Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Short Story : Alamu's journey into the world of Ramayana - Part 2

Here is the second part of this series

Alamu's Journey into the World of Ramayana - Part 2

by Vatsala Dorairajan

Story so far...

Alamu, a young girl, begins yet another journey in her dreamland. This time She is transported to a strange place where squirrels speak and young boys run errands and collect firewood for their Guru. She is hiding from the view of the squirrels and the boys, and listening into a rather intriguing conversation --

"What a tiring day! Let us quickly take rest under this tree. Would you like to have some fruits?" said the elder of the two boys. The other one replied in affirmative, and both started munching the fruits from their cloth bag. There was that wonderful glow on their face that one couldn't take their eyes off them even if they wanted to. Alamu was no exception to this. She watched them without batting an eyelid.

 "Bhraata, hurry up, we need to collect firewood and firesticks and return to prepare for tomorrow's lessons as well" said the younger one to the other. "Sure, I have almost finished my fruit, just give me a few more minutes" said the elder. The two boys had distinctly different complexions, the elder a little darker and the younger one a little fairer, inspite of them clearly being brothers. "Ok-kay bhraata!" beamed the younger
one, "what was it that Acharya mentioned today? It was a very interesting comparison, isn't it?" he continued. "Indeed" came the reply again. The younger one was clearly the more talkative of the two thought Alamu.

 "But although we just learnt it, I am not able to recollect it clearly. What was it about Tamasa river, that Acharya mentioned?". With an affectionate smile on his face, the older of the two boys said, "After Devarishi Narada told him about the story of Rama, Acharya came to the banks of our Tamasa. And he was so struck by its clear waters, it reminded him of the minds of good ad noble people and he said --
 "Akardamam idam teertham Bharadwaaja Nishaamaya |
 Ramaneeyam prasannambu sanmanushyamanoyatha || "

"Wow, Tamasa was so clear at that time Bhraata? Like the clear minds of good people? Such a nice comparison!! I will definitely tell Amma about it." said the yonger one. "Tamasa is as clear and beautiful even today, my dear. And recounting to Amma is possible when we reach back home, so hop along my brother!", so saying, both of them quickly got up and left.

 Alamu's concentration on the subject of the conversation was broken by the commotion from above her and before she could realise, the squirrels almost ran over her to the spot next to the tree to grab the left overs from the boys' snack. She watched them pick up the nuts and left over fruits, and just then something happened. One of the squirrels snapped its paws and that tree started to turn. Instinctively clinging onto the nearest branch, Alamu saw the two squirrels make a lunge to the nearest reachable branch of the tree as it started spinning fast. Speaking squirrels, spinning trees, some river called Tamasa, Alamu was thoroughly perplexed where this was all leading to. Was this a dream? or reality? And not to mention the headache that she was developing due to spinning along with the tree. Just when she was about to cry out in pain, it all stopped. The tree had stopped spinning, and was now stationary near a stable of cows.

To be continued...

You can read Part 1 of this short story here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Short Story : Alamu's journey into the world of Ramayana - Part 1

Some interesting news - Presenting to the august readers of this blog - My 3 part short story - "Alamu's journey into the world of Ramayana",  a parallel of the famous novel "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Caroll  -'s_Adventures_in_Wonderland

Alamu(shortened from Alamelu) is a young girl, who is known to often wander into interesting and intriguing places with help of Nidra Devi, the sleep fairy. Read more to know to about her experience this time --

Alamu's Journey into theWorld of  Ramayana   - Part 1

by Vatsala Dorairajan

That gentle cool breeze wafting just around her face while the sunshine warmed her feet made it feel all the more comfortable and cozy for Alamu to keep her eyes closed in sleep for some more time. It was a few minutes later, that it struck her that she had gone to sleep on the cold damp grass under her favourite mango tree in her garden and it was winter when she slept. But this felt warm and pleasant and cool, all at the same time.

 So what was this place? And where was it? Intrigued to know where the sleep fairy, Nidra Devi, had brought her today, she gently opened her eyes, sat up and looked around to see if she could identify anything or anyone around her. Before she could make any sense of the surroundings , “I wonder what Rishi Valmiki taught the brothers today”, squeaked a voice above her. “I just cannot wait to lay my hands on the nuts that are going to fall off their bags as they trundle along this path”, squeaked yet another voice. The conversation and the voices, both were very amusing to Alamu. A quick glance upwards the tree that she sat under, revealed that the owners of the squeaky voices were two squirrels, intently gazing at the row of huts just a little ahead along the mud path beside the tree that Alamu was sitting under.

 “SPEAKING SQUIRRELS!! “, totally awestruck, Alamu silently listened into their conversation. “Always nuts over some nuts!! Now pay attention, they will be here any minute now”, exclaimed the first squirrel. Just as the other squirel opened its mouth to lash out a retort, all the three's attention was disrupted by two beautiful voices humming “Rama Seetha Rama Seetha Raama Ram”.

 Are THESE the boys that the squirrels were so excited about? Who are these boys anyway? And Valmiki wrote Ramayana, right? How come these boys are learning from him? Questions upon questions were piling up on Alamu's mind, and her curiosity grew two times taller than herself. Containing herself, she watched intently as the two boys came closer to Alamu's tree. By this time, she had managed to hide herself behind it, so as to not get noticed by anyone else. Settling down nearby, the boys began to talk.

To be continued...

The other news good news about this piece is that it has been accepted for publication in the latest(January edition) of a newsletter of a Pathasala dedicated to South Indian Religious Tamil Literature.

The public link to the image version of the published article -

The public link to the entire newsletter (English content is from 5th page) -

The blog post of the Pathasala linking to this particular edition of their newsletter  -