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Shoorpanakha Story and a School Drama

Saturday steps in apologetically and finds me in a sore and spiteful mood. I am full of spite very often, so much so that it permanently sits on my face. Sometimes it struggles for space with occasional stray lines of happiness, and on extremely rare occasions hide inside, waiting for the next opportune moment to sneak back again. While I am spiteful to many things, a lot of spite is directed towards myself. I have been tought that to arrive at the right behaviour, one must put oneself in other person's shoes. It is not a pleasant experience, mostly for then I observe that the other person has acted totally contrary to the way propriety would have demanded him to.

Anyways, of several things which particularly disfigure this spectacularly sun-less day like the persistent pain in the left knee, getting pushed over at work and re-discovering the fallacy in expecting loyalty in profession, one sore point witch stands out in its grand ugliness is the feeling I have towards a small mythological skit being performed at my six year old daughter's school on Ramayana. Most people would know the story of two divine sons of illustrious king who are sent out on exile to facilitate the ascendancy of third son to the throne of Ayodhya. During the fourteen year exile, they come across the Soopernakha, the demon-sister of Ravana, who confesses her love to Ram, the elder one, declines on the ground of being already married and just for the fun of it, directs her to his younger brother, knowing fully well that latter was also married. An argument ensues which ends with her nose chopped off. 

I would always take a light-hearted view of the matter, except now. My six year old tells me of a skit on this being played in her school for Grandparents' day. She came back quite enthused as six year old usually are and handed me over her school diary. The diary had notes by her teacher seeking help in training her for the role. Couple of days back, on the walk after dinner, she had told me that she will be one of the servant girls throwing flowers over Sita as she was marrying Ram. She was quite happy with it, because she gets to stand in the group, in stead of being isolated like the divine bride who will have to go stand with the boys, and that she gets to play with flowers. I so much wanted her to play Sita but I played along. So I had no clue what preparation was necessary for that role, when I opened the diary and saw the dialogues.

 She is now playing Soopernakha. It brought multitude of thoughts. Learning that I for the first time identified with the pain and sorrow of the unrequited love. I could live with that but for someone who is paragon of virtue to not understand the pain and haunting melancholy of a love unrequited is distressing. How could someone make fun of it? Love doesn't seek for success, it isn't a business venture to end in success. Love exists to cleanse your soul and make you a better person if you were to give yourself up to it, even in its failure. An emotion so true and grand can not be mocked at. Further here was a woman exercising her choice, her right to chose. She might have chosen which was not for hers to ever get, but why should she be mocked at and attacked and disfigured. I am not a grander person because of this accidental happening in my daughter's school. I still live in the narrow alleys of my thoughts. I am annoyed at never been able to establish a relation with the teachers of my daughter to initiate a possibility of her landing better roles on stage than Pinky pig of Old McDonald's farm in play school and Sooparnakha here (the fact that she was the cutest there and will be cutest here, remains undisputed). We live in a world where stings get pulled, and we rise through the maze of those strings being pulled. We do sometime do not get anyone to pull them on our behalf and still rise on the strength of sheer hard work and determination, but it is a tough road. But from my own experience that it is much more enriching. I think, I should resign to a hard road to excellence for my kid or only pray and hope to protect her soft heart when she learns that being a servant girl isn't fun. Hope I will be able to teach her that your self-pride should rise from inside you and remain unmoved in the face of your external circumstances. If you have to be a servant girl, be a proud and principled servant girl, which would be anyway better than a silly and self-serving princess. Be ready to love, Ready to lose your face for something as divine as love, which Soopernakha teaches you. A love that is yours will find you someday. For you, for any woman, there is not better self-portrait than the one that her father carries in his eyes and that is the picture she ought to believe in even in the worst phase of her life. Believe in that picture. In the meantime, I will need to delve into myself and fight the spite which is by now a part of my life. I refuse to buy in the argument of not expecting anything from people. That is evasive argument, I will continue expecting nobility from the world around me and if it is unable to offer that, it's not my failure. Scared of hurt, tired of spite, I will not compromise on my expectations from the life.

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