Detailed Summary of Samskara – Chapter IX
SAMSKARA by U. R. Anantha Murthy
|Chinni||She is from the lower strata of her society|
|Belli||Concubine of Shripati|
|Praneshacharya||Learned scholar and priest of Durvasapura|
|Sitadevi||Wife of Garudacharya|
|Garudacharya||A relative of Naranappa|
|Dasacharya||A Brahmin and he loves food|
|Chandri||A dalit woman who lives with Naranappa|
Vultures hovering over the Agrahara
The author gives the reason for Belli not going to pick up cow dung in the agrahara. The readers understand that Belli is regular in picking cow dung in the agrahara and that she has not come as her parents become victim of the ongoing mysterious malady of Durvasapura. When Chinni returns back to her hut, she hears the sound of Belli’s parents crying out loud in agony. When Chinni enters Belli’s hut, she sees Belli sitting near her parents. As they don’t know the reason behind the sickness, they attribute that to demoniac power. Chinni and Belli’s talk reveal that Pilla, his wife, and Chowda are also dead.
The time is around 2 pm when the Brahmins of the agrahara were waiting for Praneshacharya to return from Maruti Temple but then there is no sign of his return. Meanwhile, Sitadevi finds a dead rat in her house and throws it out of her house on to the street. The dead rat attracts a vulture which sits on the roof of Sitadevi’s house. She considers vulture on her house top as an oman of death and she is afraid that something might happen to her son who has joined the army without the knowledge of her and her husband Garudacharya. Garudacharya thinks in his mind that God Maruti is trying to punish him for thinking in his heart that Chandri’s gold should not go to Maruti temple but come to him. But as they were trying to chase the vulture, many vultures descend on the agrahara and they perch in pairs on each house top. This brings solace to Sitadevi as she thinks that the oman is not only to her house but something common to the agrahara. According to the suggestion given by Dasacharya, the people bring sacred gongs and conches. The loud sound of gongs and conches scares away the vultures.
Chandri meanwhile sits under the shade of a tree, quite far away from Praneshacharya and watches him worshiping God Maruti to get an answer from the god whether to do funeral rites for Naranappa according to Brahmin rituals or not. Chandri is tired and hungry. Though she feels like eating the bananas that she has with her, she hesitates to eat when she thinks of the pain Praneshacharya undergoes all for her sake. Nevertheless hunger overpowers her decision of not to eat, and she eats a banana and justifies her situation. It begins to get dark and Chandri remains in the forest and the people in the agrahara continue to wait for Praneshacharya.
1. quid – noun
Meaning: a portion of tobacco
Example – Sitadevi went in, brought out some betel leaf, betelnut and a quid of tobacco, threw them at her and stood there thinking her own precious thoughts.
2. hearten – verb
Meaning: strengthen the confidence
Example – ‘Ayy, you idiot – just be quiet,’ said Chinni, trying to hearten Belli.
3. stupefying – noun
Meaning: making someone to get shocked or amazed
Example – By two in the afternoon, the sun rose over the head, and burned like the angry third eye of Lord Shiva, stupefying the Brahmins already half-dead with hunger.
4. succubi – noun
Meaning: a female devil supposed to have intercourse with sleeping men
Example – Fear and hunger, both acute, worked in their bellies like succubi.
5. perch – verb
Meaning: (of birds) to descend on something
Example – Sitadevi found a rat lying dead in the rice vessel in her store-room; she picked it up by the tail, held her nose with her sari-end, and brought it out to fling it, when a vulture swooped towards her, and glided away to perch on their roof.
6. Danseuse (/dɑ:ˈsəːz/) – noun
Meaning: a female ballet dancer
Example – As they looked on, the vulture on their roof curved his neck around like a Danseuse,
7. gong – noun
8. conch – noun
Meaning: a simple musical instrument in the shape of a circular metal disc
Meaning: a kind of sea shell that is used to produce blowing sound
Example – She was surprised by the sound of gong and conches in the distance.
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