1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice

An Errant Lakshmi For A Change!

Discussion in 'Varalotti Rengasamy's Short & Serial Stories' started by varalotti, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,207
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks to the members of Indusladies for their vociferous responses to my Lakshmi snippets. When I asked for suggestions from some of the members regarding these snippets – some said that I should change the name from Lakshmi, some wanted to focus on ‘Vishnu’ for a change, some wanted to deal with issues relating to career and finances. But quite a few wanted the Lakshmis to continue in the same strain. Here’s another Lakshmi waiting for your comments. Go ahead and write whatever comes to your mind. The idea of this series is to develop rational views on many crisis situations without losing the emotional touch - sridhar (varalotti).

    This Lakshmi, a very beautiful woman – tall enough to qualify for a beauty pageant, sharp features and a real eye-turner – was married to Sethu. Sethu’s handsome features tormented every woman who passed him by. But more than that his sense of morality and values were something very uncommon. He was moral not because of any external force but out of a natural taste for an orderly life.Lakshmi-Sethu’s married life was a continuous honeymoon. They did not have any children during the three years of marriage. But they loved each other so much that this did not disturb the harmony of their lives. Lakshmi had an unnatural fear for lightning and thunder. The moment she heard a thunder or saw a flash lightning she would fly into Sethu’s arms.

    Their first problem in their married lives started with the arrival of Mrs.Deshmukh as Sethu’s boss. Mrs.Deshmukh was a divorcee in her late thirties. The moment she set her eyes on a calm and smiling Sethu she decided to have him. She did not want any commitment from him; nor was she interested in any emotional relationship. What she wanted was plain fun. This situation would have been a fantasy-come-true for any other male; but not for Sethu. He abhorred Mrs.Deshmuk’s advances and in the process also had to suffer in the office. Sethu loved his wife so much that he not only detested his sexy boss’ amorous advances but did not even talk about this to Lakshmi even in a manner of boasting. The problem had gone so far that Sethu had to decide between quitting his job or yielding to his boss. Fortunately the lady was transferred elsewhere and Sethu heaved a sigh of relief. It was only a few months later that Lakshmi heard about the whole affair through Sethu’s colleague.. Lakshmi cried the whole night hugging Sethu frequenly murmurring ‘Sethu, do I deserve so much love? Do I deserve you, Sethu?’

    They become even more closer after that.

    Lakshmi was a music buff who spent most of her waking hours listening to classical music. Seeing her passion for music Sethu arranged a good music teacher for her. The teacher was one Ganesh, a gifted gazal singer.

    One day Lakshmi was in the music class at Ganesh’s place. It was late in the evening. Ganesh was singing a gazal with so much of emotion that made Lakshmi almost cry. Lakshmi was so engrossed in Ganesh’s rendering that she stopped singing herself and was listening to him with rapt attention with tears flowing from her eyes. Suddenly the lights went off. Ganesh did not stop singing. And there was a flash of lightning followed by the loudest thunder ever heard. Lakshmi was thrown out of balance and in a state of fear and confusion she almost fell upon Ganesh who was sitting before her. The Gazal she had been hearing for the past one hour, the fear in her mind induced by the thunder and lightning left her in a daze. Ganesh could not resist the temptation. Lakshmi put up some resistance but could not hold it for long. Soon every thing was over.

    Lakhsmi was devastated after the incident. She tried to blame it on the circumstances. But Sethu had had even more tempting opportunites and he did not succumb to them. She tried to blame it on her fear for thunder; but that was a weak excuse to lose oneself to a stranger.

    When Sethu came back she strained herself to put a show of happiness but only succeeded partially. She became listless. All the events after her marriage to Sethu came back as a flashback in her mind. Sethu’s love for her, his concern for her well-being and above all his being steadfast in his moral principles even while his boss virtually forced herself on him – all these were tormenting her.

    Lakshmi could not hold on for more than a few days. She wrote a letter to Sethu confessing everything that happened on that fateful night and left Sethu for ever. She made it very clear that she did not deserve Sethu and his pure love. She was going to join some orphanage thousands of miles away from their home and was going to spend the rest of her life working there. Her final words were smudged by her tears:’’What I am about to do is a kind of penance. Even if I spend the rest of my life working for those children, denying myself everything I don’t think that is a sufficient retribution to the heinous crime I have committed. I don’t deserve your love or your forgiveness.”

    I tried hard to justify what Lakshmi did. But I did not succeed. Nor did I succeed in condemning her. How about you?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2005
    Loading...

  2. ambika ananth

    ambika ananth Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Gender:
    Female
    running away is not a solution..

    Sridhar,

    the title says it all.. she is errant.

    No one can ever cross the ocean, if one gets off the ship during the storm….
    Lakshmi did that….she impulsively gotten off the ship during the storm. When guilt over -rides, self-analysis, determination not to indulge in the same mistake, should strengthen a person, not weaken …!! After confessing to Sethu, why didn’t she wait for his reaction…how could she deny him a chance to weigh the situation.?? Though she is not a habitual seeker of outside pleasure, still there seems to be a weak point in her character, because when her marriage is like a ‘continuous honeymoon’….succumbing to a circumstance as trivial as that is surely an aberration. .!! And the most important issue is….her phobia for thunders and lightning will not leave her …where ever she goes, be it an orphanage, or a place of worship…!! How sure was she that she wouldn’t repeat the mistake. whenever there was a situation of thunder and lightning and a male around…???

    Lakshmi should have faced her life, her fears, her husband…instead of running away from them…

    Ambika
     
  3. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Female
    Its a scar that will stay .................

    Dear Sridhar,

    I can’t think of any other solution to Lakshmi.But would like to put forward something.

    Once a person succumbs to circumstances, his/her relationship with their spouse can never be the same again even if forgiven (and that is rare). Sharing yourself with another person is not like sharing a cup of tea, or sharing money, jewels, etc. Your worth as a loving husband/wife is lost the second you succumb.. it means you completely kept your loving spouse and family away from your heart and mind and became a slave to the temptation.

    The person can never be forgiven - It’s like dropping a glass and it will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. Everyone must understand that and strive for Balance in life. It’s a scar that will stay as a reminder for the rest of their lives. They will remain two parallel lines which will never meet again.. maybe they’ll hold hands for other reasons but never become one – the oneness which is so divine……….

    [font=&quot]Most of the time people hang on to relationships for other reasons like status, money, society, children, etc and ofcourse, there is TIME, which elders say can EASE ANY PAIN and help them move forward in life but the scar??????????????
    [/font]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2005
  4. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,207
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    That Was A Good Analysis, but....

    Ambika,
    I share your feelings. Yes Lakshmi got off from the ship midway. Agreed, she did not give a chance to her husband to react. It was because I also had the same feelings I could not fully justify this Lakshmi of mine. But nor could I condemn her and say that she was wrong. Ambika, it's not possible to weigh the pros and cons and choose the sensible alternative in all situations in life, though that is an ideal condition.Please don't get me wrong. Life is not a crossword puzzle which can be solved sitting conveniently in a ease chair in the warmth of our drawing room. Lakshmi is so guilt-ridden, especially because her husband has been true to her even in most trying circumstances. It's not the question of Sethu forgiving her or accepting her. That does not arise in the first place. The moot question is whether Lakshmi is forgiving herself, accepting herself in such a way to make her capable of living with her husband. Obviously she can't forgive herself. Maybe some one who is strong who is less emotional and more rational might have made known the facts to her husband and waited for his decision. But this Lakshmi cannot even face herself let alone confess to her husband. If it's a rape its a different thing. My head tells me what you tell. But my heart goes out for the poor Lakshmi who overwhelmed by guilt, unable to forgive herself has chosen to punish herself in her own way.
    sridhar
     
  5. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Female
    Life is never a black or white game

    Hello Sridhar,

    I agree with you. Life is never a clear black or white game; most of the time there are a lot of grey areas.

    If somebody's life was so easy and clear without any grey areas, they must be the most luckiest and blessed person on earth.

    For every problem there is never a clear cut solution most of the times.

    It is not Sethu's reaction that is bothering Lakshmi the most; it is her inner voice, her conscious which will never allow her to live in peace for the blunder she committed. when she can't even face him how can she wait to explain or hear from him. She is only trying to punish herself and that is where we feel sad for her.

    No Man can accept such blunders from wife but surely will expect wives to accept them for whatever they commit. so Sethu must be a very special and extraordinary person to accept Lakshmi..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2005
  6. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,207
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    You got it right, Meena

    As I have been repeatedly telling whether Sethu accepts her or not is not relevant here. In fact given their loving relationship if Sethu accepts her with a smile and promises never to rake up this as an issue, Lakshmi's guilt will be even more - and it will be so much that it will interfere with her normal thinking and living.
    If a person has not seen any grey areas in life he is not a happy person; he is a dull person who has taken grey for white or black.
    sridhar
     
  7. Sharada

    Sharada Senior IL'ite

    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    errant

    The situation is similar to what happens in the movie Astitva. There Tabu is drawn towards her music teacher; but in her case she has a husband who is travelling most of the time. But Tabu conceals her secret till the very end. Lakshmi had two options - reveal and ask for forgiveness or conceal and bury it forever. But she chose the third path of running away. Firstly, I find it ridiculous that due to fear of thunder and lightning she flung herself into her music teacher's arms! Even after that she could have extricated herself from his embrace - it's not as if she was drunk and unaware of what followed! She doesn't deserve a husband like Sethu; she has certainly erred.
    Perhaps some will justify her running away by saying that she felt guilty/bad - but her conscience will continue pricking her wherever she goes.
    Sharada
     
  8. ambika ananth

    ambika ananth Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Gender:
    Female
    'asthitva'

    Sharada, even I was reminded of the movie' Asthitva' when I read about this Lakshmi..but the intense empathy I felt for Tabu's character is something which I can never feel for Lakshmi. When Tabu commits adultery with her music teacher, it seemed like a 'most natural thing' , one could feel the overwhelming emotion, an upsurge, as though the flood gates were opened...and so what followed too looked very acceptable and justifiable. Here Lakshmi's character doesn't hold any water...her guilt too seems diluted like her character...her running away is 'good riddance to bad rubbish for her husband...who is too good for her. May sethu find a better deal next time...a woman who is not scared of 'thunders and lightning ...haha'

    ambika
     
  9. prathi

    prathi Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Ya even i remember the scene from 'astitva' where Tabu gets carried away. May be varalotti is inspired by that scene or may be it is just a pure coincidence. As u said ambika, tabu's actions seemed to be justifiable. Her husband was always away and she missed romance and sex and music made a strong ingredient. She was strong enough to hide all this for years. One needs more will to hide something than to disclose it.

    Lakshmi was uncoscionable and she was forced to confess her slip only due to sethu's uncondtional love and faith for her. . But i would say she could have waited for his reaction. That would have shown her real courage, not just the confession. She was errant for sure but she turned out to be a coward too.

    One thing i noticed was sridhar has made our lakshmi emerge sans the M factor this time..[​IMG]
     
  10. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,207
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Defenceless Against You All!

    When so many well-meaning ladies send missiles in the form of well-worded replies, what defence will I have as the only man in the site? (Poor soul, me!) I have given up the idea of either defending this Lakshmi or even defending myself against so many smart ladies, so well-armed. Let me just put some facts together for these good souls who have chosen to oppose me:
    a) I wrote this piece as a short story in 1998. I don't know whether that film asthithva was relased before that or not. But the film did not influence me at all for the very simple and obvious reason that I rarely see Hindi movies and even if I see I understand only 50% of the dialogues. (With English movies I understand about 10% ha ha). Even at that time this story was not considered for publication because at that time Tamil magazines were conservative and did not venture to go this far.
    b) If Lakshmi is justified by the circumstances (as Tabu was, as I could gather from your beautiful replies) then this snippet would have bombed. There would be nothing to say against her and there would not be so much dscussion.
    c) And Sharada you have got it right. She doesn't deserve a husband like Sethu. She certainly erred. In fact you fully agree with Lakshmi on that count. Only because of this Lakshmi walks out of her marriage and from Sethu.
    d) And Ambika Madam, you have provoked me with your words 'her guilt gets diluted like her character'. In the movie you mention Tabu has all justifications or what we say in criminal law 'extenuvating circumstances.' Lakshmi does not have any and that makes her guilt stronger. It does the opposite of dilution - it concentrates if that expression can be used. I dont' want any one to pity this Lakshmi. I have myself called her errant. I want you all to understand her.
    e)Agreed things like that might not happen every day. Tabu's case might be repeated in a thousand households. A person like Lakshmi gifted with a wonderful husband going astray is something unusual that makes it indigestible for you. But that also happens. We do not know what kind of power our bodies have over us; what kind of force our urges have. The music teacher was singing a gazal which has moved her. And the power going off and the flashing of lightning and thunder has pushed her over the cliff.
    f) And good ladies, you want a parallel from our mythology. Jamadagni's wife, Renuka Devi, a very chaste woman fell a prey to her bodily urges. The story is toned down but the real story goes like this. When she goes in the morning to the river to have her bathe she sees a Ghandarva flying overhead and she fantasises having sexual relationship with him. Nowadays fantasy is so common and so acceptable; but in those days for a wife of a rishi that was far worse than what happened to Lakshmi. Jamadagni then asks his son Parasuram to slay her. The story after that is not relevant to us. Tempting circumstances are there during every period of history.
    Thanks for provoking so many words from me.
    sridhar
     

Share This Page