Friday, December 5, 2008

My take on Laxman!!

As I was reading through the summary of Ramayana a very weird thought hit me. And it hit me right in to the head! Now before I got in to that theory, let me accustom you guys on how the story of Ramayana unfolds and what is it that sets the base of Indian Mythology for ages to come. In a nutshell, the story is about a young, handsome and devoted (wife-loving) prince of Ayodhya (who despite the polygamy-like practices of those ages had immense love for his Wife Sita). And in this un-dying love for his woman he crosses saath-samunder to avenge the humiliation of his wife. So as wars all over the world has been fought over some woman or the other... Ramayana was no exception.

Going back to the story... Dasharatha, King of Aydohya, has three wives and four sons. Ram is the eldest and the best guy. His mother is Kaushalya, a mother who has carved the niche for all Hindi Film mothers through the next few thousand years (especially the 70s!!!). Bharata is the son of his second and favorite wife of the King, Queen Kaikeyi. The other two are twins, Lakshman and Shatrughna. Ram gets married to Sita after winning her love in the pompous Swayamvar, and brings her back to Ayodhya. Dashrath decides to hand over the throne to Ram, who is seriously good at this job. However, King's favourite wife is not happy with the arrangement at all! She thought that she is obviously the favourite dame of the family and she might as well use her charms to get her way (very clever, I must say! As my friend Khushboo pointed out.. she is more like Samantha from Sex and the city!). So obviously, the charm worked (women know how to get their way). She wanted her son Bharat to get the throne and send Ram to some Forest place to roam around for a while. Well not a while, actually 14 years. Phew! that's quite a lot. Anyway! So Ram is like really the Good Obedient Son. He goes away to the forest, and Sita and younger bro Laxman follow him. They were having a nice time over there, but then came a twist in the tale. An episode that made me think!!

So enter Surpanakha! But before I forget, in the original story and the photographs Rama and Bharata are blue, perhaps indicating they were dark skinned or originally south Indian deities. What I dont get is why Blue!! I mean even Lord Krishna is drawn in a blue paint. After much thinking, I came to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe... in those days' paintings, they did not use the color black cos if they painted it black they would not be able to demarcate them from looking like Rakhsas who were always painted in black. So to separate the somewhat black/dark ppl
from rakhshas they made the rest of the dark guys Blue. Hmmmm! interesting!!!

Anyway, coming back to Surpanakha! So, much read Wikipedia describes Surpanakha to be of the same breed as Aphrodite of Greece who started the war of Trojan. Surpanakha AKA Indian Aphrodite, is described in some Tamil versions of Ramayana as a beautiful woman with fish-like eyes (also known as Meenakhsi), but in Valmiki's Ramayana, she is a Rakshasa (quite ugly so to say). Anyway, not judging her by her looks, the original story tells us that she was awed by Ram in the jungles and approached him for marriage, Ram was monogamist, he directed her towards bro Laxman who also refused her. She then got angry and tried to insult Sita, Laxman enraged with her guts cut off her nose and Surpanakha ki Naak cut gayi!. She went back to Lanka (Sri Lanka) and complained to her mighty brother (Asura King) Ravana... who was pretty pissed off with the whole thing, and went to the forest and kidnapped Sita in some kind of a private Jet plane, and imprisoned her in Lanka. Ram obviously had to get her back. So, Ram, Lakshman and the monkey army (will write about that theory later) build a bridge from the tip of India to Sri Lanka and went on to get Sita back. A battle followed of course. Ram killed and massacred the Ravan family, Laxman even very slyly kills Ravana's very hot and muscular son (*sob sob*). Meghnad/Indrajeet AKA the hot son was too powerful to be defeated and so Laxman kills him from behind when he is sitting at prayer without his arms (not much of a heroes' fight I must say). So finally Ram frees his lovely wiffey and brings her back to the Kingdom (14 years is over by now). And then Sita has to give an Agnipariksha of her purity (don't even get me started on that) and then they live happily ever after... well not exactly happily! A lot of Luv-Kush drama followed.. :D -- But coming back to the point, the real twist of the story! In Valmiki's Ramayana, the Ravana is the bad guy, and Surpanakha is the Vamp. But what I could make out was the the poor Ravana was a nothing but a highly misunderstood fellow. I read this beautiful poem once by a renowned Bengali Poet, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, called Meghnaad Vadh Kavya, in which my sympathies for Ravana first started budding. Well, what I get from this Valmiki story is that...

The real deal perhaps was that, Surpanakha a lonely widowed female came across Rama, whom she liked. But Ram was unavailable so she went to Laxman. Now Laxman, left his wife behind and was very lonely, so they had an affair. But Surpanakha insisted on Marriage like a true Bharatiya Nari.. Laxman refused!! Shaadi aur tumse.. kabhi nahi!! huh! so Surpanakha suddenly turns Jhaansi ki Raani and decides to tell Sita about her Devar's misadventure. But Laxman got freaked out! and then he disrespected Surpanakha's honor (ahemm! I don't want to use Bad words in the post.. but I am sure all you guys know what 'Naak kat jaana' means in Hindi, especially when referred to a woman!) So with all the disrespect and humiliation she goes back to her brother Ravana. Now what would any Brother do in a situation like this!! Ravana is more powerful than an underworld Don, and he has the resouces (private jet and all)... So he says, you do stuff to my sister (ahemm!!) so I will kidnap your bhabhi! And off he goes... but never in the whole kidnapping process does he ever disrespect sita by cutting off her nose (:P). So, I think it was pretty justified. All Laxman had to do was to admit to his bhaiya bhabi of his extramarital affair, but nooooo!! He had to go and start off a war, and kill poor Ravana! I can't help but feel sad for the whole thing!!

I will take a short break now... will return with more on Ramayana Parde ke Peeche!!


  1. Exactly!

    Like I mentioned yesterday - More on why Ravan was a gentleman.

    1. He was rich and well-educated. Probably an MEG (Most eligible guy) in those days of polygamy.
    2. He loved his sister and he took care of her. He even started a big war just to avenge his sister's misfortune. Implies - Ravan was a family man.
    3. Though he kidnapped Sita, he did not 'naak kato' her but just kept her in a garden (and not even in his bedroom or anything!) with people and servants to take care of her.

    Now we all know who is the villain in this big epic - Lakshman!

  2. lmao! I can't wait to read stuff on the monkey army now :D

  3. Laxman should have made it clear that its just a fling and nothing else... thats what happens when you keep the expectations high... also cross cultural differences were not given priority then.. !!

  4. I dont understand why all of you missed the obvious point. like is it that u ppl are not aware or that u dont wanna say it? Ram was sent on exile with his wife for 14 years. Mind it 14 yrs..!!and Laxman went with them. Now Guys, here is a man who is newly wedded and his passionate marriage stint has just kick started, but what does he do, leaves his wife and goes with his elder brother and his wife..come on spare it sane? now there can only be one justification. and here it goes. Laxman had a steamy extramarital affair with Sita. Yeah ppl its true, and the youth of sita (i used the word 'youth' coz i cudnt degrade them any further)was so alluring that Laxman followed her in the jungle leaving his wife..sad but true..then during their time in the forest, Ram like a stupid old fool used to go for hunting and here sita and laxman did honkyponky.Now comes the twist in the tale. One day Surpanakha saw Sita and Laxman in a compromising position, and Like a women of india (mind it she is a dravidian, a true indian)she wanted to tell ram about this infedility. Laxman freaked out, and since his u know what escapade with sita was not complete, he completed it by manhandling surpanakha.those of ypu who still believe laxman had cut her nose, please people grow up..he had actually cracked the nut.This left Surpanakha devastated and out of disgust and desire to die she the poor woman went to her brother asking him to salvage her lost honour. and then what ravan did was morally right and was very chivalrious. Come on nowadays who will steal a woman and keep her in his lavish garden give her time of a year. So you see i guess i have done the job of disillusioning a lot of you quite well...Now i leave it for u to decide...whether u wanna say JAY SIA RAM or do u wanna ponder over the gospel truth that Laxman was the first man in the history of our civilization who said "SORRY BHAI"

  5. Brilliant deduction, Narcissist!

    Reading what you said has made me think -

    Its also possible that Laxman was gay? He left his wife and Surpanakha caught him red handed while he was 'indulging' himself. Possible, right?

  6. @Debu: thanks for the brilliant deduction, dont know how i missed the obvious point. :D

    @Manasa: I do believe that there is a slight possibility that he was caught in the act by Surpanakha!

  7. OHO!!Poor Ravan
    I enjoyed this post.

  8. thanks Tarun, glad that you enjoyed the post! :D

  9. Good post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you seeking your information.

  10. Dear Upasna,while everyone has a right to have his/her own point of view i would strongy disagree with your interpretation of laxmans character.If he wanted to enjoy materialistic plesures like comfort,money,women,etc he could have easily stayed back in the palace and need not come to the forest to face the hardships.It was only his selfless devotion to his brother that he choose to come to the forest for 14 years.Shoorpnakha was an evil&characterless woman who wanted to kill sita so that she could marry ram and laxman only protected his sister in law(whom he respected like his mother).Unfortunately in todays world we cannot see any relationship without adding an element of vulgarity to it,today it may not be so but 4000 years ago people followed dharma and respected their word.So anyone who tries to givean ugly look to the character of laxman is perhaps reflecting his/her own deeds or character(no offence intended to u)Imagine if u make a great sacrifice for the well being of ur brother or any member of ur family and if someone accuses u of doing so as to make some material gain or adds a vulgar angle to it how would u feel.Pls dont malign characters which have laid the foundation of our indian culture and who are looked upon by many people as role models.I may sound like an old fashioned guy who is trying to give some gyan to this GenX but i only reflected what i felt after reading your post which maligns the sacrifice of great Lord Laxman.Do reply to this post of mine

  11. OMG! Epic post. Dont know how I had missed out on this one. ROFL!