(Maya is absolutely distressed for the new article. It has to be launched by the end of the week. “Stop Being Sita”, “Stop Following Sita” or “Sita-The Untold Story” – she is still confused about the article title and the contents. How far does she know the mythological character who even didn’t exist in real, at least Maya thinks that way.)
“…You May Find Good People and You May Find Cheats, What is important is that you never cheat yourself…”
An unforeseen noise came from nowhere in the cabin. Maya was sure no-one was in there.
Maya: “Who is there? “
–“Two thousand years and hundred of references and this is what we have? Stop Being Sita? Seriously Maya ?”
Maya: “I can hear you. Where are you and who are you?”
–“The same judgmental approach! Unbelievable! No one’s understood a thing. We are right where we were! FULL CIRCLE!”
The lady voice was wise, confident and strong as if there is no confusion. And there she apperaed. A lady with open long hair, wearing a beautiful gown with absolutely no jewelleries on her body, not even bangles. Oh! She looks a split image of Maya. For a moment Maya got surprised. She must be hallucinating.
Maya: “Who? Who the hell are you?”
–“I am the one you have a problem with. The same one, you are trying to save all womankind from…”
Maya: “I don’t understand! Who are you? and Why do you look exactly like me?”
–“What! Are you sure that you can’t recognise me?”
Maya: “It can’t be. Are You S…Sita? How can you be Sita?”
–“Oh ! Siya! So this is what you like? So then, Siya it is. Anyway, It’s all one and the same, right?”
Maya was confused seeing a woman with flesh and blood, looking exactly like her, claiming to be the Sita before her. She was confused how to respond and react to that. She pinched her self. Oh! She isn’t dreaming at all.
Maya: “Is this some kind of joke?”
-“Not at all…
…Ram, Sita, there is no distinction. The minutest and the most atomic or minuscule, between them whatsoever : Adbhut Ramayan, Canto-1, Verse-20.”
Maya: “What are you trying to say?”
–“You tell me. What are you trying to say?”
–“All this about saving woman from being Sita. This is the Joke!”
Maya: “What nonsense?”
–“True that. Utter nonsense.”
Maya: “This is what I know.”
–“Is this what you know or is this what you have been told?”
Maya: “Its the same thing.”
She took a pause, smiled and started dancing around. She no way looked like the Sita we saw in Movies, read in Novels or heard about. She was wearing modern attire, and an absolute playful yet confident look in her eyes. This can’t be Sita. She is dead thousands of years before. Oh! Did she even exist in real! How is this possible that she is here, right in front of her? Maya was thoughtful. She was talking while dancing around like a cheerful teenager. She continued,
–“If that is so, why haven’t you completed the glorified article of yours on Stop Being Sita?”
–“Never mind that. Why are you doing this?”
Maya: “Doing what?”
–“This article! Why are you writing it?”
Maya: “Don’t you see what’s happening to women all around?”
Maya: “So all this exploitation, this tyranny, this mysogyny has to end.”
–“Ahh! But how will this article help?”
Maya: “It will tell women to stop taking it. The fight begins with them. They have to stop worshiping false Gods.”
–“And they are…?”
Maya: “All those who gave Sita a tough time including Sita herself. Its time someone tell her story…”
–“…The way it really is, right?”
Maya: “of course! There will be some creative liberties.”
–“Hmm! You mean speculations or hearsay that suits your cause?”
Maya: “Writing is an art. Its important for people to understand what you are writing.”
–“Which means you will only tell them what they wish to hear?”
Maya: “So what is wrong with that?”
–“Your promotions depends on it after all Ms. Associate Editor.”
And she started laughing again. Maya was shocked how this strange lady knows all about her, looks alike yet thinks absolutely different!
Maya: “How do you know…What is your problem? Anyway, you would have understood my point; have you ever been independent in your life.”
–“Is that what you really think about me?”
Maya: “Of course and everyone knows this. Frankly, I think its even worse.”
–“Is that so! Tell me more?”
Maya: “You are the worst role model for women. You may be a Goddess, so to say, but you have never had any views, any opinions or feelings about your own life. You just did as someone asked you to do, went along when someone asked you to come: left when someone asked you to go and even jumped into the fire…”
–“…Just imagine! Then…?”
She was enjoying her words! How strange! If she was claiming to be The Sita, She should be humble, soft spoken poor obedient lady. On the other hand, this Sita is crazy! And then, Maya thought, if this is some kind of a prank pulled on her, she would show the lady some more harsh.
Maya: “You are a complete joke.”
–“Hmm! Interesting! Go on, go on!”
Maya: “This, this attitude is the problem. Its never enough. You need more. More oppression. More torture and this attitude has laid the foundations of our culture and our traditions. Glory to the groom of Siya, Ramachandra! (Siyabar Ramchandra Ki Jaya!)”
–“Thank you. Thanks for glorifying Siya’s husband. Hailing a man for being a wife’s husband. Feminist!”
Maya: “Feminist? Seriously? You marry someone just because he lifted a bow!”
–“Not an ordinary bow, my Darling!
That bow, which was a boon from Lord Shiva. That bow, which no-one could displace let alone lift; that bow, seeing which even Ravan took to his heels…and that bow, which I used to lift everyday very easily, for dusting and cleaning it.”
She took a pause, smiled, came closer and whispered,
-“There was one who equaled me and I married. In fact, last I heard you also wanted to marry an equal, right? So, aren’t we similar?”
Maya: “Don’t you dare compare with me. I wouldn’t have gone to the jungle with someone for fourteen years.”
–“Oh! don’t know about you, but I did want to go!”
Maya: “Huh! As if you had a choice!”
–“Of course I did. “
Maya: “Yeah, right! And How?”
–“Don’t tell me you don’t know. “
She surely wanted her(Maya) to know that. Maya now is wanting to listen to her. So, she gave her an ear.
-“The King Dasharatha clasped Sita to his bosom and most lovingly admonished her in many ways. He described hardships of forest life and insisted she stays back. I had a choice to live like a princess in Ayodhya. I had a choice to go back to my parents.
The only choice no one gave me was to go to the forest. It was my choice to defy everyone’s choice and go. It was my free will.
And the decision about my going or not going to the jungle, led to a lot of squabbling between Ram and I. And the funny part was that both of us were thinking only about my happiness.
Only such advice as is conductive to my best interests. I have, however, pondered within myself and realised that there is no calamity in this world as great as being torn away from one’s beloved lord :RamCharita Manas-Ayodhya Kand, Decent 2, Doha 63, Chaupayee 3 & 4.”
Maya: “Ok , but…”
Didn’t Maya ever think this way? Now for a split second, all her knowledge and study were failing her before words of this Sita.
–“Ok, Tell me one thing. Your Daddy neither has any circle nor any professional work here and in-spite of that, he relocated here with you when you were transferred here. Have you ever thought why?”
Maya: “He loves me. And any way, its his choice. I didn’t ask him to come along with me.”
–“Exactly. You don’t need to say anything when you love someone…”
Maya: “…And neither do you need to prove anything.”
–“Exactly. Neither do you need to prove anything.”
Maya: “…Nor do you need to give a trial by fire.”
–“Right, nor do you….”
Maya: “Some role model you are. Pathetic.”
Now that somehow, Maya started believing in her words and her, being Sita. So, the mythological character, who often was underrated in the glorified ‘Ramayan’ is actually arguing with her! How interesting ! Maya didn’t stop there, nor Sita. She(Sita) continued,
–“Pathetic? Of course. I am pathetic. But what could I do..haha?
I was hopeless, I was helpless, victimised, exploited. This is what you waned to hear, right?”
She took a pause, again laughed and continued in a thespian way,
–“Sorry, but it was nothing like that. You’re sure that you have read Ramayana properly?
The ‘Trial by fire'(Agni Parikshya) wasn’t a trial. It was a means to bring me back.
Do away with the Maya(illusion) Sita and bring out the real Sita was hiding on fire. Shadow goes in fire. Sita is back…”
Now, while uttering these words, her face was glowing. She(Siya) was telling her own story–probably to herself(Maya).
Maya: “Why don’t you leave me alone?”
–“Because if I leave, you would get distracted from the issue.”
Maya: “There is only one issue. There is no need for Sita. Get lost.”
–“Its important to understand Sita. She…”
Now that, Maya was arrogant. She(Maya) interrupted her and asked her to leave.
Maya: “Don’t you start again.I don’t need you and I don’t need your advice. “
–“I know. I was just trying to tell you that…”
Maya: “No! Just don’t say anything. You just leave.”
–“Its not so hard…”
Maya: “Just Go.”
Now Sita was gone. She suddenly evanesced. At that moment, Maya wanted her to come back as she was rude to her.
Maya: “I am sorry. I was rude. I told you to leave. Are you around…!”
And she appeared again out of no where.
–“Don’t flatter yourself darling. If even Shri Ram couldn’t send me away without my consent, what is your standing?”
She laughed in a mysterious way, paused and started chanting Slokas. She was Sita. She is beautiful. Sita doesn’t look anyway like a typical woman we often see, pray or read about. She is just like an ordinary being – a WOMAN with pride, respect, voice, wisdom and a power to over rule anybody. She chanted,
“In the forest, amongst pious begins, Oh Raghava!
-Valmiki Ramayan, Uttarakand, canto 42, verse 43″
Maya: “TO hell with associate editorship. “
Maya: “Its time someone to tell her story, the way it is.”
–“Of course, and no creative liberties. Only the truth!
But what good will come out of this one article? There is a mindset about Sita, an image. How will that change?”
Maya: “Why? Didn’t my perspective change?”
–“You had a purpose. You needed references to write the article.”
Maya: “Yes, and now everyone needs to be told this.”
–“But this is an age-old problem. Right from our families to schools, our society, television shows, films and even modern intellectual translations are all about this mindset about Sita — Exploited, wretched, helpless, victimised !”
Maya: “But that’s not right.”
–“But what about the millions who believe this?”
Maya: “So let’s call the bluff.”
Maya: “Come on!”
–“Maya, Its like fighting a system. People run their shops on Sita’s name and image.”
Maya: “So, we will shut them right down.”
–“Almost everyone is running a shop Radicals, Liberals, Politicians, Pandas, Priests, Story tellers, Novelists, Journalists.
This is a Million headed Ravana!”
Maya: “So we’ll take them on, one head at a time.”
–“But they are too many, they are too strong.”
–“Do you know,
Finding that the Demon Ravana was cheering, jeering and rejoicing loudly, at his stupendous feat showcasing his matchless and great powers, potentials, strength, valour and pouch; the daughter of Janaka, Sita laughed derisively with a shrill bone chilling tone!”
Maya had tears in her eyes. She held her hand for a while. Sita’s palms were not softer at all. They’re rough as if she was carrying a whole earth for a very long time. A form of a true Goddess! With a heavy voice, before Sita evanesced once again and forever, she said,
“If Sita had not taken matters in her own hands, NEITHER RAVANA WOULD HAVE PUNISHED, NOR WOULD THE RAMAYANA HAVE FINISHED. Sita Created The Rama and The Ramayana!”
…And She Left, merging her soul with Maya’s!
THERE IS NO MENTION OF LAKSHMAN REKHA IN THE VALMIKI RAMAYANA OR THE TULSI RAMAYANA. BELIEVING SUCH ‘CREATIVE LIBERTIES’ TO BE THE TRUTH IS WHERE WE FAIL MISERABLY.