Castles in the air - they are so easy to take refuge in. And so easy to build, too.

आम्हां घरी धन शब्दांचीच रत्नें | शब्दांचीच शस्त्रें यत्न करुं ||
शब्द चि आमुच्या जीवांचे जीवन | शब्दें वांटूं धन जनलोकां ||
तुका म्हणे पाहा शब्द चि हा देव | शब्द चि गौरव पूजा करुं ||
- abhang of Tukaram Wolhoba Ambile of Dehu

There's No Freedom Like That of a Child's Imagination

கடலுக்கு உண்டு கற்பனைக்கு இல்லை கட்டுப்பாடு

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sundari

When Sundari was a filly, she was to be trained as a racehorse by a renowned trainer. She threw him. He recovered in hospital for three weeks, came back, and she threw him again. He recovered in hospital for three weeks and came back again. This time she kicked him. Where you should never kick a man. Never. But she kicked him.

After that she remained illiterate, which she thought was a fine state for a mare to be in.

She was sold off to a company in Mumbai that hired out mares for baraats.

Her first bridegroom was a man who had been unlucky in marriage. Both his earlier weddings were called off, because his bride's family didn't cave-in to his last-minute dowry demands. This one was about to succeed, for his last-minute demand was met with alacrity. He mounted Sundari, and the baraat began.

It was the band's fault that she threw him. It shouldn't have played too close to her, she argued. (No one heard her. They thought she was neighing.) The groom kicked her where you should never kick a mare. Never. But he had kicked her where you shoud not kick a mare, so she kicked him back. Where you should never kick a man. Never. But she kicked him.

He never married again, and the dowry went to another man. He didn't even get a refund.

She was sold off at a much discounted price, after she had rendered the weddings of two more men impossible. Harnessed to a victoria, she was made to draw tourists and children around Chowpatty. She (and the victoria) changed hands thrice very quickly. They kicked her where you should never kick a mare. Never. But they kicked her.

The first moved to a life of crime, and then politics. Thirty years later he was to create a crisis, when he died, and there was no heir to carry on his political legacy. The second owner became a campaigner for the rights of those who aren't here or there. He is now a very successful activist, regularly appearing on TV. The last owner had to give up the victoria in exchange for a wooden plank with four suitcase wheels, on which he was conduct his new profession. I don't know what happened to him later.

Sundari was left abandoned on the streets, which suited her very well. Film posters are very nutritious. She regained her strength and beauty. Not that she'd lost them in the first place.

She took to hanging around the race-course, where she would whinny at some handsome racehorses. One of them escaped his masters to elope with her. They tried to run away to Pune, but never got beyond Vashi. Because there he got kicked where you should never kick a horse. Never. But she kicked him.

After that he spent all his time in the company of humans.

She was exiled to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, where she might still be found. You'd think she'd have been eaten by the leopards long since. But they keep away from her. She kicks where you should never kick a leopard. Never. But she kicks.

3 Comments:

Blogger Lakshmi said...

so much wit and satire ...awesome and sundari has some attitude

1:51 PM, July 10, 2008  
Anonymous Pallavi said...

Thoroughly enjoyed it. The repetition worked really well.
Cheers..
Pallavi

2:59 PM, July 17, 2008  
Blogger my poetry journal said...

i read your post on caferati and reacted instantly. my comment couldn't make it through the moderator it seems. or maybe the moderator put in on the burner and forgot it. till it was charred. nevertheless, the long and short of it is -- it was a delight.

12:06 AM, July 19, 2008  

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