Microfiction challenge: Surparnakha

This is in response to a challenge: Write a monologue from the point of view of a character from the Indian epic Ramayana.  

I’m Surparnakha. I’m a woman, sister to one king, widow to another. People called me beautiful when I was younger. I was. But I much prefer my life now, without having to worry about the two big egos in my life tearing each other apart (well, one did end up killing the other, but that’s quite a different story.)

So I hear the people down the valley have started calling me a witch? I can imagine where that comes from. Ah it’s so nice not having to worry about these things. To tell you the truth, we might have scared one or two of the villagers at the edge of the forest, last time we were a bit tipsy. They do tend to leave us alone once we’ve done that a couple of times. 

So according to the simple people, I can fly now… great! I travel a lot between Lanka and the forests. Right now I’m at my brother’s court, but oh the politics. I needed to come back after some time in the woods, back to the lap of luxury, to be waited on hand and foot. But I can’t stand doing what Ravana has to do, look after the court and the people, with all their little squabbles. It’s tedious!

Today I’m off back to the country. I have other relatives there, they have their lives and I have mine, we have a great time together. We all take what we want and leave what we don’t. And because of who I am, I can pretty much get what I want anyways. I may be past it but I still clean up nice. For some reason, people call that magic too? I can see why, I look a different person after a week in Lanka. 

I can get what I want – now I know what I want. Which was why I ‘flew’ off to Lanka to clean up. I’ve had nothing else on my mind since I saw this man in the forest. I’ve never seen him before.

I say man – I’ve known men, but I’ve never seen anyone like him. It’s like all the other men are just shadows, immaterial, and he’s the only real man that has ever existed, even though he also looks young. I am in love but I don’t know love like this. Do I want to enjoy, or do I want to be there for his enjoyment? Looking at him makes my heart go soft. I didn’t even know I had a heart. A look from him is perfection – you have to realise, I’ve never heard myself think like this. My life is in tatters and I’m doubting everything I ever knew. How can one look at one man make me do this? 

I haven’t spoken to him yet. I saw him in the forest and went to clean up. Wouldn’t want to risk anything. The other people around him, they looked like family – I don’t care about them, I want this, I want to go back there, looking nice, and get him. Or – serve him. I don’t know, I’m so confused. That effulgence! That peace! That – that pure manliness! I want that. I don’t know what it is. I’ve never been so confused in my life.

Surparnakha did indeed try and seduce Rama but was rejected, and when she didn’t give up and instead offended Sita, Rama cut off her nose. Humiliated and upset, she first asked her brother Khara to defend her honour. He was easily defeated by Rama. She then went to Ravana and told him that Sita is the most wonderful woman and his ideal wife, upon which Ravana abducted Sita, starting the Ramayana war.


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