Introduction

Welcome aboard, my friend!


You are about to enter a relaxing cruise that will tour the Indian Ocean and the Ganga River. The Ganga River has served as an important setting in many ancient Indian stories; maybe we will get to hear a couple of them on this cruise. I think you will get more than just some good sightseeing while you are on this cruise. I have heard through the grapevine that some descendants of famous characters from the great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are aboard this cruise. I just might have to do some meddling to make this cruise even more interesting and a little bit more dramatic. You see, guests on this cruise are randomly grouped together at the dinner tables, and I am in charge of the seating arrangements! I think it is time that these descendants of such famous animals met. I really should not be telling you this. However, if you would like a good show, I could probably get you seated right next to their table. Oh, so you are wondering who these famous animals are that are on board. Well, let me tell you just a little bit about each one. I would definitely not want to spoil the fun and give too much away.

I am hoping that the two monkey sisters, Lalana and Lohita, will start the conversation and drama. They are granddaughters of Sugriva and are known to be quite chatty. They have always been used to constant attention for their beauty and lineage. I would doubt that they would want that to stop now; surely they would love to have strangers dangling on every word of their stories about their grandfather. You see, their grandfather Sugriva had a very dramatic relationship with his brother Vali. All Vali ever wanted to do was fight, and he eventually met someone that had that same ambition in life. Their meeting had a surprising rippling effect on Sugriva’s life. Anyways, I am starting to ramble. I would think that after one sister tells a story, the other one will be feeling a little bit of sibling rivalry and maybe talk about another aspect of their family’s life.

I would then guess that another monkey named Harshaman will want to chime in and finish off the storytelling. He is a descendant of another famous monkey named Hanuman. Hanuman was very close to Sugriva and eventually was a loyal servant to Rama. We often hear of how Hanuman lived with Sugriva on Mount Matanga for many years or set Ravana’s empire on fire. However, Hanuman had his own interesting stories, and I am hoping to hear some gossip on his birth origins. I have heard a few possible tales, but I would love to hear what a family member has to say.  I have heard that there is a fair amount of competition between Harshaman and the twin’s monkey clans. I bet Harshaman would really like to top the other monkeys' stories and will not hesitate in sharing some family secrets. Geez, listen to me ramble away again.

You can give your bags to Stephen here. If you ever start to feel sea sick or need anything else, please tell us right away so we can help you. If you follow me, I will find you a table close to them so you won’t miss a word. However, I would not try to get too close to them if I were you; they can be pretty messy eaters. I believe the dining room is filling up quite quickly and the three monkeys will be arriving very soon. 

Cruise Dining Room
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