Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Epics as a Reference

The Mahabharata is the final referance point of our village people - the stories they quote from it are sub plots that i had not heard of even. Eashwaramma's son-in-law, almost blind, poorer than poor, holds the people rapt as he tells stories from the Bharatam into the night, sitting on a mat spread before his hut.

In that epic is enshrined the practical truth of the eternal war between the good and the bad - without and within (within each of the Paandavalu and Kauravalu, as they say). The people say as they hear the stories, "what was difficult even for the gods will be difficult for us also ...", and find strength to struggle. The truths that we the educated are painfully searching for, the illiterate wise have found in the eternal epics that they have been enshrined in.

Ratnakka tells me referring to the Mahabharatam, "The gods themselves had to go through all this, what about us humans". 
Village people - down, but never out. A dharma, a timeless concept of right and wrong, and a tradition protects them if not against poverty, against despair and wrongdoing. From their patience, unceaseing efforts, faith in god, and generosity in the face of starvation ... there is immense learning for us.

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