Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Why would someone be obsessed with a fan? Because that fan can be a source of trouble or a symbol of bad luck. The great aunt in the Framling House,Ms Lucille, believes so with all her emotion intact.Because of the peacock-feather fan,her ardent lover is caught dead and she is forever deprived of the right to live fully and love tremendously.
But where does the ill-possessed fan come from? Ah, the answer is a preview to the meat of the story.
Drusilla Delaney has always been a loyal servant and trustee of the FRAMLING HOUSEHOLD.And the Framlings are originally from India. And they interact with the East India Company. Drusilla worships Lavinia Framling,an arrogant,selfish, and domineering heiress ho is so haughty with the servants. Because she fails academically she decides that learning is for those who lack physical charms. Lavinia is more of a tigress than a spoiled kitten.
People flock to Lavinia for her beauty.And since she is very impulsive, Lady Harriet,the mother, entrusts her daughter ,Lavinia, to the care of Drusilla. The two ladies go to the Meridian House to study together. In contrast,Drusilla is the bright child while Lavinia is the slow learner. While Drusilla is an asset in school, LavInia is a deterrent.A moody student, Lavinia would contemptuously chastise Drusilla,"YOU ....VIRGIN!".
Afterwards they go to a finishing school in Chateau Lamason where they study social graces.They are going to be polished so they can marry into high-society. But Drusilla is aware that she is very plain and therefore might not at all marry.
The big trouble sets in when Lavinia gets impregnated by a good-for-nothing Joe.Drusilla takes Lavinia to her Aunt's Fletcher's Nursing Home. After giving birth to her lovechild, Lavinia arranges for her newborn to be adopted by a capable couple somewhere. The secret is not closed because Janine, a Chateau inmate, discovers every folishness Lavinia falls into and traps her into an unsuccessful blackmail.
After sometime, Lavinia retreats to India and marries into a reputable family. Naturally, Lady Harriet sends Lavinia to guide her daughter. But more troubles await them there. For INDIA is a land of strange spices and unsolved mysteries.
A born flirt that Lavinia is, she mistakingly plays around the Great Khansama. The erudite man brings Lavinia closely to her death when she refuses his sexual advances. Unknown to the Framlings, the Great Khansama is connected to thuggery. This group is associated with a barabaric custom-they worship the goddess,KALI, the most bloodthirsty of all gods and godesses ver thought of. She demands perpetual blood. Those who take oath to her are by profession murderers. So to placate thier goddess,the thuggery group kill foreigners by strangulation and a leave datura or thorn apple as an awful remembrance to the victims.
At frst, the first impression of Drusilla about India is "INTERESTING,STIMULATING,and INTENSELY EXCITING. But towards the end, she is brought to a cruel realization that nationalism is very much alive in India. And that Indians are for Indians.Thus, they shun away anything or any foreign element to disrupt their old customs.They are such an inscrutable race.
Lavinia is severely murdered in the enclave of her own bedroom. The walls of her room are splashed with blood. Her nude body is spread-eagled across the bed.The posture is obscene and it is deliberately done so. Her eyes are wide, staring with horror.Her once glorous hair is splattered with blood.
Spread out at Lavinia's feet is the blood-spattered PEACOCK-FEATHER FAN.
"I told you so," Aunt Lucille half-whispers to Drusilla. That fan cast its spell on me once."
Drusila remembers holdng the fan once and taking it in her possession, which makes the Aunt conclude about the continuation of the bad fortune.
"BECAUSE YOU HAVE HAD THE FAN IN OUR POSSESSION.YOU HAVE BEEN ITS OWNER.THE ILL LUCK COULD TOUCH YOU.I WANT YOU TO TAKE CARE."
In the end, Drusilla sticks to common sense and lets practicality rules her life."A BUNDLE OF FEATHERS IS A BUNDLE OF FEATHERS. I'M FROM PLAIN ,SENSIBLE ENGLAND,WHERE FANS ARE JUST FANS AND NOTHING ELSE."
Aunt Lucille opens the fan very carefully and discloses a brilliant emerald surrounded by smaller diamonds ."Strange things happen in India. England is too materialistic and not in tune with the mystic."
Drusilla is appalled momentarily at the sight of the bejewelled fan. Nevertheless, she goes to the fire and puts the dreaded fan into the heat.'WE MAKE OUR OWN LIVES NOW. YOU KNOW,IT'S GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH A FAN," she sighs dreamily."WE MAKE OUR OWN LUCK.IF YOU BELIEVE IN ILL LUCK, IT WILL SURELY COME."