Twisted Talons was bored. Life on the edge of Dan Daka forest was beginning to pall. Preying on the hapless rishis and scaring them witless with her frightful form no longer tickled. She was in fact, lonely. On a sudden impulse, she decided to fly out , across the sea, to her brother’s island to check out the party scene. She might bump into that lusty, bull-chomper, Oxshas …. The Bloody Maya at Draksha’s, made with peacock blood was to die for, at least.
She threw a much gnawed elephant bone away, flung aside her empty rhino-horn, that stank of stale wine, and hoisted herself up into the air, startling a flock of parrots that flew out of their perch on the tree she had been leaning on, complaining loudly. With an unsympathetic “hmph!”,she began cruising in the air, heading south, following the flow of the Gotta Worry river. Janisthan, her stomping grounds, appeared tiny and toylike .
When she came over a small clearing she hadn’t noticed before, she swooped down lower to investigate. She sighted a tiny hut in the middle a pleasant hermitage where deer and hare romped about in the garden .
“Whose hermitage is this? How did I miss this one?” she wondered . There was a sudden movement, and Twisted Talons quickly went behind the canopy of the shinshupa tree, to watch.
The man walked out of the hut, and strode gracefully towards the peepal tree. He sat down on the stone seat under it, and smiled, looking at the antics of the squirrels near by.
He was dark-skinned, his chest was broad like a lion’s. His arms long and strong, a pair of lotus eyes in a face that glowed golden. Had Kama descended upon the earth? Twisted Talons was enchanted. Oxshas could go drown in a rhino-horn of Bloody Maya…. This one was a keeper. She would not eat him…. at least not immediately. it would be nice to play with my food, she thought… ..
Wasting not a moment, she came out from behind the tree, and swooped down to a perfect landing in front of the man, who looked up at her questioningly. No alarm. Not even surprise!
She came straight to the point. “Will you be mine, handsome one? she asked, wagging her curly talons at him. He looked at her. He smiled . That killer smile that had melted her heart. He’s smiling his acceptance, she thought, and noticed for the first time his slim waist, the perfect six-pack abs. She could spend hours getting to know him.
A great sigh of anticipation escaped her heaving, gigantic bosom. Everything about her, was, in fact gigantic. She was surprised at herself. Here was a man, such a fine specimen of human, and making a meal of him was the last thing on her mind!
“Pray tell me who you are,”, he was saying, and Twisted Talons came back to the present.
“Aham Rocks Asi”, Twisted Talons said, switching to Sanskrit, hoping to impress him. A Rocks Asi, who can change shape and form, a kaama roopini.. I wander these forests of Dan Daka, preying upon the rishis, creating fear and terror among the all the creatures living here. I’m in love with you, and in my heart, I have already made you my husband. Come away with me, and we shall live happily ever after.”
“Dear lady with the waist of two elephant’s girth, unkempt hair and those fang that seem to grow in all directions, I am sorry, but I have to disappoint you. FOr I already have a wife, whom I love very much.” he said, adding, slyly, ” besides, you don’t look to me lke someone who can share your husband with another wife”
Twisted Talons laughed, ” your wife? That creature, with sunken waist, who looks like a harridan. Let me just make a meal of her. Then we’ll be free to roam these forests and hills!” . She slurred on the last words, last night’s wine drunk by the kegful suddenly catching uo with her
“That’s no plan. I cannot leave my wife. Not even for you.” he said. ” Here’s what, here’s my younger brother. Happily, he has no wife to bother him, and I’m sure he ‘ll gladly marry you, “he said.
Twisted Talons glanced at Handsome’s brother. “Go on,” he said . ” His name is Lux. He deserves a wide-eyed, wide chested, pot-bellied beauty like you for a wife. He will make you very happy.”
Twisted Talons, a true Rocks Asi, went happily over to Lux, who was no mean looker, and propositioned him. “Lux, will you be mine? Look at my glowing complexion, and see the love in my heart which beats for you”.
Lux choked on a laugh. ” Dear lady who glows like a lotus, why would you want to my wife? I am the servant of my brother. Would you marry a servant? Do you deserve such a fate? Go back to my brother and ask him again. ”
“Are you two playing with me?” Twisted Talons asked, suspiciously. “Oh no! ” said Lux a little too quickly.” I’ve never been so serious!”
She went back to Handsome. The wife had joined him. Twisted Talons looked at her. What a sorry figure she cuts, sunken waist, sunken cheeks, sunken… well, everything. What did he see in her. There’s so little of her anyway…. If I just sink my teeth into her, and eat her up raw, he won’t even notice she’s gone…. and when he does, he’ll thank me………..
Twisted Talons never knew when her 12-inch long curly talons begin to claw at the little lady’s ribs, but she heard a piercing scream that rang out for miles around and when it ended, it was the turn of all the trees around to disgorge a thousand flocks of birds into the air, twittering and chirping raucously.
And then, that excruciating pain that shot through her giant samosa nose and cauliflower ears. She covered her ears with her palms , and looked at them, covered in blood. Her nose , had been lopped off, and it would never again be the giant samosa which made Oxshas go ga-ga, especially after a dozen Blood Mayas were inside him.
Twisted TAlons ran. And ran. Deep into Dan Daka forest to where Uncle Marich lived. He would give grind up a herbal paste to regenerate her ears and nose. But of course they would never be quite the same again.
Some time later, she sat down on her favorite rock , still smarting about her ears and resisting the temptation to pull the cinnamon bark bandage off her nose. She thought about what Uncle Marich has said. “These humans don’t go by our rules. In their world no means no. And their idea of beauty is nothing like ours. ”
Oh yes, they thought I was ugly, she said, talking to herself. They laughed at me.. and then this! Lux had been so quick, she had not even seen the flash of the sword or felt it’s cold touch on her nose….Now now I have to live with this ..this fixed up nose. Uncle Marich’s rhinoplasty doesn’t go very far.
But… but I’m a Rocks Asi. I rock. When I say yes, I mean YES!…. why don’t they get it?
The tall man
A wonderful take on a not-so-easy-to-interpret hairpin bend of a twist in the Great Tale! Indeed, one discerns in thy words Kailasam’s sharp wit and seemingly effortless flow..strength to thee!
Thank you very much! I’ll cherish that! Saw it only much later! Mani