Mythology, history, religion, folklore, belief, faith: do not know where they come from, but from the day I was born, have heard them as stories, examples. When I heard them first I do not know, but I know they are there somewhere in the cosmos, universe around me, in semiconscious brain, in shadowing thoughts; awed, admired, worshiped and revered; but, but if they were ever given that one more chance to live again, will they choose the same destinies ?!
A variance stitched
Gandhari: Eyes open, not blinded to the faults of the 100 odd men as sons and a husband who swamped her life; clear in thought and vision, would she have slapped Dhuryodhana when the fist slip happened, reprimanded Dhritarashtra for being weak and blind to his son’s faults and shortcomings, unleashed her caustic tongue, thrown Shakuni out of the house and her hair, laughed at Bishma for pussyfooting on a shaky excuse called ‘word given’? Would she have risen to be the force behind Mahabharata, reengineered?
Sita: A king who did not stand up to a wicked plan, had no guts to say who needs to be the king after him, is he a king? Is he fit to rule? Can personal fancies influence the destiny of a Kingdom? Does a son blindly have to follow? Does the wife have to go for fourteen years of exile to the forest? Why share that predicament? Is it for self-realization? Can she spread her tentacles on the kingdom’s throne like an octopus? Let others rave and rant, can she realize her true potential, staying back to rule the kingdom courageously, the daughter of a mighty king, and a warrior by choice?
Kannagi: In a soil rich and fertile, a city abundant with hope and future, where children swim, walk, learn and grow; where poets sing songs of Shiva the god of death, and dancers dance to the tunes of temple bells, let a man die; for he is the architect of his destiny, he died not as her husband but as a man fallen; he chose the path that eroded his equity with life and thus desired to die, he did not stand up to fight for his life and word, needed a wife to come seeking justice. Does she have to burn a city for him? Was the massacre of all those men, women and children, those cows and lambs, those chirping birds and beautiful flowers needed for a death of failure? Or was it her pent-up emotions, galvanized and erupted, like a bottled volcano, seeing all those women smile, drooling on their husbands words, while she counted ants in his absent hours and failed ventures; A woman’s wrath is deadly say men, irrelevance is also a manifestation of wrath; the day she threw her anklet at his face in frustration and exasperation, he was gone, lost; what happened to the man who picked that last straw, the anklet, is not worthy to dwell on.
Draupati : Five husbands had one wife, shared and never belonged, history needed her to hold five powerful but clueless men to choose purpose; gambling , drunk and senseless they pawned their kingdom and all the people in it; they lost everything and then decided to pawn their wife?! Ego manifested as all supreme made them assume that their wife is their possession, a property to be used as needed; did she have to go to the site of shame, to be pawed? Hair flying like five headed dreadful serpent swallowing men, can she stand tall and wrathful, curse the losers and winners to impotence and insignificance; she belongs to non but herself and she has a promise and duty to her children, turn around and walk out; on a chariot of hope towards the burning sun to her children can she fly, to bring them up as rulers, more virtuous than their fathers?
Savithri: Her dedication to her husband proverbial, she chose to disturb the natural order of life and death, all for one man. Draped in the serenity of wisdom, will she cry for her husband, fetch the gods down to mundane task of living and dead to bring him back to earth, or will she choose to realize all the world is God’s play and in that her husband moved from finite to infinite, renounced the illusion of life and embraced death. She the powerful enveloped in tranquility, can she not choose a purpose beyond the death of her husband; the vast suffering, the blinding pain and the deep sorrow of humanity around that beckons, can she seek her calling there?
Kunti , Meera, Renuka, Arundathi, Mandodari, Sathyabama, Kali, Damayanthi, Ganga
Women intruding, strong and awed, so forceful that men had to write about them; did they choose to distort truth to suit and celebrate their ignorance or wishful thinking; maybe, maybe not, but to me they are still compelling, not to be ignored, they rise from nothing to merge into nothing, boundless, borderless, crafted and celebrated.