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Ugly Sister Shoorpanakha by Renita D'Silva | A short story | Indian Fiction

Ugly Sister Shoorpanakha by Renita D'Silva | A short story | Indian Fiction

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Published by bookouture
A short story introducing the characters from Renita D'Silva's full-length novel Monsoon Memories - published 21 June 2013.

Renita is an Indian fiction author combining the sensuous, lyrical prose of Arundhati Roy with the emotional storytelling of Jodi Picoult.

Visit www.renitadsilva.com for more information.
A short story introducing the characters from Renita D'Silva's full-length novel Monsoon Memories - published 21 June 2013.

Renita is an Indian fiction author combining the sensuous, lyrical prose of Arundhati Roy with the emotional storytelling of Jodi Picoult.

Visit www.renitadsilva.com for more information.

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Published by: bookouture on May 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/19/2013

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RENITA D’SILVA | UGLY SISTER SHOORPANAKHA
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RENITA D’SILVA
Ugly Sister
 
Shoorpanakha
 A SHORT STORY  www.renitadsilva.com
 
RENITA D’SILVA | UGLY SISTER SHOORPANAKHA
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Ugly Sister Shoorpanakha
‘S
hirin was dead when she was born,’ Madhu liked to declare, to any audiencewilling to listen, her face distorted in an over-exaggerated expression of horror. Shewas extremely pleased when there were new faces to tell the tale to – everyone in thevillage had already heard it many times over. She would corner the fresh audiencewith glee and putting on her most mournful expression, start her story, with the firstsentence designed to shock.Shirin always thought that if circumstances had not dictated otherwise, Madhuwould have found her vocation as an actress. As it was, her claim to fame was that shehad acted as Shoorpanakha, Ravana’s ugly sister in the performance of Ramayana for the occasion of Mari. Mari was a festival of the Tulu speaking population of thevillage. As part of the celebrations, the Tulu community feasted on their best chickens,and then had an ‘Aata’- an all-night song and dance extravaganza depicting scenesfrom the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
 
RENITA D’SILVA | UGLY SISTER SHOORPANAKHA
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People started collecting on the hill where the play was to be performed as dusk fell, carrying with them their cane mats, so they could lie down and watch and maybehave a quick nap when things got a bit boring. The excitement was palpable aseveryone jostled for space. The tired hill became a teeming mass of bobbing heads,the yellowing grass obscured by fraying mats and old saris. The arrack shops wereopen all night and did great business, supplying audiences with un-distilled alcoholand roasted ‘kadle’: small brown nuts. The air was fragrant, spicy with pungentovertones. Men with huge flasks of tea and home-made golibhaji circulated, and goodnatured bantering would ensue. ‘Hey, Dhooma, why are you selling that tea for suchan outrageous price? There is not enough here for two sips. I will complain to your wife tomorrow,’ a man leaning on his elbow would demand of his friend, with whomhe had shared umpteen glasses of tea, some of them laced with cashew liquor. ‘Giveme five rupees and I will give you one golibhaji for free,’ the vendor would retort,grinning. ‘One, only one, thoo,’ his friend would laugh. And as the sun set and dusk wiped the sky of colour, as mosquitoes buzzed and the first glow-worm dared to makean appearance, an anticipatory hush would settle on the crowd.Shirin, along with the rest of the village got used to sleeping through the loud jarring music which reverberated all through the night whenever an ‘Aata’ was on,thanks to the two huge speakers donated by the Tulu association of Dommur to theTulu community of Taipur. She got used to this as she had to hearing the Namazcalled out over the loudspeakers at dawn every day, and the Hindu Bhajans blaring out

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