Ramayan remix

Here’s a version of my updated Ramayan tale, a special commission for the 2009 London Literature Festival for ‘Mashing the Classics’ in celebration of Diwali. It’s updated and relocated from Dandaka Forest to Brixton heavyweight sound. Happy Diwali, happy new year… Make Light:
Ram sits on the steps outside
Recalling the days before Sita came into his life
Now he’s gonna make her his wife, first
His thirst beckons, he sips water, hears a church
Kick out for Sunday roast boasting unity
He’s hoisted on his own energy
Laxshman joins him they watch
The flowers ebb and flow like carpet swatches
Dad told him to leave, just for 14 hours
His new wife, her son sat dour,
As they ask to be written into his will
He’s ill, left a note for Ram on the windowsill
Saying leave for half a day, so this’ll be sorted
Ram acquiesces knows it’s important
He steps into the Brixton night
Summer solstice shining bright
They head for Sita now
The click clack the Brixton brrrap, the know how
The screwface the whispers WEED WEED
It’s getting to hunting time so they ain’t got time to bleed
Sita’s waiting on the corner
Dressed for the summer like she outta
Ram kisses her Laxshman dreams
Of a girl far off, his confidence teams
Want weed? Want weed? They leave
Hanging outside the KFC they can’t breathe
So head down Coldharbour Lane
Hearing spare a pound, spare a pound for my pain
Ram shakes his head, this guy’s dead
Could do better getting straight fed
He grabs Sita’s wrist, A POUND PLEASE
Laxshman pushes him off with ease
They breeze to the Dogstar for a beer
Music throbs bouncing off their ears
Fears abound as the harridan approaches
Asks Ram to swap fluids for potions
Nah girl, cool, he voices, she’s jaundiced
Threatens to get him deported
Slighted, she returns to Ravan
A tall dark dude, a Sri Lankan
Known in these endz, they think he’s Trinidadian
But they’re mistaken, he’s a Lankan
Went to school with Sita
Always fancied her
Thinks Ram’s a punk with a rich dad, what
His dad owns a local cornershop
Ravan drops into a stalk
Falling beside Sita as they walk
To the dancefloor, Ramones hardcore
As it gets crowded, he pushes her out the door
Ram’s lost, wants to be sedated,
Laxshman’s stoic, they couldn’t be related
Spars since day dot, they rock everywhere
Together dance, drink, shot, aware
Now that Sita’s gone, they run out
Brixton breathes like a skunk cloud
Accosted outside by the harridan
She laughs, hey, aks, the Lankan
Where your girl’s at, she’s at his flat
By the lido, yeah, they know, they move stat
Pushing through the crowds of South London’s finest
Gentrification’s miners, tonight that’s minor
Outside the library, they run into Hanu Man
Frontline rapper from the Banana Monkey Clan
Never got on with the wasteman Lankan
Offers his crew as arms mans, blatant
Ram nods, Hanuman’s off on recon
Ravan owes him money, he’s being long
At the flat Sita’s crying, screaming
Ravan’s calm playing on his playstation
He tells her he’s just looking out for her
Doesn’t want her and Ram to be seen by her brother
A ruffneck, unpredictable screwloose
He hears the doorbell under the fug of booze
Hanuman pushes into the flat causes a commotion
Ravan stalls, hauls his ass into the ocean
Of the estate, punching kicking
Hanuman runs back with information
To Ram, angry, he and Laxshman get into formation
Formulate a plan, checking watches time has passed
Almost time to get home check on dad, and his task
See this girl he married, she came emotionally scarred
Her son, a welt, she smells money smells like tar
She wants him to have the opportunities his dad never gave him
Left as soon as she started showing
But now Ram’s dad treats him like his own
And Ram and Laxshman are happy to share their home
The son looks up to Ram, hero worships him and his brother
Literally brothers from another mother
He tells Ram before Ram leaves that he’s not trying to steal his birthright
Ram pats his head, I know man, safe, and disappears into the night
Back to the story, technicolour glory, the estate is 4 storeys
The Lankan lives on the ground floor, the plan is gory
The Banana Monkey Clan start a cipher outside his living room window
Start beatboxing, toxing, spitting bars in stereo
I rep the Banana Mans Crew, slew through them you can’t tess this vex mess of a man
The Lankan stirs from the sofa angrily, screams, grabs a cricket bat
Running to the window, it’s too late, he’s been distract-ed brrap
The door flies open, Ram and Laxshman catch him unawares
Laxshamn overpowers him, takes away the bat
Ram blats him around the face, his blood splats,
Sita screams, ‘Leave him, spare him, he’s just a fool in love’
Out of respect for his future wife, Ram floats a dove
An idea of peace, he and Ravan speak, Ravan lets him leave
He returns home with Sita, cuddling, Brixton breaths a sigh of relief
The front garden is lit by candles, no scandals, no vandals only light
Shining bright, welcoming Ram and Laxshman and Sita into the shining bright
Home where they meet their new family, officially, the stepmum stepbrother
Really now a brother from another mother
He hugs Ram, Ram hugs him back, thinks back
To the last fourteen hours, looks to where Sita’s sat
Light shines white around her, enveloping her in saturation
Ram smiles, closes his eyes, feels the heat of the candles cleanse his tension
The scene closes on a family working in unison
Another unseen night in the belly of Brixton.

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