Monday, February 07, 2005

Parinayam-3

Flashback contd…

Days pass by, the young widow is not permitted to participate in festivities or watch her favourite Kathakali performances even when they take place in the Tharawaad itself- Mohini accepts everything with a quiet resignation. She runs into Vineeth- the young Kathakali artiste once in way- within the temple precincts- or perhaps on her way to the temple tank…they exchange a few words- Vineeth is besotted- he dreams of her…Mohini too is not untouched but she does not indulge in dreams- she knows dreams were not in her Destiny…

One day, Mohini receives tidings that her brother’s wife had delivered a son after a long anxious wait- Mohini is eager to see her nephew and after securing permission hastens homeward- however, her brother is aloof- she is not permitted to participate in the ceremonies- because she being a widow was considered an ill omen- and at this moment when she is spurned by her own brother, the gravity of her fate dawns upon her…The meaning of widowhood is revealed to her…only her aged father is pained , but he was helpless as always. She silently goes back to her marital home- she realizes that now she had no other recourse- she was doomed to an obscure existence in the dark interiors of her late husband’s “illom”.

Time passes…even in the darkest of nooks of the huge household- it is festival time- and Kathakali performances are being held in the household- Mohini and the other widows are however not allowed to sit among the audience but they can watch from the windows of their rooms facing the inner courtyard…The rest of the household are rivetted to the perormance- Vineeth is also performing brilliantly- each night a different mythological story is enacted, and each night after delivering a brilliant performance, Vineeth stealthily enters Mohini’s chamber in full costume regalia- one day he is Arjuna, another day Bheema, each night a Mythological hero visits Mohini in ethereal splendour- the colours on Vineeth’s face leave their mark upon Mohini…! Nobody notices another story unfolding behind the scenes…

Days pass- festival is over- the festoons come down, the cymbals and gong are silenced- the artistes depart- the household falls back into monotony- but something has changed…forever!
Mohini is pregnant- the secret is out- but how, who- the question remained unanswered- The household is scandalized, Mohini is banished to the barn- the “Jury” is summoned- Mohini withdraws into Silence-

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