Thursday, July 30, 2009

When the wedding bells ring

“The Wedding Night” by renowned Malayalam writer Dr Punathil Kunjabdullah was his maiden short story that was published. Written sometime in the 50s, it made me think why I didn’t read it before. Then I thought of Srinivasan’s reasoning that everything has got its own time. [For those who didn’t get that let me explain - Srinivasan is a comedian (is he?) in Malayalam cinema, more or less a brainy breed of his kind. A story teller who uses laughter as the best medicine. Being a fuming chimney {If you try to argue that fumes won’t come out from the top when somebody thinks, then I am ready to give up} himself, he can induce the same in the audience too.]

Note: No need of applying the mathematical protocol when opening the brackets

Before returning to the story which is an autobiographical one which took place in the author's childhood, I would like to specify one more thing - that if u have to feel the real essence of the story, then you should go for the Malayalam version (I wonder whether it has been translated into any other languages though).

The story takes place in a Muslim background where the ceremony of circumcision which is also considered as a wedding and has much animated celebrations than that of a normal wedding. The story goes through the emotions of a small boy who considers himself as the day's prey. The child views the happenings in his house on the wedding day through the window besides his bed. His eyes are leading us to the big vessel where his pet is being prepared to be comestible. “Bappan”, quiet a strange name for a pet, but I am sure that after reading the story, this name won’t diminish from our memory soon. The boy is trying to hide in the darkness like a deer but that was not enough for him to elude from those sturdy guys. Though he is a kid he has a vague idea of the inevitable. The child’s legs are held tightly by the helpers while the man with the deadly thingy in his must delicate hands did the rest. The boy’s fears takes the reader to a world of agony that if you are a male, at least once you would have given the warmth of your hands to ‘it’.

The child sees things in a fading light and doesn’t have the grit to see the holiness he’s acquiring. Bappan was the pet bull of the child. (You should conceive the fact that not only pugs can follow you wherever you go).The sound of the bell which was tied to the neck of the bull haunts the child in the night. He’d asked for the bell lying alongside the exanimate “Bappan”. He appallingly remembers that he became frozen when the stout butcher stared at him. Even in pain he sees the evil occurring in front of his eyes. He tries to liberate an insect from the lizard. He recalls the story of Prophet which imparts him the thought that killing a lizard is sacred. But this time he is getting hurt as he moves upward. His “holiness” touches the cloth which resembles a tent that is tied in a sophisticated manner without touching the body. His older brother comes to his aid this time.

The boy’s frustrations are evident here in an emblematic manner. He becomes sleepless when the soul of “Bappan” follows him. It’s like that; when we become bedridden we will realize the value of certain things, when our mind goes through a journey of the past. The poor child thinks about his mother who in his words is sleeping beneath the ground of their mosque. For a moment he thinks of his mother’s presence in the bed. Later he regrets thinking about her. To the child everything once dead is fearsome even to think about. He becomes watchful when the sound of the bell approaches and realizes that it’s the one tied to his cat. The boy’s anguishes lead us to the feelings of longing and loss that are not confined to a private misery. The writer successfully portrays the challenges in life and the situations of prolonged loneliness that can even drag a person to insanity, through the innocence of a child. When you are in such a state, your perceptions are your own thoughts that others will be miffed and you will be faced with myriad questions.

Throughout the story you can see the boy's quest for affection and care but many times he has been ditched and becomes destitute. He was totally shocked and deprived when his second brother too ignored his call for help. When he falls prey to the fate’s dramatic meddling, the subtle feelings emitted by the nature in the forms of bells, thieves will act as a mockery .His voice seeking help ended as one in woods. The story thus ends in a melancholy.

No comments:


Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates