The energy of the imagination and subconscious. Now, imagine that in your world there lived just 200 neighbours, all of whom you know pretty well. You know their families, have been to all the births, coming of age ceremonies, deaths and weddings. Imagine you know another hundred people in Sevanagar or Bachenhatti or Motagonahalli and maybe a few thousand in Magadi. Imagine, you have visited Bangalore four times in your life. Imagine you have never been on a train or plane and have never seen the Mysore Palace, which is 150 km away.
Enter, Maramma. She wears a hot pink and parrot green silk sari and wanders from Shivagange hillock down to Vardenahalli. Wild animals bow to her. Her ride is a leopard. She is the Goddess of Rain and the village deity, the Gramadevatai or Urudevatai. A version of Parvathi, she and her man, Muneeshwara are worshipped with chicken or goat sacrifice. Most importantly, she is the goddess who protects against epidemics. Who better to have batting for you during a pandemic?
Now 7000 km away and 200 years before, on the banks of Lake Starnberg surrounded by the snowy alps, a King comes to stay. Ludwig II. Young, handsome and unmarried, he’s fond of the swans that swim regally on the lake and he loves the composer, Wagner. He builds a fairytale castle he calls Neuschwanstein, New Stone Swan. One day, he takes a boat ride and vanishes. Was he taken away by his beloved swans?