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Monthly Story, September 2021


Image → @ocvisual

Rasa → Bībhatsam (बीभत्सं): Disgust, aversion. Presiding deity: Shiva Bhayānakam (भयानकं): Horror, terror. Presiding deity: Yama

Archetype → Explorer



Gunasāra walked over to the edge of his temple. It was his life’s work; Everyone around knew the beautiful temple by the lagoon where he was the head-monk. It was a nearly ninety-acre property by the water, fringed by marshy jungle. Rentable meditation huts overlooked the tranquil waters that barely ever moved. Gunasāra flung the hanging edge of his robe over the shoulder for what felt like the hundredth time that day. He had draped it too haphazardly this morning, in a rush. The robe had been coming undone at the most inconvenient times.

It came undone this morning as Gunasāra patrolled through the little monks’ dorm with his cane in hand; He heard stifled giggles. The oldest of the little monks—a prepubescent boy, who had been displaying quite the urge to rebel, laughingly commented on Gunasāra’s not-so-secret drinking habit. If Anura—the temple’s chief donor—hadn’t walked in at that exact moment, Gunasāra would have made three red lines that would sting at the boy’s shins for three long days. During the alms-giving—which Gunasāra had no choice but to attend as it was at Anura’s house—the robe came undone again. Gunasāra couldn't decide if he was angrier at the ridiculous robe, or at Anura—who politely slid next to him, trying to discreetly caution about the inappropriate exposure. The robe unravelled again during the afternoon worship ritual—this time in full view of the Sunday-schoolers present there.

But now, Gunasāra was finally safe from the scrutiny of his devotees and disciples; by the tranquil lagoon waters, he was free; free to be among the wild and the vile that walk the Earth. No ritualistic pretences; No precepts; No setting examples; No helping spiritually-starved miserable fools; No expectations. Just a man in a robe, freely flirting with his beast self.

Gunasāra glanced around at the beautiful land and took a deep inhale. The arrack coursed jubilantly through his veins. Gunasāra reminisced on how he fought and schemed to win every inch of the immense property, threatening both the neighbouring farmer and the Forestry Department with lawsuits. “The big fish and the small fish; I cast them all in the same net,” he would boast.

He was allowed, he knew.


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