Ahalyā

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There are things stone sculptures evoke in you. Some look at them and bow their heads, chiselled effigies of god-kings and queens, incarnations and manifestations of the omnipotent. Others make you lustful – the ones vividly describing mating rituals like the hymns of a Sloka, sex carved in stone, moans imprisoned in mausoleums of basalt and granite.

I am neither of those stones. Like Narasimha emerging from the pillars upon hearing Hirankyashipu’s roar, I await another avatar to say the magic words that would unshackle me. Make me whole again, out from this cements of patriarchy.

But I am to be freed by the blue-king, the eldest Dashartheya, the Raghav. Legends say he will become a legend. They sing of him breaking a bow of a blue-throated god.

I am not old with age, but experience. I know men are treacherous beasts. All they need is a woman with riper breasts and even the gods become puppets of their own desires. Even Gautama cannot fend the demons off when they come like soaring waves from the ocean.

Gautama – the man, the vicar, the holy one!

My husband, a suspecting old Maharishi. Aren’t Rishis omniscient? Didn’t he know who entered me that day? Didn’t the gods speak of his arrival?

The dazzling light told me his name after he carved me with his boundless hunger – Śakra, the one who wields the thunder and rides the skies with a mastodon.

Yet my husband failed to see through the veil, cursing me to become a sentinel of nothingness, awaiting another man to break the chains. He could very well do this forever.

After all, what good is a monk if he can’t curse someone? Who better to practise the lovely ways of Durvaasa than on his own cheating better half?

God-King, King-God, they’re all the same. I know this blue-bodied king will abandon his love for something someday.

They all do.

 

Glossary: In the Hindu Epic Ramayana, Ahalya was the wife of the wise sage (maha-rishi in Sanskrit) Gautama, and was tricked by Indra (Sakra), the leader of the Gods, or Devas, to commit adultery with him. Enraged, Gautama cursed her to be petrified (turned into stone). Eons later, the God-King Raam (or Rama) undid the curse and restored her back to life.