This Time Soorpanaka

This time Soorpanaka

approached Site directly

seeking ltd eliminate

the primary obstacle.

Not io be outdone

the gentle Sita

looked her in the eye

and said, ‘Perhaps

you, can get me the

golden deer.’

Soorpanaka nodded.

Glad to have entered transactional

mode so easily.

‘Gold, silver or platinum,

Big Brother doles them out

twice annually.

Why don’t you apply?

‘I will,’ said Sita

with a delighted gurgle of

private laughter

which brought Ravan

hot footing to the location.

Anything for that laughter.

So mysterious. Had even Rama

ever plumbed its depths ?

‘Ask me anything

personal or professional

and I’ll give it to you.’

With a detached kind of repulsion

Sita watched

the haste of his gestures

and the fever of his eyes

and something inside her


‘What you can offer me

is not relative to him,

But can you see yourself

as your own absolute?

’I don’t think so,’ she concluded,

with a load of sadness.

‘He has become the norm

against which each of us

must define ourselves.

The avataric imperative.

But escape through the gender gap

and seek my own self-definition.

What is your safety valve?

Where is your emergency exit

to parachute into self-hood?

Find it.

State the essence of your self

and we’ll talk.’

All this she said in

silent murmurings of the heart

and downcast eyes,

and he looked on desperate

to get a foothold

land lightly

on her calm surface,

her surface calm.

’Why don’t you both step aside

and discuss this further’

said Soorpanaka, scenting a kill.

But Rama was past master of prevarication,

‘Oh, brother!’ he said and walked away,

dropping his arms in disgust

‘Oh, brother, ‘ with disarming charm,

sure the problem would be

taken care of.

And it was left to Lakshmana

to rouble shoot.


L, S, R, S frozen in postures of

Resistance, waiting, incomprehension.

Only Rama walking away

the air swinging with ease about him,

caressing and flowing through the folds of his garments

nestling in the angles and crevices

of his privileged form.

To animate the remaindered frame

and bleak free of the


that assailed his limbs.

Lakshmana raised his arm

and cut her nose,

to spite her face.

‘Aw’, said Surpanaka,

henceforth spelt with a U,

‘Aw’ she cried, a fire ringing in her ears.

Responsive, Lakshmana

raised his arms again and yet again,

two diagonal slashes that swept away her ears.

Mundan Jatam.

Block of wood, he cursed.


Please, may I hold your hand’

said Ravana.

the excesses of his heart

flooding the liminal limits

of his voice, his tone, his words.

And once again she was struck

by the incongruity.

the dislocation of form from content.

Turning, she saw the line and length

of leg, disappear and, she hesitated.

It was just a matter of initiation.

To grant from her heart what birth and ritual

denied this rough hewn raw material

in front of her.

Earth to rock, she said, I acknowledge you.

We are one.

You have become, while I am still molten.

With you I would erupt ,

while now I lie lambent, lissome, in-potentio.

There is leisure in this.

Must we rush?

With you I would erupt and waste.

He shifted restlessly,

sensitive to his own public image

in front of his sister and another man.

He and his sister were together in this.

A joint ignominy of race, creed, physiognomy,

nomenclature, physical proclivities.


Why was he starting to think like them?

Polygamy was exhilarating!

And he felt angry at the young cur

with his hierarchy of centrifugal emotions.

Wife, mistress, paramour, muse, one night stand,

all preserved in discreet distances

from the centred self,

in receding concentrics ….

Surely that whole scheme went out with the Ark ?

Or with Ptolemy at least !

What was the centre?

Whose was the centre?

Who was whose centre ?

Ah !

So that is what she meant.

Essence of the self.

He smiled.

Happy to have cracked that puzzle.

He liked a woman who could challenge him.

Even mentally.

He nodded.

He stunted

and struck a fresh pose.

More self-contained.

Howzzat ?!

She laughed.

She couldn’t help it.

She laughed.

Another war would be fought later,

because a woman laughed.

At a man.

But this was still a time of innocence.

EI Paradiso.

And Ravana made an unlikely Satan.

He did not seduce with knowledge.

He wanted to know.

He sought knowledge,

of her.

The timing is all wrong, she said finally

breaking the impasse punctuated only

by Surpanaka moans ‘Aw, aw … aw ..’

Perhaps in another kalpa.

And I woutd strongly suggest that

you forget the abduction.

Don’t waste time.

Anyway no one understands

that Lanka is my exile

as the Dandy forests are Rama’s.

And that I had to be separate from him too,

to realise myself

which is why I was able to choose

Valmiki finally.

And that was a more fair exchange.

I could procreate

and he could create.

Both for the first time.

And that’s why I had twins.

To express myself as being

in perfect accord with him.

Third time lucky.

But now it’s my turn to create.

There’s an epic burning in my heart

and you have played no small role in stimulating it,

and for that I shall be grateful

and will duly acknowledge you.

May the same kundalini help you in your veena too,

that horizonlal, ever-extending art form that you pursue.

I ‘m going 3D.

The world’s never seen anyihtng like this,

whisper writes Saraswati daily on my tongue.

Yet it took your effusiveness,

your hotheaded, blustering, impetuous warmth

to rush me to this pass.

Thank you.

I must go now

Arnold Schwarzanegger

has some ideas on how men can procreate.

Do look him up.

And she dissembled into a heap of fine sand.

Freed from the deadlock,

at least partially relieved,

Ravana turned

and gathered his sister close.

Together they stood watching. Lakshmana

tracing and retracing his rekha,

setting the limits between hiinself

and the world.

Ravana kissed his sister on the lips.

‘We don’t need them’ he said.

’We don’t need no palefaces, diluting our stock.

My darling, bloodclot,’ he held her close. ‘ I know

just the man for you. Armenian or Rumanian stock,

I’m told … We’ll rewrite the history of our tribe, babe ….’

They left.

All was well

Once again

In Panchavati – El Paradiso.

Epic averted.

Epic re-routed.

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