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BEAUTY

07 Mar

There is a long standing ritual in our family that mealtimes for my children would be accompanied by a story being told by me, and it survived their growing up enough to read on their own. Nowadays however, most of the time all four are engrossed in our own books or kindle, and dinner table conversation if any often revolves round the reading material. Sometimes though,  I still have to make up stories for them, but with the stipulation that it has to be original, or at least new to them, and usually on a fixed topic. The topic could be a news item, or some object in the room. Many fantasies were thus woven, soon to be forgotten. Recently however, my daughter reminded me of a few she remembered over the years, and wanted me to write them down. This is the first such attempt.

The chosen topic was a painting of Jogen Choudhury, called tiger in the moonlit night, whose print was among those that covered our dining room wall. Here is the painting, and the story follows.

http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/asset-viewer/tiger-in-the-moonlit-night/0QGQZVOO2-ia0w?hl=en

In a small village by the forest, there lived a boy who was spectacularly ugly. He was also very smart and sweet natured but no one noticed that. He wasn’t just ordinary ugly but really weird looking. His face was all twisted, he had no hair, his body was out of proportion, and strange lumps grew from him in odd places. Small children cried when they saw him, older ones were scared of him, and even the grownups tried to avoid him when they could. No one would visit their home and no children would play with him. They did not want to go to school with him either. This made him very lonely and sad, and though his mother loved him, he could see that she was sad at his plight.

The boy decided to run away from home. He knew his mother would be sad, but her life would become easier. So one night, when all were sleeping, he slipped off to the forest. He climbed a large peepul tree to be safe from animals, and went off to sleep.

In the middle of the night, he suddenly woke up to find many eyes staring at him! Stiff with fright, he couldn’t move or scream. But these weird creatures were smiling at him! He noticed that they all looked like him, human, but a little distorted. Calmed somewhat, he listened to them.

They explained that they were ghosts living in that tree, and were scared of humans as they looked so weird. But as he wasn’t afraid, and so beautiful unlike other humans, they wanted to be his friends. Finding someone who liked him and considered him beautiful made the boy very happy, and he immediately joined them in their games. They played all night and had a great feast  until morning, The ghosts went to sleep in the morning, and promised to meet him next night, and said they would help him in any way he wanted.

Missing his mother, and feeling sorry that she would worry, he quietly went back home and left the gifts with his mother and went to sleep.

Next morning, his mother was very surprised to find all the goodies by her bedside and to find that her boy had lost his lonely sad look and seemed quite cheerful. He explained that he was working for the spirit king in the forest and the spirits were his friends but asked her to keep it a secret.

He went back the next night too and really enjoyed himself. The ghosts wanted to know the ways of humans and the boy taught them his chores and farm work, which the ghosts loved doing as it was a game to them. An army of ghosts managed to finish plowing sowing weeding in no time at all.

The boy explained to his mother that the spirit kings men had done it all. She was overjoyed.

However such news cannot be hidden for long and soon the village knew about the mysterious prosperity of the weird looking boy. Rumors spread about his special powers, and jealous neighbors decided he was a warlock. They called a village meeting and warned the poor mother that she must get rid of the boy or the family would suffer.

When the boy heard this, he was angry and decided that he would teach the villagers a lesson with the help of his new friends.. But his other convinced him to go and live with the spirit king and not create more misery all round.

Really sad this time, he was in no mood to play and crept away

This time, the idea of playing with his ghost friends did not appeal, so he went into a new thick part of the forest, and not caring for his life; lay down below a tree to sleep.

It was a moonlit night in the forest. There were eerie shadows everywhere. He shut his eyes tight and covered himself with his shawl, trying to sleep. Anger and sorrow wouldn’t let sleep come. Suddenly, he felt as if he is being watched! He listened carefully. Yes, it seemed as if someone was breathing. He caught a whiff of a horrible smell!

Holding his breath, silently, he peeped out. At first he couldn’t see anything in the light and shadows. But, as his eyes focused, he saw a horrible apparition! A tiger was watching him! And not an ordinary tiger, a weird deformed horribly ugly tiger! The poor boy screamed and fainted. But just as he was losing consciousness he noticed something strange, the tiger too seemed to whine and leap away!

When he woke up, he was surrounded by his friends, the ghosts. He started talking about is bad dream but suddenly noticed a new figure in the group; the strange shaped 3 legged tiger!

As everything was explained, the boy realized that both he and the tiger were kindred souls! The poor tiger was thrown away from his group because of his weird looks. Wandering around alone, crying to himself, he came across the sleeping boy. But when the boy woke up, the tiger thought it was a monster and fainted too. Hearing the commotion, the ghosts came over, found the two, and understood the situation.

A shared misfortune which was not their fault made the boy and the tiger great friends. Why would their neighbors judge them for their looks? They were born that way, and did not dress that way intentionally to frighten people! Moreover, who said that every boy or tiger had to look similar? And who said that this is normal and not that? They were quite angry over this unfairness. The ghosts understood, they did not judge. What was weird to others was normal for ghosts. In fact, the weirder, the better. Stunning weirdness was stunning beauty in the ghost yardstick. The boy and the tiger were invited to stay on with the ghosts.

They did so for a while, but started missing the village and the forest respectively. Then they struck upon a plan!

Next day, the boy strolled back to his village in broad daylight, and went to stay at his home, but with the tiger coming along like a pet puppy. The stunned villagers were very quiet. They were not going to argue with the boy who has a pet tiger, and the weirdest tiger they ever saw! Warlock or not, they were very polite to the boy and his family from then on.

A few days later, they went strolling in the forest together, and found all animals most deferential to the tiger, as he was accompanied everywhere by the most feared creature of all, man! And, what’s more,  a really weird looking man! Moreover, the man had the stick that spews fire and death, but was a friend of the tiger and did not trouble the other beasts. This made the beasts respect them.

Life looked perfect for the two former outcastes, but they were not happy. They were feared and tolerated. But they craved to be loved and admired. They were intelligent, well behaved, cultured sensitive and genuinely nice people, so why should they be shunned or tolerated only due to fear just because they looked different?  Who is to decide what is beautiful? Sick of the look of fear and revulsion in people’s eyes, they decided to end their lives.

So they made a plan. They went to the top of the hill in the forest and decided to jump off. Just as they were about to commit this foolish deed, Vandevi, the forest goddess appeared and caught them both by their ears. A thorough scolding and much crying and many apologies later, they timidly asked the goddess for one wish. They wanted that people should look up to them and admire them and value them just the way they are ,and consider them things of beauty, and hang their pictures on their walls.

Vandevi thought for a while and found a solution. He sent them into a painting by Jogen Chowdhury, where they would be together for eternity, valued in crores for their beauty, adorn walls of museums and homes, where people gaze at them and admire them for their beauty. This is a copy of the picture you can see. Other creature who had similar problems and similar wishes were also accommodated in the paintings of Jogen Chowdhury, Pablo Picasso and Rabindranath Tagore.There they all lived happily ever after

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32 Comments

Posted by on March 7, 2014 in FANTASY, Fiction, humor, Humour, memoir

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

32 responses to “BEAUTY

  1. myspadeal

    March 7, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for sharing this information all the information is very informative. I got very informative knowledge from this blog. Thanks once again for sharing this informative knowledge.

    Like

     
  2. haridasgowra

    March 7, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Nice to share with us. good one
    #wordpress!

    Like

     
  3. iwrotethose

    March 10, 2014 at 7:07 am

    That is one heck of a take on a painting. Well woven indeed 🙂

    Like

     
  4. Chaitanya Veldurthy

    April 4, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    The story is better than the painting. More more…

    Like

     
    • wiseguy from the east

      April 5, 2014 at 7:32 am

      thank you Chaitanya 😀 the painting is valued in crores. the story in comments like yours, and getting my kids to eat their lunch, priceless. please follow link to see more

      Like

       
  5. Avnee

    February 27, 2015 at 7:17 am

    One of the best ones, that i’ve read from you. ‘Painting’ a story in words from a painting, sheer brilliance!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • wiseguy from the east

      February 27, 2015 at 10:52 am

      You warm my heart. Please see a comment someone made on this story in fb. I’ve tagged you in it On 27 Feb 2015 12:47, “Idyll Dreams of an Idle Fellow” wrote:

      >

      Like

       
  6. Anonymous

    February 28, 2015 at 7:06 am

    your stories always touched my heart…. another lovely one

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • wiseguy from the east

      February 28, 2015 at 7:38 am

      Thanks. I’m usually happy to touch the funny bone heart’s a bonus 😊 On 28 Feb 2015 12:36, “Idyll Dreams of an Idle Fellow” wrote:

      >

      Like

       
  7. wiseguy from the east

    March 1, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Reblogged this on Idyll Dreams of an Idle Fellow and commented:

    story time

    Like

     
  8. spunkybong

    March 1, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Superb, Soumya. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • wiseguy from the east

      March 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      How happy I am that you stumbled upon my blog 😀

      On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 5:28 PM, Idyll Dreams of an Idle Fellow wrote:

      >

      Like

       
  9. Jyoti Arora

    March 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    loved the story. sounded very like the fables we used to listen to or read as a child 🙂
    Why not get your stories published in a book?

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • wiseguy from the east

      March 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      Find me a publisher please 😊

      Like

       
      • Jyoti Arora

        March 2, 2015 at 2:05 pm

        haha, right. You are asking that from a writer who self published her latest novel.

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • wiseguy from the east

        March 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm

        How about the first? 😊

        Like

         
      • Jyoti Arora

        March 4, 2015 at 8:04 am

        The first novel was published by V&S Publishers. But they have closed their fiction wing now and only publish non-fiction. you can contact Pustak Mahal and Unicorn Books though. I think they publish such books.

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • wiseguy from the east

        March 4, 2015 at 8:19 am

        Thanks 😊 On 4 Mar 2015 13:34, “Idyll Dreams of an Idle Fellow” wrote:

        >

        Like

         
  10. bakka shravya

    March 4, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Lucky daughters!! They sure had a gala time growing up with such talented tale spinner….

    Liked by 1 person

     
  11. Shweta Ganapati

    April 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Beautiful indeed! Your idyll dreams have become ideal reading material in between my experiments in lab. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • wiseguy from the east

      April 16, 2015 at 1:41 am

      I am really gratified Sweta 😊 Comments like this is why I write this blog On 15 Apr 2015 21:01, “Idyll Dreams of an Idle Fellow” wrote:

      >

      Like

       
  12. Him Krim Ice-Cream

    November 23, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    The story of beauty, is full of wise morals much needed in a world that is deluding itself from its basic humanity. The question about who decides what is beautiful and how can something that is not according to prevalent notions be considered ruthlessly. The next is the underdogs sticking by each other fulfilling what they lack. In a way helping out each other. The third is the curse of suicide or giving up under pressure. And lastly how an artist becomes God and accepts the unaccepted in his revere.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • wiseguy from the east

      November 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Wow. This was something to make my kids eat their meal. I seem to have created something good as well. Maybe that’s why they remember and urged me to write it down 😊 thanks him Krim 😊

      Like

       
  13. molleyblog

    November 14, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Brilliant

    Liked by 1 person

     
  14. Anonymous

    November 15, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Its a superb story

    Liked by 1 person

     

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