Mumbiram has said at many places in his writings that he thrives on the drama in real life. It appears that he has a great repertoire of dramatic plots that appeal to him aesthetically but are lying dormant in his mind. At the right time, at the right place, when the situation is right, Mumbiram jumps at the opportunity and acts it out in the situation at hand. It is like responding to a dormant déjà vu. So, log on to, hop on into this live hijack cum kidnap drama somewhere in India where bullock carts still roam on bright cool winter mornings…
This damsel who is riding in a bullock-cart is surprised by an unwanted visitor approaching the bullock-cart from the rear. He is coming too close for comfort. The damsel may very well be the motive behind the hijack adventure. Since Mumbiram is being implicated in this ‘crime of passion’ we might as well take a second look at the damsel. We are told Mumbiram allows himself to be guided and controlled by the ‘aesthetic choice’. Let us indulge in examining Mumbiram’s aesthetic choice here. We notice her simple but elegant attire. We see the pallu (free end) of her saree covering her left shoulder. It is a sky blue woven saree, not a printed saree. It has a narrow black strip of a border and little black square motifs adorn its body. A cotton sky blue blouse with very fine gold thread design woven in its body fits comfortably on her torso. Notice the sky above which happens to be of true sky blue color also. A necklace of fine purple garnets clustered like grapes sits at the base of her lean neck. Between her dark blonde eyebrows a thin long flame of a kumkum rises steadily upwards with great aplomb. She knows she is special. She wears no earrings in her shapely ears. She has pulled back her dark blonde hair in a bunch behind her head. Thin lines of some stray curls of hair bend upwards on the sides. Her eyes are not yet fully awake. She does not like that she is suddenly approached at a close distance from behind the bailgadi.
On a sunlit fresh mid-morning they are riding a bullock cart on an empty road in the countryside. We see the back of the man who is in the driver’s seat. He is also wearing a sky blue cap.
Here this man in big dark sunglasses is climbing on the bailgadi next to the driver in the front. The intruder has a pleased smile on his face. He is clearly happy to have intercepted this bullock cart with the damsel in the sky blue saree for a passenger. The driver is surprised at this turn of event yet one notices a look of admiration on his face. Does he know this intruder ?
The driver is looking back inquisitively at the lady. He seems open to the possibility that the lady may even like this intruder. What is the intruder going to do next?
Aha ! He is taking a seat next to the driver. The driver is not even resisting.
Now he has grabbed the stick as well as the reins of the cart from the hands of the driver who is uttering only a murmur of a protest. It’s a regular hijack we are watching. We see the bullocks are looking behind to take notice for the first time. What ‘lieb’ bullocks these are…
Wow this hijacker knows how to handle these bullocks and how to manoeuvre this cart. He is already doing it. The bullocks are obeying him alright. Where is he going to take them ?
Looks like the hijacker has reached his destination. The driver is handed over the driving stick and the reins to the cart. What a gentleman hijacker ! What a handsome bullock. What shapely horns ! What about the hijacked lady ?
It appears that after the initial response of surprise and mild vexation the lady was under the impression that the intruder was just a friend of the driver. He had joined only because he wanted a free ride as he was going the same way. But now he seems determined to take her to some secret hideaway. The damsel doesn’t like this at all. This is not just a bullock cart hijack but even a kidnap. This is getting curiouser and curiouser.
This reminds us of the bullock cart drama in the “Small Clay Chariot” (The celebrated Sanskrit drama ‘Mrichchakatik’). Two bullock-carts that are both headed to nearly the same destination. Both are supposed to carry the unsuspecting beauty Vasantasena. The carts get exchanged. Vasantasena is taken to the wrong destination. The leader of the Revolution jumps into the other. Etc.etc. What is happening here?
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