I was, to be quite frank, stupefied. I felt as if my thorax had been struck by an angry bolt of lightning. I had been fast asleep when something had woken me up. The sight that greeted my eyes was not one that many have witnessed--at least I hadn't. My room was glowing with a gentle luminosity and silhouetted against my door was, faintly discernible, the curvaceous figure of a woman. I knew I wasn't dreaming, so I didn't go through the ridiculous preliminaries of pinching myself or rubbing my eyes. I wondered why my parents had not woken up as their room adjoined mine and my door was but slightly closed.
I crept out of the mosquito net and approached the figure. One of the most beautiful women I had ever seen, she was draped in a resplendent red sari [not the Madhuri/Sridevi rain dance ones] and wore all sorts of ornaments. I whistled.
"What a pretty girl you are!" I exclaimed, "Who are you?"
I saw her turn back for an instant and heard her asking someone in a somewhat disgusted voice, "Are you sure this fool is the savior?" "Yes, my goddess, he is", came the prompt disembodied reply.
I couldn't see the person who had just answered and this obviously aroused my curiosity. But I decided not to press my luck.
"I am Devi Durga", said she, "Conqueror of asuras, slayer of demons, Goddess of creation", she concluded solemnly. I sniggered, "And I am Rameses, emperor of ancient Egypt, slayer of a thousand slaves, master of a hundred harems" and burst out laughing. If she were Durga, then I was Mickey Mouse!
She looked at me intently for sometime and then ordered me to go with her. There was authority in her tone. "Where to?" I asked. "To the heavens, "she said. "What for?" asked I, scarcely able to repress my laughter. She said she'd tell me on the way and, since that was fine with me, I eagerly took the delicate hand she held out to me.
Suddenly I found myself speeding through the stratosphere and realized that I had committed an unforgivable faux pas--this really was a goddess if not THE Goddess herself!
I was just about to tender my fervent groveling apologies when, reading my mind [gods and goddesses can do these things] she said, "There's no time for apologies. Now listen carefully to what I have to say. A serious crisis is upon us and you are the only one, I am told, who can help [she sounded rather regretful]. I was busy fighting Mahishasura when I had to attend a call on my mobile. Brahma had sent for me immediately and I had to run from the battlefield. Little did I comprehend the gravity of the situation as when I entered I saw Brahma seated beside his swimming pool in fluorescent swimming trunks, stroking his four white lustrous beards. He broke the news to me without delay. The gods who had granted me their powers were busy wooing a certain Monica. Strangely enough, all of them had fallen for her charms. Shiva had approached the earth maiden but had been forced to flee when she filed a case of harassment against him. Vishnu had offered her his sleeping bag Sheshnaga, but before he knew it, Lakshmi was after him, her owl screeching its lungs out for his blood. Even elephant-headed Ganesha had fallen for her and was on the verge of wasting away from excessive dieting. His mouse had left him, deprived of its daily diet of laddu-crumbs. Other gods were so enamored of her and so distracted that soon I would lose all my celestial powers and would cease to exist as the gods had nearly forgotten about me. But Mahishasura has to be killed and Brahma said that in all the three worlds, you are, unfortunately, the only who who can do that."
I was stupefied by the amazing revelations and squeaked, "Why me?"
"Because you are supposed to the acme of Brahma's creation--physical and mental."
"What about spiritual?" I asked eagerly.
The Goddess looked the other way.
Another fine mess I'd got into, but there was no way out. The Goddess announced that we should immediately start for the battlefield. The ride to the spot was most uncomfortable, what with Durga's lion having no saddle and me having to comply with its constant demands to scratch behind its ears.
In no time we had reached a sandy plateau entirely devoid of vegetation. Out on the sand dunes stood a veritable black giant sporting buffalo horns on his helmet--Mahishasura, the demon I was to conquer. I hopped off the lion and turned around to ask for weapons. There was no sign of Durga or her lion. I was all alone.
The terror of the three worlds mouthed a heaven-shattering roar and charged at me like the wild beast he was. When he was nearly upon me, I neatly side-stepped and biffed him squarely on the hooter. He wheeled around, blood streaming from his nose--evidently I had successfully broken it.
"I will kill you!" he thundered, announcing his intentions to make sure that I hadn't mistaken them. He ended his pert speech by unleashing an amazing repertoire of demonic expletives. Slowly he morphed into a T-Rex--the great terror of the Triassic age [please note, NOT Jurassic as Spielberg would have it--weak in pre-history you see]. I realized that I would soon be dinosaur dinner if I didn't do something fast. An idea flashed into my mind.
"Look here, why do you want to kill me? Why do you wish to destroy the universe?" I asked.
"I am desperate and frustrated, " he grunted, "two worlds have I searched for a mater but found none. Neither heaven nor hell should remain. I shall destroy them for they have not been able to provide me with a mate. And now I shall destroy you!"
"Wait a second, Mr Mahishasura, or should I call you Tyrranosura 'Anyway, as I was saying, why haven't you searched the earth?" I had him there. He scratched his scaly, reptilian head with a claw. "Well, what can earth offer that heaven can't? " he asked after a long think.
Quite stupid, I thought, but sotto voce. I wanted to live.
My mind scanned memories of the world news, events, scandals and suddenly stopped at one point. I had been buying time, but now I had a definite plan.
"If I tell you who your perfect mate will be, will you promise to go away and live in peace forever?" I asked him.
"He thought for sometime and replied, "I promise I will; but only if I like her. Who is she?"
"A fair female by the name of Monica."
Beep! Beep! My alarm clock was screaming away. I jumped out of bed. What a dream! Today was Mahalaya. My parents were still asleep. I washed my face and went to the drawing room. I found the newspaper at the doorstep and was just going to unfold it when something made me look up at the sky. I could faintly discern a cloud taking the shape of a lion and seated upon it was what looked like a woman and, as the rays of the morning sun shot through the sky, piercing the cloud, the woman was bathed in a red glow and it seemed she waved at me. Then it all vanished. Why was I hallucinating? I unfolded the paper and the headline fairly sprang onto my face:
Starr's Star Disappears, Monica Abducted?