Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the Immoral of it all

Im not a great one for Jataka Tales - but i got a chance to read a translation this evening and heres how it goes

The Sambula Jatakaya may be taken here as an example (Amaramoli 1962: 250-258)
  1. source

    King Bambadat of Varanasi appoints his grown son to succeed him, and makes the princess, Sambula, his consort.

  2. She is most beautiful, with skin so lovely it glows like a lantern in a dark unlit place.

  3. They live happily together for some time. The heir-apparent then breaks out in a terrible rash.

  4. Informing the King it is better to die alone, he leaves his harem behind, yet as he tries his best to take leave of his wife Sambula, he finds he cannot not do so, and takes her with him.

  5. He builds a temple in a beautiful forest, and resides there.

  6. Saying, “My Lord! Do not fear, I shall attend to all your needs,” Sambula worships him and goes into the forest with a basket and tools to pull out roots and pluck fruit. She brings a basket of fruit to the temple daily, then fills a pot with water and bathes the king with many herbal balms and ointments. She feeds him sweet fruit, gives him scented nectar to drink, and covers his wooden bed with the branches of trees to make it comfortable. When he is asleep, she attends to all their other needs, washes herself, eats her own meal of fruit, and then sleeps next to him.

  7. One day on her way back from the forest, she sees a rocky pond, and placing the fruit basket on the ground, goes into the fresh water and bathes. Applying turmeric to her body, she sits on a rock. The forest delighted in the beauty of her body as if the forest was covered with the rays of gold.

  8. A rakshaya flying by, seeing a princess more alluring than all the golden women of the heavens, and falls in love with her. The rakshaya says to her, “The whole forest glistens as if gilded in gold because of you, I bow before thee! – Who art thou?’

  9. The Princess says, “I am Sambula, wife of Soththisena, the son of the King of Varanasi, in the City of Kasi.”
    “Why serve a prince so severely diseased, so helpless and alone? I will make you the favorite of my harem, with hundreds of the finest performers, dancers and musicians, you shall be their Queen, and delight in whatever you wish. I shall be your husband.”

  10. “Rakshaya! My husband is sick; I sorrow for him day and night. What is this beauty you see in me, my clothes so rough and rude? This forest abounds in nymphs, goddesses and Naga damsels. Select one of them. What use could you derive from me? Do not pursue me.”

  11. “What anyone most enjoys in this world belongs to me. Come with me, let us make the most supreme love. If you do not willingly come with me, I shall take you by force to live with me. If you still refuse to live with me, I shall kill and eat you.”

  12. “This rakshaya will take me, pluck off my hands and legs like stripping sugarcane, but this will not sadden me.’ What is grief to me is if the king so sick for a long time thinks that Sambula, being so young and pretty, so much so no one’s eyes can turn away from her, is late returning – because I was making love with another…”

  13. Sakra, the king of the gods then appears and warns the rakshaya. The rakshaya listens in fear to what Sakra says, and lets the princess go. Sakra, thinking this rakshaya may harm her, then whisks the rakshaya off to another mountain, and returns to heaven.

  14. As the sun sets, the princess walks back to the temple in the moonlight. The king hearing movement thinks Sambula’s lover is returning with her to kill him. The king hides and watches.

  15. The Buddha then said to those assembled thus: Sambula returned to the temple that day in the moonlight. She could not find her husband, and with great sorrow, walked here and there, crying…

  16. Soththisena, seeing his wife in great sorrow, her heart at the point of breaking, shivering and begging for help from the gods, appears at the door of the temple.

  17. The heir-apparent Soththisena says, “Women are fickle, and cannot be understood. Just as one cannot determine the course of fish swimming in the water, and of birds flying in the air, the nature of women too cannot be fathomed.” Sambula then performs sathiyakriya, resolute in her own fidelity.

  18. Due to the power of her fidelity, the husband’s rash is cured. Crowned King, Sambula is made Queen.

  19. The King, however, ignores his Queen and spends his hours frolicking with his harem. Sambula, overcome with shame and jealousy, grows weaker day by day.

cut and pasters comment : - uhm, there is a moral in there somewhere.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We need a car but Im keeping my kidneys, thanks!

Husband Sells Wife's Kidney

thats a good headline and its really old news but I really wonderd how it was done, dont you?
and what we women could possibly market of our husbands if we set our minds to it...

ok heres the long and short of it and of course it happened because some people think that women are chattel(or was the word cattle?)
of course we are chattel/cattle if we sit around and wait while our organs are sold on the open market.

youd think one would notice ourselves a little LIGHTER and the guys bank account a little HEAVIER...gnnnn
I like to think of the dialogue which would have gone on after that say about ten years down the line, when they are old and grey and the guy is all mellow and contrite

W: you hopeless louse you, you took my thingy and sold cheap- its worth more than ruddy tractor see it doenst even have proper accelerator and its all rusty now
H : but honeypie I was thinking of our future...why you always harping on this , ok so I made a mistake , ok so I should have told you about it - I wanned it tuh be a liddle suprise !

W. its bl**dy taking up twleve feet in the front porch you asole , how can it be a little surprise...

ok ok at last - to find out how it was actually done just google for MAN SELLS WIFES KIDNEY
becos the link is too long to paste here
and I know what youre all thinking...she has TWO kidneys ...

Monday, August 13, 2007

El Caballo Negro*

“ I went for my riding test today, I really must blog about it!”
“Why, what happened?!”
“Nothing. It was all very efficient.”
“You’re right; you definitely should blog about it!”

Well, dear Readers, at last, at the ripe old age of , well, a few years away from forty anyway, yours truly went for her driving test. Or to be precise a riding test, since I am actually aiming modestly low for the class D license so that I can legally operate my hot Caballo Negro, on the wonderful action packed streets of Colombo, and a little further out too, if possible…
So, I’ve changed my spectacles, dyed my hair, registered the bike, taken it out on practice runs, and last but not least filled my organ donar card and kept it in a easily accessible place in my wallet so that if Im found brain dead they can salvage the rest, and here I am ready to hit the streets , well hopefully not literally but , you get the picture…

Why unprotected?
The written test itself was rather an eye-opener. I have never actually seen half the signs in the Highway Code book on any of the streets I have traveled through. I believe studying seriously for this written test has given me a true appreciation of road signs. Im sure that I will sit up and point and take pictures if I see an obscure road sign somewhere in Habarana or wherever. The dubious fact that you never see orange and green together on a traffic light was impressed upon me. Nice drivers, believe it or not , are not supposed to park on the pedestrian crossing (maybe I should carry my Highway Code around everyday and read sections of it out to them politely?) and there were odd multiple choice questions like :
At night due to low visibility you should
a) Have really bright headlights
b) drive very fast , since there is not much traffic
c) drive carefully since visibility is low.

With such challenging choices one can imagine why there are quite a few failures in Colombo and also wonder how any one actually passes, considering what they actually practice...
...The exact sign for Unprotected Level Crossing is burned into my minds eye along with my tiny scribbled footnote on why such things are allowed in the first place, since they look like very dangerous situations. I wonder - does it take a messy, gory death or two for our Local Government to find the money for a small piece of wood with a stone at the end of it ? I know a lot of banks and government departments and even department stores have those little barriers, why can’t we afford them?

Wither the fairer sex?
And this is what I noticed most about the people at the Driving Test joint. There were, if I calculated correctly at least from a hundred to hundred and twenty people that morning and out of them I’d estimate 80 % were youth between the ages of 18 and 25, another 10%-15% were more mature looking guys of around upto 35 years of age as a maximum and as for the 8 or 9 females apart from myself, they could have been anywhere from 20- 40 years old, and they were comparatively well dressed and looked like they were from genteel middle income families. So what happens to the poor lower income females, like my Kusumawathi ? Is it some plot to make sure that they are always immobile, always dependant on their generally drink sozzled men-folk? Why have the Colombo guys made sure that poor women in Colombo cant at least ride a bike or a bicycle to get their work done, but must continue at the mercy of the tyrannical weirdos on buses, or in tuktuks? Or is it the women themselves, shutting themselves in with an established attitude that somehow it’s Just Not Done to get yourself a license unless you can afford a car? What am I missing here, by being so thick skinned?

And , how long will I be here?
I confess to being a total and utter scaredy-cat at heart. Coming from a very sheltered background but being compelled by a fierce lust for independence to defiantly shake lose the caring shackles of my long suffering loved ones, I find myself nevertheless praying hard when I’m on the bike, discretely trying to ride as close to the drains as possible at a maximum speed of 25 kmph, praying that some large drunk bus wont make a meal of me as it races along on its deadly business. If my life were actually in my own hands it would be bearable, its not- its at the mercy of some hairy, godless, drunk semi literate third-world public transport driver out there who just may be having a Homicidal Negligence Day. Or perhaps I will be ridden over by one of the racing non governmental intellectuals in off roaders who criss cross Colombo with important agendas and are not only sloshed but have been breaking rest too, at the local Karaoke bars till 3 am…. Who knows? I just pray that it will be quick. Ce sara sara, or whatever. My nights, then are punctuated with disturbing visions, not exactly dreams and yet, not nightmares either ,of being gently put to sleep – merciful release in a sense, but of course there is that element of the unknown which appeals to the encaged adventurer in me: where would I go from here? And yet, my friends, you know why I do this?
I guess it’s because I can.

/aka the Drain Rider chronicles
And that means, the Black Stallion in Spanish, which is what I have been trying to learn for the last 3 years, and haven’t really had the time for. Its on my to do list.