Jun 22, 2012



So it has all come to this?

Is this how it will end?

Will the world sing “She was put through a test of fire for chastity and she was burned to ashes”?

She looked at her husband, the king of Ayodhya. He stood with his face impassive, his eyes straight ahead, refusing to look at her, refusing to acknowledge his feelings for her.

Is this the man she had loved? The one whom she had followed into the forest? The one whose memories had kept her brave while the rakshasha women of Lanka had tried to frighten her?

In the court, he was not her husband, he was the righteous king who shall not tolerate accusations hurled at his ideals. And so, to prove the crazed utterances of a foolish washerman false, she had to step into the fire.

She looked around her, wishing someone would step forward and stop this atrocity. Her eyes searched for her brother-in-law, who had worshipped her, and nearly died for her. He too did not meet her eyes, merely stared at her feet.

She searched for the devoted soldier who had come all the way to Lanka alone, when no one else could have dared to. He was busy arranging the wood for the pyre, ever the obedient servant to carry out his master’s wishes.  He was done sooner than she liked, and he stepped forward with a lighted torch and announced “the pyre is ready, my king.”

Her husband, brave conqueror of the demon king, mighty ruler of Ayodhya, was too cowardly to personally carry out his sentence. And so, his most trusted soldier held the torch.

Then he looked at her. At least he is brave enough to look at me. She caught his eyes, and unblinking though they were, they seemed to convey a message.

For an instant, she was puzzled. And then she understood.

She stepped forward, folded her hands in prayer and sat on the pyre.
PS1: Culled out from an old draft, when I still had dreams of actually writing a book-sized story, chapter by chapter. And chose to reinterpret the Ramayana for no reason. 

PS2: Like so many other stupid dreams, this one too shall pass.


  1. Well written. Maybe this dream should continue ?

  2. Anonymous12:56 PM

    in writing,recognize your forte before attempting a particular genre and style of writing.
    Are you a feminist?

  3. @ Harini:
    Thanks. But I am currently unable to come up with the patience to write a whole story. Plus, all I have is a vague outline for how I want it to shape up. Not enough to go on.

    @ Anon:
    how would I know what my forte is unless I try out different stuff and see how it turns out?
    And, where did feminism come up in this context?

  4. Anonymous8:31 AM

    nice,but i like your rants better.
    you write better mixing objectivity of life with philosophy,something that does not call for much imagination like this one.

  5. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Q) Had Dracula been born into a Tamil family, what would he have been called?

    A) Vamp Iyer

  6. Anonymous3:40 PM

    men bashing mood,I suppose.
    You can certainly do well in limericks,haiku or even short stories.

  7. Anonymous8:25 PM


    Mumbai:A study in streetfood
    Siva,post a comment if you like it.

  8. keep writing, no? Sounds damn good. Have always wanted to write Lord Of The Rings meets Anjaneya story. Never happened :(

  9. Okay, the whole Ramayana might be too much to rewrite, but this part was really good.

  10. Anonymous6:11 AM

    Well written..but did Sita not jump into fire before coming back to Ayodya, somewhere on the way back from Lanka..?!
    And when the washerman casted doubts, she was sent to forest, no?

  11. @ Anon2:
    I like my rants better too :)
    Nothing like blowing off some steam!

    @ Anon3:
    Had Dracula been born in a TamBrahm family, he'd have become a vegetarian who'd never taste blood!

    @ Anon4:
    not men bashing, hello, I am actually a self-branded MCP, which several of my lady friends have helpfully affirmed with accusing comments too.
    And I can't do haiku!

    @ C.Chutney:
    'THE' Coconut Chutney commenting here? Ooh! *Tries to look cool*
    LOTR-meets-Anjaneya sounds cool. Maybe you should do it.

    @ cmus:
    Well, one can always dream of writing a epic-sized story. And glad you likes the prologue :)

    @ Anon5:
    Yeah, my bad! But then, it was supposed to be a re-interpretation, and I should be allowed to play around with the sequence of events a bit. Plus, no patience for TWO tests of chastity! So, kindly adjust :)

  12. Wow, you are trying your hand at fiction?

    Please do not let this dream pass, cling to it, make it happen!

  13. @ AKM:
    Well, I never knew I could write crappy limericks until I tried them. So, who knows?
    The dream requires serious commitments in terms of time, plus an idea more solid than "hey, it'll be fun to rewrite the Ramayana!", so for now, I'm still mulling over it. If I polish the idea, I am sure I can find the time, but the problem seems to be that I can't seem to find the time to polish the idea, so it is kind of circular now.