Curses are not especial to any culture or country and its impact on the receivers, even though debatable, cannot be disputed altogether. The Indian tendency to curse when angered or wronged continues to be entertaining enough for inclusion in popular media like ‘The Mindy Project’. Hailing from an Indian cultural background, I have wondered about Indians’ strange affinity to curses. The only logical explanation I could arrive after careful contemplation is being raised amid Hindu culture listening to narratives about powerful curses like the one inflicted by Sage Durvasa on Shakuntala, who being head over heels in love with King Dushyanth and dreaming about the latter, failed in her duties of being a hospitable host.
Working on my current project titled ‘The Esoteric Elan of Charge d’affaires’, which is still incomplete, I had the opportunity to research about Bengaluru palace which became the home of Mysore royal family Wodeyars after the conversion of Amba Vilas (Mysuru) Palace into a museum in the 1950s.
As I was browsing for further information about the place, I came across one of the most powerful curses that people believed to have worked on the receivers called the curse of Talakad, a town on the banks of River Kaveri with thirty temples buried under sand. The curse was the result of a misunderstanding between Alamelamma, the widow of the chieftan of Vijayanagar kingdom and Raja Wodeyar I when the latter sent his men twice to collect the jewels in her custody with which she used to adorn the Goddess Ragnayaki’s statue at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangapatnam. To avoid facing the wrath of the king, Alamelamma tied the jewels in a sari, uttered the curse given below and committed suicide by jumping from a cliff into the River Kaveri.
Following the curse, the Talakad village and all the thirty-six temples were buried in deep sand. Since 1953 Wadiyars were heirless and coronated adopted heirs on the throne of Mysuru palace. My recent experiences, which I deem are disappointing and unfair, have coerced me into inflicting curses impartially on everyone I know. After reading about the legendary curse of Talakad, I realized I must be more prudential with my curses.