Vyasa (V): Here we are
Ganpati (G): Indeed, here we are!
V: But the question is where were we?
G blows…eh about…almost…2 years worth of dust from the last papyrus he had scribbled.
V almost falls out of his seat.
V: 2 years! Well then it is about time.
V and G get off the seats and break into a song.
Ta-tut ta-tut tut-ta!
It was 4 years ago
Was it really?
That we gave this story a go
V: I think I snapped a tendon, we should stick to writing
G (disappointed): Oh alright.
V: Where were we story-wise?
G: Let’s see…we were writing about some dude called Shankaracharya…no wait…Sukracharya. He is an evil scientist who is funded by Asuras and can bring people back from dead.
V: Wait a minute. I do not cater to evil scientists stereotypes. Sukracharya is a good guy.
G: Then why is he consorting with the Asuras?
V: Do you know how hard it is to get funding? On average 97% of the grants are rejected.
G: Alright simmer down. So there is Dr. S and he is a single father. What’s the story with the mom?
V: I haven’t made up that part yet…no questions, just a brief summary please.
G: Okay…the daughter Devyani has an affair with a student named Kacha, not knowing that Kacha is actually a spy. You know you could call this chapter ‘the spy who shagged me!’.
V stares sternly as G chuckles.
V: Take your time, we have all day.
G: Fine! The spy plots and successfully steals Dr. S’s Sanjiviniology research and then ditches Devyani. Bru-tal! Then Devyani steals the princess’s clothes and the princess in turn pushes Devyani in a dry well. Tough day for Devyani. Then a prince conveniently and believably happens to be wandering around in the forest.
V -> searing stares.
G: And the prince is gallivanting in the woods all by himself, probably looking for damsels in distress, I mean who knows what he was looking for and it doesn’t matter so long as the plot moves forward.
V taps his foot.
G: Then the prince…what is his name anyway?
G: Okay, Yayati then finds Devyani and rescues her and then Devyani proposes and gets rejected by the prince because of her fat ass and Devyani is stranded in the forest.
V (rubbing his hands with excitement): Alright, here we go.
Devyani sat in the forest feeling dejected and alone. Soon the forest was enveloped in darkness and sinister howls echoed in the forest. Devyani cowered under a tree and started praying for somebody to rescue her.
Sukracharya squints at his wrist dial under the candle light.
Sukracharya (S): Where is this girl? I can’t figure out what time it is on this dial.
Vyasa (V): Talking about wrist dials, I’m thinking of buying one with an abacus in it.
Ganapati (G): You people with your gadgets. When you are hungry it is time to eat, when you are sleepy it is time to sleep. I don’t need a dial to tell me what time it is.
V: Ganya, you are strange sometimes.
Worried about the daughter, he asks a student to go looking for her in the forest. Partly because as a tenured professor he could get away with it but mostly because he was afraid of the dark. The student searches for Devyani for hours and finally finds her and takes her home.
Student: “Can I graduate now?”
S: “That is up to the committee to decide. Remember there is no substitute for hard work.”
Disgruntled student walks away.
S: And as for you missy, do you know what time it is?
Taps the wrist dial.
S: I am sick of this behavior. Out partying at ungodly hours, the pigeon practically fainted last week from delivering your incessant pigeon mail and then there is all this expensive junk you keep buying…like this wrist dial which doesn’t even work.
Devyani (D): It works only during the day dad!
G: I always wonder why those things can’t work at night? I mean clearly we have the moon at night, so what’s the problem?
V: I don’t know. So where were we…
D: It works only during the day dad! Stop yelling at me. I wasn’t out partying, I was almost murdered.
S: Murdered? Don’t be dramatic. Why would anyone murder my daughter when I can bring you right back to life? That would be the most pointless thing to do.
D bursts into tears.
D: Nobody likes me. Everybody makes fun of me. I am never getting married.
S: Okay okay. Tell me what happened.
D: It’s Sarmishta…she thinks she is so hip. The only reason she has friends is because her dad would behead anyone who is mean to her. Anyway, I was minding my own business and I don’t know what got into her. She is probably jealous of me or something she just pushed me into a pit.
S: May be it was a mistake. May be she didn’t mean to push you.
D: She also said that your last publication had the lousiest data she has ever seen and something about error bars…that you haven’t heard about them…
Sukracharya’s face turned the deepest color of crimson.
S: I will have a chat with her Dad first thing in the morning.
He simmered through the night and made his way to the palace at the crack of dawn.
At the palace.
King Vrishaparva (KV): Sukracharya? What a pleasant surprise! Usually I don’t wake up before you can start telling time but the wife is on my case. So I do a little cardio in the morning to get the old motor running. In fact I am looking for a running partner, you interested?
S gives angry stares.
KV: Sooooo, what’s up? What brings you here?
S: I will get right to the point. I am not treated with respect and I am tired of this attitude. There are lots of other kingdoms that I can offer my services to and would be appreciated for. In fact, I am thinking of leaving you and your kingdom for good.
KV: What did the Asuras do now?
S: It wasn’t the Asuras this time. It was your daughter.
KV: My daughter? What could she possibly do or say that would make you leave?
S: I am not going to repeat the hideousness that she uttered but I want to make it clear that I will not stand for it.
KV: Okay, I will talk with her.
S: I am afraid that is not enough.
KV: Look, I would hate for things to end this way. You and I both know that my kingdom will crumble without your Frankenstein stuff. I apologize on her behalf.
S: I have put up with a lot humiliation with the Asuras harassing my students and murdering them and feeding their body parts to my pets. But this time it has gone too far. There is nothing you can say or do to stop me.
KV: I will double your salary and fund you for a year.
S: I said that I will not…really? Double!
S: I do need some more grant money and my last application was rejected. Alright you have a deal.
KV: Great chatting with you. Gotta run.
Sukracharya gleefully returns home only to find a miffed Devyani.
S: It has all been taken care of.
D: What do you mean? Do I get an apology from Sarmistha?
S: Er…yes. She is going to mail it to you.
D (whines): Daaaad! I was humiliated. You didn’t just let them get away with it?
S: Of course not, they are going to pay for it.
D: Pay, you got a settlement? How much? Can I shop at Gocci now?
S: Sorry hon, you already spent your allowance and I need the extra money for my research.
D: This is not fair. I demand an apology from Sarmistha…no wait, I want her to be my maid for…forever.
S: Devyani, she is the King’s daughter.
Devyani makes puppy face.
S: Dammit Devyani! Okay fine, but if they don’t agree you will have to quit moping around and no more trips to the forest after dark.
G: Are all the women in your story unreasonable, emotional drags that serve the only utilitarian purpose of propagating the progeny?
V: Well they are women. What are you getting at?
V: I am getting hungry. Should we go grab a bite?
G: Might as well finish this chapter.
V: Oh that would take far too long. Sarmista becomes Devyani’s maid, I still haven’t figured out a way to make that sound plausible. Then Devyani finally hooks up with Yayati, the guy who rescued her from the well in the forest which by the way is an inter-caste marriage. Pretty forward of me know? Hooking up a Kshatriya with a Brahmin girl.
V: And then of course, Sarmista also gets jiggy with Yayati…the whole catfight angle to the story.
G: Yeah let’s go grab a bite. I have a coupon for Kabooters
V: You go there?
G: Yeah, I go there for the food. They have really good wings.