Thursday, 17 January 2013

Is Love a Swan or Crow? - Part II

Back in the village, Naran now looks at the place he had grown in. The village is bald and barren. Mango and coconut groves, which once added luster to the beauty of the village, have now yielded ground to high-rise buildings. The village is now wearing a new cap…. cap of modernity and development. The new bus station is a quite a sight of him as it was not there before. People are swarming a wine shop that had sprouted near the village temple. ‘Change seems to be the new mantra of the village, but I feel I don’t belong here,’ he thought.

When he comes close to his house, he sees his mother sitting in the courtyard, chatting animatedly with a woman, and laughing. Naran’s heart tugs at the sight as he thinks how his mother could laugh heartily forgetting the premature death of his elder son. A moment later, Shoba comes out of his house, and his heart misses a beat. It’s with great effort that he restrains his thought of going over to her and taking her in his arms.

Draping herself in a gorgeous Kanjeevaram silk sari with a matching designer blouse, Shoba looks like a bride. As is her wont, she sports her long, dangling hair in plaits and binds its end with tassels. Strands of jasmine flowers fastened to the upper part of the plaits near her nape make the air balmy. But the rupee size Bindi she is sporting in her forehead tells a different story as it unmistakably confirms that she is married. Now, Keshav also comes out of the house, tickles Shoba’s hip. She laughs aloud and then blushes.


“Shoba is more practical and down to earth girl,” Naran hears her mother telling the woman sitting by her side. “When she saw Naran’s shattered body on the railway track, she cried her head off. It took me two years to convince her to marry Keshav. I told her that Naran always thought of her as part of his family and she would be honoring his wish if only she married Keshav. With much reluctance, she married my younger son. She is now happy, has forgotten Naran’s love as a bad dream. God bless the couple.”

Naran’s soul screams. He feels as if he gets a train run over his rented body again. He also feels that he is bleeding in his chest. ‘Betrayal… a great betrayal’ he moans. He fights back an impulsiveness to go and strangulate Shoba. Disappointed and distressed by the bizarre scene he saw in his home, Naran moves away from the place in quick patter without even looking at Shoba or bothering about the tears that wells up in his eyes.

He is now far away from his village and treacherous home. The place he is now standing at seems to be the village forest as he cannot see any human habitats out there. Still not able to stomach the betrayal perpetrated on him by Shoba and his family, he yells, stomps his feet on the ground and calls out King Yama.]

Naran
King Yama! Yamaraj! Do you hear me?
[Before long, Naran sees a ball of fire rolling down from the sky, and King Yama jumps out of it riding a water buffalo.]

King Yama
Why, Naran? Why did you call me?

Naran
Oh, King! My swan has become a crow. I lost my love, my Shoba. She married my brother Keshav. Both of them betrayed me. Who said love is divine?

King Yama
None, but you. Love can never be divine, Naran.  It’s an ugly duck. You dress it up with your blind emotions and imaginations and make it look like a dancing peacock. Oh, you… a poor star-crossed lover! Don’t you know that love has no shape or soul as it’s nothing but your alter ego filled with raw passions? We now have your Shakespeare in our midst. We brought him from his Stratford home centuries back. I often hear the playwright talking about love with a scorn. He says: “Love is not a tender thing. It is too rough, too rude, and too boisterous and it pricks like thorn.”

Naran
Oh, King! Stop preaching me about love. Tell me, why did Shoba abandon me and marry my brother?

King Yama
That’s not her fault, its cruel play of fate. You are dead for three years. Do you still want her to remain hooked to your memories? Women marry men not memories. Don’t you men remarry after the death of your wives?

Naran
Enough, King…. enough of the goddamned love. I now learn that love is falsehood-personified. Take me back to your Kingdom. I don’t want to live here as the earth is littered with betrayers and chameleons.

King Yama
No, Naran. I can’t do that. As I said earlier, an option once selected cannot be reversed.

Naran
[Sobs] Then, what you want me to do?

King Yama
 Be on the earth for sometime and teach people about the futility of love; tell them that love is not be-all and end-all of life.

Naran
Sometime on earth!!! How long, King?

King Yama
Fourteen years.

Naran
 Fourteen years!!! [He faints, and King Yama disappears from the scene]

[Concluded]

P.S. [Benvolio, the kinsman of Romeo’s family in Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet is the invisible hero of this short, amateur play, which reflects his uncharitable and unpalatable remarks against love. While Benevolian remarks against love find space here in this play, I don’t subscribe to his views. To me, love is universal; the mellifluous song of the soul.]

Image courtesy: Google

28 comments:

  1. really good, i like the way conversation done between "Naran" and "King Yama".

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  2. Lovely imagery! Beautifully narrated!

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  3. sir,
    I like the way the story is narrated.
    naran's mother deciding to marry her to her second son shows her modern thinking.

    The remarks against love may be unpalatable,I feel it is the reality because life has to go on.

    Had the satisfaction of having read a good story.

    Rajalakshmi

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  4. Wonderful again!
    Why did you say this part won't get you bouquets?

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  5. You have hit the reality hard. Life doesn't work on emotions alone. What if Naran didn't have the option to come back. It was very humane on Naran's mother's part to marry the girl to her younger son.

    Very nice story!

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  6. Wow!! A really nice story... And an amazing blog!

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  7. Satya Rekha Ji, thanks for your visit & comments.

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  8. What I try to say in this blog is that love is not all about emotions. Thanks Meenakshi ma'am for your beautiful comments.

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  9. Thanks Amit Ji for your comments. I was a bit scared about the 2nd part of this story. For, I felt Lord Yama's comments on love might hurt those for whom love is be-all and end-all of life.

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  10. Yep, I too felt that the uncharitable remarks cast by Lord Yama against love are uncharitable. He seems to be overdone. Thanks Raji ma'am for your comments.

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  11. Thanks magiceye for your nice comments.

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  12. Thanks the colorsofmysoul for your comments.

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  13. An interesting story, a very nice and simple blog and above all Love is neither a swan nor a crow but love is love in myriad ways.

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  14. A wonderful story ..and great narration


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  15. I agree. Thanks Fayaz Pasha for your nice comments.

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  16. u have a very different and refreshing style of writing, reminds me of Deirdre Purcell's style of writing... liked it!

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  17. Thanks the little princess for your comments and compliments. Feel honored.

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  18. The style of narrative you've chosen adds an extra dimension to an already brilliant idea. This is my first time on your blog, but is sure not to be the last :)

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  19. Thanks Mixi for your nice comments.

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  20. Nice execution but please make the background more readable of ur blog...reading is a bit of a hassle due to the mismatch between the lines and the words so it would be more comfy to the eyes if you could change the background...just a suggestion dnt mind!

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  21. Thanks soullightenment for your comments. I do agree with you. Will do the needful asap.

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  22. The story was awesome reading! didn't feel the time go past! do visit my blog too! :)

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  23. Thanks Akash Govindarajan for your comments.

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  24. Thanks Rajee ma'am for your comments.

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