Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sunil the Thief
Somewhere in the deep jungles of southern Sri Lanka is Sunil. He is known as the Bachelor, also as Sunil the Thief, and Sunil the Handsome, and of course Sunil Who Returns. He is getting older now. His long white hair clings stubbornly to his scalp. It is not the thick perfection it once was, and yet, his mustache still shows the virility of his youth, as it ever will. What maiden can resist the temptations of Blue-Skinned Sunil's Mustache?
They say that on long cool nights you can see him running, slightly out of breath. With the wind at his back he reaches speeds, well not nearly the speeds he used to reach, but still speeds of valor. They say that you can see him leap cliffs, and climb up the tallest trees. Some sages whisper that in his youth Sunil could run along across the tops of branches, almost as a bird in flight.
Sages also tell of the tragedies left in Sunil's wake, of the ruined women, the absent mothers and the hordes of his many scorned fiancees that can be seen chasing him through the dark and moistened trees. The jungles thick vines hampering their every step, as they strain to catch their hearts prize. Each of these poor wretches was left at the altar, as a profane sacrifice to the gods, or to the men whose hearts they broke in turn.
Whatever the reason, the chase goes on, and it will continue until Sunil climbs up into a white-flowering tree. He will release the women from the bonds of love by laying down his life to the serpent he will find there, but it will not last. From the serpents egg will spring a new Sunil, who will run across the land and unknowingly draw women from their lovers arms even as he flees their caresses.
This is what will happen, it is written in neat white scripts running up and down Sunil's deep blue arms. On his back are the curses of Lakshmi, who loved Sunil from the moment she looked down from her chariot, which is drawn by nine white and black swans.