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Vacation Dampened; Lover-King Mahishasura; Pep Talk for Kid readers

Kind of mixed times. Okay, let’s be honest. Trying times.

The vacation became a bit weird. My mom fractured her wrist yesterday — a very minor one — and is now sporting a large cast and a sling. She’s the stubborn kind. She was looking for something that had rolled under the bed by squatting down on the floor. While trying to get up, she lost balance and fell backwards. Luckily the head hit a plastic bin. The left wrist got caught in a jumble.

Can’t believe I described this at length. Shows how weary and shocked I am. And the worst thing is I or anyone in the family cannot be her caregiver in terms of bath, change, personal chores, etc. We’d need an attendant for a few days. Well, I’m upset.

***

Durga Puja.

That’s when they say the Goddess vanquished the demons and their king, Mahishasura.

I’ve grown up with a slightly different version. And I was toying with a nascent poem or prose poem, sort of narrative in style:

Mahishasura, my King and Lover, do not believe them. You are not the villain. I did not slay you. They put a trident through your heart and made me hold on to it by force. Mahishasura, my King and Lover, I wanted you. They would not let me fulfill the want. They don’t want this woman-god to love and want. Their’s is a war story. Ours is a lovers’ saga. We know.

***

Talking to children about books and reading is no kid’s play. I never want to sound cheesy and patronizing. My friend Lekshmy Rajeev, a writer and publisher, recently launched a kids’ reading club. For a blog attached to the Little Readers’ Club‘s website, she’s been asking writers she knows to contribute a few lines of encouragement to children and their parents. I got very nervous about what to say. Then, this is what I said:

Dear children,

My story telling experience was largely gathered from my grandmother and my mother. Not just the epics, they opened up the world of folk tales to me as well as poetry and songs. By learning to read and hear stories, you will realize how wide and beautiful this world is, how diverse and different from what you already know. And that’s the delight that will make you fun-loving, understanding, friendly and open-minded. Be ready to ask questions, such as “Why did Sita go to the forest and not stay back with Rama?”; or, “Did Ekalavya’s parents tell Drona how cruel he was for demanding their son’s thumb?”, and even, “Doesn’t Little Red Riding Hood finally teach the wolf a lesson?” Stories are a great way to become storytellers yourself. So, read and tell us all your stories, little authors!
Love.
And do I look convincing enough to the kids? Hope so!

***

What poetry? Which poem? Come on now, a song to lift the spirits. What else. But the truth is, this poem ends on a sad note. Let that be.

A Song

BY HELEN MARIA WILLIAMS

                         I
No riches from his scanty store
   My lover could impart;
He gave a boon I valued more —
   He gave me all his heart!
                         II
His soul sincere, his generous worth,
   Might well this bosom move;
And when I asked for bliss on earth,
   I only meant his love.
                         III
But now for me, in search of gain
   From shore to shore he flies;
Why wander riches to obtain,
   When love is all I prize?
                         IV
The frugal meal, the lowly cot
   If blest my love with thee!
That simple fare, that humble lot,
   Were more than wealth to me.
                         V
While he the dangerous ocean braves,
   My tears but vainly flow:
Is pity in the faithless waves
   To which I pour my woe?
                         VI
The night is dark, the waters deep,
   Yet soft the billows roll;
Alas! at every breeze I weep —
   The storm is in my soul.
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5 comments on “Vacation Dampened; Lover-King Mahishasura; Pep Talk for Kid readers

  1. Do You See
    October 20, 2012

    Two people “liked” this post! Dagny and Vatsa, you guys are cool. But I’m really in a damp mood 😦

  2. albertmrgeiser
    October 25, 2012

    A thought occurred to me. It must be really beneficial to find a story exclusively from one’s memory. The impulse I have which I’m sure many
    people do nois to google…

  3. Do You See
    October 25, 2012

    Is that link your website Albert? As far as retelling from memory goes, I think we tend to fictionalise even that.

    My lines about Mahishasura is not entirely my creation. It is also collective memory, of several people who have known the story in some form or the other…

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2012 by in Durga, Little Readers' Club, Mahishasura, Nabina Das, poetry.
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