Reading Chicklet’s review on Jaya[Link] sparked this thought in me.
There is an interesting observation I notice in all these puranas. Let’s take the example of Panchali‘s earlier life. The sage is uhm insatiable and he makes love to her in many “different” ways. What exactly does “different” mean here? I let my mind wander and see that what is probably considered as an unacceptable act, or viewed as a perversion by the society need not be deviant in the first place, or may be I am reading too much into the word. Even to the dhoti clad pundits eh.
Getting back to the story, One fine day this dude wants to renounce the world and when she disagrees, he curses “her” for her insatiable lust. I think its totally unfair and shows how much of a “man” based establishment we are and have been. In my opinion, he has no single right to a decision unless its “theirs” to make together.
Now coming to the life that Panchali lived. So the living arrangement goes like this, each pandava spends an year with her while the rest of the brothers would view her as their sister-in-law for that period. As much as I force myself to be non-judgemental, I am quite astonished by this arrangement. Meanwhile, a sage “blesses” Panchali that with every year her virginity would be restored and she would not remember what happened the previous year. Well, I don’t really understand how this could have helped Panchali’s case at best? (Chitra talks about this in her novel). And how on Earth would she not remember her past year every time she looks at one of “their” kids? How on Earth do the rest of the brothers not think about what happened in the earlier years? Why is virginity so divine? How does restoring the virginity really help Panchali?
So all I can conclude from this is, We have been and are one hell of a horny nation. Let’s understand and accept this. If you disagree, please explain how we have a billion people on this planet, the count keeps increasing every damn moment and the grandparents always seem insatiable with the number of grand kids they have. The men’s libido are so suppressed until they can unleash their fury the moment they can. The women tend to stay repressed before and after marriages. As pointed out by SOJ [Link] in an earlier column , the parents seem to be obsessed with raising the ideal daughter (read as “Sita“) or finding the right one. And, what does all this lead to? A happy unit called Family. Well, Fuck that then!
References: I would like to thank Pattanaik’s “The goddess in India: the five faces of the eternal feminine” and Chitra’s “The Palace of Illusions” for some of these stories and for firing my gray cells that had been dormant for a long time now.