Thy black is fairest in my judgment’s place.Sonnet 131, William Shakespeare.
Uroob’s dark lady, Raachiyamma is a beautiful ode to the darker feminine. Raachiyamma is a name that echoes the night. It bears fortune, pretty much like a woman who dares to write her own destiny. She is a fierce, wild spirit. Yet she stretches to the nurturing mother archetype as well. She embodies the dark feminine extension of the trinity. Like Schulamite in the Song of Songs, she is “dark, but lovely.”
Raachiyamma embodies Lilith. She defies order. She is reckless. Yet she is also nurturing and vulnerable. She heals. She is bound by her chaste vows that has a vibrant hue of turmeric. But as age whither her the bright yellow of turmeric fades into a pale cream of sandalwood. Yet it acquires a new found fragrance just as she learns to find purity more in love than societal conventions. Breaking rules was as easy as rejecting three proposals for Rachiyamma. Afterall she is the chaos. She renews herself, for she knows that destruction is the cause of coming into being.
The narrator reconnects with Raachiyamma after a hiatus of eleven years. The story unfolds in the intersection of the past and the present. The story is all about Rachiyamma on the surface. She is like Kali. She is the terrible mother. But she is also the anima to the narrator, who could be the writer or, even more interestingly, the reader. The narrator, like Kalidasa, Tenali Raman or Naaranathu Bhraanthan, is embracing the dark goddess, the soul image.
Rachiyamma invites you to the dreadful serenity of her dark laps, where the narrator transforms himself into a different hero, a Tantric hero, a Vira, as James Hillman puts it. This is not the conventional hero who would save the damsel in distress and make her deliver, for he fails before her vow smeared with turmeric. The Tantric hero, instead individuates the terror inducing mother rather than defeating her. It’s a descent in evolution – from sophisticated vision to primeval olfaction. This descent into the shadows of the past paves way to differentiating the terrible mother from the anima and individuating it. That is when turmeric hues of longing gives way to the fragrance of sandal.