As i was watching the latest episode of Ramayana in the channel, suddenly something struck me. Surpanakha , the sister of Ravan is actually the first LIBERATED WOMAN OF INDIA! Here is a lady princess (ugly,potbellied,hoarse voiced and big breasted according to Valmiki) while she is beautiful,slender and fish eyed(Meenakshi) according to Tamil poet Kambar. She was widowed by her own brother Ravan who killed her husband Dushrabudhi . May be this made her depressed and also psychotic. Her stay in royal palace might have become embarrassing and so she might have been sent into Vanavas with Ravan providing a covert escort.
What is interesting is the dialogue between Lord Rama and Surpanakha. She openly professes her love for him due to his good looks. Lord Rama does not immediately dismiss her but indulges in conversation which i find rather amusing. When her profession of love for him becomes insistent then only he comes out that 'HE IS MARRIED". Here is a woman who is always reviled as embodiment of bad virtue but she immediately respects the institution of marriage and asks him to refer another male. It is implied here that the other person is "unmarried". But Lord Ram directs her to Lakshman who is already married to Sumithra. Of course she is humiliated and physically disfigured. We all know how Ravan takes recourse to revenge etc.But to me the original act of Lord Ram in directing her to Lakshman itself is not morally correct. We Indians do not like our women even today to express their love openly. We prefer coyness.
Also we Indian men tend to form opinion about the character of our women from her physical attributes. Our psychological makeup comes not only from our epics but also Kokshastra which says Pad-mini type woman whose physical attributes (some thing similar to Genelia) is of good character while some one who looks like RakhiSawant must be of bad character. Truth,Honesty,open mindedness are not virtues for Indian male while a woman who exhibits lies with coyness is a virtuous woman! So we always remain mama's boys who look for Ganelias for marriage while her son is free to sow wild oats with Surpanakhas of the world. I have yet to see an Indian coming home with an African American bride but he will praise Obama and vote for him in America!!
Today i may call myself matured as i like the openness of Mayawathi, Renuka choudhry to the coyness of Jaya Pradha,Deepika Chakalia and Big Bindies of Brinda karat and Sushma swaraj but still i am married to a Genelia type!!!!!!!!!!!!!