I had a strange dream last night, must have been the paneer mutter and macaroni served by my friend. Heavy food titillates my imagination.
This is how it went…I was on my way back from work and pretty late at that – traffic moved at snail’s pace – almost inching its way through. “Must be an accident” guessed a morbid-looking lady. “no, no, it must be a new traffic route”, ventured a practical looking gentleman, “ Perhaps a strike suggested” a teenager. “It’s a morcha exclaimed the driver who after all had a ringside view of the tamasha.
Again there were wild guesses as to who could be on the morcha. Doctors, lawyers, students, sweepers, telephone wiremen, pensioners. “Look” said a voice, it’s the morcha of Goddesses!” sure enough! We all strained over each other’s shoulders and tried to get a glimpse of our favourite goddess. I tried to spot Lakshmi but she seemed to be lost in the crowd. There was excitement all round. “Let’s go and see what’s happening”, said a curious lady and everyone thought it a bright idea. “I’d like to see what Saraswathi looks like”, whispered the teenager, who obviously had problems with Maths.
In less than a thrice everyone had got down from the bus and some one whispered in awe, “ its goddesses going on a morcha to the Council Hall! They are angry about sexist discrimination in the scriptures”.
“We want equality”, shouted the goddesses. “Down with God chauvinism” they added. Lakshmi was leading them and she was flourishing a memorandum listing their woes.
Mike in one of her four hands, she read out aloud, “we the female inhabitants of heaven, protest strongly against discrimination practiced by Gods and also the mortals. I, Lakshmi, want my position to be changed. Why should I be seated at the feet of Lord Vishnu while he reclines lazily on the seven hooded snake bed?”
Sridevi and Bhoodevi wanted their status to be clarified by their husband who is allowed to call both of them his wives. They wanted to know who Biwi number One was. Saraswati would not be single anymore. She was tired of sitting alone and playing the veena. She wanted to marry and have children – lots of intelligent ones like her.
Rambha and Urvashi refused to be looked on as seductresses. They did not want to be sent by the Gods to disturb the penance of Rishis. Sita wanted to come out of exile. It was unfair of Rama to lord it on the throne and banish her to oblivion just because of the dhobi’s gossip. And what guarantee that he was faithful to her when she was in Ashokvan? Draupadi wanted a divorce from four husbands. She was tired of cooking and cleaning for five husbands. She also wanted to lodge a complaint against Dushasan for sexual harassment. Radha wanted legal recognition as Krishna’s wife. She was not satisfied just dancing on the shores of the Yamuna with him while he pranced around 16,000 gopikas. Parvathi wanted a temple for herself. Her sons have temples and so does her husband – even Khusboo, an actor..no reason why she should not have her own too. “We want justice.” Shouted the Goddesses.
They in fact got carried away and were about to break the police cordon when Super Cop Kiran Bedi stepped in with a purposeful air and drove them back. “Ok girls you’ve had your say. Now back to your places please” she shouted. Lakshmi gave her a disdainful look and said, “You mortal women are responsible for our plight. If you did not make so much of our husbands and your own-calling them pati parmeshwar they wouldn’t think so much of themselves!” The policewomen surged forward with their lathis to disperse the crowd, which almost descended on Lakshmi.
“Leave her alone.” I shouted and woke up with a start. There on the wall was a picture of Krishna grinning down at me.