The serial Ramayana had convinced my husband that at the root of all problems lies a woman. One can’t but agree with him. The innocent, gullible Dasaratha, granted three boons to his young wife who saved his life. A gallant gesture indeed and one would expect the beneficiary to go in for something dear to her heart. Instead, Kaikeyi takes a rain cheque, which no man should be foolish enough to grant.
Smoothly cashing in on her forgotten (by the king of course!) promise, Kaikeyi demands something dear to his heart. That’s the perversity of woman. The wily Manthara is another perfect example of the crooked way a woman’s mind works. She can foresee what a short sighted man wouldn’t even dream of. She uses the most deadly and persuasive arguments to win her case and teaches her mistress the right tactics to break her husband’s defenses. She advices her to throw away her jewels and go into a sulk – knowing fully well that a weeping woman, sans her glitter, can break the heart of a man; who better than a woman to practice man psychology to win a point?
Moral of the story: Never believe a woman’s tears
Then comes the next mischief-maker Shoorpanaka. What she wants, she wants to get and uses her first weapon –beauty – to woo the handsome young princes. When they scorn her, she turns her wrath on the hapless wife who is in no way responsible for the situation. The enraged demoness (if that’s what they are called) wants to get even with the men who insult her and decided to do it through a woman – by hurting her. How unfair her methods are. You can’t help being fascinated by her scheming mind and tactics. She knows her brother will not attach too much importance to her insult – so she plays a different tune – of wanting to gift a woman to her loving brother: she knows his weakness and doesn’t hesitate for a moment to exploit it for her own ends
Moral of the story: Women don’t play fair
The third facet of woman as troublemaker is Sita herself. Even in the stark pristine environs of a forest, her eyes light up at the sight of a beautiful deer. So far so good – after all, appreciating beauty is a woman’s strong point. But when she wants to acquire it at any cost, that is her weakness. Despite her brother in law’s cautious words, she insists on having the deer – dead or alive. To make matters worse, she uses the most effective argument to make her brother – in – law go to her husband’s rescue. She accuses him of cowardice and having evil designs on her. This is the trump card of a woman who wants her way with a man. She knows he will rise to her bait as he does under duress. Then comes her undoing. Her tendency to disobey. Gullible enough to be swayed by the disguised Ravana’s admonishing her lack of hospitality, she forgets her brother – in – law’s warning and steps out of the Lakshman Rekha drawn as a boundary. Naturally, she pays for her folly. In the bargain a whole lot of others and entire dynasty of demons goes up in flames.
Moral of the story: Listen to good advise even if it is from a man
‘Ramayana’ has been hailed as the story of Rama but would there be any at all, if not for the four women who made it happen!
Moral of the story: Women are not peacemakers but are warmongers!