A woman with the potential to make it big. It is not that she cannot: she simply will not.
The closest anyone has come to being an adopted daughter.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Shave or Crave

This post is a part of the 'Shave or Crave' movement in association with


It was one of those stormy nights. It should ideally have rained, but nights like these typically treat normal stuff like rain with utter disdain.

The storm blew across the tallest mountains in a rampant mood - the kind that one usually associates with a rhinoceros on an overdose of Red Bull running across a rose garden. It was not one of those cute storms you find in books or movies: it was serious stuff.

You ordinarily do not expect people to be out on such a stormy night, especially on the tallest of mountain peaks. And you're almost right, too: no mortal was there, either.

That does not mean it was vacated.

Hidden behind the almost solid barrier of storm were three entities. They were so closely huddled up that you might have mistaken them for the Men in Blue.

In fact, two of them were blue. They were so blue that you might have mistaken them as aliens from a B-grade Hollywood science fiction movie.

The third, well, looked - if such a thing was possible - even more non-trivial.

Blue humanoid number one stood up. He, as mentioned before, looked violently blue: what was even more startling was the fact that his torso was completely bare, despite the sub-zero temperature. His head was covered in a shaggy mane of hair that he had somehow managed to tie in a bun, probably with the help of the oddly placed narrow crescent; around his neck was a long rope-like thing that looked oddly similar to a snake; he also had a tiger-skin - the only bit of apparel on his body - draped around his waist, flapping noiselessly in the relentless storm. In one hand he held a rather menacing-looking trident; in the other hand he held what looked like an hourglass-shaped musical instrument.

"So", he asked, with an unmistakable tone of boredom in his voice, "what is this big meeting for?"

The other blue humanoid lay on his side. He rested sideways - the way he has been doing since the beginning of time - on a what was almost certainly a gargantuan snake, with multiple heads hanging like an umbrella, shielding his head from goodness-knows-what. Unlike the first guy, he had four hands, carrying an assortment of the weirdest possible combination of accessories: a conch, a disc, a mace and a lotus.

"I guess he is the only one who knows", he uttered.

The third person wasn't blue, and was therefore the minority of the trinity. He looked perfectly normal otherwise, other than a minor glitch: he had four heads, each placed at right angles to the adjacent one.

"Vishnu, Shiva, there is a reason that I have called this meeting on an urgent basis."

The other two looked somewhat perplexed, but it seemed that they were listening with rapt attention. The summit conference (no pun intended) seemed poised for one of those millennium-defining quotes - the kind that scribes have copied down meticulously and have sent down by word of mouth from generation to generation.

"Look guys, I have this problem. As you are completely aware, it was I who had created this Universe. I, Brahma, was assigned with the duty of creation: you, Vishnu, were placed in charge of looking after it; and Shiva, if the world requires some destruction, you know the kind of responsibilities you have to handle."

Vishnu seemed a bit agitated. "Dude, I know you have created a lot of stuff, but generally you're leading a retired life since then, with a hefty provident fund and pension, and a pretty yet nerdy wife to match your enlightened (Shiva smirked) self, and a beer brand named after you. I, on the other hand, am perpetually busy, and Shiva here has to be waiting for 24x7 call-ups. Can you please cut it short and come to the point?"

Brahma scowled. "Look, don't go on about the beer thing. I was never one for beer. Think of yourself: your blue complexion has become so popular that they did a movie with blue-coloured men and named it Avatar after your incarnations. And His Blueness standing over here - he's so popular that he has got a pencil brand named after his dancing pose. So don't get me started."

"And your point is...?"

"That's the whole point, Vishnu. We're supposed to be the Amar Akbar Anthony of the Universe and are supposed to hog equal footage. Yet, the entire world has been worshipping the two of you; both of you have thousands of temples erected in your name; on the other hand, despite playing a serious role in the history of the Universe - I have been perpetually pushed into background. The three Brahma Temples I know of are at Ajmer, Khokhan and Khedabrahma - and I bet you haven't heard of the last two."

"I still can't see where we come into this entire thing. One does not remember past deeds, mate: all they care for is the present and future. That's human nature. I feel sorry for you, but there's hardly anything we can do about this." Vishnu began to look impatient now. Even Shiva nodded, though he seemed immersed in a red-eyed stupor of sorts.

"I know. There is something else, though - and this is important. I want something else out of life. See, the level of education on Earth has reached an all-time low, and the new generation has resorted to words like lolzzzz and kewl and l8r on curious-looking small handheld devices. This entire education thing has kept Saraswati busier than ever; as you know, she has always been too focused on her career, especially since I'm retired; as a result I have been deprived of female company for some time now."

Shiva snorted.

"Do not mock me. It has been easy for you guys. You have never been short on female attention: as Krishna you had sixteen thousand wives. Sixteen freaking thousand. And Shiva, despite his narcotic habits and stuff, has been so popular among women that they spend an entire day fasting to get a partner like him. I did look around a bit, but despite my four heads, I had not found any success."

Vishnu looked serious now. "So what is it that you want?"

"I need help, guys. I know my role in the Universe is over. But even retired people are entitled to female company, aren't they? I mean, I am a man, and almost as old - or young - as you guys. My needs are the same as yours. Yet, I have never been as sought after by women as either of you."

"So basically you need our help in this?"

"Precisely. I have been sitting on this abysmal lotus for ages now, and have developed gout twice, so I cannot move around. I have even tried to lure a few geeky women, but they were simply not interested, despite what my four heads had to offer. I tried to explain them who I am and exactly how pivotal my role has been, but they mentioned something about Higgs Boson and left. I need a way out, guys. And I cannot trust anyone else but the two of you."

Brahma looked dejected. "And you know what, I do not really want these earthlings. All I want is Saraswati to be back."

Vishnu flashed that charming smile of his that has mesmerised women over the world over the annals of time. Then he suddenly turned businesslike, and concentrated on the sharp disc that had been spinning on his finger. Then, with one swift motion, he let it go. It struck Shiva's trident; a minuscule slice fell off from it and landed with an almost inaudible ting on a small bit of rock that had stood out amidst acres of snow.

Shiva looked unperturbed. He stooped down, carried that divine bit of metal and handed it over to Vishnu with an face that seemed to be devoid of all expression. Vishnu took out one of those peacock plumes that he typically carried for emergencies like these.

Then, with glares that would have been sufficient to destroy the entire human civilisation, both he and Shiva stared hard at the snow. The snow was no match for the fire in those eyes. It melted within a nanosecond and began to boil. "You're overdoing things, Shiva", Vishnu interrupted.

"This metal thing is called a razor. I know that you have the skills to turn the snow into hot water easily. And this plume is magical - it is ambrosia-coated is a completely wear-and-tear-proof thing. Don't lose it - it is a limited-edition thing. And then, you need this."

Brahma looked at Vishnu curiously as he conjured out of thin air what looked like a small gold container.

"This is called a shaving cream. The can is bottomless, so you'll never run out of it. Basically what you need to do is this. First, collect the hot water in your water-bottle."

"It's called a kamandalu."

"You can keep your nomenclature to yourself for now. Do as I say."

Brahma looked a bit agitated, but obliged. With a swish of his hand his kamandalu was filled with steaming water.

"Now, all you need to do is this. Look carefully, as I won't repeat it."

Using the peacock plume as a brush, Vishnu gave Brahma his first shave. Shiva looked mildly interested, brushed his palm on his cheek. The stubble was growing back, he thought. That won't impress Sati.

"Repeat this for the other three heads. Be quick, I don't have all day. I have a world to look after."

Brahma repeated the action for the other three heads one by one, turning them the way one rotates a revolving door; he looked a completely different person now - a lot younger than the way he has perpetually been depicted in Amar Chitra Katha comics.

"You need to keep doing this every day", suggested Vishnu. "Check the results. You won't regret it."

They haven't heard back from Brahma ever since. The abysmal depths we have sunk to can do with a bit of help from Saraswati, though.


  1. In the description of Shiva, "He held" / "he clasped"- which one?

    P.S. - Marattmok upobhogyo lekha! :D

  2. Hmph.Looks like smbody is unwilling to shave in cold weather.Wrote a post instead.

  3. Shiva and Vishnu set Brahma up for a blind date with none other than Kaali.She got a good harvest(pun intended)

  4. Ha ha...the truth is with four heads bramha can't make up his mind .shiva dances more like sunny deaol and is unhygienic. Vishnu is gay-ish but can't keep his hands off laxmi.And i always thought saraswati was his daughter?

    1. A sources says when Brahma created the world, his body split into halves - male and female. The female part was Saraswati, who went on to become Brahma's partner.

      According to another source, Saraswati was born from Brahma's forehead (without a mother). Despite the potentially incestuous relationship, Brahma craved for Saraswati. Saraswati tried to hide - which was the reason for Brahma having a head in each direction.

      As per a third source, the heads of Brahma grew as and when a particular Veda was written.

      Take your pick.

    2. 😝 whoa! Well read you.Eve was created from adam's rib,but was his better half.Tell me,if a man has 24 ribs,should a man have as many wives.

  5. :-). This version I like.Screw mythology,it's obscurantist anyway.

  6. Abhishek,I❤U. Very very mch.
    Keep writing.You have what it takes.

    1. I❤U more. ;)

    2. Abhishek,I❤U more. ;)

    3. You may,but he's mine.
      I love him more and more and more...

  7. :D :D Brilliant. There goes my ticket to Paris. Awesome.

  8. I started writing this as I read along - so here goes...

    Loved the sci-fi allusion to Pandora :) - assuming it was such. (Ok, you confirmed it below.)

    And it took me until "lay on his side" to figure out who you meant by the trinity :(. Guess I wasn't paying attention closely enough to "Mr. Meluha" - my brain needs rebooting this early in the morning. Also, I assume when you said

    "one of those millennium-defining quotes"

    that it WAS millennium defining, because in Brahma's timeframe vis-a-vis ours, probably that was the only quote uttered that millennium :) ?

    Sotti - your tale is a "true-blue" Amar Chitra "Katha" (all puns intended!).

    1. Yes. It was millennium-defining because of that specific reason. Brahma's quotes are like that. :)

  9. joyishdasgupta@gmail.comJanuary 7, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    sotyi!! matha khatie likteo paro ek ekta!!
    so waiting for the 2nd part !! should have ended with ..... To be continued!!

  10. So moral of the story is: A small mind cannot think big!

  11. didn't know there's actually a beer brand named after brahma.thanks for dispensing that knowledge.
    and what's this about 2 anonymous members of the fairer sex (I presume) proclaiming their er, affection, for you and fighting over who you belong to ? :P

    1. you too can join in expressing affection Rags..
      He's such a lovey dovey after all.

    2. I know...right from childhood..he's been an absolutely loving bro 2 me :)

  12. If this does not win hands down,I will presume Bramha has indeed de-focused Saraswati. :D:D:D Loved the story.

  13. Wonderful story. So:
    Bramha janen
    shavinger uddeshyo ki .

    And we mortals have conflated this ... so now I have to go and shave for some meeting I have to attend :( .

    Incidentally, your knowledge of Brahma, be it of temples or legends or beer is great.

  14. এটা প্লিজ বাংলায় লেখ আবার

  15. Haha..Somebody left your blog link on this site.The man,unlike you,shares your interest and writes about Mahabharta too.Only his is not about korno,but er...about porno.
    Check this blog out.
    And thanks to whoever left AM's link on Zub's blog.

  16. Mythology never raves about any kind of shaving cream or aftershave.For all i know,it talks only about perfumes. I see you couldn't think of an imaginative substitute for shaving cream,but that's richly compensated by shiva's gesture of palm brushing his cheek for stubble.For a shaving cream,butter could have been a decent substitute.And ever flowing jet of water atop Shiva's head serve a ready made wash basin than making him melt snow?What's funny is a humble razon makes a larger than life appearance,as the razor ads usually have us believe.
    So when in mood,you write brilliantly.Sadly,that's not always.But this post,as it develops,keeps one hooked and amused and gives mythology a much needed sizzling tadka.

    1. On hindsight, I think your ideas are very good, probably better than mine. However, this was a piece I had to write for a contest, and I did not have a lot of time to think, so it was a hurried one.

      And yes, I agree with you that I am at my best when I'm in the mood, which is not very frequent. I really wish it was. Sigh.

  17. ডাম্বলডোর মক্স ইউApril 21, 2015 at 4:29 PM

    আমি শুনেছি সেদিন তুমি সস্তা শেভিং ক্রিম
    আর দামি রেজারের প্যাক কিনে এনেছ
    আমি শুনেছি সেদিন তুমি একগাল ফোম মেখে
    অমন সাধের দাঁড়ি কেটে ফেলেছ

    আমি কখনো রাখিনি দাঁড়ি, যায়না আমার লুক-এ
    কখনো বোলাইনি হাত এবড়ো খেবড়ো মুখে...
    আবার যেদিন তুমি শেভিং করাতে যাবে
    আমাকে ও সাথে নিও নেবে তো আমায়
    বল নেবে তো আমায়?

    আমি শুনেছি সেদিন নাকি তুমি তুমি তুমি মিলে
    তোমরা সদলবলে শেভ করে ছিলে
    আর সেদিন তোমরা নাকি খোঁচা খোঁচা দাঁড়ি গোঁফ
    মাক-থ্রির সহযোগে কেটে ফেলেছিলে

    কেন শুধু রোজ রোজ ঝামেলা, নাপিতের কাছে চলা
    ক্লিনশেভ হোয় বাঁচা নিজেকে নিয়ে
    যদি দাঁড়ি গোঁফ না-ই থাকে বড়ো খোকা খোকা লাগে
    কি করে যে মাচো হবে কি করে হবে,
    বল কি করে হবে...