Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sanjay and Shantipriya

Sanjay: Shantipriya? It's Sanjay. Shantipriya: I know you, Sanjay, though I can't say I'm delighted to see anyone in your family right now.

Shantipriya: I was totally disgraced. I was put to shame by your brother, Roshan. He abandoned me at the altar, and left me while I was still wearing my wedding mehendi.

Sanjay: I heard, Shanti. I was utterly devastated when I heard what he had done. I'm so sorry that you suffered such disgrace. You, above all people, precious Shantipriya.

Shantipriya: Where were you? Why did you not attend the wedding? He is your brother, and I've known you since we were children.

Sanjay: Honestly, Shanti, I couldn't bear it. When I heard that you were betrothed to Roshan, I was heartbroken. I always dreamed that you and I would be married--from the time that we were young, I always thought we always had a special connection. I couldn't understand why my parents chose Roshan for you. I was hurt. I was angry. I wish I would have been there to catch you when you fell.

Sanjay: Do not judge me based on my brother's actions. We are different people--Roshan and me. He always had his sights on fame and glory. You wouldn't have been happy. He knew it, and down deep inside--you know it. His career was always more important than those around him. I am not Roshan--the dashing young Bollywood actor. I'm just your Sanjay, your friend from the village.

Sanjay: We have so many memories together. Do you remember celebrating Holi together, and you were covered in red and I told you that you were adorned like a beautiful bride, and you--you covered me in blue like Krishna? And the festival of Diwali---we watched the whole city light up like stars before our eyes from your balcony? Do you remember dancing together when the draught ended and the monsoon came? Do you remember swimming in the pool among the lotus flowers? That was ME, Shanti--not Roshan. Shantipriya: I remember it all, Sanjay. I didn't know how you felt. You're right about everything---every single thing. It was always you...always.

Sanjay: Then marry me, Shantipriya. Let me adorn you with vermillion, and put bangles on your wrists and ankles. Paint your body with henna for me and light an eternal candle for our love.

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. I ...will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit— a wife who married young, only to be rejected,... Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,”... “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you...

Sanjay: Say yes, my beloved Shantipriya, say yes.

Shantipriya (in tears): Yes, my beloved friend, my sweet and noble Sanjay. I will light a flame for you that will never be extinguished. Bathe me in perfume and incense, and let me adorn my hands with henna. I will adorn you with vermillion.