Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Dear Ravan, Look who’s back!

Read part I here

A lot had happened since Ravan left to meet his makers. Such was the allure of Sri Lanka, a small island country plentiful in its bounties, it attracted tourists from India and as far as Netherlands, United Kingdom, Portugal, who then refused to go back to their countries. In those days they were known as invaders. The forever greedy Brits seized power from the Kandyans and the island was finally united under the British in the 19th century.

Phew, there’s so much knowledge you can get from Wiki with just the click of a mouse!

Unlike Ram who is still the rockstar of the devout and is often used as an excuse to unleash violence on other communities, Ravan is buried firmly under the debris of history. Buddha is the rockstar of the Sinhalese and there are more monasteries in Lanka than there are men and women who claim to be children of cows.

Perhaps they are ashamed of a King who despite his 10 pairs of eyes that could see more,  10 heads that could think more, chose lust. It led to an apocalyptic ending for everyone and everything that was near and dear to him.

Sometimes I wish I weren’t so beautiful and sublime. I blame my striking charms for bringing out Ravan’s inner Jat. Maybe even had ‘Jat bwaays out to have fun’ painted on his Pushpak Viman and shot a couple of toll boys on his way back. Who knows! I was so busy crying and checking him out.

Sigh.

Nuwara Eliya looks nothing like Lankapura that Ravan had seized from Kuber, the lord of wealth. Snatching things that didn’t belong to him was an old habit of his, it seems.

Thanks to the British who have the proclivity for making every country they had occupied look like miniatures of the hamlets they left back home, Nuwara is no different. It is home to some of the finest tea estates where you waste hours sniffing and tasting different teas with fancy names and arrive at the conclusion that the tea grown in Darjeeling is superior in aroma and taste.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sita Visits Lanka Again


It wasn’t easy convincing Ra-aam, my husband to plan a vacation in Lanka. I had to work on him for years, showing him pictures of sunny beaches, women in bikinis, serene hills, stunning landscapes, the many monasteries dotting the country. A part of me understood why he wasn’t so keen. His last visit was not under pleasant circumstances. The poor guy had to walk all the way to Lanka, get a bridge built by an army of monkeys to cross the sea and engage in a fierce battle with the king who had kidnapped his wife.

Strangely I don’t have any ill-feelings towards that chap, Ravana. The guy understood the concept of consent even when it wasn’t fashionable The man had strange tastes though. Wore too much gold, just like Bappi Lahiri.

If it weren’t for that dork Lakshman, he wouldn’t even have to abduct me to teach the brothers a lesson. Couldn’t he have just said ‘let’s just be friends, girl’ to Surpanakha instead of chopping off her nose!

Moron.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that he had insisted on following us to the jungles like a devoted puppy when we were exiled! I was so looking forward to some us-time with my man. His Barjatiya sized family would never leave us alone in the palace and insist on playing antakshari every effing day. Ugh! Also the palace food was making me fat. So when I decided to accompany my man after he was banished on the insistence of his step-mom, I had already formulated a diet plan that would get me my size zero figure back.

But no! Thanks to my BIL and his humongous appetite, I had to prepare 4 course meals that took ages to prepare on wood fire. While the boys would go off gallivanting in the wilds, I was confined to the hut and the boring chores.

In a way my unplanned visit to Lanka was a nice break from the monotony. The ride in the flying object wasn’t too bad even though I regretted dropping off all my jewellery as a GPS tracker for the husband. After years of being married to him, I had very little faith that he could find anything, leave alone his missing wife, on his own.

Since my last visit was mostly confined to this fancy resort ‘Ashok Vatika’ I hadn’t seen much of Lanka. Also, it was way back in 7292 before some chap called Christ.

I am no longer the same woman and Lanka has become much fancier.

Pity, Hanuman burnt Ravan’s Lankapura down. But then he was always monkeying around.

So it was with mixed feelings that we walked across the arrival terminal of the Colombo airport. My face hidden behind oversized sunglasses, I was praying no one would recognize me, given my fame. Though I look way different than my pictures in tacky calendars and posters, that has my hair plastered with oil and hands folded with devotion towards god-knows-who!