Week 9 Story: Diamond Tears

Long ago, a man named Sribatsa and his beautiful wife Ayana set out on a journey to traverse the lands of the earth. The evil eye had been cast upon Sribatsa due to an unfortunate run in with Saturn, the god of bad luck, and he and his wife had decided to leave their home in search of safe lodgings until the eye turned away. But one day as they were making their way through the woods, a horrible fate befell Ayana. 

While Sribatsa and Ayana were crossing a river among the trees, Ayana slipped on a rock and fell into the water. She did not know how to swim, but the waters had mercy and did not drown her; her beauty was too rare and too pure to submerge forever beneath the river's rippling surface. The waters instead gently cradled the water-logged woman and placed her on the shore.

A group of nearby sailors observed this incident, and believed the woman had special influence over the river. They were envious of her power to control the waters, and kidnapped Ayana to steal this power for themselves.

The sailors tied her up in the steerage, where she was constantly plunged in darkness, surrounded by the dank smell of the sea and a sense of hopeless misery. Sometimes the rats that had snuck onto the boat and also taken up residence in steerage were the only living creatures she would see for days at a time. 

Every morning, Ayana would wake and cry for hours, the tears rolling off her cheeks in waves. But a funny thing happened as soon as they hit the floor of the boat; the tears would bounce back as glistening diamonds. This was the work of the goddess of good luck, Lakshmi, who looked favorably upon Ayana. As the weeks passed, the piles of diamonds grew larger and larger, and the weight of the gems began to slow the passage of the boat. Ayana could hear the sailors cursing above deck, unable to figure out why their course had been thrown off.

Three months after Ayana had been wrenched away from Sribatsa, the steerage was so full of diamonds that even the rats had to find homes elsewhere on the boat. As Ayana awoke that morning and began to cry, the weight of the diamonds at last became too much for the feeble wooden planks. The rim of the ship began to crack, and as water leaked into the boat, it began to sink. By noon, the river had overtaken the boat and drowned the sailors, who paid dearly for the kidnapping of the innocent Ayana. 

The waters once again saved Ayana and delivered her to shore, closeby to where Sribatsa was lodging in a thicket of trees. Hearing her cries, he ran to Ayana's side, and the two were finally reunited. The jewels on the sunken boat mixed with the waters of the river, and to this day the surface sparkles with Ayana's diamond tears.


Author's Note: 
This story is a mashup of two Bengali folktales. In "The Origin of Rubies," a woman's blood falls to earth as the bright red stone we know as rubies. I loved this image and decided to write a version about the origin of diamonds, changing out blood for tears. The basis of the kidnapping plot comes from "The Evil Eye of Sani," in which Sribatsa's wife is kidnapped by sailors and held hostage until the goddess Lakshmi intervenes to help save her. I thought it would be a nice challenge to try and combine two stories to create something new.



A brilliant diamond. Source: Pixabay


Bibliography:
Day, Lal B. (1912). The Origin of Rubies. In Folk-Tales of Bengal. Web Source
Day, Lal B. (1912). The Evil Eye of Sani. In Folk-Tales of Bengal. Web Source

Comments

  1. I really enjoyed your story, I thought it was interesting to mash up two different stories to create one cohesive one. It was an interesting take and I thought you pulled it off well. When she was captured and separated from her lover, I was curious as if they were going to be united or she was going to die. I was very happy with the ending that you gave them. I think the ending about how the diamond sparkles with her tears was a great touch. Overall, I thought you did a phenomenal job and cannot wait to read more from you!

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  2. Hi Joni,

    I think combining the stories was a great touch that made it very much your own! I was really fascinated that there was a story on how rubies were originated from the blood of a woman. I think you did a good job taking the tears of a woman and transforming it into diamonds. The title you used was also very interesting which was the reason why i clicked on it.

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  3. Hey Joni,
    The way that you told your story is exactly how the myth’s I’ve been reading this semester read. Straight to the point, with Gods/Goddesses acting on a whim in order to save/hurt those they want to. I’ve never really read any Bengali folktales, but the ruby one that you drew some ideas from seems exactly like something I’d love to get my hands on. Great job!

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  4. Hi Joni,

    I am so impressed that you were able to combine two stories into your own story. I did not even realize that you did this until I read the author's note. The story was the perfect length and flowed great; it was an easy read. I liked how you switched out the blood for tears. There is something so touching about tears turning into diamonds. I feel that it is symbolic of beauty that can come from pain! You did a fantastic job with this story!

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  5. Hello Joni! I agree with your author's note that combining two different stories is a challenge, but I think you did a great job doing so! I really enjoyed how you described the diamonds created from Ayana's tears and how you had them mix with the water to create the sparkling surface, that was very creative. The ending was also satisfying to read knowing that Ayana and Sribatsa got to live happily together!

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  6. That is so cool how you tied two stories together. The kidnapping was extremely sad to read. I wonder what Sribatsa did to try to find Ayana. Did Ayana think of him and his efforts to find her while she was suffering? Did she pray to the gods or did they simply grant her that ability out of pity? Either way, this story was a beautiful work of creativity!

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  7. Hey Joni!

    First of all, I loved your story and thought it was clever to use different elements from both stories. I like how you personified the river, but I was also eager to see what was going to happen after the sailors kidnapped Ayana. Were you planning on writing a sequel to this story? What ended up happening after they were reunited? Awesome story!!

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  8. Hi Joni!

    I am extremely impressed by your use of combining two different stories into one! I can tell that you have an amazing imagination and that shows in your story! When reading, I love how I was on the edge of my seat wondering if she was ever going to be saved or reunited. I think that your language and tone was perfect for this type of writing and story line!

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  9. Joni,

    I commented on another person's storybook about mashing two stories, and how much I think it takes still, and you did a great job of it! I also love origin stories, they are personally my favorite! It was good to see the goddess had compassion over the girl as she was in the boat as well. That made it a very likable story!

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  10. Hello! I really enjoyed seeing how you changed the rubies and blood to diamond and tears. I think diamonds are a great representation of the common tears. It was very cool to see your creative side come in to play when you combined two different stories as well! Great work!

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  11. Joni, I really enjoyed this story. I think it was a great idea to change the blood for diamonds. It gives the story a more innocent vibe. These stories are so rude to women aren't they? I did wonder why the men never thought to check on Ayana? I mean they might have been really dumb. It would be cool to go into more depth about that though, perhaps the men could not see the diamonds?

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