Kissaa Kahaani

September 18, 2018

The Frog Prince

 

Once upon a time, there was an old king and his wife. Childless and in exile. Thrown out of their kingdom, forced to stay in a hut! In poverty and deprivation. They remained there without their neighbours knowing who they are and they lived like commoners – cooking their own food and cleaning their own mess, going to work every day and making ends meet. They were happy, if not rich. Happy in their own little world. The only thing that worried them was not having a progeny. No child. They felt their youth slipping by, they feared the old age. They wanted a child and desperately. That thought kept swirling in their hearts…

One day the queen was making rice, the old-fashioned way. She let the pot of rice boil and then covered the pot with a plate and tilted that to let the starched water flow. All the while her mind occupied with the pain for the child she didn’t have… She became careless and let the boiling hot water pour over her hand. Oh, the pain! She whimpered in pain and large blister appeared on the back of her palm… And the king was so worried, he applied so many ointments but that blister refused to get cured. Day after day the blister grew in size. It kept growing, it kept growing. They were worried but the village doctor wasn’t able to diagnose nor offer a cure.

And one day the blister suddenly popped open and to their surprise, a frog popped out. A frog. A frog was in that blister!? How weird! How amazing! A living being! It’s God’s miracle. The God wanted her to take care of this frog, He wanted to connect her cosmically to this frog. This frog was their child.

And they proceeded to care for that creature as if they would have taken care of their own child. They did everything they would have done for their own child. The bathed him and fed him and loved him. They even sent him to the school! Can you believe that! They put him in a round earthen pot with his tiffin and books and kicked the pot. And it rolled over, rolled and rolled. And people along the way helped by rolling it towards the village school. Where the teacher would pull him out and settle him on the desk and taught him. And in the evening did the same, she kicked his pot and others in the village did too and he rolled home!

Days passed and weeks and years and decades. The frog was a big frog now. And sturdy and well learned and kind. He was everything the king and the queen wanted their child to be. They were Happy.

One day a messenger came over wearing the invitation to the wedding of an ally King’s daughter. Exiled or not, they wanted the King and the Queen to be the part of the wedding. And our King and Queen accepted the invitation. Time has come that the world outside this village knew of their prince. And off they went.

The wedding celebration was an extravaganza. And they all enjoyed. No one raised their eyebrows and shoulders on seeing the extraordinary prince. Things couldn’t be better.

The night of the wedding arrived, they settled the frog prince on the roof of the guest tent overlooking the wedding havan so that he can be safe there and enjoy the wedding. And the groom was waiting on the altar for the bride to arrive. And she arrives. Oh, what beauty she was! Ethereal and delicate and almost godly. The frog prince was smitten. He was bewitched. The wedding proceeded. Soon came the ritual that sealed the deed – sindoor daan. Our frog prince jumped and landed on the platter of Sindoor, as screams echoed over the chaos, he took another jump on the forehead of the bride, smearing her with the red vermilion. Making her his own, sealing the bond of the seven lifetimes. A silence fell over the wedding venue.

The groom was visibly upset. But he too was a prince and knew the decorum and protocol. He withdrew his claim without a fight. Our king and queen were ecstatic. And the bride’s parents were devastated but what else they could do. The wedding was done. They wedded off the frog prince and a shaken up bride.

Back at their village the king and queen made sure that their new daughter in law is happy and comfortable in their house. They arranged everything. Made their room beautiful and inviting. The first night after the wedding has arrived. The newly we are now in their own room. She was weeping copiously over her fate when she saw something. The size of the frog prince was increasing. He looked like a giant frog now and suddenly the most unimaginable thing happened.

The skin of the frog fell off like the skin of a snake and curled there on the floor was a man. A handsome regal man. In all his glory. As the man rose, he kneeled in front of her and begged her forgiveness and told his story a form for how he was cursed by a rishi in his previous birth to remain in the skins of a frog. How he can only be a man in front of his wife…

Oh, the mixed feelings the new bride had! How she felt happy and sad all at once! She couldn’t describe! This was the most beautiful night she had bug who would believe her!

Next morning she woke up to see the frog prince back in his original form beside her. this went on for days. She was now pregnant. But who would believe her that the child was of the Prince’s! She decided that now the time has come to confide in her parents in law. She told them the whole story. She showed them too, kept the window little ajar so that they could see him coming out off that skin. They too were ecstatic.

And then they hatched a plan. They kept a fire pot burning through the night in the new bride’s room and told her to burn the skin once the prince sleeps. And this-this is what she did. She burned the skin. Next morning our frog prince had no other option but to come out in his human form. The years of happiness on his parent’s faces were enough to break the curse

And with time and with bride’s parents help, our prince got his kingdom back.

And they lived happily ever after.

 

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April 17, 2013

Why Do I Love Malls!!!

I love malls. I love being there. It’s a colorful menagerie, vibrancy, people, life and what not! The lives in malls are always on move! And why do I love malls?? The other day I went to one such grand mall with my husband for dinner – allow me to narrate the beautiful sights I witnessed there, and you would know why love malls!

The moment we entered we were greeted with a welcome chaos, an organized anarchy. People skipping the queue for security check, being a weekend the whole place was crowded. I saw a daughter-in-law in traditional garbs, covering her head with pallu and her mother-in-law guiding her on the escalator. I saw a young pretty person in hot pants and hand-in-hand with her companion who was leaning in to whisper sweet nothings on the same escalator. I saw a tiny boy, scared and curious at the same time, he was trying to step on the escalator, cheered on by his father. The lad was soooo happy that when he actually stepped on the mechanical moving staircase,  his face reflected the victorious emotions as if he was the winner of the Mumbai Marathon! His father was equally proud when his miniature version turned and triumphantly shouted, “Dadda! I made it.”

And on the third floor, while sitting and whiling away time, we saw a super cute scene! A little girl (may be little more than 2 years old) was harassing her father. Let me try and recount the conversation verbatim.

Daughter to Dad, “Daddy I wanna ride a horse!” “No Kiddo, there are no horses in this mall, we will ride horse some other time.” Dad cajoled. With a tearful scowl and pouted lower lips, the daughter insists that she doesn’t care, “Be my horse no daddy! Juss for two minnets ride! Pleeeze, puhleeez, puhleez Daddy.” A resigned sigh resonated from the Dad’s throat and also the soft muttering, “You little blackmailing toddler, you take after your mother!” and then loudly, “Okies, common, just two minutes and no more!” The exuberance on the face of that little manipulative girl was a wonderful sight, she was jumping and skipping and laughing and finally the dad went down on his knees put the daughter on his back and was then on all fours. The horse and the rider started the chanting, “Chal mere ghode tic tic tic!” The two minutes went on to 10 minutes and both were unaware of the stares, smirks, wistful smiles and laughter of the fellow mall-goers.

As we sat down to have a pure vegetarian Rajasthani dinner (I somehow had the craving only for the vegetarian that day, though my husband believes that a Restaurant not having any chicken dish in the menu  is not worth being called a restaurant) and in come five, no. Ten, no. Thirteen people to have dinner. A Traditional Rajasthani family. Women in ghoonghat and men in kurtas and pagdis. Four tables were joined together and women sat near the wall, kids in between and then the menfolk.  The dinner commenced and criticism too. Eldest lady says, “I cook better, they call this Rajasthani Thali! I told you all not to waste money”.

A stroll to a home furniture store brought even more smiles.  Beautiful furniture assembled together to give a feel of one’s future dream home. Beds and sofas and dining tables and couches and night stands and kitchenware and furnishings. As we ooh-ed and aah-ed over various pieces, I saw one more couple doing the same in front of a display bedroom. They were looking at the stuff presented beautifully and I could see the beautiful desire in the guy’s eyes and dream in girl’s.

Yes I love malls. They sell not the merchandise but the dreams, the ambitions. Malls are not just a market place, an assembly of random shops; it’s a place where parents buy wedding trousseaus for their daughters. Malls are places where boyfriends buy a ring and propose to girlfriends. Malls are places where housewives escape cooking for a day and enjoy. Malls are place where break ups happen and make-ups happen. Malls are places where kids see the whole range of diverse colors- good and bad- and learn. I love malls, because I get to see so much of life there. I love malls, because I see so many emotions fleeting on the faces of mall-goers. I also love malls because I get to empty my husband’s pocket there!

July 5, 2011

Few Anecdotes from Hindu Mythology- 2

Once again, my fingers are itching to scribble something (and i am in office, so far no work on my desk and having the privilege of internet, sans facebook/twitter, gives me an access to cure this itching!!) And what should I write about?? I was thinking more on the lines of fantastical, and amazingly wonderful Hindu mythology- the store house of numerous stories and wonderful tales… So once again, today I will tell you few chosen stories from mythology!!! Before I start, let me clarify- I have read these here and there, I do not have the authority to authenticate these tidbits but you have to agree that the stories are wonderful!!!

Well now that my rambling preamble is over, let me tell you about Lord Tirupati. Tirupati temple which is in Andhra Pradesh on a hill called Tirumalai (‘malai’ means hill) is considered very rich temple. It is said that before the foundation for this temple was laid, a Shri Yantram was kept. Shri Yantram is a yantra, a device which brings honor, wealth and prosperity to the one who keeps it and worships it, Shri denotes Lakshmi or the goddess of wealth and prosperity. This is the reason, they say, that the temple is so well endowed with prosperity and is constantly showered with offerings from devotees. However there is a story behind it. It is said that one morning, Lord Vishnu traveled to earth from his Baikunth Lok and the first place he landed was beautiful Tirumalai, there he was welcomed by the King and his daughter, Padmavati. The princess was nymph of ethereal beauty, her skin glowed with an aura of piousness and her eyes were as lit as fire balls, yet compassionate. Padmavati’s upward tilted chin gave a look of arrogance and it suited her. All the jewels she adorned were not necessary, he beauty was enough to entice any mortal and immortal. Her body was lithe and full. The lord lost his heart at the site of the princess and asked the King of Tiru Hills for her hands, however the princess was a haughty one after all, and she had conditions. She wanted ‘dowry’ from Lord Vishnu. This condition signified that the Lord will have to bring all is possessions from his abode, Baikunth Lok. He didn’t like the idea but his heart was too much involved in Padmavati, he agreed and went back to his home to his existing wife Lakshmi. Well you can imagine that Godless of Wealth was enraged to hear the news, she loved him and did not want to share him. But Vishnu was adamant and then he did the unforgivable, he begged Lakshmi to provide him with wealth and money required for dowry. Needless to that blindly angered Lakshmi gave Vishnu what he wanted but with her own condition, that the money she is giving him is actually a loan and unless each and every pie is paid back, Vishnu and Padmavati will not welcomed in Baikuntham. Poor Vishnu, he went back to Tirumalai, now he had to be a Ghar Jamai till he pays back his wife’s money. So as soon as he married Padmavati, he requested his devotees all over world to help him pay back the loan, and hence the temple gets so much offering in terms of money, jewels and grans!!

Now I will give another anecdotal incidence about Indra- this one is quite interesting!!!

There was a Daitya who was born of a Brahmin, his name was Vrtrasura and the sages and saints of the earth reuested Indra to kill this Daitya but Indra was hesitant, Vrtrasura was arfter all a Brahmin and killing him would inflict Brahm Hatya on him, greatest of sin. The sages promised to chant certain Mantam to help nullify the effect of the sin. And Indra had the moral duty to help the sages who were tormented by this monster Vrtrasura. So he agreed. And after a viscous battle, Indra killed him. As soon as Indra killed Vrtrasura, he could sense that the chanting of the Mantram was not as effective as it should have been and was devastated. he approached all the Lords- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha and asked for their help. They divided the sin of Indra in four parts and distributed it to Women, Earth, Water and Trees. Would you believe it, that the menstruation of Women folk, the sap in trees are the sins of Indra!!! I forgot how the remaining sins were apportioned however! 😦

Do tell me if you like the stories!!! I will post more!!!!

July 1, 2011

The Brand New Father

There he was walking towards me just past the hospital, eyes on the traffic zooming past him and and mind dwelling some where else. My own eyes were not taking in the traffic but were absorbing the sight of him on the side walk. I was in a gloomy mood, these twice a week visit to Leelavati Hospital make me loose my tempo and depress me. He was a handsome man and captivating. His disheveled appearance did nothing to reduce the boyish charm, in fact it made him look more vulnerable and disarming; his thick black hair was tumbling over his eyes, his tie loosened with his collar button undone and sleeved rolled up, his shirt was wrinkled and half tucked in and half tucked out. He was walking with his hands in his pocket and spring in his step. His whole demeanor was a happy one, and made me smile. He lifted his head and looked up at me, I sighed- there was nothing else i could do- His grin was sudden and so electrifying. He was just a few feet away from me, he just laughed, came to me and hugged me tightly, “Congratulate me, I am a brand new father”, he released me and looked down at me and smiled and walked away and i stood there marveling at him and the way he made me, a stranger, a part of his life, the way he shared his joy with me. I met a stranger who gifted me with happiness….

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