Fiction Fragment: On going to see Tripurasundari

He’s wearing the white silk veshti that only a few men can carry. Well everyone can hopefully carry them without the occasional accident. What I mean, is that he wears them well. He’s excited. Like most boys of his community, he wasted his adolescence on entrance exams and after-school tuition. On this short break from California, he hopes to marry. A wife he can take back to make him his food, and perhaps pose with him in the photographs taken near the Grand Canyon or with the Statue of Liberty mid-sneeze looming in the background.

He’s mildly excited. He has a good feeling about this girl. They showed him the photograph. His mother said she had sharp features. What one means when one says sharp features remains a matrimonial mystery. Does it mean the girl has a nose that could replace a paper cutter? Or that her eyes were so razor sharp, that one look could take care of a two week stubble? They pile into the old Ambassador car. Someday he wants to sit in the back of this ugly white ambassador car, (or amba as they call it in his house) and have a driver who will take him on roads that stretch next to paddy fields. Like a feudal lord. But for now he must focus on going back and getting that bloody green card.

Back to her photograph. She is fair. Yes, she is no Madrasi chick. Apparently, somewhere in the years between getting a postgraduate degree in some pointless subject and getting gold medals, she also mastered the crucial arts of South Indian cooking, embroidery and sewing buttons. Her father is almost retired. Her mother is generous. He prepares his stomach for all the food that one offers during this ponnu pakkardu business. He asks his mother, “What is her name?”. In his mind he is already devising nicknames for this lovely creature in the photograph. The more he looks at the photograph, the lovelier she becomes.

“TripurasundariTripurasundari: Tripura Sundari, also called Shodashi, Lalita and Rajarajeshvari, is one of the group of ten goddesses of Hindu mythology, and these goddesses are collectively called mahavidyas. [From Wikipedia]”. Gulp. “Amma, what sort of a name is that?”. His aunt, suddenly monstrous, sweating in her blue Kancheevaram saree is swift to swat his hand. “Subbu, it’s the name of a Goddess.”. He mulls over possible nicknames for her. Tripura, Trips, Sundu, Darcy, Tee-Ess. Nothing fits. Goddesses are fine. But one can’t marry a girl called Tripurasundari. Why couldn’t they just name her Lalitha. What would the immigration official say? In fact, how would he say it?

He opens the Ambassador’s thick, padded door. And runs out.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Poetry and Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Fiction Fragment: On going to see Tripurasundari

  1. veshti payyan says:

    Beautiful. And too close for comfort.

    Like

  2. Lalita says:

    Subbu would actually mean the son of the goddess. Paer poruththam, or matching names, is sadly lacking, no? His mother should’ve considered that too.

    Like

  3. artismarti says:

    nice touch with the “Madrasi chick”! Hope Saket is reading. Loved the story, as always.

    Like

  4. Song Lady says:

    good one šŸ™‚ america mapillais, traditional brides and ambassador cars…..the indian tourism board must consider promoting these for a change !

    Like

  5. anantha says:

    Trip! That’s how the immigration guy would say it!

    Like

  6. shub says:

    Loved it šŸ™‚ And the tongue-in-cheek humor..

    Like

  7. a says:

    Sorry to interrupt, but can you get vulturo off desipundit especially after this comment he made. I am not referring to the controversial post.

    http://www.vulturo.com/2007/02/bunkdcom-disappoints/#comment-11878

    Like

  8. Primalsoup says:

    Lovely! šŸ™‚
    Though Subbu is exhibiting classic symptoms of Commitment Phobia I am thinking. But at least he was decent and didn’t go for the Soji and Baji.

    Like

  9. Sharanya says:

    I didn’t realise Tripurasundari and Sodashi were one and the same!

    Like

  10. Srini says:

    Fantastic !!! the Californian returned mappi would have preffered a “Tipsy” instead šŸ™‚

    Like

  11. veshti payyan: What can I say..

    Lalita: True. Quite a contrary match that would be. But I suppose all that matters sometimes is that the name is godly enough.

    artismarti: Didn’t mean to take a dig. But that term is obviously doing the rounds in my mind!

    Song Lady: Don’t they already. All the tourism posters have such lovely girls. Decked up in almost bridal wear.

    anantha: Yes, they always have trouble with people getting off the flight from India. Much fun.

    shub: Oh that dreaded term – tongue-in-cheek. Shudder!

    a: He didn’t make it on DesiPundit. Even if I find the comment obnoxious – it’s on his server and on his blog, no?

    Primalsoup: Next time his mother will know better than to let him have the “window seat”.

    Sharanya: Umm..

    Srini: Tipsysundari?

    Like

  12. Pingback: Fiction Fragment: Tripurasundari writes to him at Within / Without