Friday, September 9, 2011

Of the Brilliance of Cuckold and the Betrayal of Urmila



Finally, I finished reading Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar..Yaaa..what a book..brilliant..amazing..touches your heart..makes you want to introspect..Cuckold is basically story of Maharaj Kumar, the heir apparent of Mewar and husband of Meerabai. It is a story told through his eyes, how does he feel when his wife is in love with someone who he can't even kill..How does he cope with his wife's mad love for the Blue Flautist..he is jealous, troubled, disturbed, and so madly in love with his wife but the thing is he cannot do anything..As he says, "You can exorcise a devil but how do you rid youself of a God." I had first heard about this book from HT and Brunch journalist Poonam Saxena who had written in her weekly Saturday column Small Screen that how she wished someone could make a TV serial out of it. I was immediately fascinated by the book. 

And you know why I was so spellbound?! Because I always thought the same about Urmila - a woman who history never gave its due! Urmila was Lakshman's wife. I think she made a much bigger sacrifice than Sita. At least Sita had her husband by her side. All fourteen years Urmila prayed in the temple, lighting diyas, and wishing for Lakshman's well being. Her love for Lakshman stood the test of time. History extols Ram and Sita but no body talks about Urmila. Can anybody imagine what she would have gone through? Lakshman had refused to take her along as he wanted to take care of her in laws. Why does no body talk about her? It is so unfair. So is the case with Maharaj Kumar..he has been forgotten in the annals of history! Two other woman I have always felt sad about are Mandodari (Ravana's wife) and Rukmini (Krishna's wife). Mandodari was an ideal wife and she copes with her husband's love (or lust) for Sita so gracefully, all the while knowing that this would lead to his end. And about Rukmini? I mean the whole world says Radhe-Krishna. Where does she go? How would she would have felt..jealous? I don't know..But I always pause and think about these people who in-spite of being betrayed never stop loving their partners. Amazing! Maybe I should also write a book on Urmila and Mandodari inspired by Cuckold :)

A had gifted me this book on my last birthday..I finally started reading it this year and finished it yesterday only. I have become so slow in reading, earlier I used to read so fast but ever since job has started, I don't get the time. The thing with me is I need to read the book with full concentration and enjoy it. I can't read when I am tired at the end of the day or in cab or randomly..Anyway, too much off topic..

Kiran is a fabulous writer..he writes so deep lines that leave you enchanted and enthrilled to the core! Sheer poetry in motion..what prose..what language.. Yaa, seriously there are such creative people all around, be it any field, people are simply outstanding.


I am writing some of the most beautiful lines from the book..I wish I could write the entire book here!

It was the stuff of bad nautanki plays. Man, Woman. And Lover. Except that the last one was an Almighty God.

The green of grass is a possessive, greedy colour. It doesn't leave an inch of space for anything else.

The lapping up of the void is a soothing sound.

To combat a God, one must become one..or at least masquerade as one.. (This was my favorite  part in the book when Maharaj Kumar dresses up as the Blue Flautist Krishna in the hope of getting some love from his wife)

We were that rarest of couples. Even after years of marriage we were madly in love. I with her and she with somebody else.

Identical twins are close but true enemies are closer.

Can Gods have birthdays? We thought they had no beginnings and no ends.


Ah! yes the truth. What a to do we make of this word, when we all know we could be so much better off without it.


Is there anything more painful and lonesome than betrayal? Yes there is. It is loss. And worse than loss are the tricks the memory plays.


There is no truer meditation than music and no journey of discovery greater than that of looking within. 


If detachment  is fear of failure, and hence never putting oneself to the test or if it is the fear of being hurt, humiliated or rejected, then one is closing all doors to life, to the possibilities of happiness, pain, dejection, achievement, and experience. The though of afterlife or lives or moksha does not mean that we miss out on this life. This is our only chance to engage it.


Eyes. You cannot unlock them. They conceal almost as many secrets, suffering, and the follies of men as the flowing river.

Bhishma is the ultimate icon for our notion of sacrifice and loyalty. But it might have helped if had ventured to question his beliefs. Is he recommending that we abdicate ethical choice and thus abandon the responsibility of our acts. Do we stick to people, however, mistaken or evil they may be, merely because we were born on their side or should we owe our loyalty not to people or institutions but to  values. Bhishma ma have served humanity better, if he had the courage not to follow tradition blindly but to weigh in on the side of the right. Integrity is not enough, only when it is in the right cause then it matters. (On Bhishma's vow to remain celibate all his life)

There are so many more lines but I wish could write more! Such deep passages that hit you like a thunderbolt. Super!!

In love with Kiran Nagarkar. Am a fan!

3 comments:

  1. Nice one . really touching lines! I like these two much

    1.)Ah! yes the truth. What a to do we make of this word, when we all know we could be so much better off without it.

    2.)If detachment is fear of failure, and hence never putting oneself to the test or if it is the fear of being hurt, humiliated or rejected, then one is closing all doors to life, to the possibilities of happiness, pain, dejection, achievement, and experience. The though of afterlife or lives or moksha does not mean that we miss out on this life. This is our only chance to engage it.

    Just saying what i like making this comment this big. din't mean it otherwise.

    Above all.
    yes above. Nice new font :)

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  2. I started with Cuckold, but I was not getting the time to read it. So, have postponed it till the new year :(

    Your points about Urmila, Rukmini and Mandodari are so very valid. I kept on thinking about them long after I had finished reading your post. These characters have definitely been betrayed by the creators of history and epics. I hope someday someone will do them justice.

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  3. I think Mandodari n Rukmini characters are very common in everyday life... u can find them... i was amazed by the way Hillary Clinton carried herself during Bill Clinton's affair... especially in US .....lot of people had lot of opinions...n i guess lot of women deal with this type of thing ... but cuckold is amazing ...for the first time a man is bieng put into such a situation... hey what abt the rab ne bana di jodi ... imagine srk the nerd's situation ...his wife is in love with other identiy of his and he doesnt like it ... well emotions re very complex and cant be stereotyped i guess.. rukmini's way of love was to be silent and accept .... so was mandodari and urmila to follow her husband's instructions....

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