I really wasn’t into wandering around at night in India. Thanks to ZeeTV, we stumbled on a tv show called ‘Mahakali Anth Hi Aarambh Hai’ which looked like a rendition of an ancient story, maybe the Mahabaratta or the Vedas?
There was an insanely gorgeous goddess dressed in a white sari lined with gold who could shoot fire out of her eyes. There was a rotund old man with a white topknot who walked into the room looking worried. They were having a heated conversation and every 30 seconds there would be dramatic music and an extreme zoom into one face and then the other.
Then a cobra man showed up. He was a green man with a snake’s head- kind of like a sleestack from the 1970’s American tv show ‘Land of the Lost’.
They obviously had a history because he came right at her. As he lurched towards her she seared him with her eye – fire. He was very apologetic after that and I actually began to relate to him.
Poor apologetic snake man, whose mask kept coming unglued around his mouth. Simple snake man, doing his best to be logical and talk to the angry goddess. He bowed and groveled but she still was frowning at him.
After several intense conversations punctuated by dramatic music and sudden zoom shots that got way TOO close to the faces of the characters, there was a cracking sound and a big bass began thumping. Particles of dirt flew horizontally into the space as Kali, in all her horrible glory stomped into the room.
Unless you looked closely, you wouldn’t really notice that her skirt was made of severed arms dripping with blood. You might also miss the garland of rotting skulls around her neck, woven as they were with red flowers. Her hair was only slightly askew, quivering with the prana of her wrath. Her face was dark blue with a shockingly red forehead extending to the edge of her nose. Under each eye was a line of white, and line of red followed by a line of black. Over her eyebrow were delicate white lines that made it look as if she was raising her eyebrows in fury. Soon she and the goddess were hurling fireballs at each other with their hands AND their eyes.
After a long dramatic battle with many closeups, Kali overtook the goddess. As she stood over her with a huge blade I fully expected someone or something to swoop in at the last minute to save that goddess. Or maybe Kali would change her mind? Maybe she’d get a handle on her emotions and step down. Could the snake man put his reasoning skills to work and save the day?
My speculation revealed my American movie aesthetic. Movies in the US tend to all tie up with a neat little “happily ever after” at the end. I thought for sure that someone or something would come to the rescue of the beautiful goddess. What I was waiting for didn’t come. Kali sliced her head clean off.
That night I dreamt of a gigantic Shiva in his massive form and glorious complexity.