the lawyer writer

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bandit Queens

One of my now-patented hiatuses (haitui? what exactly is the plural of hiatus? discuss). Apologies to those who have been irritated by the lack of posts (usually at lunch-time, over a sandwich, I know who you are).

Well, I am happy to say that my Lizzie writings have resulted in a somewhat decent first draft. Why, exactly, was it excruciating? Is that always how writing is going to be? I'm amazed by people who think this is an easy profession. I do anything--clean, dust, my taxes--to keep from writing sometimes.

Next on the list is Phoolan Devi, Bandit Queen of India. I will not go into the details of Phoolan Devi here. But I will say this here (and not in the actual book): I picked her because I wanted at least one of my Wicked Women to be Indian. I admit it. I wanted at least one Indian woman who was considered by many to be just plain bad. And among the queens and the martyrs and the asparas and dutiful wives, I did find one.

I first heard of Phoolan Devi through my parents--that she was a gangster who roamed the mountains of North India, and that she had once butchered two dozen innocent brahmins. This at least, was what she went to prison for. I pictured her like the goddess Kali--all fire and brimstone and skull necklaces. In my research, however, I haven't seen a goddess of destruction. I have, however, seen a woman who knew how to play up that image--especially to Brahmin caste men, who she loathed. To Brahmins like my father, she was a butcher and a bandit. To lower caste Indians and untouchables, she was a hero. Many also considered her a feminist. At any rate, she was popular enough to be elected Minister of Parliament in India, a position she held until she was killed in 2000.

That, any rate, will be how I'm spending my Sunday. Okay, maybe I'll also catch a repeat of the last episode of Kept, where Jerry finally got rid of oily, nasty pretty boy Ricardo. That was sweet.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does "rebel leader" count as wicked? If so check out Mahasweta Devi's "The Queen of Jhansi" for another wicked Indian (Bengali) woman--Lakshmibai of Jhansi.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous qksail said...

If we are making nominees for wicked women, let me add my nominees. There are the obvious ones like Tanya Harding, Aileen Wuornos, and Amy Fisher but who wants to be ordinary. No no, I have unearthed some more obscure wickedness:

Mrs. Vouros, my 11th grade calculus teacher. Cruel and unusual mental torture expert. She made your sphincter go into spasms of fright and ruined many a good set of Depends.

Cheryl Milcherska, uber-hot collegiate temptress and manipulator. Preyed on young slightly geeky frosh males (don't look a me!) that happened to have something she wanted. Ok, that's not so rare. But as soon as she got what she wanted she openly mocked her victim sending him into monthlong depression (but ritalin helped... sorry Tom).

Kelly Gardner, sweet Southern Belle work colleague with penchant for thrusting jagged blades into your kidney from behind and twisting violently (that last part is analogous, not literal). And she got my damn promotion!

Lawyer Writer, sexy and sassy online blogstress with strangely colored hair. Wickedness hasn't yet fully manifested itself but I'm sure its in there somewhere....

10:34 AM  
Blogger sebastian d'arfourt said...

http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/hiatus?view=uk

says that the plural is "hiatuses" - how boring...

1:24 PM  
Blogger sebastian d'arfourt said...

oh, i forgot - the latin plural is, of course, "hiatus", but with the last vowel prounounced longer than in the singular, i.e. as if it was spelled "hiatuuus"

1:27 PM  
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