Ye Olde Tragedie of Ravana Superstar

Jilpasura drops his heavy school bag on his bed and picks up his Nintendo DS to play Metroid Prime.

“Not before you’ve had your lunch, young asura”, says Jalsa Rakshasi

“I won’t eat unless you tell me a story”

“Ah well. Ok. I’ll tell you the tale of the obsessive compulsive Prahlada who had his father served as lunch to a hungry lion”

“No. That’s for bedtime. This is lunchtime. I want another story”

“Ah. So you have put up the new Ravana poster your uncle bought for you on Ghatothkatchmas.

Shall I tell you the tale of this legendary Electric Veena rockstar who got into trouble for trying to help a lady who had an abusive husband and a paranoid brother-in-law?”

“Yes. yes. Tell me that story”

“Not before you eat your meat”

“Yeah yeah. How can I get any pudding if I don’t eat my meat, right?”

“Yes. That’s a good asura. Now, hear the tale of the legendary Electric Veena rockstar. He was a brilliant musician, so musically gifted that legend has it that during a concert in Yaazhpaanam, a critic exclaimed that Ravana did not just have a head for music, he had 9 of them. Such was his mastery.”

“Oh. So that was the legend about the multiple heads. I actually used to think that they were real heads. But wait, weren’t there 10 of them?”

“Don’t be silly. Even if he had to have more than a single head, it had to be an odd number so that he could balance all of them on his neck. 10 heads will make it 5 on one side of the neck and 4 on the other. Anyway, let me continue. One day, he learnt of this fair maiden, Sita, who was in exile, suffering a tall, strapping egomaniac of a husband and a paranoid brother-in-law who kept drawing rekhas around her to prevent her from leaving her hut to enjoy the beauty of the sylvan forest outside.”

“How cruel! So what did our rockstar do?”

“Well. what do you think great instrumentalists do when they start liking someone else’s wife? They compose a special song for the lady in distress and do a live gig in the forest”.

“But wait. What about the deer?”

“That’s a lie. Think about it. If you were a handsome electric veena player with a huge fan following, would you send a deer to entice a lady in distress from her hut? That would be ridiculous.”

“So what did Ravana do”

“Ah. He composed a song for Sita”

What will you do when you get lonely

And nobody’s waiting by your side?

You’ve been running and hiding much too long

You know, it’s his foolish pride

Si….ta, you got me on my knees

Sita, I’m begging darling, please Sita

Darling, won’t you cross Lakshman’s line

“Oh boy, beautiful. And did she fall for it?”

“Yes, she did. Who wouldn’t, and she accepted his invitation to spend some time at his sea side mansion in Sri Lanka.”

“Ooh. That must have annoyed her husband and brother-in-law”

“Oh yes it did, despite the fact that Sita was only there as an honoured guest, enjoying the pleasures of his mansion with several handmaidens at her beck and call. Not once did our rockstar make any advances towards her.”

“So what did the angry husband do”

“He did what all angry amit_123 husbands do. He declared war”

“But did he not bother to find out the facts before embarking on a path of violence”

“Oh yes he did. He sent a mosk (Messenger Of the Simian Kind) over to our Ravana’s mansion, and instead of patiently listening to Sita’s side of the story, the mosk was more interested in using his flame-thrower tail to burn the place to the ground”

“Sad. Did our rockstar retaliate?”

“Of course he did. Like all rockstars, he composed another song to commemorate the event”

We all came to Lanka

On the Palk straits shoreline

To make friends with Sita

we hadn’t much time

Big Rama and his brother

were angry all around

But some stupid with a flare gun

Burned the place to the ground

Smo…ke on the water. Fire in the sky.

“You should listen to the veena lead on this one. Absolutely brilliant”

“What happened next”

“Sigh. Things were headed towards a confrontation of massive proportions. Except that Ravana expected this to be a Guitar Hero face off. He wasn’t quite expecting nukes.”

“What? Nukes? This is crazy.”

“It always is, when amit_123 and blind rage cozy up at the jealousy drive-in”

“So what happened in the war? Surely a Fender Veenacaster is no match for a nuke”

“The legendary rockstar lost, and Rama took Sita back, not before he had her clinically irradiated to check for any impurities, and then dumped her in the forest when an Ariel Salesman spread vile rumours about her.”

“Sad. Paati. Aren’t there any happy endings in our stories?”


70 thoughts on “Ye Olde Tragedie of Ravana Superstar

  1. Re: “Aren’t there any happy endings in our stories?”

    I’m sure there are tons of stories of Asura (Ahura) victories, but they’re mostly in Old Persian.

    Lol @ the Ariel salesman and the flamethrower tail!

  2. Agree with you! Its gotta be 9 or 11. With 10 heads, we cant say if he tilted a little to the left or right, but can guess he must have been very popular with the masses – for who can resist a ‘sevisaikkira’ king ?

  3. ROFL @ “Ghatothkatchmas”. Lovely!!
    And you’re right, we Madrasis always get a raw deal when it comes to ammunition. BTW, you didn’t mention Ravana’s lazy brother ‘Kumbhakarna’!
    Extra LOL @ Simon & Garfunkel and Deep Purple adaptations! Brilliant!

    @ Adi: It is Cecilia, not Layla!

  4. @sthitapragnya

    It is Layla…

    Check the lyrics if you want…

    More obvious clue, the tags have clapton and not S & G.

    With that I rest my case in the Supreme Court of Classic Rock.

  5. hey awsme blog.i lykd ur way of a big fan chetan bhagat’s style and now after cing ur style i really loved it…good post anyway…epdi iduelam??room potu yosipingala????

    hey can i add you 2 blogroll???
    Ashok: Sure

  6. @Adithya, Karthik: OK fine, I didn’t read it properly. I got carried away by the begging and knees.

    I’m just waiting for the dinner time story now. The disobedient kid who wouldn’t listen to his father and has a higher NPH score than Narada…

    PS: NPH score = Narayanas/hour

  7. Wow Ramayana with a Modern touch. I liked the ending – clinically irradiated to check for any impurities. You must be having all the epics converted into some sort of modern asura tale I guess.

    I sincerely think you may be overdoing the Amit_123 part. It was funny the first time, but I am sorry to say that I didn’t like it when it came the third time.

  8. Thank you everyone.
    And the song references are to Layla and SOTW, and that passing reference to “Another brick in the wall”.
    I thought Layla is a more apt analogy for Ravana’s situation, as in the lady being some one else’s wife. FYI non-classic-rock fans, Layla was George Harrison’s wife in real life.

    True. This is probably the last reference to amit_123 I’ll make. I thought twice about including it here, but Rama’s character almost seemed to demand it 🙂

  9. For you I had to change my username. And though this is mildly funny, amit_123 does think that the joke is wearing thin.

    amit_123 would prefer a sitar instead of a veena. No one plays veena in north india and the heat here is unbearable.
    Ashok: 30 years of Bollywood milking the Madrasi cliche Vs 3 blog posts = no contest 🙂 And oh, amit_123 might prefer a sitar, but Ravana did play the veena

  10. @Sush- Comparing the Jalsa-God with Chetan Bhagat. How dares you compares the jilpasura to a amit_123?.
    SOTW adaptation . WoW. Jus brilliant.
    Can KrishAshok do a mp3 of it please?

  11. On Amit_123, and whether it’s worn thin.

    Your correspondent was with a dozen or so investment bankers yesterday, as dour faced a bunch as you would find these days what with streets being lined with corpses of investment bankers who sailed too close to the sub-prime wind, and though we were in a movie hall, it felt like a morgue. Just to lighten up the atmosphere, I told them about KrishAshok and amit_123. They were all rolling in the aisles and had their blackberries out typing in the url. One or two of them nearly asphyxiated.
    On the aforementioned evidence, I would say that amit_123 has a good long innings to go. If he can make investment bankers laugh why, there is no limit to what he can do.

  12. love your posts. Being a tambram & raised in malluland, I’m thoroughly enjoying your way with words . Her’s something for you – Is an animation-director friend of mine & like you has a fetish for legendary characters & those out of the epics. Indeed he has done a piece on Ravana & Seeta. 🙂 I’m wondering what will happen if you guys collaborate.

  13. Killer post man. !
    Love the allusion to patti boyd and the clapton connect… (any pun on the patti in the end????)
    And the whole idea of the patti telling the story is so abhishtooishly awesome.
    surely going on my blogroll.. ( I’m not asking you to do the same.. not explicitly 🙂 )

  14. Amazing, amazing!

    Danke Schon for responding to my request 🙂 (this might not be the case, but nothing’s stopping me from thinking that it’s so 🙂

    Right now, I feel like the listener whose cheettu has been accepted by the vidwan during the thukkada slot. On cloud nine 🙂

  15. The fender veenacaster bit reminded me –

    I dont remember if it was a telecaster or a stratocaster
    But I do remember that it had a heart of chrome, and a voice like a horny angel
    I dont remember if it was a telecaster or a stratocaster
    But I do remember that it wasnt at all easy

  16. At this rate, you may expect a few PIE (Protection of Indian Epics) lawsuits thrown at you. And when Vishnu does make his visit for the one last time, we all know whose door he will first knock.

  17. LOL! Neat. Just what goes through that crazy head! ?? I say you should look at doing a complete collection of these twisted takes on the classics. I am afflicted with a disease of a job where we turn every stand-alone idea into blossoming series!

  18. I liked the flaregun part 🙂 – Ironically, with this amit_123 charade, you are actually playing the part of another one very effectively – you know that the one who was also supposedly into music a lot, but was known for “key”ing others?

    Ashok: Naaraayana Naaraayana, such an unfair accusation.

  19. I’d say your tale is, if anything, a tribute to the epic itself. It continues to inspire new versions, retellings, copies even today, and by irreverent geeks, too! Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no getting away from the epics as the major source of our inspiration for stories.
    Ashok: Absolutely. This tale wouldn’t be worth its weight in size 10 Georgia font if the Ramayana was not really popular. What is more interesting is that almost all epics, from the Gilgamesh to the Iliad or the Ramayana were all written to enable this sort of continuous reinvention. They imprint character personas into your mind, but don’t drill them in deep enough to preclude any alternative interpretations. And over the years, multiple retellings leave enough ambiguity about most characters that actually keep the epic alive in a way that a regular story cannot, after thousands of years.

  20. @ Adithya: *holding ears and doing sit-ups chanting ‘Apacharam’* I was wrong. Pliss to forgive saar!

    @ KrishAshok: Apart from Asura tales, we are also looking forward to more of your renditions of Tiago Roger compositions. Pliss to oblige us! 😀

  21. I always thought the heads on Ravana would have been in a circular-outfacing manner. Something like Brahma’s upper 6 inches. Balace wouldn’t be a problem then (provided a strong neck came with it!).

    If only Ramanand Saagar had listened to me while doing Ravana’s make-up…

  22. Hmm.. good post.. especially the lyrics, pics, and the comparisons

    but may be something is wrong with me.. I don’t find it very entertaining or even entertaining.. like most other people have mentioned here..

    Of course, i understand every part of it.. im a die hard gamer, reading all tech blogs and knows all jargon of the web 3.0 world today..

    still it doesn’t appeal much to me..
    Ashok: Well, good for you 🙂

  23. I am proud of you. Periyar too would have been.

    So- you eating Dose-aa for breakfast everyday?
    And you are unpatriotic, since you dont talk Hindi. Its our national language. All of “us” at North talk Hindi at home; only in South you talk Taamil all the time.


  24. You know…For a youg abcd, your style might actually connect ‘Guitar Hero’ and ‘Ramayan’, and make them internalize the indian culture.

  25. Hahaha…looks like the Amits have to seriously change their name 🙂

    How come you did not take any reference to the man who kept on shouting “let us all be shunned for these atrocities” We-Be-Shun!!!

    Awesome post!!!

  26. too good mate !!! 😀
    cant wait to see what you pick up next !

    and oh have you seen this t shirt with the caption Jesus rocks and an image of him playing an electric guitar below 😉

  27. Krish,
    Impressive writing. It completely cracked me up! I think you should/might move on to other media naturally to have a wider-reach. It would be commendable , If more people are enlightened with “true” stories. You seem to have the “nak” to tell the truth with intelligent humor, thereby increasing its saleability.
    You must make a serious statement about the fact that these are not just funny/twisted versions of Indian Mythology but the near-original versions. At least make it known, the idea of Aryan manipulation of society by rewriting and writing fables/history.

    Here’s a link to a quasi-feminist take on Ramayana (Animation film)-
    Its interesting that an American woman goes public about the “Inner-Sita conflict” which all women experience and its not just confined to Indianess.

  28. Hilarious. The name Jilpasura is itself funny, Imagine a Jilpasura playing Metroid Prime. Not to mention a host of other things, like the reference to Pink Floyd, Layla, Smoke on the Water, DP and so on.

  29. lol at the fender veenacaster..n brilliant 9 headed ravana poster..

    i guess the word ‘fusion’ is an old concept, but the way ya’ve treated this here is exceptionally refreshing. 🙂

  30. WOW! Bowled over by the post. Always favoured the Asura jaati in the mythological tale and wondered what was in Ram to make him Purushottam.
    Addicted to your blog now. Will keep visiting.

      1. Strange how a descendant of Hindu mothers raped by Muslim thugs can talk about Indians as madrasis and shit faced etc. We need to report this guy for abuse.

  31. Twitter, Facebook, API, Evernote, Openid, github, SourceForge, Java, PHP, emacs, TEX, Fedora, Utsu, Shinitai, Kurushi, Tasukete, Mou-Dame-Da

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