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V P Gangadharan

V P Gangadharan: Horrid-scope

Though belated, Sukanya has now got the resolve.

Over twenty-odd years she has been going through a consuming angst that welled up in profoundly bitter tears to flow out into oblivion – the tears that once held out an eloquent testimony of a girl’s fate rewritten! A combination of fear and loathing provoked a blind rage in her, eventually drying up every drop of those tears. Emotional feelings being materially parched, a schism opened up between her sentiments and obligations to the familial root. Perhaps cursing her own imbrued fate that was predestined by the crass bigotry of her conceited custodians, ultimately she decided to stomp off the fold.

Humanly suppressing all the innate cravings of a full-fledged youth she has been all the while asking for only one favour: justice to the rule of nature, a virtual beggary to social fairness. Time and again she desperately pleaded to lift the heavily hanging mantle coerced upon her having been deprived of an independent choice for matrimonial companionship. Any endeavour for emancipation was inexorably precluded by the hidebound society virtually stalling a thriving youth in the rigid confines of conventional fetters, for she happened to be born amidst a bunch of fundamentalists.

No less than four well-regarded marriage proposals she had received with sated consent, the latest one being from an Adonis. He too was ruthlessly discarded from the wedlock proposition by her fanatic father.

You ask: “Why, anything wrong with the boy?”

Not at all! He was a beau ideal with an immaculate background overall, had a Doctorate in Psychology and practised in Ireland having established his own clinic.

You wouldn’t wait for the next query: “Did he like the girl?”

Indeed, he did.

“What then was the fuss all about,” you wonder!

The answer is just one word: Horoscope.

You shrug noncommittally, which clearly means no. And you retort: “You must be kidding!”

Not, at all.

“Well, then please unravel the conundrum,” you shout.

After a long deliberate pause you are told: “Apparently he had Chevvai dosham (kuja dosha).”


The reply again is short and just one word: Stigma!

The proposed girl as usual became the victim again. The dogmatic parents blatantly rejected the proposal. Her mother couldn’t be blamed since she wasn’t privileged to having any scholastic patronage nor had much of an exposure to the outside world. But, her father was well versed in academia. He’d been a Dean in the faculty of Sociology, in Ottawa University. The paradox of the whole myth is that his eldest son, chip off the old block, a prodigy of Harvard University, had been in wedlock with a girl of a perfect horoscope. The young wife, an embodiment of her passionate husband, died of brain cancer. His second wife, another discovery with perfect match of horoscope, won after a relentless search, abandoned him after little more than a year, leaving behind a mentally retarded progeny. Intriguingly though, the child was born in immaculate astrological conditions and claimed to have ideally belonged to a perfect star.

Having gone through a series of nightmarish events of her adulthood she grew cumulatively weary. Licking her wilted lips and crying all those tears she knowingly let her sanguine youthfulness wither away while chasing a mirage with disbelief and dismay…

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday... If you spend your life forlornly waiting for the blue bird of happiness to fly over you....’

Her lips trembled whenever she recollected those lines she once read somewhere.

‘No more tears! Enough is enough…’ She muttered to herself and determined to venture out of the rut – the mangled disposition of gutless self.

Suddenly she had a sense of urge to seize the moment and felt like raising that razor-edged voice to beckon: ‘Dad, plunge a dagger deep into the hollowness of my chest that’s full of passionate dreams, discarded vanity, broken promises and perished hopes…’

At long last, summoning up all courage she took a daunting decision to pick up her pen, and with tremulous hands started writing on her father’s letter pad:

Here is my soulless body with the setting sun in my face, still lamenting at the inevitable intersection on the pathway of life not knowing decidedly which way to turn, after a bloody long, perturbed wait. Having been drained of life, now I need to seek some drops of elixir to my tired soul, brain and body. Whimsical tales of days gone by with lots of teeth-gnashing and hand-wriggling will now remain a slew of woefully worthless memories to me.

I am determined yet again to assume my pragmatic stance that after marriage my destiny is going to be re-shaped by myself and my partner, but never by any celestial objects that exist millions of light-years away from this earth.

I know I have to break away the unwieldy shackles once and for all before I continue my life’s journey. I may have to hurt your feelings by doing just that. Nonetheless, I need your blessings all the way through my pursuit of self-effacingly simple but a meaningful life that I yearn to recoup...

Before I write anything further, let me ask those who took the spiteful decisions to reject all those marriage proposals brought forth by many an intimate one in the light of Horoscope match, the enigmatic practice of foretelling future events by looking at the stars and planets:

How am I supposed to live my life?

Having become a victim of social carnage, carrying a mutilated soul, I dissent from this ignominious religious practice with might and main. With heart in mouth, standing upright on this mother-earth I ask:

Who else is going to live my life?

She didn’t want to hear an answer from anyone.

Leaving behind the written letter-pad open under the lamp-shade, with tears in the eye she bade wordless goodbye solo at the egress as her ears shut against the yelping dog’s unanswerable plea behind the corroded iron bars of the squeaky gate.

And without turning back she kept striding briskly away from a colossal pulpit of dogmas devoid of sanctity....





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Jim Wungramyao Kasom: The Search
Lahari Mahalanabish: The Museum
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Sridhar Venkatasubramanian: Déjà Vu
Tulsi Charan Bisht: Flowers
V P Gangadharan: Horrid-scope
Vrinda Baliga: Siege

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