Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mr. X and Princess Alana

The Monk told us that we would find Princess Alana at Pranbanam, so in the late afternoon Mr. X and I began our journey to Pranbanam to seek an audience with Princess Alana.

We strolled along a broad country road, passing homes made of beautifully carved stone. Colorful piles of exotic fruits lined the road…crimson rambutans, bell shaped rose apples, pink dragon fruit with their creamy centers and delicate aroma and our favorite--- purple mangosteens whose pulp melts away in your mouth like a ripe peach or strawberry-- and has a taste which nobody can describe any more than one can tell how a canary sings or a rose smells. The road was shaded by large banyan trees draped with flowering vines. As the road curved there was a break in the wall of trees --- it was then that we caught our first glimpse of Pranbanam… home of Princess Alana.

Three wide avenues lined with reflecting pools and framed by lush plantings of red hibiscus are surrounded by four rows of 224 intricately carved shrines. Beyond, rising like a fantasy in stone on a central platform are the main shrines of Pranbanam… the Candi of Shiva the Destroyer, Vishnu the Preserver and Brahma the Creator. In the center of this massive fortification of sand and limestone, we were told to wait for the princess.

Princess Alana arrived resplendent before us accompanied by the sweet haunting sound of a gamelan orchestra – composed of metallophones, drums, flutes and other instruments whose wondrous music is pure and mysterious – like moonlight -- and always changing like flowing water. Princess Alana was wearing her namesake, "Alana" – a stunning ensemble of midnight reflected with moon glow – her skirt reflects 100,000 hours of desire --- Alana is on the wind… in the air… the scent of allure… the motion of a ship under full sail -- confident --- sexy --- tantalizing ----- a siren of the sea --- racing -----toward the heart of the horizon… a dream disloving in the lace intimacies of midnight yearning...the essence of passion...

We asked her how this fabulous fantasy of stone was built --- she invited us to join her at Taman Sari -- her water palace to hear the tale of Pranbanam......

Sita Writer
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