Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Boy of marriageable age. Parents seek alliances. Boy sees many girls. Does not accept anyone. A relative asks him what kind of girl he wants to marry.

He wants to marry someone who is like the girls he has read about in literature. A girl with lotus-like eyes, rose-like cheeks, moon-like face, Champak-like nose, snake-like hair. Arms like the stem of a banana plant, etcetera.

One evening, the young man is asked to go into a room where a girl with all the characteristics is waiting. He walks into the room, screams and falls unconscious.

Soon, he marries a comely girl and lives happily thereafter.

The elders had created a mannequin with lotus for eyes, roses for cheeks, a champak for nose, arranged over a picture of the moon. The face is adorned by a rubber snake for hair, banana stems for arms and legs, all draped in a saree. The boy sees this abomination in the dim evening light and faints.

This is the gist of a delightful kannaDa short story by M K Indira, if I remember right, I read decades ago.

I was reminded of this story when everyone went hyper because URA talked of leaving the country. I felt that they all acted like this immature young man.

Instead of taking it as an exaggerated expression of his dislike, they took it as literal truth. They urged and taunted a feeble old man to leave the country a la Husain.

"Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech" - Wikipedia

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