Wednesday, 22 August 2012

I’m waiting for this book...

Ramesh Menon’s Shiva Purana Retold. I’ve always wanted to read Shiva Purana, but I can’t bear the thickness of the book. Not to mention it must be expensive and laced with difficult prose. What’s the use of purchasing an expensive book without understanding its meaning? So when I found that Amazon UK offered this book for a significantly cheaper price than Amazon US, I bought it instantly from the UK site. But since the book won’t arrive until late this week (if I’m lucky), I often clicked around the ‘Look Inside’ to read the ‘Surprise Me!’ link. I found this beautiful passage that I cannot but share with you:

The Mountain and his wife

It broke my heart when Sati did what she did at her father’s sacrifice. Giving Daksha a goat’s head was a small consolation for me. I remember those days of aloneness, those savage days of separation; I remember them like a nightmare. I made myself a necklace of her delicate bones, which were all that was left of her when the yogic fire she summoned upon her petal body had done its work, and homeless, I ranged the world.

But then, deep in my heart I had always known that, for all its ecstasies, our marriage was a cursed one from the start; and the fault was mine. I was too enamoured of the atman, too obsessed with the life of the spirit. So that when Brahma, Hari and the others first came asking me to marry, I thoughtlessly enumerated the perfections I expected in my bride. I swore I would abandon her, if she doubted me for even a moment. I had not met Sati then; I did not dream that anyone like her could exist in the flesh. I had not yet known love. Of course, Brahma was determined to have revenge on me for taunting him when I found him in his daughter’s arms; but I always wondered why Vishnu did not warn me that I would pay for my conceit. How I paid.

I cannot recall how many years or aeons the lonely torment lasted. I remember how the icy ravines would echo my anguished howls back at me. The pain of those days was not ordinary. It was as if I paid in full and forever, for being who I am. I was mad then; my body was on fire...


If the whole book contains passages of this literary beauty, I might have to face some more sleepless nights...

Pic: the cover of ‘Shiva Purana Retold’ by Ramesh Menon

No comments: