Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#ATOZCHALLENGE: Letter M : Maenads- The Intoxicated Maidens

Dance of the Maenards. A Fresco by Pippi de' Giamuzzi, Italy
The flowers bloomed yellow, purple and every hue of pink and green like a fresco designed by mother nature herself. Tiny bluebirds and red Robins chirped amongst the beautiful maidens fluttering around the stretches of wildflowers. Sensual, free and bold the Maenads danced around, forgetting who they were and dancing with an abandonment that only the mistresses of Dionysus were capable of.

In the centre, sat the wine God Dionysus seemingly enthralled at the merrymaking that went around him. He was happy for he did not know any other way of life. He loved casting his spells on these wretched women who left their fathers, husbands, sons just to follow him – just to be happy. Intoxicated not only with the wine but also with a feeling of liberation these women who called themselves M followaenads would do anything that Dionysus commanded. And as was with all the gods, Dionysus took full advantage of it.

Today, in the garden of Thebes, many of the Theben women had joined his band of followers and this merriment was kept in their honour. Dionysus slyly watched the beautiful Agave watching him lustily from far. He had always wanted her but she had chosen another. Well…

"How dare you!" Shouted a young man walking towards him. "How dare you turned my haven into one of your pleasure houses?"

Dionysus laughed contemptuously, "do I need your permission now to go anywhere I want?"

The young man, the King of Thebes- Pentheus was the cousin of Dionysus and there was no love lost between the two.

"I don't want your sinful presence in my land."

"And how do you plan to throw me out?" Dionysus asked cheekily, enjoying the young lad's discomfort. 

"I want her back." Pentheus voice was steady. 

"Such bravado," said Dionysus. "But why? Your father is dead and I never interfered till he was alive. But now that he has...."

"Are you insane? You cannot turn her into one of your Maenads! These beautiful maidens who can shred a beast to pieces at your call." Pentheus was begging now. "She needs a proper life. You can't turn her into a somnambulist, who roams along with you, without knowing where their destination is."

Dionysus was surprised that anyone could question his way of life. His thoughts had reached his Maenads by now and they were swarming towards him, still dancing and laughing led by the beautiful Agave. 

Pentheus looked at Agave and pleaded with her, "let's go home. This life is not for you."

Agave laughed, her beautiful eyes blazing like fire. "What is there not to love about this kind of life? All my sorrow is gone and there is only happiness around me."

"But this is a mirage!" shouted Pentheus. "Soon Dionysus will be tired of you and he'll destroy you as he has done to so many in the past."

"Enough!" Dionysus's voice boomed out and with his anger all the flowers withered around him. A stench of burning flesh replaced the soft floral scent and amidst that stood a quivering Pentheus. 

The beautiful maidens started gathering around him but now their beauty was cloaked with their savage intend. And in no time they shred Pentheus to pieces imagining him to be a beast.

Soon it was all over and as the carcass remain of Pentheus lay on the ground Agave kneeled before him and gently placed a kiss on his forehead and whispered, "Now you too will be happy, Son."

Note : In ancient Greece, Maenads were female worshippers of Dionysus, god of wine, whose behaviour was often regarded as an acceptable by conventional society. Maenads also played a role in myth, notably the murder of King Pentheus.



Labels: ,


At April 21, 2015 at 11:52 PM , Anonymous Sundari Venkatraman said...

Beautifully penned tale Ina. I have heard of Dionysus - don't recall the tale though. This is totally fascinating. :) Gruesome too

At April 22, 2015 at 1:53 AM , Anonymous Inderpreet Kaur Uppal said...

I have just vaguely read of Greek mythology but now I am a fan. What a spin to the tale. Awesome. Cool climax.

At April 22, 2015 at 2:37 AM , Anonymous Francene Stanley said...

What a sad tale. Just goes to show we should not eat, drink and be merry. For tomorrow we will die--by fair means or foul.

At April 22, 2015 at 6:19 AM , Anonymous deepti menon said...

This is a fascinating tale, and gruesome too! Thank you for always coming up with interesting myths and presenting them in such a novel way too!

At April 22, 2015 at 8:40 AM , Anonymous Ina Tales said...

There are many such small tales Devika lost in the pages of History. You have studied Latin? Double wow :) One of the toughest languages from History. Bonam Fortunam! for your A to Z.

At April 22, 2015 at 8:40 AM , Anonymous Ina Tales said...

Most of the tales of mytho are gruesome. They had everything yet... Thanks for dropping by.

At April 22, 2015 at 8:43 AM , Anonymous Ina Tales said...

Glad I pulled you in this Indy. :D

At April 22, 2015 at 8:44 AM , Anonymous Ina Tales said...

Hi Francene. This story came in my mind due to the National Weed Day on 20th April :P

At April 22, 2015 at 8:46 AM , Anonymous Ina Tales said...

I have to search for some happy tales soon :P But most of these stories were told and retold to pass on a moral message. Guess that is the reason that God is feared in many cultures.

At April 22, 2015 at 7:11 PM , Anonymous Janaki Nagaraj said...

A sad tale...every one seems to be selfish.

At April 23, 2015 at 5:57 AM , Anonymous beingFab said...

Good God, what a horrible end to Pentheus' life!! And to think that this was considered acceptable then.....

At April 23, 2015 at 9:50 AM , Anonymous Vinodini Iyer said...

You took me back to another era with this wonderful narration!

At April 28, 2015 at 8:53 AM , Anonymous ahana said...

The narration was really good.. What sad and gruesome tale

At April 29, 2015 at 3:59 AM , Anonymous Rajlakshmi said...

ohh God this is so cruel... I am so glad Dionysus was cursed later on!!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home