Sunday, December 08, 2013

What happened to Sita?

A Work of Fiction


She had always wanted a daughter but now… as she reminisced about her life, she decided to change what she wanted.

She came from a family where girls were brought up with respect, were educated and despite most other kingdoms from around, were taught to speak their mind and be part of decisions being made in the family.

She was a miracle, they said, when she came in to her father’s house. She was a blessing, they said. She was the apple of her father’s eyes, they said. They gave her the status of a Goddess. As she grew older, her father sat her down and pragmatic as ever had said “You my lovely daughter who goes by the name of Sita, Maithili, Vaidehi and Jana­ki, do not let these names forget who you are. Deep inside, you are the one who chose to be saved, so you can make a change. Our land is filled with people who despise women, who don’t hesitate to kill little baby girls, even their own daughters, in the desperate attempt to bear sons. You my little one decided to push through the earth and hold my hand. You are destined to reach out to the souls of people, now and for centuries to come, to wake them from their deep slumber and help break away from distinguishing children even before they are born. You, the one with the gentlest of gentle souls, will guide people to be human first before they give themselves or their children any tags.”

She was too young to understand what her loving father had said on that sunny afternoon but today, as she was on the brink of motherhood, she understood it all. Irony had brought her in to this family, a family known far and wide for being just and right, yet a family that had encouraged all means to justify one end; that of having a male heir so their family name may continue to prosper.

Her husband, though a gentle soul himself, was born only because his sister gave her life for him and his brothers. His sister was never spoken about. No stories were told about her great sacrifice. She had drifted into the unknown – unspoken and forgotten.

“I will bear you sons. Sons who will remain unmarried, because no mother’s daughters will ever want to marry them and become part of this family. It breaks my heart as a mother to know that my sons will never know the joy of a woman in their lives, neither their mother nor a wife or a sister. But this will end the cycle here and now. You, my great husband will be known as a legend, as mythology. But alas! Your family name will not continue because the family that does not respect its daughters will only bring sadness and negativity around it. People will need to forget that this family was ever real. They will be content in the belief that yours was a great story and you a great ruler, a great king, a God even.”


And so she bore two sons and left them in their father’s care as she jumped into a crevice caused by a great earthquake… silently forgiving her parents who showed her the path to the underground the day she was born.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Moment of Nostalgia

As the drums beat,
The jal tarang sends a silent note;
In her world, the sound of the drum
Is all she wants to feel.

Her soul stirs, as the crescendo
Of the drums reaches her heart.
A drop of tear, she sheds,
Into the pool of emotions.

She remembers the beat
From many moons ago...
When the sun had risen daily,
Casting his rays on her,
Shimmering on her skin;
When innocence prevailed.
She longed for that comfort...
The comfort of not knowing.

Today, she is wiser.
Today, she is stronger.
Today, she is happy.
Today, she is loved.
Yet...
A drop of tear, she sheds,
Into the pool of emotions.
A sigh passes her lips,
As she gathers herself up
For life... again.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Honest Open Smiles

Can it be this tough?
Wearing masks all day long;
Passing by the universe.
Every day. Every night.

Needs. Wants. Desires.
In that order please...
Make mine with
A sprinkling of soul dust.

Rains feeding streams,
Leaves leaving trees,
Cups upturned in sinks,
Music. Laughter. Life.

Let the cookie crumble.
These cookie cutters 
Were made all wrong.
Honest open smiles,
It isn't this tough!

Firewood gathered,
Hunting done,
The roasting begins!
On this Friday noon,
Dream up your dreams.
It ain't tough at all...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Humdrum

Humdrum, a word I love...
It paints a picture of buildings and nests
Of pathways and forests.
Why it plants this tune in my mind,
I can't say.

On this Thursday eve...
As twilight threatens to disorient the mind,
Humdrum, just plain humdrum.
Why this world seems all right,
I can't say.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bushaka Loves Mangoes!

You all know Bushaka, the little lion cub with adventure in his heart and a shine in his lovely big eyes! This is a story of how Bushaka met Sundari, the Bandari. Since it was a bright and sunny day, Bushaka thought it would be fun to go on a picnic with his beshtesht lion friends Shimbuka and Kashimbu.

They each got something to add to the picnic. Bushaka brought along his favourite juicy mangoes, Shimbuka's father made delicious dosa rolls, Kashimbu's aunt packed two jars full of Kokum juice. The three of them, with tiny little picnic baskets in hand headed off to a mountain with tall grass laid out like a really, really thick carpet. Being lions, they loved to hide themselves in the grass.

They had a big colourful bouncy ball which was red, blue and yellow! They played the "Jump over the right colour" and the "Bounce with the ball" games for hours together. After a while they were all thirsty so went to the spot under a Peepal tree where their two jars of juice and all other yummy goodies were kept in the shade. 

Bushaka gulped down two glasses of juice and suddenly realised that his basket with the juicy mangoes were nowhere to be seen. "Kashimbu, Shimbuka, where are the mangoes? It's not here!" he cried.

His friends came over to him and said that they can all look for it and asked Bushaka to "Please stop crying."

"But... they... are... my favourite..." he said between sobs and the tears left tyre like marks on his cheeks through all the dirt from all that playing they did.

Both Kashimbu and Shimbuka hugged him and Kashimbu said "Don't cry Bushaka, it will be here somewhere. You sit down here and we'll look for it."

Bushaka sat down and tried hard not to feel like his heart was heavy, tried hard to stop crying. His friends were jumping around all over the place looking for the missing picnic basket with juicy mangoes in it.

"Tee... heee... heee... heee..." a sound came from high up on the Peepal tree. Bushaka looked up and what did he see??

Why? A little monkey sat on a branch and was laughing at Bushaka's friends who were jumping around looking for the missing picnic basket with juicy mangoes in it.

What do monkeys do on trees? Let me see if you can show me...

"Hey you! Up there! Why are you laughing at my friends?" asked Bushaka.

"Tee.. heee... heee... heee... you cry baby!" replied the little monkey.

"I lost my mangoes a while ago and was feeling sad. That's why I was crying. My name is Bushaka, not cry baby. You can call me by my name if you want to talk to me. What's your name?" said Bushaka feeling all strong and ready to stand up for himself.

"Mangoes? Yummydelicious! They are my favourite too! Now I know how you felt and why you were crying. But your friends do look quite funny from up here, jumping around like that!" came the monkey's reply.

"Well, they are searching for the missing mangoes. You still didn't tell me what your name is." said Bushaka, getting up and dusting himself off and wiping the tears off his face!

The monkey came down to a lower branch and whispered, "I will tell you my name but promise me you won't make fun of it? A lot of others who are not in my family always laugh and make fun of my name..."

"I promise!"

"My name is Sundari, the Bandari." she replied.

"That is such a lovely rhyming name. Can we be friends, Sundari, the Bandari?" asked Bushaka.

"Why, thank you. I think so too. And off course we can be friends. To prove it, let me climb up to the highest branch on this tree and look for your mangoes." and off she went climbing up swiftly swinging from one branch to the other as she went higher and higher.

"It's a little picnic basket with juicy mangoes in it!" shouted Bushaka so she could hear him.

He heard Sundari, the Bandari's voice like it was coming from so far away, "I can see your missing picnic basket with juicy mangoes in it!!"

And then she yelled out some directions like, go left, move right, keep going straight, jump over the rock and some more confusing directions. Bushaka shouted out the directions to Shimbuka and Kashimbu till they found the missing picnic basket with juicy mangoes in it with some mangoes fallen out of it.

They brought it under the Peepal tree and all four of them attacked the mangoes and ate them all up in no time, because by now, Sundari, the Bandari had become their friend too, you see. By the end of it, all of them had mango pulp all around their mouth and Bushaka had some over his nose and ears too!!

And so, it was that Bushaka met Sundari, the Bandari who could climb the highest of the highest branch on any tree and had very sharp eyesight that could spot the missing picnic basket with juicy mangoes in it!

Sundari, the Bandari became such good friends with Bushaka and his friends that she even goes for an adventure to India with him... But that story is for another time!

P.S:
Bushaka was born in 2007 as a playful little lion cub with adventure in his eyes and an attitude to make new friends and create fun games all the time. He was born to make my daughter's (Vedha, then 5yrs old) life a little more exciting than it already was. :)
A couple of Bushaka's friends, besides the new friend Sundari, the bandari introduced in this story, are Moshu, the cat and Kakaraku, the frog.
Bushaka's early year stories are written as a read-aloud story for little kids.


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