To Quill the Mocking World
By Sayantani Saha
(5 min read)
“Shit man!! This is just not working. I am so out of ideas”, Raghav said to himself. He has been quietly staring at the ceiling of his room for almost an hour with few interceptive e-scribblings on his laptop. But only shit came out of Raghav, a person known for writing quotes and dialogues standing on his head.
Meera: (amused) A penny for your thoughts Mr. Creative head honcho?
Raghav was still quiet. Probably the words, before hitting his ears, took a different turn. Meera waited for his response but within seconds could perceive the situation. A new client, a new assignment and that too a “not-so-easy” one. His facial expressions and delayed response were enough to convey to her that he was having a tough time.
“He needs to relax a bit. He needs his Old Monk!” she said to herself. She went to the kitchen and prepared the drinks.
Meera: Raghav, baby c’mon, leave your girlfriend for a while!
The word girlfriend hit his ears now. He looked up from his laptop confused.
Meera: Ha, your laptop, aur kya? You are always glued to it the way a boy sticks to his newly acquired girlfriend.
Raghav: Oh Meera..Badmash..you scared me..
Meera: Achha!! Chalo leave it na! Here you go..your favorite whisky with a little Coke..
Raghav: Ah!! I needed this badly. Love you Meera. Where is your glass?
Meera: Here only. My glass of the sexy Vodka with cranberry juice.
Raghav: Rather, Cranberry juice with a few drops of Vodka.
Meera: Shut up you cow. (Pause) So what is it this time? Saans-Bahu drama or horror series!
Raghav: Oh don’t ask wifey..It’s a mythological TV series this time to be aired on Anchor channel. I have to do the ideation for their promotional ads. I get utterly bored with mythological stuff very easily.
Meera: Hmm..So what is it about?
Raghav: It’s Ramayana from Sita’s point of view.
Meera: Wow!! That’s interesting yaar. It’s going to be unique. How are you bored with it re?
Raghav: Not that I haven’t read Ramayana, but this time it is going to be Sita’s version. It’s not a direct approach you see. I am having a tough time and so is Gautam writing the dialogues for Sita. I had a talk with him yesterday to get some help.
Meera: That’s the beauty of it baby..You just have to step into her shoes and try to look at it through her eyes. This is challenging and you like challenges right?
Raghav: Ya, you are right that way. But I have always read it and rather imagined it as if I was Ram.
Meera: Oh! Typical Indian mentality you see. Or should I say male chauvinistic attitude ha?!
Raghav: Oh C’mon, how is male chauvinism coming into this yaar? He was an ideal man, an ideal son, an ideal husband and an ideal king too. Who would not admire him?
Meera: I don’t!! He may be an ideal person in all respects to you but not to me. By no means was he an ideal husband. Not at all.
Raghav: What do you mean? You haven’t read it properly I guess. His immense love and care for Sita is well evident from Ramayana. There is no doubt about it.
Meera: Raghav, you have just read it and that too keeping yourself on Ram’s side. I haven’t just read it but felt it from a neutral point of view.
Raghav: Okay! So tell me, why do you think he is not an ideal husband?
Meera: Why not Raghav? In order to become an ideal son, he left for forest just after his marriage. Sita had to accompany her leaving her life of glory…and..
Raghav: Just a second. Ram didn’t force him to leave Ayodhya! He being a fair person left it upon Sita to decide whether she wanted to accompany him or not.
Meera: Wow! Even better. Even in our times, when society has advanced a lot, mostly girls give up their jobs and every other thing to relocate with their husbands and you think that Sita, in that “puranic age”, would choose leisure over her husband? Ram had some intelligence. He knew she would anyway join her and also didn’t want anyone to blame him for her exile. Your favorite Ram was extremely strategic.
Raghav: You are being biased now. You cannot call him strategic. It is a wife’s duty to accompany her husband and she did it wishfully. He too left a life of leisure and moved into forest. You need courage and self-control for that. It was as difficult for him as for Sita. He took a lot of care of her and loved her with full heart. And have you forgotten Ram’s restlessness and anger when Sita was abducted and finally rescuing her from the beast Ravan completely?
Meera: Okay, so rescuing one’s own wife is not a duty? That is something unobvious and great and thus deserves special credits, right? And by the way, you can’t just randomly call Ravan a beast.
Raghav: Now please don’t tell me that you like Ravan more than Ram!! I will get a heart attack then.
Meera: Of course I like him more than Ram. He was a great scholar, a great king and an ideal family person too. Ravan abducting Sita doesn’t make him a beast or a villain.
Raghav: So do you think Ravan’s act was justified? Wasn’t that wrong?
Meera: Try to see the reason behind it first before tagging him with negative adjectives. He was revengeful as Lakshman hurt his sister, Surpanakha and any ideal brother would be so. Yes his way of taking revenge was wrong but it was still justified from his point of view. Just like Ram’s killing him for Sita’s rescue is justified! There is nothing absolutely wrong or right in this world yaar. It’s all relative. A person who is wrong to you can be right to me.
Raghav: Certain things are wrong in general yaar. Forcing any woman is wrong and so is inappropriately touching her, irrespective of the reason. If he really would have been a scholar and a justified person, then he wouldn’t have involved Sita at all in this but would have fought with Ram directly. This indicated clearly towards his wrong intensions.
Meera: I do not agree with you completely. I told you earlier that his way of showing his rage was wrong but he didn’t force himself upon Sita. He never did that. He gave her all the due respect and also made sure that she was well taken care of. Rather Ram failed to give her that respect when she needed it the most.
Raghav: Oh C’mon. This is weird now. A personality that everyone look upto and every girl wish to see in his husband, denied respect to her wife? He had loved Sita more than anyone else and that too respectfully. I don’t know which Ramayana you read yaar!!!!
Meera: The same one but I read it with an open mind unlike you people who, before even reading it, had made Ram god in their prejudiced mind. Do you call that respect when not once but twice he doubted Sita’s character? She already walked through fire on his insistence to prove her purity and that was not enough for him. He had to redo the mistake of mistrusting Sita that too for his subjects.
Raghav: He was a king too. He had his duties towards his kingdom and his subjects as well, Meera. He was not partial; he couldn’t be. With responsibilities like that, he had to overlook even his own interests, if it came on his way of doing welfare for his people. That’s why he is called “Maryada Purushottam”. Not everyone can be Ram!
Meera: But he was a husband too Raghav. He should have been more of a husband than a king at that time. Sita had only Ram to confide in but he left her side. A woman’s character is her greatest possession and if her husband doubted her character for no fault of hers, she feels betrayed, torn and defeated. All the difficulties that Sita faced along with Ram, her love and trust for him and her contributions to their married life, fell weak in front of his kingship. The king won but the husband failed miserably. He may have been an ideal son and an ideal king but not an ideal husband at all Raghav. He was solely responsible for her exile to the forest and giving up the luxuries all over again. And still I don’t know why he is being worshipped till date that too as an ideal man. People lack questioning tendency in general. And questioning well-crafted gods like Ram is sinful to them, I guess.
Raghav was silent for the first time. He was thinking. Perhaps he was accepting certain things which never crossed his mind earlier. At least he was considering Meera’s perspective.
Raghav: Well your arguments and understanding are well taken but that doesn’t make Ravan better than Ram, Meera. Ravan abducting Sita just cannot be justified as right, by any perspective, period. Ravan was the sole reason for all these misunderstandings between Ram and Sita and the fate of their relationship.
Meera: Well, Ravan was just a face given to a very difficult situation that Ram-Sita had to undergo. These difficult situations may come in any form uncontrollably and these test one’s relationships. What is under control is our way to tackle them and to react to them. I agree that his revengeful act was wrong. But Ram’s not trusting Sita was a wrong reaction altogether. All what Sita did in captivation was waiting for him to come to her rescue. She didn’t lose her trust on him. But he did. He shouldn’t have let doubts and mistrust come in between them when he was very well aware of Sita’s love and devotion towards him. In this whole fiasco between Ram and Ravan, the one who suffered the most and that too for no reason was Sita.
Raghav: I have my full respect for her and is absolutely sympathetic towards her, but..
Meera: You know what! You would actually understand my perspective better and also Sita’s feelings if instead of gods and devils, you consider them more as human beings. More like you and me. You would be then in a better position to judge who’s god and who’s devil; who’s right and who’s wrong!
She got up to make Raghav one more drink and went into the kitchen. Raghav was in a deep thought. The last one hour of conversation was almost something like revisiting Ramayana. Her arguments and reasoning started making sense to him. They started to get into his system and he knew that perhaps he would not have to beat his brains out anymore. Meera made his job easier one more time! After all she held double M.A. degree in history as well as psychology, which often proved its worth in discussions like this.
Her academic profession provides her with a living but her passion for writing feeds her soul. An experimentalist in both the worlds – engineering research and writing articles – she is a fanatic for love but proud to be emotionally intelligent as well. She is a coffee-addict, sapio-sexual, movie buff, and a true Bong who specializes in night-outs. Shopping and Sayantani are first cousins. Philosophical discussions drive her forward and the emotional outbursts let the ink flow.