Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lab #1 : "Me' : Sudarshan

[Twisting the assignment to fit into the sort of stuff I'm writing currently. This is going to be an excerpt from a bigger story. The plot so far :

Malviya is a rich zamindar, who I meet in the city at his bungalow. He also owns a more traditional haveli in the old city.]


...," I said.
It is only possible to delude a man who wants to believe. Malviya lived with the belief that the world wanted to hear his amazing story.

"You are right," he said. "It is nothing more than manifest destiny that I am, today, in such a position. Those villagers delude themselves into thinking that I rule over them through birthright. Arrey, if I'd been born a bhangi in the village, I would still have risen to rule them.

"Look at Amma. She's an astrologer and knows these things. She took one look at my face and realized what I could be. And so she's supported me all these years, given me helpful hints about the right time to do everything. Why, even that haveli she lives in is a proof of my destiny.

"A few days after we met, Amma had a dream about buried treasure. She told me that this treasure was probably me - that I was a treasure waiting to be found. But the description of the dream made me sit up. For such an old person, she's really stupid sometimes. The spot where the treasure was buried (as she described it) was a haveli I was considering buying. Even she's seen the place. But she didn't realize it. I laughed at her. Finally I had to explain the meaning of her own dream to her, can you believe it? It meant that I was to find treasure in that haveli, that I was buy the place at any cost!

"I was able to convince the buyer to sell it to me. I hunted a bit for the treasure, but didn't find it then. I finally figured out a way to search for it. Again, it was Amma who gave me the idea, and again she didn't even realize what she was saying. What I did was, I asked her to stay in the haveli! I fooled her - I told her I didn't like the small rented place she lived in, and she should be more comfortable. And I kept dropping hints that she could search for the treasure. But fool that she is, she didn't.

"Of course, I finally found the treasure." A crafty look came into his eyes at this point. "Just not inside that haveli. But I found it because I'd purchased the place and gotten Amma there. I knew I'd get it someday.

"Anyway, that is why I keep Amma around now. I know that she can't even use her skills and magic properly. She admitted it to me the other day. Said that I was the only person who was really able to understand the meaning of her visions, and that I could get even more from her if she had a servant to take care of her at the haveli and a baggi so that she could reach me quickly when she has a vision or insight. See, that's what I told you. When people are around me, they start thinking in such a way that I am the one benefited. It's just my destiny.

She has even offered to make sure I never fall under any vashikaran. She herself checks all the food that the cook makes at my home - she tests each and every item herself! Last week she caught something suspicious in the kheer - she told me someone had put in a pinch of ashes from a pyre in it. It must have been one of my enemies..."

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Blogger Ramanand said...

I found the character of "amma" a little distracting from the narrator. It may have been fine in the overall context, but perhaps not in an extract over "ME" ? Again, the reason for me being lukewarm to this was that as an extract, it doesn't seem to grab me by my coattails. There seems to be more about "amma" rather than any light on the narrator's own ego(t)ism.

[Hey guys, btw, as a result of this exercise, I got a better understanding of the finer differences between egoism and egotism!]

11:04 PM  

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