Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Curse of the Sage.


I don't think we would ever know how Sunanda Pushkar died. She didn't have anything in common with my favourite people, but her untimely death shook me. Like many women bloggers I too wondered that why only women have to face the music in any relationship? Even Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines 'dumped' by giving the example,  "Did you hear? He's dumped his GF". why not the other way round? Tumbler is full of the sobbing though lovely quotes from the girls who have yet to see the world.

Going back to mythology/literature Shakuntala seems to have started this pattern. She lived blissfully in the natural surroundings of her father Karnv Rishi's Ashram. A prince came and fell in love with her. (and not the other way round) He  later forgot her completely as our Shakuntala was cursed by Durvasa, a sage when she was lost in the thoughts of her beau and did not greet him with due respect. Her misery was over after few years when the king gets to see the ring and his memory is back.But the curse still seems to linger.

Another curse is by Oscar Wilde whose famous quote is accepted by even some modern and contemporary people.Most of us would not agree though.
 “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.” 

I laughed at this quote when I read Ismat Chugtai's memoir that how she went to Lahore from Bombay to appear in the court as one of her stories were considered obscene. Manto,another renowned writer was also accused .So they reached lahore and stayed at another friend's house.She writes how she enjoyed the shopping in Lahore and wanted to be there again.
We see beautiful friendships around us between men and women. but there is always a fear of ,'in the name of friendship...' accusation. After Sunanda episode I got to read a mail by Mr Tharoor to his female fren,which says that they were good friends and how he wished his wife understood it.

I usually  turn to Ramayan whenever I am looking for an answer. I have yet to explore it deeply and I'm sure to get an answer there.But I got my answer in an another epic  Mahabharata, through the characters of Krishna and Draupadi. Did anyone ever thought their relationship to be  anything but friendship? How he helped her when she neede him the most

This beautiful quote from Dr Lohiya says it all: Roughly translated) " Draupadi was neither krishna's sister, wife, lover, mother nor an ascetic, but only true friend ( kewal shuddh mitre).


                          

4 comments:

Manish Chauhan said...

You have raised two broad points here : Whether can there a male and female remain just as friends and why is it mostly a girl who gets a raw deal in the relationship ?

Commenting on the first topic - Dr. Lohia made a very interesting point. Krishna called Draupadi her 'Sakhi'. Hrishikesh Mukherjee derived same concept in 'Bemisal' defining an absolute platonic relationship between Amitabh and Rakhi. However I have observed many relationships since my school days but either people became couples or stopedd-talking or they were sister-brother. There was no other way and this is because the way we had been brought up - in an absolutely non-liberal way.

I remember whenever any girl came to my house - be it neighbourhood girl or a family friend's daughter, my mother always insisted to put a relationship tag between us. We became Bhaiyya or Didi depending upon our age. Many a times, I wanted to question it but refrained. My point though was different - I always thought a brother-sister relationship is sacred, has a lot of responsibilities and demands therefore this term should not be loosely thrown around. This mentality instilled at an early age builds up lot of beliefs and prejudices and results in very funny situations.

There was a handsome, very bright and witty boy in my class, who incidentally is also my best friend and a pahari like you. Since I used to be near him most of the time, I had an opportunity to observe a lot of things happening around him. Girls, typical to their innocent age, fell for him right, left and center but most of them didn't express because they didn't want to lose him. He too fell for a girl, and they became a couple around then. Funnily, rest of the lot bought peace with this thought and converted their relationship to brother-sister status. That is the way it remained.

Liberally brought-up people behave differently and also those people who grow up and become mature.

My belief is that liberally brought up boys and girls can be friends without any problem but rest struggle. They always have to bring something in between by compulsion.

Manish Chauhan said...

About the other topic of being why it is only a woman who gets the raw deal.

This has a lot to do with the patriarchal society which we live in. Men behave the way their ancestors have done, and women accept their fate as the women of before.

Precisely the reason I hesitate to read any mythological story with Aryan. While reading Luv-Kush, he asked me uncomfortable questions like how come Ram had three mothers, and why did he leave Sita ji just like that amongst many other questions. I try to innovate in my answer but still don't want to instill such archaic thoughts in his mind. He is anyway hypersensitive.

That day, I went to a birthday party. I wasn't taking part in the armchair gossip but there was a person - father of a young daughter, tried to suggest with a smirk, without any basis of course, that aaj kal mard bahut phansai jaa rahey hain. He basically meant Tarun Tejpal, Justice Ganguly and people like him. When I asked him how come he is sure that girls are lying - he had no answer.

It is not just because of the actual perpetrators, but also because of these men who have been brought up with copious doses of patriarchy are the reason that it is mostly the women who is the victim. Despite being the victim, women think that they are the one who must be guilty.

However, things are changing now. At least, in this part of the country.

vandy said...

I love to read your comments as they are always weighty and interesting to read..,more than the post itself.

Bemisal I did'nt watch thinking it wd be a regular love triangle.Will watch now.
Bro-sis relationship is too sacred to be taken lightly.I hated gals who called bhaiya to my brother but was pally with his female frens.

I remember Khushwant Singh also wrote on this bhai-bhen topic in a humorous piece.

R. Ramesh said...

hey thanks yar..for staying connected..will now be a regular visitor here..cheers:)