Is he fresh ? (Kaula hai ?)

Articles 33 Comments

This is my attempt at FICTION that appeared in Tehelka Magazine short story series DEC 2010…theme was Pulp Fiction….Kaula Hai is Mumbai-Hindi meaning ‘is it fresh or tender?’ often used in vegetable markets

You cannot pee when a goddess stares at you. There she is, painted on the wall across the gutter, above a pile of garbage, glaring, her blood-soaked tongue sticking out, a string of human heads covering her nakedness. Mahesh looks at the sword in Kali’s hand. He finds it difficult to relieve himself. He zips up and moves back across the road, frustrated.

Where was Akshay?

They were supposed to meet here, near the pan-wala at the corner of Apollo apartments at half past midnight. Its almost one now. Unseasonal rains have made the road wet. Water in the perennial potholes reflects the streetlights. Cars whiz past impatiently. In some time, the city of Mumbai will go to sleep.

Shutters are being pulled down. People are hurrying to the station to catch the last train home.A giant banyan tree yawns behind the pan-wala and stretches its branches towards the sky. At the base of its tangled trunk is a tiny shrine made of white bathroom tiles housing a vermillion-smeared rock. An alert lamp sits beside it and dozens of lemons are piled around it.

As Mahesh bends down to get a better look at the deity inside, the pan-wala shouts from behind, “That’s our Devi. She protects this zopad-patti.” In his Marathi accent, he refers to the slum that stubbornly wedges itself between two swanky sea-facing apartments named Apollo and Dionysus. “Even the builders know that. That is why they leave us alone. They dare not make her angry.”

Yeah right, Mahesh wants to say. Everyone knows that as long as these shanties are vote banks to some politician, their survival is assured, goddess or no goddess. As this thought crosses Mahesh’s mind, Kali glares at him once again. This time, she sits in a golden photo frame between the spices and cigarette cartons of the pan shop.

“Her name is Rakta-vilasini,” says the pan-wala.

“What?”

“She who enjoys drinking blood. It is another name for Kali-mata.”

Mahesh shudders.

“So you are here to see her, right? You want to ask her a question, right?” Mahesh remains expressionless. How does this man know? “You don’t have to be shy, sir. I know what is going on. I have been living here for forty years. I see saabs like you coming here on nights like this, in the week before Navratri.” Mahesh feels exposed and vulnerable, but the pan-wala continues, “Don’t worry. She will give you what you want. Just give her what she wants.” Mahesh smiles. Suddenly the pan-wala grabs his hand and whispers, “This Tantrik stuff is very dangerous. Be careful. You look too fresh.”

Mahesh rushes back to his car, a bit shaken. He has parked in front of Dionysus apartments on the other end of this zopad-patti. Parking in front of an apartment block seems safer than parking in front of a slum. There are three other cars parked on the same road – a BMW amongst them. None have drivers. It must be safe to leave cars here unattended. Maybe the cars belong to those who have also come here for the ceremony. Akshay said that he should not be surprised if he bumps into a celebrity.

Mahesh met Akshay less than a year ago with friends in a pub. Soon they were drinking buddies, meeting almost every weekend. Akshay knew all the coolest places to hang out, lanes where spicy eggs were served with alcohol even after midnight, corners where to get the best quality grass. But Akshay never spoke much about himself. All Mahesh knew abut him is that he lived in the distant suburbs, alone, and was into exports. He did not own a car, rarely paid the bills but made up for it with his company. Mahesh held Akshay in awe, so different from his father and brother who were only interested in work and money. They were irritated when Mahesh had refused to join the furniture business. They had laughed when he said he wanted to be a DJ. Akshay had not laughed. In fact, he had introduced him to some club owners and event managers. Very quickly Akshay had become the father and brother and friend Mahesh never had.

Once when they driving to an after-party, they passed a strikingly well dressed hooker standing at a bus stop. “I can get her for you if you want,” Akshay had said when Mahesh kept turning his head to look at her. Mahesh did not know how to respond. “Its okay, you can take her to my place. Nobody needs to know.” Mahesh had blushed and Akshay had chuckled. “Still a virgin! A handsome guy like you? Not many like you today. If I had a sister, I would want you as my brother-in-law.” Mahesh had quickly changed the conversation.

That same night Akshay had told him about this place next to the sea, in the slums. “Twice a year, a week before Navaratri — you know there is a Navaratri in spring and in autumn, right? — a Tantrik from Tripura comes to Mumbai to invoke a goddess in the body of a young girl. She answers any question if you are willing to pay the price. She is approached by stars, industrialists, bankers, brokers, politicians, gamblers, anyone eager to peep into the future.”

“What crap! You don’t believe in this stuff, do you?”

“I do. I have seen it. Its real stuff. You can see it too, if you wish. Navaratri is round the corner. And if you get some money, maybe I will be able to get you to ask a question.”

So here he is. To check out the Tantrik of Tripura and meet the goddess in the zopad-patti. Rakta-vilasini! Mahesh feels the wad of notes in his pocket. One lakh cash. That is all he could arrange. Akshay had asked for five and had sounded disappointed on the phone the last time they spoke. Mahesh thinks this is all a joke, of course. But, no harm checking it out. And if it turns out to be true. If he makes some serious money, his father and brother will stop treating him like a loser.

Mahesh feels someone tapping his hand. It’s a street kid. “Uncle, uncle,” he says. Mahesh recoils. The boy is filthy. “This way. Come with me.” Mahesh ignores him. “Akshay sir has called you.” On the mention of Akshay’s name, Mahesh reluctantly follows the boy into a dark narrow lane that leads into the zopad-patti.

A tiny rivulet of sewage glints in the moonlight and marks their way. The stench of the dry fish, sea weed and the sewage fills the narrow corridor. Along the way, on either side, Mahesh finds open doorways of the rooms that make up the basti. They are tiny and surprisingly clean with polished utensils, and electricity. One even has a TV. And another has a small puja room – with fresh jasmine flowers and an image of Kali. She is still glaring at him. This is ridiculous. His mind is playing games.

“Hurry, this way,” the kid shouts. The path is getting narrower and it splits in every direction. It’s a maze. A really big maze. Mahesh realizes that the zopad-patti is not as small as it appears from the main road. The houses lean in from either side. Cable wires, plastic sheets, and dish antennaes block the view of the sky. Huge drums storing water block his way and he has to move around them. He steps on a soft patch. Is it shit? Muck? He scrapes the sole of his shoe on a rock. “Hurry, sir,” the kid urges. Mahesh feels sick and claustrophobic and anxious. A few meters from the main road and he is in an alien world, a world he does not know, a world he does not want to know.

What has he gotten himself into? Where is the kid taking him? And where is Akshay? What if this is an elaborate plan to rob him? Mahesh feels his heart racing. He feels the wad of notes in his pocket once more. It reassures him but his mouth still feels dry.

They stop before a curtained door. They enter. There is a dim bulb. A small bed with three gaudily painted girls on it. A Hijra sits on the floor chewing paan. This is a brothel, Mahesh realizes. He hesitates. The boy goes straight through and draws another curtain at the far end of the room. Mahesh follows. It is a dark room filled with the smell of alcohol and tobacco. Saris of every color hang from the ceiling. A gaunt man sits there. He has a scar on his face. He grins and shows a golden tooth. “Keep your boots here and go that way,” he says pointing to a third door with the curtain. From beyond come the smell of incense and the sound of chanting.

The kid does not cross the third curtain. He draws it aside for Mahesh. A huge man walks out and shouts, “Get more whisky. She will need it. Mahesh hears the Hijra yell instructions as he enters the room.

Oil lamps glow in every corner and clouds of incense hang from the ceiling and a tiny shriveled man with long white beard and a red headband sits in one corner with marigold garlands around his neck. Its the Tantrik from Tripura! Behind him is a huge laminated poster of yet another glaring Kali pinned to the wall. Next to the Tantrik sits Akshay in his jeans and trademark black T-shirt. Mahesh reads the words ‘Black Sabbath’ on it. He holds back a smile.

Akshay gestures Mahesh to come closer and nudges him to join his palm and bow to the Tantrik. The Tantrik speaks with a heavy Bengali accent, “You are sure about him?” Akshay nods and takes Mahesh to the side. Akshay puts his finger on his lips and then looks at the people around the room. Mahesh follows his gaze.

There are about a dozen people in the room. Mahesh recognizes a starlet amongst them, wearing a tight kurti and a dupatta over her head looking very pious. Next to her a prominent stock broker whose photos appear regularly in Page3. The curtain shifts once again. Two more people enter. A minister’s son? Seen in the party circuit. Known for his cocaine habit. He looks up and his eyes connect with Mahesh. He looks away. Everyone in the room looks very rich and powerful. Gold watches, diamond cuff links, pot-bellies, designer clothes, even an iPad. Everyone avoids looking at each other. Some look at the Tantrik. Others are busy texting on their mobiles. There is anxiety and anticipation in the air. No one speaks. Akshay was right. This is surreal. He is actually going to witness some bizarre Tantrik ritual in the heart of a Mumbai slum attended by crazy,rich and famous people. This will make a cool party conversation tomorrow.

The Tantrik moves back and forth and starts to chant. In a few minutes, his chanting gets louder and more intense. He picks up a bell and starts to ring. Mahesh feels movement behind him. There is a curtained door there. The curtain is drawn aside. Four figures walk in. Two Hijras clapping loudly. One large woman helps a girl walk. The girl is wearing a black kameez but no salwaar. Her gait is unsteady as if she is in a trance. Around her neck are dried hibiscus flowers. Her face is smeared with turmeric and there is vermillion on her forehead. In her hand is a bunch of neem leaves and she is waving it as if swatting flies. “Bow to the Devi,” the Tantrik shouts suddenly. Everyone bows. Mahesh bends down too. The room suddenly feels crowded and hot.

A man in the opposite corner sits up and starts to play the drum. The beat is steady for a minute and then the pace picks up. The Tantrik starts to sway. “I feel her coming in,” he shouts. The girl with neem leaves starts to sway hysterically. She is made to sit down. “I am thirsty,” she says. The whisky bottles are opened and given to her. She picks up one and empties the liquid in less than a minute. Then she drinks another bottle. Then a third. Mahesh realizes this is not an act. Something serious and genuine is happening here.

The clapping and the drumbeat become even more intense. Mahesh feels his heart beat rising. Akshay holds his hand to reassure him. Mahesh feels safe. Then everything stops. Silence. The girl drops her head and her hair extends to the floor. She convulses. Then she inhales. Then she spits.

“What do you want? Why do you call me?” the girl speaks in the voice of a hoarse old woman. The stockbroker jumps up and goes close to her and touches her feet. She turns her ear in his direction. He asks something. Akshay tells Mahesh, “He is surely asking about the next market crash before which he can rake in his millions.” The girl whispers something back in the stockbroker’s ear. He smiles, bows his head and touches her feet once again. He gestures to his assistant to bring a garland of jasmine. He puts it around the girl and applies turmeric on her head and gives her a red piece of cloth with golden tassels. “I am thirsty now. Give me something to drink,” she says. The stockbroker offers her a whisky bottle. “Don’t humor me,” she snarls, “Get me a real drink. I am thirsty. I am really thirsty.”

“Bring him in,” the stockbroker shouts. The outer curtain parts. A young boy, about fifteen years old, thin with an oversized dirty shirt and track pants, is brought in by the gaunt man with a scar and golden tooth, Mahesh had encountered earlier. The boy looks like he is high on drugs.

“Is he fresh?” the girl asks. The stockbroker nods. So does the tall man.

The gaunt man pushes the boy towards the girl. The boy resists, the drug seems to be wearing off. “What is this place? Where are the girls?” he shouts, looking confused and frightened. The gaunt man does not reply. The young man tries to wrestle out of the gaunt man’s grip in vain. He is shoved towards the girl. The stockbroker moves away, looking a bit excited, his eyes wide.

Everybody in the room freezes as the girl catches the boy by his neck. The boy shouts and then squeaks as the girl throttles him with a single hand. The boy struggles to push the girl away but fails. He tries to unclamp her hand but she is firm. He tries to strike her but she is unfazed. Her eyes are focused. She looks into the boy’s eyes with an uncanny kindness as she squeezes the life out of him.

The drummer in the corner beats his drum so that no one hears the sounds of struggle. Blood starts to spurt out as the girl’s nails cut into the boy’s flesh. The boy kicks and throws her a punch but fails to strike her. He finally gives up. The smell of urine fills the room. The spurt of blood in the neck turns into a gush. The blood looks bright red in the yellow light. The girl locks her lips around the stream and starts to drink. The boy crumples down like an empty tetra-pack. A trickle of blood flows down his arm, onto the floor. It rolls towards Mahesh. Mahesh is tempted to touch the blood. Maybe even taste it. The scene has got him excited. It is better than any reality show on TV.

A minute later, the girl, now goddess in Mahesh’s eyes, raises her head. Her lips are smeared with blood. She licks the boy’s face. Then with her two hands she twists his neck. Mahesh hears the bone crack and the skin rip. The goddess separates the head from the body. The body slumps to the floor. A few drops of blood drip from the severed end. He seems to have been drained of all blood. This goddess of the zopad-patti is indeed Rakta-vilasini. She holds the boy’s head in her lap, caresses it like a doll, and says, “Next question.”

The stockbroker steps back and then leaves the room. The startlet comes forward to ask the question. Mahesh is drawn to the sweat in her cleavage. The question is heard. Mahesh asks, “What do you think she is asking?”

“I think she wants to know if the producer who is doing her will finally give her a leading role in his next big budget film?”

The starlet starts to sob. The goddess says, “I am thirsty.” Another boy, similarly drugged, is brought in.

“Who are these poor kids?” wonders Mahesh.

Akshay replies, “Drug-addicts, runaways, street-kids, wannabe stars who come from small towns, who knows, who cares. The going rate is five lakh for a teenage boy. Nobody is looking for them. So nobody will miss them. The police will give up the search in a few weeks. The mafia watches over the boys, gives them drugs, a place to stay, and ensures they do not lose their virginity.”

“Is that what she meant by fresh?”

“Yes”

Mahesh is surprised that he really does not feel sick or disgusted. It’s just a body. It’s just blood. He is supposed to feel bad. That is the civilized reaction. But he does not feel that. In fact, he feels special, part of a secret society. It makes him feel powerful. He feels grateful to be part of this moment. He is so happy Akshay is his friend.

“Why only boys?” wonders Mahesh.

“Don’t you know that sacrificial animals are always male? The goddess will never accept a female sacrifice,” says Akshay.

“So girls are safe?”

“From her, yes. Not from the men,” Akshay chuckles, “They will end up in brothels such as these.”

“When is our turn?”

“Next.”

The conversation is interrupted by a yelp, the sound of snapping and slurping.

“But we don’t have a boy.”

“We don’t have five lakhs, but I managed a jugaad. Have you brought the money?” Mahesh gives Akshay the cash from his pocket.

The starlet wipes her tears, touches the feet of the goddess, withdraws and leaves the room. The goddess plays with two heads. Mahesh looks at her. He remembers the image of Kali in the street, in the pan-wala shop, in the room he peeped into on his way here and now behind the Tantrik. He realizes how deceptive calendar art is. The reality of a goddess with a string of heads around her neck is not cherubic at all.

“Next question,” the goddess yells. She sounds happy and satiated.

“Your turn,” says the Tantrik looking at Akshay.

Akshay asks the question. The goddess answers. He smiles. “I am thirsty,” she says. Akshay turns and points to Mahesh. Mahesh’s heart misses a beat.

“Sorry yaar, I was hoping you would get five lakhs,” says Akshay, unable to hide his glee.

Mahesh makes a dash to the door but the gaunt man trips him and Akshay drags him back by his foot towards the goddess. “No, no,” Mahesh shouts. He realizes no one cares in this heartless crowd. He is just an investment in exchange for a valuable piece of information.

“Kaula hai?” asks the goddess.

“Yes,” says Akshay.

The goddess grabs Mahesh by the neck and stares into his eyes. Her fingers feel hot and sharp. Mahesh cannot breathe. He looks into her eyes. She does not glare. She is kind, benign.

“No, he is not fresh,” she says and casts him away. Mahesh starts to breathe again.

“Trust me, he is fresh,” shouts Akshay.

“Trust you?” she sneers.

“He has never been with a woman. He is fresh. He told me so.”

“Not with a woman, yes. But not fresh. Not fresh at all. I want someone fresh.”

Akshay looks confused. Mahesh wants to laugh. He draws back. The goddess does not look at him. All her attention is on Akshay. She is angry. “I am thirsty. I am thirsty,” she says and grabs Akshay by his neck, “You will have to do.”

Mahesh gets up and leaps towards the door. No one stops him. He moves into the middle room, forgets his boots, and barefoot rushes out into the front room. The three gaudily painted girls are still seated on the bed, looking lost, and the Hijra is still seated on the floor chewing pan, indifferent to the crazy events taking place inside. The street kid who brought him here sits in the corner playing with a mobile. No sign of the gaunt man with the golden tooth. Mahesh runs into the narrow lane outside. He has to find his way out of this maze on his own.

He runs for his life. All the lights that spilled out of the rooms when he was coming in have been shut. There is no light except the moonlight. He runs, following the narrow rivulet of sewer water that he had seen on his way in. To his surprise and relief, in less than a minute he is out on the main road.

He wants to run but he stops. Everything seems so normal here. The street lights and their pothole reflections illuminates the canvas. Cars whiz past. The Kali image on the wall across the street is still glaring at everyone who tries to pee. The city is awakening. The pan-wala is shutting the shop. Mahesh sees the newspaper van throwing a bundle on the footpath. His is the only car parked on the road. The other cars, even the BMW, are gone. He sees the moon above, the sea lashing against the rocks behind the slum, the banyan tree in the corner, Apollo and Dionysus standing tall on either side. He looks back. No one is following him. He looks at his watch. He has been inside for over three hours.

He feels like laughing. It feels good to be alive. He looks at the zopad-patti. Everything looks so normal. No one can hear the drumbeats, the claps, the incantations, the bell, the drum, or the screams. Did he imagine it all? He looks at the rivulet of sewer making its way to the gutter that runs by the road. It gleams in the street light. It is red.

  • rajesh

    very scary…..but could not grab conclusion or moral which is the key for all your articles sir..

    • Devdutt

      This is fiction….forgot to say so in the title

  • Giriraj Bhatia

    Something very different from you Sir!!!!

    More like a novel.

    Cannot understand the message you want to convey.

    • Devdutt

      this is fiction…forgot to say so in the post initially

  • deepali patil

    hello devdutt ji,

    when i was reading your article it made me feel as if i am watching a movie. i love the way you narrate the story. yes it is true that most of your articles have some morals but i guess this one is a food for thought. i mean we can take it in either way. there would be a sect of people who believe in such things and others who find it rubbish. and people like us keep wondering between superstition and spiritual powers. whatever it is i don’t think it is right to give human bali for our material benefits.

  • Kausik Sen

    Excellent. Keep writing….

  • sujeet

    Good story. would love to see a piece on tantric vs mainstream hinduism.
    Apparently animal sacrifices still happen in some parts of the country.
    How is this reconciled with non-violence to living beings.

  • rose

    2 gory….tantra will get a bad name..btw did u ever witness something like this ????? 2 real to have been fiction

  • Ankit

    This is well written. But is there any hidden or deeper meaning in the story or characters?

  • aarthi raghavan

    Hi Devduttji,
    I understand that it is fiction. Yet I don’t get what you are trying to say. Is it something about Goddesses or something about people who deceive people with such things?

  • Deepankar Sinha

    This atleast proves the point that people would do anything to know the future. It shows the fascination that humans have for knowing the unknown. But at what costs?

    Also, the Tantriks would sure get a bad rep after this story goes viral!

  • swapna

    Very horrifying but captivating. Very well written.
    But I dont get what she meant by ‘not fresh’. Was he gay?

  • Radhakrishna

    Dear Sir,
    I read most of the articles written by you and have always been intrigued by the essence – be it human behaviour, mythology etc. Reading this sent shivers up my spine and I am a 50+ guy ! The scenes came back to me in the wee hours and I had restless sleep afterwards. Relieved to know that this is FICTION. But this one pager beats all the 300+ pages of several best sellers of this genre.

  • Kanu

    It’s fiction but it has the same flavor of all your writing- that things aren’t obvious, cut and dried in Hindu mythology :)
    I loved the plot and it seems obvious that you wanted to make us rethink our perceptions of Kali- thoroughly enjoyed it!
    I hope you don’t mind me saying that the writing could improve. But then again, it would probably become too long. All in all, now I’m really hoping for a book of short stories from you!

  • Atul Bhide

    OMG!

    Cant believe its written by the same Devdutt Pattanaik………simply amazing!!!!!

    But given a choice, I prefer the other DP & not this one!

    Best Wishes!

  • Vinayak Iyer

    Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!

    Devdutt has mentioned regularly that the stories have to be the reflection of our current situation and this story is very much aligned to the current situation where everyone is in the rat-race to grow and exploit material world.

    I can smell the pages of new series of fiction books coming from Devdutt on this series.

    Thanks a lot Devdutt!

  • Thrinath Jalamadugu

    Wow!! Wat a fascination way of narration…awesome Devdutt ji!

    Never seen such a style of writing from you. Real fascinating. Really as someone above commented, you put many best sellers at shame with this just one page.

    Just stepping into the shoes of Mahesh, going to the tip of death and coming back….GOD!!Can’t express it.

    And coming the moral of the story, its subjective.
    My perspective: Freshness or purity of one doesn’t depend on the virginity. It depends on serene soul and the inner of the individual.

    Btw, is it a teaser of whats next in the store from you sir? But, i love to see you the old Devdutt style, as many others are there for these way & style of writings.

    But, absolutely loved it.Dramatic, fictious and realistic enough to scare even a grown up.

  • This article is great and actually captures the divinity of Shakti.

    It is very hard to conceive Shakti both as the terrifying Kali and benevolent mother but Devduttji has done a great justice to her image in this article.

    He has explained how Adi Parashakti is benignly available to even those who inoke the darkest aspects of nature which She represents.

    How SHE is kind even in HER ruthless and bloodthirsty form – Mother as she is – and how treachery is punished and innocent is protected even at the basest and wanton level, is perfectly detailed.

    Kali is shown as an opposite of what our current society thinks the concept of Mother is.

    This story amply demonstrates that divinity, when available and called upon by even the basest of people would still remain divinity.

    The tantrik from Tripura is trading his power and spiritual know-how to call Mother within a girl ( who might herself be a victim of this tantrik’s ambitions).

    Mother in Her aspect as Kali becomes available to the sincere chants of this tantrik, even if he is a trader ( just like Shiva – the all pure – became available to the whims of Raavan).

    A market is created in the darkest corners of Mumbai and a market based on the trading of the fiercest aspect of Mahashakti.

    Now see what happens in this story, assuming the following:

    – Godess Kali did enter the girl

    – The Tantrik from Tripura was genuine even if he was a trader

    First, Godess could only have entered partially in the girl because if Godess Kali had entered in the very aspect as she was created to destroy Raktabeeja then all the blood or whiskey in all the three worlds would have been insufficient to satiate her. It would have taken Shiva Himself to appease her and not the blood of a couple of drugged boys.

    Notice that she comes and plays along with the whims of her audience. She asks for whiskey and then blood and when offered a sacrifice, she consumes it ruthlessly.

    But is it ?

    Devdutt ji mentions that whenever she takes a struggling victim, she has nothing but kindness in her eyes.

    It’s a very sublime understanding.

    We all have to die. Some die naturally, some die of disease and some die because their death is caused by others.

    It’s Mother who consumes all and if one is directly killed at Mother’s alter then she takes him with kindness but people who trade others’ lives for their own benefit do not go un-punished.

    So, a goat may not have much say when it is sacrificed at Kali’s alter but the all loving mother would not only take that goat in her lap by caressing her like a doll but those who are responsible for dragging Kali herself in pursuit of their ambitions would also face a befitting fate.

    And the best part of the situation is that Mother loves both the victim and the one who causes others to become a victim.

    And for those who are in doubt, yes, Mahesh was gay.

    • aarthi raghavan

      Nice interpretation. I couldn’t figure this out until I kept thinking about it for almost 2 days.

      I’ve heard people say that it is lucky to be killed by Vishnu because after that you would be in his place. So, I guess the same thing applies to Goddess Kali!

      • Ajay

        Aarthi if you think that being killed by Divinity ( Vishnu / Kali ) is a way to Moksham then you would destroy Divinity itself..

        Know that Divinity is within you and you will have to realize it within you whether through Vishnu or Kali.

        If being killed by Lord / Godess is a license to salvation then let us all not do any karma. Let’s be all wanton and chaotic enough so that Divinity comes and slays us and then our position in God is secured. This would then be buying the divine through chaos.

        Look at your stance.

        Kaalnemi was killed by Vishnu, but then he was born again as Kamsa. There are endless examples of asuras being killed by Vishnu but are born again.

        Take Jaya and Vijaya, the dwarapaalas of Vaikuntham. Were they not cursed and fell as demons ?

        See, if God is everywhere then Vaikuntham too is everywhere.

        It’s just a matter of your perception.

        A bar is a place where people come and drink and make merry.

        So what would you call a place where friends get together and drinks are available and they make merry, even if it isn’t officially a bar.

        A bar right ?

        Similarly Vaikuntha is where Vishnu is celebrated and loved and enjoyed.

        Vaikuntha may be a spiritual place where Vishnu resides always.

        But if Vishnu comes among a group of devotees who are chanting His name with love, would you call it less that Vaikuntha ?

        And conversely if Narayana leaves Vaikuntha , would you still call it Vaikuntha ?

        Think.

        • aarthi raghavan

          Hi Ajay,
          Thank you for your thoughts! I didn’t mean it like that though. It isn’t always that Moksham is granted when you are killed by Divinity. You have every chance to come back to earth. That’s why we do karma! I just wanted to say that it isn’t bad either and the God or Goddess know what their doing and always have compassion over us. Anyways, thank you for making me think over this!

        • Sudip

          What if one does not want to come back? I don’t!

  • shekhar varshney

    hello sir, i suppose, u experimented on fiction writing. And undoubtedly, u really made it great. I would love to read ur further writings.
    everything apart, this time u played a trick with ur readers, u left a question to them. An open question, to explore the symbolism in word ‘fresh’. Well, i m not concieved with the idea that mahesh was gay, coz u have hinted that he was looking at hooker again and again. Well, it is more deeply symbolised than one expects. As far as i can guess, sir has written out there that the term kaula is used in vegetable markets. And to say that fruit is really fresh, it need not be ‘sada gala’, even a pinch size bacteria on it will take its freshness. Likewise, one need not be with woman to lose freshness, even a thought of it affects ur purity. The other way is, i m not sure if i should say it here, masturbation. It doesnot reaquire a partner but you can entertain one in thought. Well, i myself raise one question if it would have been the case, how then maa rakta vilasani drink blood of rakta beej and other asuras, they cant be virgin, or were they?
    now u have to take answer ur question, sir

  • bids

    very gripping…excellent narration sounds so real…

  • shashidhar

    Devdutt ji,
    amazing article.. it was reallly gripping and a completely new turn of thoughts.
    On serious note, your fictional accounts will be amazing and gripping.(however i feel that people may be abhorred with this turn of you. )

    i wish you best of luck.

  • ANUDIP SAMUI

    I think the simple idea here was about “Kaula hai”…

    The hidden truth is that if you are Fresh then you are vulnerable and you may succumb to the Cruel society…

  • gregario

    The divinity invoked reminds one of Vaital Deul in Orissa; and the Ettukai amman – eight armed Devi -of Kolli hills, Tamilnadu.

  • Mystical Sense

    Before reading the article i thought it would be about kaula/kula/kaulika.
    Didn’t know that ka’ula was a Hawaiian island..

    -mysticalsense
    The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong. Carl Jung

  • ravi

    good job my boy!

  • ASHISH JHA

    Dear Sir,

    Thanks a lot for posting this article, this is one of the most fierce form of kali i have ever seen (while reading it I actually visualized it).

    As it was said that “she will give u what u want, for that u ll have give her what she wants!”

    What does Bhadrakali wants?
    As she is a domestic Goddess, she doesn’t drink blood, so what is that what she wants from her “bhakta”.

    I ll be glad if you reply to it.

    Thanks & regards
    ASHISH JHA

  • you weave magic!

  • Blood sacrifices whether of human or animals are just symbols. The point to note is that it is always the male animal which is sacrificed to a female goddess. We never see a female animal being sacrified, or a male God being offered such sacrifice. Sacrificing male animal to a female goddess is a symbolic aggression of women against the patriarch society and the enormous power which remain latent inside women.

  • disqus_e0o44DUfwa

    lovely article