SAMSKARA by U. R. Anantha Murthy
|Praneshacharya||Learned Scholar and Priest of Durvasapura|
|Chandri||A Dalit lady who lives with Naranappa|
The Unpriestly Act of Praneshacharya
This short chapter talks about the unpriestly act of Praneshacharya with Chandri. The second day after Naranappa’s death, Praneshacharya is in the forest late in the evening imploring God Maruti to give an answer whether to have funeral rites according to Brahmin rituals or not. After a while, he is so frustrated and becomes tired as the god does not give him any reply. Praneshacharya wonders whether the god thinks that he does not deserve any reply. Being a highly respected priest in Durvasapura, he does not want to face his people without an answer from god. Nevertheless when it is pitch dark he gets up and thinks of returning home as he realizes that he has to give medicine for his ailing wife.
Chandri who was sitting behind Praneshacharya, without his knowledge while he was imploring God Maruti, now gets up and follows him and the sound of bangles in the dark night attracts him. When he turns back, he sees Chandri. She followed him to the forest as she could not face the angry Brahmins in the agrahara in the absence of Praneshacharya. She, now, out of gratitude bends to touch his feet but in the dark her breast hits his knee making her blouse open revealing her breasts. The priest who never had such an experience being alone with a young lady begins to touch her hair and Chandri responds positively leading to physical act which the author puts it decently, “Then she took off her sari, spread it on the ground, and lay on it hugging Praneshacharya close to her, weeping, flowing in helpless tears.”
1.Mortify – verb
Meaning: to feel ashamed
Example – ‘How can I face the people who have put their trust in me?’ – he said, mortified.
2. Famish – adjective
Meaning: extremely hungry
Example – Famished, distressed, he had suffered and grown so lean in a single day for me.