Of Scherazhades

Utsarjana Mutsuddi

An impassioned thespian and an ardent transcendentalist who thrives upon the sanctuary betwixt the covers of a book. An ardent traveller who schemes of magical beings and parallel universes in her spare time. A fervent optimist who hopes to see the world transform into a better place.

I

The teller spoke of a land
Where Old women go to live
For how long, I wondered
They weave and weave and weave
White gray and old
The women weave.
Do they weave stories? Do they weave destinies?
Why were we told to fear them well?
Did they go to lands forbidden?
Did they tempt or spoke to loudly?
When the teller’s voice faded away into my dreams
I found myself dreaming of lands.
I dreamt of the khirer nodi,
Only it looked stale.
I dreamt of the shondesh er gachh,
Only it was rotten and smelt.
Across the khirer nodi next to the batasha jhop
A little path led me to new adventures.
Some similar looking places.
With the Coca Cola fridges, neon signs, plastic chairs.
Some dingy looking ghettoes next to the pink river.
I travelled through conversations that
made all the sense yet made no sense at all.
I walked through emotions like an intruder hiding in the dark.
But then when I woke up
The women white and gray
Returned to my thoughts.
I wonder why Ai Buri.
I wondered why Scherezhade.
I wondered why Tuntuni.
I have a choice to make.
To be the stories around me
Or be a story all alone.

.

II

In the valley of the blue and yellow flowers
Where the clear stream passes through
Between the mountain of dead and the mountain of hope
There is a tiny hut.

A bewitching lady sits there for ages.
No one’s seen her twice.
She is a story of enigma.
She has lived for a thousand years.
The Valley they say is cursed.
She’d say it is a beauty only curses can protect.

Once a very long time ago
She lived in a town.
They called her Scherezhade of the hills.
She lived on stories.
One day her patron asked
“Where do the stories come from?”
She said “dreams”.

The wise old advisor warned the patron.
“Dreams are a dangerous thing.
They make you go mad.”

The next day the patron asked Scherezade
Where do your stories come from?
She said “dreams”.

The patron was warned by his wise advisor
“Dreams make one mad. Madness makes one do unspeakable things”

The patron asked a third time.
Where do your stories come from.
She said “Dreams”.

The wise man advised the patron
To question her of passion.
He did.
She said.
“Stories are those moments of clarity in the clouded dreams of our hearts.
Passion is how we find which cloud and which dream.
I once loved a man whose lovemaking wrote a million stories.
On my body, in the crest of my breasts, in crease of my vagina,
in the cups of my joints, in the hollows
and rounded hills of my skin.
He made love like I was an adventure.
He discovered me like a new land.
He ploughed me well before he sowed his seed.
His eyes brightened when I smiled or shrieked.
I saw a million stories in my head when he lived his favorite adventure in me.
This.
I know if passion.”

Infidel, unchaste and witch she was branded.
She left to look for newer adventures.
Scherazade lived on forever.
She survived a 1000 years.
She did not whine for loss.
She fought to exist.
The marks on her skin that make her looks so old and haggered.
If you’d seen the same on a man you’d call him a warrior.
She looked for adventure in every man that passes.
Some left her with boys, until one left her with a girl.
The boys all died the day after they were born.
The girls they lived, to be Scherezade from then on.
Generations of murder, survivors and passion.

Legends they were born to be. Legends they became.
Fairytales write of them so cruelly.
The tellers of stories become the villains of an age.
Those that told stories people needed to hear.
Became villains.
She sits in her villain like hut in the villain like valley.
She waits patiently till its time for her stories.

2 thoughts on “Of Scherazhades

  1. Pingback: Content And Contributors – April 2015 | aainanagar

  2. Red-haired Ariadne waited for her lover on an island for a thousand years. When she saw him at last, in a future reincarnation, her beauty and youth that she had held on to by sheer power of will, got stripped apart and fell away. The source of stories are indeed dreams, and the source of dreams are memories. Living makes those memories. Keep writing.

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