
The VIZIER became a BELLWETHER. Whatever he said had greater weight than before. This sacrifice of manhood had to be rewarded and it was and a BELL WAS HUNG AROUND HIS NECK.
This is the plight of every man who scorns his manhood for RECOGNITION by men!