In my recent entry I included a video clip from the Kathakali opera, Kalyana Saugandhikam.
One of the lovable parts of the clip is where Hanuman, a bachelor, taunts his brother Bheema in mock amazement, as to how he embarked on his journey to get an exotic celestial flower without even knowing what the flower was, where it existed and how to get it, and what were the likely dangers, just because his spouse Draupadi desired to have it.
A confirmed or chronic bachelor is referred to as a lady’s-finger which is no more tender, ( a muduru bendakaaya) And it is also said that a bachelor is the equivalent of a hundred monkeys ( sata markatam). But what about a monkey who remained a bachelor? I now know how and why Hanuman is the mahaa-bali (exceedingly powerful), for he is the equivalent of a hundred ( or perhaps) more men, married at that, he forgot that he had enormous powers.
But when he realised his own strength, he burnt Lanka away, while he was asked just to go and look around, ( as we say in Telugu ‘Chhosi rammante calchi vacchaadu),
Having served his Lord Rama, Hanuman knew the perils that befall men when they set aside their intellect and rationale and follow the dictates of the beloved,’karaneshu mantri’, i.e., adviser to you in your affairs. Vemana, the people’s poet, also has a similar dig at the hapless Rama, ‘ Kanaka Mrigamu bhuvini kaladu, ledu anakaye,
Taruni vidichi poye Daasaradhi yu,
Telivi leni vadu demudetlaaye ra
Viswadaabhiraama vinura Vemaa.’
Meaning, “the son of Dasaradha, left his taruni, young wife and went on her errand,with out even remonstrating with her that a golden deer was an impossibility How did such a foolhardy one, become a God, dear Vema?”. There is another veiled dig in Vemana’s referring to Rama as the son of Dasaradha,. As you know Dasaradha died forlorn, for having heeded to the unreasonable request of his own ‘taruni’, young wife, Kaikeyi, didn’t he? But when you are chivalrous, you are imbued with a certain bravado, you promise something impossible or a dangerous thing, you don’t care for the consequences, do you?
When I was young we had a lesson in our English prose selections, entitled ‘” A BACHELOR’S COMPLAINT OF THE BEHAVIOUR OF MARRIED PEOPLE “, by Charles Lamb, a kind hearted brother, who chose to remain single for life, to care for his mentally troubled sister, Mary Lamb. But then he resented the indignities he had to suffer at the hands of the newly acquired partners of his erstwhile bosom friends. As we say in Telugu, the horns a beast acquires after it grows up are much sharper than the ears, which it was endowed with, right at the time of its birth, ( mundochhina chenula kante venakochhina kommulu vaadi.). Here is a link where you can find the essay.
I liked the essay, I was still a bachelor then , but one or two of my class-mates already tied their respective knots with tell-tale changes in their behavioral patterns, to our chagrin.
My reverie is broken.The missus comes and says, ” Don’t employ that plumber for the repairs you are thinking of, he is fit for nothing. A sata markatam, a muduru bendakaya.”. I choose to heed the Karaneshu Mantri,
The head of the nation, has to heed to the dictates of his head of the government, after all.