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Yet Another Lakshmi, An Errant Lakshmi Again

Discussion in 'Varalotti Rengasamy's Short & Serial Stories' started by varalotti, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Lakshmi had only one passion in life - to become an advertising model. She was a natural beauty – very tall with large eyes, long,thick hair and a very attractive face. Lakshmi was born as the eldest daughter of a middle class family. Her father sent her to a college in the nearby metro – something unusual in her otherwise orthodox family. Lakshmi stayed in the hostel and studied for a degree in Mass Communications. She did some smalltime modelling assignments on the side. She also attended a few expensive courses on modelling. Everyone assured her that she was born to be a model and that she had a tremendous future in that fiercely competitve profession.

    Meanwhile Lakshmi’s parents had started talking about her marriage. It was a foregone conclusion in the family that she should marry her cousin Shiva – her mother’s brother’s son – a rich landlord in his native village.

    Shiva was a typical feudal lord who led a lazy life given to pleasures. Wining and Womanising were his two great specialisations. Lakshmi shuddered at the very thought of being a doormat of a wife to such a worthless person.

    Lakshmi hesitantly told her parents about her passion and begged them to put off the marriage citing some reason or other. Her mother would not hear anything of that sort. Her marriage to Shiva had been fixed when she was six and Shiva was ten and there was no question of going back on the word given already.

    Lakshmi cried, refused to eat and threatened that she would kill herself if they went ahead with the marriage. Her father finally relented. He gave a practical solution – that they should agree on a time frame of one year. If within that time Lakshmi could secure at least one prestigious modelling assignment – she should appear in the TV - then the marriage would be put off. But if that did not happen she should agree for the marriage. Lakshmi’s mother also agreed to the deal.

    ‘One year is a lot of time’ – Lakshmi thought and agreed to the arrangement. Her father had even promised a small allowance to sustain her during that one year period.

    Lakshmi found her some lodgings as a paying guest in the nearby metropolis. She hired a professional photographer who prepared a wonderful album for her. Armed with that album Lakshmi went to one ad agency after another.

    Nothing clicked. It was a jungle out in the open. Nothing could be done unless you had the proper connections. Ten months flew by without Lakshmi making an inch of progress.

    Now Lakshmi was desperate. She had made up her mind to kill herself if she could not get the break she was looking for.

    It was at that time that Raj spotted her. Raj was a young Director of a large ad agency. Raj saw Lakshmi’s album and was immediately hooked by her naturally beautiful looks. After a preliminary interview and a make-up test Raj promised to sign her up for a major detergent compaign which was going to start within two weeks.

    Lakshmi was on Cloud Nine. She was going to sign her first modelling contract the next day. She was going to appear on TV within a month. She would win the deal she had made with her family. She would permanently escape from the clutches of Shiva – a womaniser and a drunkard.

    Raj called her in the evening for one more round of make-up test. Lakshmi rushed to the studio. Raj was alone. He did not mince words. He said straight on her face that unless she agreed to sleep with him she would not get the assignment. He told her that that was the industry standard and that he had slept with all the models in the field. He was not forcing her. She could take it or leave it. She would have an hour to decide. Lakshmi was rendered speechless. On the one side was the lurking danger of getting married to Shiva and living a life of eternal pain; on the other side was the lucrative modelling field but there was a huge price to be paid for that. Was the game worth the candle? She thought and thought……..and finally said ‘Yes’ to Raj.

    She reasoned to herself – that the alternatives were getting married to Shiva and killing herself. And both were almost the same.

    Do you approve of Lakshmi’s choice?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2005
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  2. Sharada

    Sharada Senior IL'ite

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    agree

    Big issue over small tissue. Lakshmi finally got a chance to make it big and this seemed the only way to escape from Shiva. We can take a moralistic stand and say she should not have agreed - but from Lakshmi's point of view "what is one night in a lifetime of fame and success?" The casting couch exists in Bollywood and Tollywood - but it is generally hushed up.
    Lakshmi could have requested her parents for more time; but it might have been difficult to get a modelling break later. She is in a catch -22 situation - damned if you do and damned if you don't! I feel she should give the man what he wants and realise her ambitions.
    Sharada
     
  3. ambika ananth

    ambika ananth Bronze IL'ite

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    she should...

    Sridhar

    I guess to realize her dream, Lakshmi should go ahead and indulge that man who can atleast give her an identity and a standing , instead of getting married to a man with whom she has to sleep night after night and feel like a corpse.

    when you help a fellow up the steep hill and you too get nearer the top yourself...thats the best option.

    ambika
     
  4. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    caught between the devil and the deep sea......

    I do agree that this lakshmi is caught between the devil and the deep-sea.

    Of course she could decide to sleep with one guy for a lifetime of name and fame. We must remember Public Memory is short-lived and when there are so many new faces ready to bare and dare to get to the top can Lakshmi compete with such boldness – keeping in mind her background.

    Then, is she sure its gonna be for just one night?? What if it becomes a series of nights?? What is her ultimate aim – not to marry Shiva because of his behaviour?? If she can compromise once then she can always do it twice, thrice and so on…. And at one point she would be no better than Shiva. At this rate Lakshmi would become an emotional wreck – hopping between star hotels seeking clients??? Will her family ever accept her?? She’ll loose her family’s support and all the respect and at the end of 10 years when her beauty withers, will she ever be able to lead a normal life; now that she has stained herself ???????

    Let’s find another solution – what if she marries Shiva?????????
    she'll fulfil her parents wish and has gained her family's support forever. I look at her to be a beautiful housewife – when Shiva has all the beauty at home, why will he ever look at other woman ? Lakshmi’s love and affection might change Shiva and put him to the right path and we’ll never know – he might become the most lovable husband to Lakshmi. Even otherwise, Lakshmi still will be looked at with respect and she’ll have a place in society and she’ll have maybe her kids and family to relate with. She may now try to fulfil her dreams thru her kids…

    I do agree Marriage is not the ultimate; but the stain of sleeping with someone is something u just can't get over - call it the human stain........As the saying goes, You can't run from yourself, because wherever you go, there you are,


    Or even better she can just get away from her family and do what she wants in her own pace - I'm just not able to agree to this sleeping business. I personally feel its very difficult for a woman to take such an extreme step and when she can do that then I feel she is strong enough to convince her parents about her dreams. Even better is to get away from her family and MAYBE AFTER FEW MONTHS OR YEARS WHEN SHE MAKES IT BIG - I'M SURE THE FAMILY WILL REALISE HER POTENTIAL AND DEFINITELY JOIN HER /SUPPORT HER then on.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2005
  5. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks For Reviving the Discussion, Meena!

    Believe me, Meena, at one stage I started to think that this Lakshmi was 'too right', so there were no controversial replies. I thought perhaps our members even decided that there is not enough controversy in this Lakshmi to merit a hot debate. But you have started it. Thanks.
    As you rightly pointed out that this 'sleeping' thing will not stop with one night. My friends in the film-world say that when a fresh woman comes to the movie they tell her that it's enough if she sleeps once with the producer/director; she'll be the queen. But she ends up sleeping with the financier, the assistant director .. there's no end to the list. By agreeing to sleep with Raj Lakshmi has clearly crossed the line and has chosen for her a different set of values. This 'sleeping around' will become a way of life for her as it has become for many women in similar fields.
    But what's the alternative? A worthless, womanising, drunkard-husband with no peace at home and no scope for fulfilment. Now it boils down to this - what's more important in life - the moral principles or happiness and fulfilment. Whether one can sacrifice the former for the sake of the latter?
    Meena, I would love to give a categorical answer to this question, but I can't.
    May be later in life Lakshmi might feel that she should have taken the other route. Or if she had refused to sleep with Raj and had married Shiva she might have later regretted her decision. We can't say anything now.
    Let the discussion go on.
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  6. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    Self esteem / righteousness

    In my view, it all boils down to one thing.
    What do one feel about oneself.

    If Lakshmi thinks she has that self righteousness, self esteem and moral bindings, if she takes the path of sleeping with Raj, then she has doomed herself.
    Whatever be the desire, or whatever be the carrot dangled, if she leaves her self to acquire that, it is just a matter of time that she is going to regret it.
    You will never get back the self respect, once it is forfeited.
    And nothing is worth it.
    As it is only TIME which will catch up on her, and eat her from within.
    Her life is finished.

    On the other hand, there is always the other possibility.
    She can perserve herself, her self respect and esteem even if Shiva does't reform. But she can give one hell of a try to achieve that. And if she succeeds, it will bring her more joy than any fame can bring.

    I feel lakshmi should not be short-sighted in her persuance of happiness.
    Materialistic things, fame, lime-light is all short lived.
    A mature mind will think of long term effects.
    A mature mind will think of effects on one-self than what others' has to say.

    Your comments, please.
     
  7. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Forceful Arguments!

    Meena, a very forceful argument from your end. Self-esteem, moral bindings are all okay. But see the harsh reality. If she does not succeed in her career she has to marry a drunkard, a worthless husband. Then also her life would be doomed. It will be even more difficult to preserve her self-esteem when she married a person like Shiva - always drinking, probably abusive also and a good for nothing lazy rich fellow. Lakshmi reforming Shiva is okay - when it appears in the story books like the famous story The Beauty and The Beast. In fact women knowingly marrying abusive men hoping to reform them is termed by psychologists as The Beauty And The Beast Syndrome.
    If Lakshmi had voluntarily decided to sleep with Raj with no such force of circumstances then we can preach her morality. But considering the choices she has - one is the devil and the other is the deep sea - we can't preach morals to her. We can only give our sympathies to her. Between the devil and the deep sea she has chosen the deep sea in the hope that some ship might one day come and rescue her. The chances of reforming a devil and converting it into a human being, if not an angel, is far more slim than being rescued by a ship in the deep sea.
    Another point I want to add is that Lakshmi has done this for her happiness. She has done this to preserve her identity as a woman, to preserve her self-worth which will definitely be lost when she becomes a doormat of a wife to Shiva.
    Suppose marrying Shiva compulsion is not there and Lakshmi has done this, then you can accuse her of moral depravity and selfishness. But under the circumstances... yes Meena.. Lakshmi deserves at least our understanding if not our acceptance.
    Let the arguments continue
    sridhar
     
  8. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    I do agree........

    Hello Sridhar,

    Maybe I'm over-reacting to this Lakshmi.

    Have a reason, Sridhar. Just last week, met a friend whose SIL is a gynaecologist in a small district in Karnataka. This what happened in their clinic.

    One day a man brought his wife for HIV test but he never underwent the same and when the result came negative; he became a little argumentative and asked them to repeat the test. The poor wife was pregnant and she never bothered to even know what was happening. she looked happy and proud with a glow on her face that pregnancy had gifted her. The gynae calmed him and explained it was a very important test that there can never be a mistake from their lab.
    The man walked out without a word.

    He showed up again after a fortnight or so and asked the doc to perform the HIV test on his wife. This time again its negative. But the lab technicians and the Doctor become so curious as to why he was doing this to his wife ?? Everybody thought this guy doubted his wife's fidelity, etc.

    Do u know why he got his wife tested, Sridhar?????????? not because he doubted her but because he is HIV positive. He wants to make sure she also gets infected with it so when he does fall sick, he'll have her around to help him... If she comes to know about it then there are chances that she might leave him.... HOW SELFISH CAN A HUMAN BECOME?????????? JUST IMAGINE A MAN TRYING HIS BEST TO GET HIS PREGNANT WIFE INFESTED WITH HIV.

    The best part is he'll never show up to the same clinic again because now he knowS his wife will be informed.

    When such is the world around, how can Lakshmi sleep with someone whom she just knows maybe just a few days and a man for whom sleeping around is a norm??????????

    If Lakshmi's parents are so stubborn to push her to the jaws of death (both are killing her according to me) - why can't she just get away from their clutches..

    There's another true story - here again the parents force their 20 + daughter to marriage . Here the parents wants to get rid of their responsibilities as early as they can because they had another younger daughter in line. The elder one was too good academically and was sure to get into a good, secure, well-paid job. She was never interested in marriage - not that she had any bad experiences but just that she thought she can NEVER put up with such responsibilities of running a house or taking care of kids; she felt its not her cup of tea - it was a simple straight forward reason which irked her relatives..

    I don't know how she handled this situation but came to know she found a job in Mumbai and just moved away from her family. The whole family cursed her for not listening to them but today she is doing so fine and flies a couple of times to US in a month and has a busy life and is very happy - the same elders who cursed she would face the worst in life, today go and spend time in her apartment and are all praises for her. In the meanwhile the second daughter got married and she is also well settled with a good husband and has 2 sons.

    CAN'T LAKSHMI HAVE OTHER OPTIONS, PLEASE????????????????????
    JUST CAN'T SEE WOMEN SUFFER................
     
  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Very Moving Examples

    I almost cried on seeing your HIV story. Human beings forced to the corner behave far worse than a cat in a similar situation. The other girl in your story fortunately had a happy story to tell.
    But consider this Lakshmi. She has already cut a deal with her father. That if she did not get the assignment she would marry Shiva. Given these circumstances she found all her escape routes cut off and has agreed to sleep with Raj.
    Contrary to what most people think the actresses, models and even prostitutes are not sex-maniacs. Their sex-drives will be far less than those of house-wives. But they are forced, compelled and at times even raped by the circumstances.
    I read Sujatha's popular story. A beautiful 40 year old woman is hellbent on making her daughter an actress. She meets the director/producer of the film. The Director sets his eye on her. The Director asks the daughter and her father (the lady's husband) to wait in the lobby while he could discuss something important with the girl's mother. Left in privacy the Director says if you sleep with me I'll let your daughter act. The lady to the shock of the readers agrees. The daughter gets a chance.
    But at least there was no compulsion but plain greed. But in Lakshmi's case it was survival, her only saving grace from a marriage that would be otherwise hell.
    So...
    let's see what others have to say on this
    regards.
    sridhar
     
  10. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    known devil better than unknown!

    Hello,
    I agree with Meena only......somehow arguing from a woman's point of view, the sleeping around with every Tom , Dick and Harry is not worth it....isn't it better off with Shiva....and for all you know she has the full support and respect from her parents. I am sure her parents are not going to see her in tears and shame and will definetely try to make Shiva behave. If not also , Lakshmi has the option of running to them anytime . She should be in the long run better off and safer with known devil(shiva) than ALONE in the unknown , dark world! After all even from the place where Laksmi comes from cannot be so uncivilised as they sometime potray in the films.
     

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