‘You have to keep this box very confidential, no matter whatever may happen, you should never open this box.’Shiv Baba, who laid down so many conditions like this, asked me to drop the box in a stream on the day when the thunderstorms stroke and killed humans in masses . I didn’t ask the reasons, because Shiv Baba was a visionary. He would not tell me to do something without any reason.
The car started its journey…
All the three of them occupied the rear seat.
Madhavan began to unfold what had happened so far.
“Anand, one day your uncle, Rajendra Varma came to meet my sister, and do you know why?”
He paused and looked at Anand and started narrating the flashback.
To the south of Munnar, there was a town called ‘Lakshmi Puram’. Like its name (*note: Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth; Puram means ‘dwells’; together, it means where Goddess Mahalakshmi lives), everyone in the village was very wealthy. There were only 500 families in that village. Each family possessed a minimum of 300 acres of land. Rajendra Varma’s family itself possessed more than 3000-acres including wetlands and drylands. Around a thousand workers were there helping them in the farming and harvesting.
When Thiruvonam comes, all would get so excited and there would be only celebrations everywhere. Lakshmipuram would become a point of attraction for all, even for the nearby villagers. They would celebrate Thiruvonam for a month to relax and enjoy to forget the pain of hard work they had done in the paddy fields. It is to be noted that during this time they do not follow the formal relationship that was normally existed between the ‘Janmi’ and ‘Kudiyan’.
In Rajan’s farmhouse, they brewed alcohol and distributed it for free to the whole village. In Kanaran’s farmhouse, they performed an art form called ‘Pulikali’. ‘Thumbi Thullal’ in Padmakshi’s farmhouse was performed by women. A giant ‘Athapu’ before the Bhagavathi Temple and so on the celebrations would lit the colourful nights of the whole village throughout the entire month.
As a highlight of all these, Rajendra Varma used to arrange a show with popular film stars, he used to bear all their expenses without worrying about the ‘zeros’ after the ‘one’. They would stay in the farmhouses and would have a nice experience of the village life there. On their way back, he used to honour them with gold chains and a briefcase full of currencies.
He did the same during the last Thiruvonam. Sreeksha, a popular film star of that time, came with the other artists for the celebrations in the village.
Sreeksha couldn’t simply digest how much money Varma splurged like that, even after she returned from the village, she could not come out of that rich experience she had in Lakshmipuram which continued to haunt her mind like anything.
One day, she got a call from Varma quite unexpectedly.
“Yes...May I know who is this?”
“Ma’am, I am Rajendra Varma from Lakshmipuram”
“Oh, Varma Ji! What a pleasant surprise! What is the matter?”
“Ma’am, you have forgotten something very important for you and left from here!”
“What are you talking about, Ji?’
“You have left your makeup-box here!”
She remembered then only that she had forgotten to take it from the guest house where she was staying. Actually, she was thinking that she had misplaced it and lost it somewhere else.
“Oh...God! Is it with you?”
“Yes, I’ll send it through one of my friends here, please collect it from him. I just called to inform you of this only. Luckily, I found your visiting card inside that box!”
“Oh, no, Ji, don’t worry about it, I can get another one like that, you can keep it with you as a memory of our meeting!”
“Ma’am, what am I going to do with a makeup box like that? You must have bought it from Singapore, it was so dazzling and looked very unique and you are asking me to keep it as a memory? ”
“Not like that, Ji, I do not want to disturb a very busy person like you!”
“It is definitely not a disturbance and another thing is that I do not like to keep another person’s property with me, I will send it today itself to you!”
Varma cut the call but Sree Latha was in another imaginary world with him travelling in the high skies. Wow! What a man he is! Her heart was longing to meet him at once. Her assistant Meenu asked, “Who was that on the phone, Ma’am? Any new booking?”
“No, it is Varma from Lakshmipuram”
“Oh, really did he speak with you, Ma’am?”
“Yes, he only spoke. That man is very simple, does not show off. What a naive heart he has!”
“Oh god, why are you so much fond of him? Is he asking you to share his bed with you for a night, mesmerized by your beauty?”
Meenu asked her casually with a business-like look. But Sree stared at her.
“Why are you staring at me, ma’am? To me, all these rich people are alike and have the same attitude!”
“This man is definitely not like that, Meenu.”
“He seems to me as quite a different person. My make-up box is with him and he still wants to send it back to me as he does not want to keep another person’s property!”
“Oh, It is surprising! Did Varma speak to you directly?”
“Yes...Meenu.. Why? Do you have any doubts?”
“No...ma’am, normally in the case of people like him, only their assistants speak, it’s their practice. That’s why I have asked like that.”
“This guy is not such a type.”
“Yes, Yes, you will say that he won’t even know how to bite off his fingernails, even if someone puts it in his mouth, right?”
“Whether you accept it or not for me he is like that only. He seems like a very unique person to me. When we went there, he took special care of us.Do you remember that?”
“Keep fantasizing, ma’am. Do you know, when we were there, this gentleman nicely spent a night with our extra artist Leela and gave her a diamond ring also in return as a gift and you believe he is very innocent!”
“Is it true?”
“Why are you not believing my words, Ma’am, you can even call Leela now directly and ask about it and you will know the truth.”
“Do you want to say, he is just one among the other who wants to sleep with any girl?”
“All these wealthy pigs are like that only, ma’am!”
“Come on, now go and get my makeup set ready. Just because of your thoughts, your marriage is getting delayed and postponed forever!”
Meenu stood there for a moment and immediately left the place understanding that Sree Latha was not in her good moods. Sree was still in her dream world, weaving the net for Varma.
If you have chosen this field you should not waste time. As early as possible, you have to find the right partner, earn fast, and settle in life at the earliest. This field will honor you until only you are young after that the world of cinema will just gobble you up and throw you away like the kernel of a mango. Sree’s mind was seriously thinking all about this.
When the thoughts of Leela came into her mind, she became very furious and wondered how Leela became so close with Varma and made use of that chance to go ahead of her.
She just rolled over and over in her bed without sleep. By this time, her younger brother, who had gone to college came back.
“Hi, Sree, no shooting today?” he inquired as he sat beside her.
Meenu, who came inside said, “What to say, the only film of ma’am, which was released this week was a flop and was taken out of the theatre, then who will book her for the next film?”
Madhavan stared at Sree Latha and said,
“Sree, that’s why I told you to stop this, you never listen to my words.”
“Ok, dear, what if that film had become a hit? Would you say this?”
“Still I’ll say the same thing. I don’t like any of your activities. When my friends talk before me gossips about you, how can I bear it?”
Madhavan left the room. Sree couldn’t digest what her brother said. She felt like he had put her dreams into a grinder and ground them into powder and blown it into the wind forever.
“Ma’am, do not worry about what that idiot said! He is young and does not know what is life! If you trust me, I will tell you one secret. One of my friends, Mini uses black magic to influence the rich and suck out all their money like a leech.” Meenu said.
Sree’s mind was in such a condition that at this juncture she would accept any donkey’s advice gladly! The word ‘black magic ’stuck in her mind like an anchor!.
“What is ‘black magic’?” she asked innocently.
“Don’t you know anything about black magic? Oh,God!”
“Meenu, I do not know anything about it that is why I’m asking you.”
“Ma’am, It’s not like mesmerizing your fans by showing your naked body, this is real black magic.”
“Is it ?”
“In Munnar, in the forest, there is a woman called ‘Mayamma’ who has this black magic herb. But you have to give her the price she asks. If you give money, she will give you that herb. Then if you give it to anyone who ever, they are they will follow you like a dog and will obey you. ”
“If you have any doubt, go and ask Mini. I will arrange a meeting for you with her. Once you use that herb on a person, he or she will do whatever you say!”
“Meenu, I have never heard of anything like this before really, it is something like a miracle!”
“Yes, Ma’am, there are many little known things like this in this world.”
“You are an encyclopaedia, Meenu, I am lucky that you are with me. I need not search anywhere for any information.” Sree Latha praised her but at the same time her thoughts focused around only on that black magic herb.
“If this is true and if I can influence that Rajendra Varma, how nice it would be?” she slept dreaming of it.