Starbucks Snivel – Ravan and Duryodhan

This is the concluding part of the series. Read the first two parts of the series here – 

Costa Chatter – Sita and Draupadi

Barista Banter – Ram and Yudhishthir

Duryodhan was transfixed by the iPad. He had never seen anything so fascinating before. He was also surprised to see Narad Muni managing the Apple store. When he prodded Narad, he was curtly told that ever since Surupnakha convinced Brahma to telecast Big Boss in heaven, everyone was talking about voting Narad out because of way he kept instigating Gods against each other.

‘Hence, I have taken an alternative job. Would you like to see the new iPhone 5?’ Narad inquired. Duryodhan was busy watching Shakira on the iPad and did not pay heed.

After making up his mind to buy the new iPad, Duryodhan left the Apple store and walked into Starbucks to have a taste of the much talked about Cold Coffee with extra cream. Karna had been pestering him to taste it.

As he walked in, he was shocked to find Ravan sitting at one of the corner tables, his moustache completely drenched in the extra cream of the cold coffee as he gulped the last drop of it from the glass. Duryodhan smiled on seeing the legend and touched his feet.

‘So you too are smitten by this cold coffee?’ He asked as he sat on the chair.

‘Try it,’ Ravan said and ordered a coffee for Duryodhan and another one for himself.

‘I thought you had ten heads,’ Duryodhan said.

‘I didn’t. Logically, you cannot balance ten heads on a demon body. I don’t know where the bloody idea came from,’ Ravan said.

‘You are right. By the way, I am a really big fan,’ Duryodhan said.

‘Your actions speak. It was very distasteful – ordering your brother to disrobe a woman.’

‘So was kidnapping one.’

‘Hmmm. Do you know that they will burn my effigy every year in the future but spare you?’

‘Will they? I am heartbroken that there is no festival attached to my death,’ Duryodhan said as the coffee arrived. He took his first sip and looked amazed.

‘Go on. There are no words,’ Ravan said as he laughed loudly. One of the windows of the shop cracked.

‘It seems you have seen the future?’ Duryodhan asked after his breathing became normal as the cold coffee slid down his throat.

‘No I haven’t. Brahma filled me in after he returned from one of his trips. It is not a coincidence that both of us are sitting here instead of hell. He was shocked after he came back from the future one day and went to Indra’s palace straightaway. He convinced him to move me to heaven as he thinks that I am a saint in comparison to humans living in Kalyug,’ Ravan explained in a serious tone.  

‘Really? I do not understand,’ Duryodhan said licking the extra cream.

‘Duryodhan, in our times, women are always scantily dressed but we never blamed them for our deeds. You never blamed Draupadi for wearing a single piece of cloth that day when Dushasan disrobed her. In Kalyug, men would put the entire blame on women – what they wear, where they go, what they think. They will blame phones and clothes for rapes, even chowmein. Pretty convenient, eh?’ Ravan said with a chuckle.

‘Strange how the wheel of time turns. We, at least, were open about our treachery.’

‘Yes, and proud of it! The humans in Kalyug will be shrewd. Talk about taking lessons from our stories!’

Ravan and Duryodhan were peacefully drinking their coffee, when they were suddenly taken aback as Sita and Draupadi entered Starbucks to buy a muffin. The ladies did not notice them as they quickly hid behind the ‘Heavens Now’ paper magazine lying on their table. The headlines screamed – ‘Will Menka and Rambha kiss and make up? Indra says No comments!’

‘It will be an ordeal to live in Heaven trying to avoid confrontations like this!’ Duryodhan said.

‘You will get used to it. Turn into a crow or something the next time something like this happens,’ Ravan said.

As the ladies moved out after buying two muffins, Ram and Yudhishthir entered Starbucks a few minutes later to buy brownies for their wives to pacify them.

‘Jesus! This is getting on my nerves!’ Duryodhan said hiding behind the newspaper again.

Ram and Yudhishthir bought two bags full of brownies and ran after Sita and Draupadi.

‘What the bloody heavens is this? A college campus?’ Ravan said with disgust.

As the villains finally settled down to enjoy the rest of their coffee, Surupnakha entered the shop searching for Ravan.

‘BRO ji!’ she shouted from the entrance and made Duryodhan choke on his coffee, ‘Please do not send me to Ram in the future. If you have to instigate him with your jokes, send a pigeon. He tried to insult me in front of that Yudhishthir. Hain Ji! I gave him a big piece of my mind.’

Then her eyes went to Duryodhan.

‘Hey sexy! When did you arrive? Hello, Myself Dolly,’ she chirruped with a wide grin. Duryodhan had a sudden bout of cough.     

***********                                                           

Krishna was sad from the past few days. With the permission of Indra, he finally gathered everyone from Ramayana and Mahabharata in the amphitheatre containing the giant screen. The Pandavas and the whole clan of Lord Ram sat together towards his left while the Demons and Kaurava clan sat towards his right.

‘You were born for a purpose and all of you have fulfilled it. Do not bring your animosity to this floating city. Do not forget that you all are just souls and avatars. You are all dead. Forgive each other. Do not bring the problems of your time on Earth to the heavens,’ he said in a voice that boomed in the sky. He went on for an hour with his gyan and stopped suddenly when he heard Ravan snore loudly. He then cleared his throat and left.

As everyone dispersed from the meeting, Sita walked towards the edge of the floating city and sat on a cloud watching Earth below. It was the night of Diwali. The Earth was filled with lamps and looked like an upturned sky shimmering with stars. People were celebrating the day of Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya with Sita after their exile ended. Those were happy days, she remembered and sighed.

‘Sita, can I sit with you?’ she heard a voice behind her.

‘Yes Ram.’

Ram came and sat besides her and looked at the Earth below.

‘Sita, I am sorry for everything. I was a bad husband,’ Ram said.

Sita looked at him.

‘You were good Ram but then you abandoned me at a point when happiness had just returned in our lives. You made an example of me. Twice. And that too when I was not at fault. My exile did not end with yours Ram. It ended with my life. I had a right to a happy life, didn’t I Ram?’

‘I am sorry sweetheart. I wish I could change everything back to how it was,’ Ram said. There were tears in his eyes.

Sita sighed. Thoughts churned in her head. She has to move on. Krishna was right.

‘Happy Diwali Ram,’ she said and kept her hand on Ram’s.

‘Happy Diwali Sita. Would you like to have a cup of coffee with me?’ Ram said.

‘Costa,’ Sita said and smiled. Both of them stood up and held hands as they walked towards the floating city centre.

‘Where is Yudhisthir?’ she asked Ram as they walked.

‘The Pandavas are with Draupadi asking for her forgiveness. I bought brownies for you,’ Ram said.

From a high tower of a nearby building, Surupnakha watched as the couple walked away from the edge. She was smiling.

‘Hai! Cute couple! I wish I had someone to love. Mere Tote kab udenge (when will my parrots fly)?,’ she said. Then her eyes sparkled and she took a lift down the building in search of Duryodhan.

[images from 1,2,3,4,5, 6]

62 comments on “Starbucks Snivel – Ravan and Duryodhan

  1. Hilarious Amit…I cannot just point to one and say, this is good…each one is awesome…Thanks for the laugh first thing in the morning. A very Happy Diwali to you and Geets. Hope you guys had a good one! I know I will be the first one to comment as I saw your email pop up as soon as I logged in 😛

  2. Wish we had this part as a regular part in our epics… an apology and regret from Rama would have made a difference to the way we see marriage, women, ‘purity’ and honor.

    But Surupnakha’s character in Ramayana is too unreal I feel. And chopping off of nose is still done in Afghanistan, as a punishment for women by men – it seems those times were cruel times.

    • I wonder if he actually felt bad about what he did. From whatever I have read, the reason why Sita asked Bhoomi to consume her was because Ram hesitated to take her back when he met Luv and Kush, But then there are so many versions available that I would like to believe that there was something which we do not know.
      Demons were lowly creatures, I guess. So it was considered ok to physically harm them. But yes, Laxman overreacted. The girl was just flirting.

  3. Nice end to the series!

    Ravan was really a saint when compared to human beings today. Rams apology to Sita is something that would have turned the way of life for women,only if it had really happened then. And again I just loved Surpankha’s character in this series.

    This is one fantastic piece of sarcasm and humour I read lately .:)

    Sharing it.

    • Thanks Glimpsesandglances. 🙂
      Yes, Ravan was a saint. He did not touch Sita during her stay in Lanka. Now can we imagine something similar happening with a kidnapped girl in today’s scenario?
      I believe that Ramayan and Mahabharat are more about understanding the mistakes which were commited by Ram and Pandavas. It is not just about the victory of good over evil but also understanding that even good people commit unpardonable mistakes at times. We all have shades of grey.
      Oh yes! Surupnakha’s character was my favourite too. That is why I left it at a positive note in the end. 🙂

    • I have spared Cafe Coffee Day simply because it is not a single word. 😛
      And you never know. This might be happening. Right now. We humans have created too many good things. Gods can’t resist it for long. 🙂

  4. i liked this part more.. it talks about apology for mistake and also forgetting the bad part of past.. :).. ur epic has lot more meaning… wish people look at epic the way you have depicted.. not taking everything from it, but understanding it..

    • Thanks Ashreyamom. 🙂 A positive note was what I intended in the end. 🙂 Yes, you are right. There is more to our mythology than a simple good vs evil fight.

  5. The reason why Ravan does not touch Sita whilst she was in Lanka is explained clearly in the epic itself.It is because of a curse.Somebody once curses Ravan,it was some lady,I forget who,that his head will shatter into pieces if he touches a lady when she is not willing to be his.

    • And I remember another version where Sita held a piece of grass between her and Ravan which stopped him from touching her. I do not exactly remember what the story was but I remember the scene from Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan.

      • What I know is this – Sita considered Ravan no more respectable than a blade of grass.She did not consider him mightier than her Lord Ram.She did not consider him worthy of even a look. So she was indirectly telling him ‘Look dude, I am never going to be yours. So give it up already’. In hopes that he might return her to Ram. So whenever he approached her, she would place a blade of grass between them, hoping one day he would finally feel insulted enough to quit.
        And by the way, I always thought the point of mythology is not to show that women were responsible for so much bloodshed, but to show what a tragic outcome disrespecting a women will result in.
        And thanks for the brilliant writing.

        • I also remember that she told Ravan that his head would burst into a thousand pieces if he crosses the blade.
          Anyways, you are right when you say that the point of mythology is not to show that women were responsible for so much bloodshed, but to show what a tragic outcome disrespecting a women will result in. But how many people look at it that way?
          Thanks for liking the post. 🙂

  6. his moustache completely drenched in the extra cream of the cold coffee as he gulped the last drop of it from the glass.
    Again!! See? The amount of attention to detail !! FAB!! 😀 😀 Also the windows cracking when Ravan laughs! :mrgreen:

    The headlines screamed – ‘Will Menka and Rambha kiss and make up? Indra says No comments!’
    Hahahah 😆 This is a total scream, I tell you!!!

    ‘What the bloody heavens is this? A college campus?’ Ravan said with disgust.
    No one “on earth” 😉 would have ever thought of that kind of comparison for Ram-Sita and Yudhishtir/Draupadi! :mrgreen:

    I love the happy ending… a little mushy and soppy, but definitely better than the way Ramayan ended anyway!! 😛

    U put Dolly Bindra with Duryodhan??? 😯 MY God! Poor guy! What paap did he do to deserve this??? 😐

    • Ash,
      Thankyou for liking so many lines from the post. 🙂
      My personal favorites is the one where Duryodhan is watching Shakira on iPad and the one in which he says – “Jesus! This is getting on my nerves!” 🙂
      I think Dolly will be nice to Duryodhan. She is the most liked character in the series. Let us give her a chance. 😀

  7. What do I say, the final post totally rocked.
    Ravan says that he is in heaven because humans in future will be much much worse than what he was. Well, if we have to look at every thing from the point of view of mahabharat and ramayana (assumption), then can we say that our ancestors who interpreted the story for us are more at fault. I am not playing the blame game. But, if you teach a kid that he is not supposed to respect women, then what do you expect him to do? The elderly who interpreted the stories thereafter, couldn’t really understand the real meaning behind each story. You know accepting that even great kings can be wrong at times or great kings don’t always make for great husbands.

    Am I blabbering, if I am please do not approve the comment.

    • Thanks Dauntlessdaisy.
      I think we should look at the problem with a different angle too. Our ancestors who interpreted the stories did that based on the gender equations and the socio-economic conditions in that era. A lot has changed over centuries and a lot of it does not apply now. Gender equations have changed. There are no kings. The problem is that a majority of people fail to acknowledge this fact.
      Secondly, we have this habit of painting everyone in Mythology in black and white. If we look closely, every character has a shade of grey. Krishna did everything to win the war. He indulged in acts which were not ethical by any standards. Similarly Ravan was a great scholar who did something very wrong. Both of them were very human with shades of grey. We do not acknowledge this either.
      The world which we live in tries to choose what to extract from these stories based on one rule – to keep everything stagnant, to keep it the way it is. But there are sane voices of dissent which believe in moving ahead.

      • Well said Amit. If only our society had more Amits around 🙂
        And what can I say about the post. Loved the series.
        “Jesus! This is getting on my nerves!” Oh! Jesus…
        Ravan with his moustache completely drenched in the extra cream & Narad with his veena managing apple store… cant take the images out of my mind now.:) Hmmm.. may be Narad is carrying Ipad2 instead of veena now 🙂

        • Thanks Seena. 🙂
          More Amits? Let’s not ask for things that the society cannot handle. 😛
          Narad has a Veena App in this iPad. He does not carry a real Veena anymore after he knocked off a few customers as he suddenly turned while showing them the gadgets.

      • Exactly. If only everybody understood that we no longer need to use hands to wash clothes as we have washing machines now. The world would have progressed much more if and only if our thinking progressed along with everything else 😀

  8. Loved the apology from Ram! As I’d mentioned in a post earlier, men rarely apologize, they usually forgive, no matter whose fault it is. Which I’ve always found only slightly funny but mostly irritating. And “mere tote kab udenge” still in stitches about it, my trio wondering whether I’m reading comics 😀

    • What?!? Men rarely apologize? Ok, I agree upon this if you are talking about my father’s generation but all I can see around is my friends apologizing to their wives all the times. 🙂 I too have no qualms about it. You see, we do a lot of foolish things and end up saying sorry.
      Thank you for liking the post Maxims. 🙂

  9. All I can say is, the Gods have to be mighty thankful to humans for inventing and corporatizing the ubiquitous cafe’! Warna Heavens ki gaadi kaise chalti?
    The Surpanaka – Duryodhan connection is juicy! You have got to follow up on that 😉

    • You bet. That is one thing they must be proud of. For example, their work is so much easier with laptops and iPads. 🙂
      Oh no. No follow ups. I don’t want the series to end up like a Balaji Telefilms serial. 🙂

  10. Just wanted to let you know that I bought Night Train To Lisbon on your recommendation. I am almost quarter-way through the book, and am loving it. It is such an interesting, mysterious, beautiful story that I can’t put it down. In spite of being a translation from German, it is such a well-written book and the prose flows so smoothly and seamlessly. Thank you so much for the recommendation. 🙂

  11. Your series has so much common sense, Amit. It is true that the epics have been relevant to a different age and different set of ethics and ethos and we have to make our own interpretations keeping in mind the right and the righteous. That way, the ending was great. Have you read the sequel to the Little Princess? It brings the whole bunch together in an ideal situation where even the evil Minchin sisters turn human. This story brought to mind that one 🙂 In the end, the fact remains that we have learnt nothing from the epics except the wrong things.

    • Thanks Zephyr.
      If only we would have extracted the right lessons from our mythology, we would have been a different nation.
      I haven’t seen the little princess but I will definitely see it now to understand your comment. 🙂

  12. what a fitting finale amit…. you know the best part was ram asking for forgiveness from sita and pandavas wishing the same from draupadi. A lot can happen over coffee indeed 😛 Also, you have made these banters very topical and that’s wow. When ravan observes that we have never blamed woman for our actions unlike the kalyug men , I was totally blown over and a big salute to you 🙂 Gee and surpdollyka eyeing duryodhan;that’s one helluva smart writing.

  13. Load Ravan is the the real hero, as he was the first human to deal with another planet, he knew that he will win the battle but unfortunately someone betrayed him, and passed his nuclear weapons to the other party, that is why he was defeated, you may be aware that one day he will make his return, we are awaiting for it.

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