kiskiKAHANI (the Ramayana Project)

300 Ramayanas and Counting . . .
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Test of fire

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Fellow Styonkars,

As SigEv just transmitted to you, the experiment has failed and I have returned. Yes, three hundred and four kosos before I was due. But remaining on Earth would only have wasted waste precious time. The Planet of Colour did not meet the criteria and I was compelled to ask Dharti to carry me back. We must begin the search for another, more worthy race. I intimate you now, before the official sabha meeting due in the eighth hissa, because it is best we resume the archive searches, choose from the volunteers and draw plan layouts. The time of the bequest approaches and another deserving race must be identified before the 444th Chakker of Larissa around Styon. And this time we must choose more carefully, lest our trial fails, like it did with Earthlok.

For the first time since the Rounds of the Bequest, a race has been denied what it should have easily earned. Certainly you will want to know why – particularly the Mantris, whose fate it is now to scout for the next beneficiaries. The matter however, will be much discussed at the sabha, and it is futile to delve into details in so short a correspondence. It’ll suffice for now to know that our side of the test went on without a hitch, but they faltered repeatedly. Their last act proved them clearly unfit for such a historic revelation. Mercifully though, they will never know what they have lost.

The answer to the eventual ‘why’ of existence, the question plagues every race’s soul. It requires either minds that are open enough to grasp its vastness or small enough to live only for the truth of the moment. Earthlok can boast of neither; the Planet of Colour is far too frivolous to deserve or appreciate such a gift. More so because the bequest can never be reversed. On the Planet of Colour, birds talk, chariots fly, humans perform miracles, but their minds are caught in tight webs of mediocrity. The race of Manus is petty.

Subhi and Jaul, my patient trainers, you would have been proud had you seen your pupil merge so seamlessly into the role of a royal Earth princess, complete with all the conventions and ceremonies. Goka, the wisest of Mantris, on your advice we tested not any random Manus but he who was considered The Best among Men – Purushuttam. When a race is ready for the reason behind its existence, the particular suffices for the examination. Yet, worried about mistakenly rejecting Earthlok due to the faults of an ill-chosen candidate, we picked the one who they deemed the highest among mortals. One who embodied every value that they cherished; one who acted on their highest principles; one who will in fact be hailed the Ideal Man for centuries to come.

Morphed into an Earthwoman, I prayed to their Gods, wore their garbs and accepted their relationships, as planned. Their customs, like those of many Presight races we have already witnessed, are obsolete and reek of fear. I saw Earthwomen, clever but conniving, brave but narrow, their children shackled by tunnelled visions. These however, were not our criteria for the decision, and they were accordingly ignored, allowing for the role of conditioning, the convenience of repetition over rebellion. And in any case, it was Purushuttam who counted.

You are already aware, due to Dharti’s SigEv transmissions of Significant Events that I chose him at a special Earthlok ceremony, to be what they call varyingly, var, husband or pati. Later details shall be divulged at the sabha, but subsequently, situations compelled me to live like a nomadic Earthling, wandering alone, isolated save two Earthmen, one of whom was my Earth var, the Purushuttam. Strangely, those were blissful moments, spent in picking wild fruit, bathing in sweet streams, feasting on the colours of the famed planet, away from their ritualistic lives. A far cry of course from the comforts of the palace, but what do fourteen Earth years of physical difficulties count in a sea of eventual youthful immortality?

Youth. Lust. The flying chariot – you were worried about me, I remember, and it took six SigEv transmissions to assure all Styonkars of my safety. But I did not blame him. For lust is fuelled within the loins and as loathsome as it is, it will never be a perversion of the heart. Isolation again. This time within flowered gardens and perfumes, punctuated by wise counsel of beautiful women. The role, the test, the mute pretence – I thought it would all end when finally the battle was over and the ten heads smashed, smeared with blood and dust.

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