Palace of Illusions
One more book on Indian mythology. So many characters, with each character there is a moral tale attached. This read travailed some contrary thoughts in my mind. I have no other choice, but sharing it with you.
Draupadi is the "emerged" daughter of King Drupada of Panchāla and the wife of the five Pandavas in the epic Mahabharata. When Yudhisthira becomes the king of Hastinapura at the end of the war, Draupadi (again) becomes the queen of Indraprastha. She is also variously referred to as Panchali (meaning one from the kingdom of Panchala) & Mahabhaaratii (great wife of the five descendants of Bharata). She is described in the Mahabharata as being extraordinarily beautiful, unsurpassed by any other woman of her time. Draupadi is one of the Panch-Kanya (The Five Virgins) of the ancient Hindu epic, as is her Mother-in-Law Kunti.
For a woman to have so many descriptions is in itself very cryptic. So many stories and so much buzz about how her life was a self invited mess. Why couldn’t she speak for herself? I guess women that time and this time were both suppressed. Right now by taxi drivers and that time by kings and literally by ‘men of honor’. Now I will start showcasing my regards in association to this whole “Mahaaaaabhaaarat” thingy.
So you have a Swayamvar, and refuse a man with good looks and swordsArt just because he is from a lower caste. You say NO. You do express your desire of not marrying. But when you get married and are appropriated to be a gift bought for 5 sons’ by a heedless Kunti, you just drink back your tears and stay put. You don’t fight, you don’t retaliate…you don’t rebel! Why?
Ok..chalo Draupadi stays mum. But how can a Mum do so to another woman! Unknowingly Kunti replies to Yudhisthir, share whatever you bought amongst the 5 you, and Yudhisthir, the man of words, the righteous king… for once could not excuse her mother for not knowing her orders? Couldn’t he explain to his loved Mother, that what you want us to share is not an object, but a human being? Please look back and bless the newlyweds Arjun and Draupadi.
Everything said and done, they do have to share Draupadi, and they all agree. Not even one of the 5 noble Pandavas has the courage to step back and say this is wrong. Polyandry can’t be something that we can practice just because our respected mother was mistaken!
Owing to her marriage to five husbands, Draupadi had to live with each one of them turn-by-turn for one year each. She had the boon to be born virgin every year, and is therefore called an eternal Kanya (a virgin). Oh my…if it was me in such a chaotic situation, I would have re-appealed for a boon where every year, when it was time to start fresh with one of the 5 husbands I would forget about my past one year and start all over. I would willfully ask for my ‘Yaadaasth’ to go on and off for the entire husband swapping period.
So you are a Queen, you have a palace; you have all the comforts and luxuries you always wanted. Maya grants you all the illusions you want. Someone new to your house falls and you mock at them! How rude can you be being a Queen? At least you could have felt bad on face and lampooned Duryodhan behind his back. Words can be more painful than wounds, words can house in your conscience and remain there as imperishable wounds. Wounds that ache and bleed every now and then.
Ok so you get ridiculed on a shabby fall, get laughed upon by a bunch of women and but of course get teased by Dignity of a Queen…whom you are really not a big fan of. Then you don’t play upon her on a game to win and acquire as a procession. Doesn’t that almost amount to pouring acid on a girl’s face, or posting her objectionable pics online to demean her? So…nothing much has changed then and now. As revenge you show off your mighty thighs signaling for the queen to give you a lap dance, and then ask your younger brother to strip off her saree until she becomes bare. What kind of rearing is that??? At least today there is porn, there are strip clubs, there are call women, the desire to have fun can be satisfied in one way or the other, but back then one conspired this atrocious act in a hall full of public! I think the seeds for such catastrophes were laid back then!
The lord with the flying fan on his finger, the God with all the powers, the God whose Leela was Aprampaar, all he did was supplied more and more material for the saree that Draupadi was wearing. He could use his powers punish Duryodhan & Co’ with a paralytic attack, or heart attack any other freaking attack or could use his flying fan for once and beheaded the wrong! If he could have chastised the “Black Dhoti Co’” the big war, Mahabharat…wouldn’t have taken place at all. I think the drapery was called Sari, until the lord with peacock feather in his helmet supplied meters and meters of material until Dushhasan exhausted, they started calling it Sareee! The extra e’s gives the saree’s length its meaning!
So Duryodhan gets special drishti from his mother and turns to steel which was a blessing for him (at least he thought so that…!). I am glad he was ashamed of going completely naked in front of his mother; hence covered his pelvic area…or else he would have to find a match like himself, where steel could ‘DO’ steel…Lol…Just can’t imagine that!!!
What is with these Shraap’s???... Dude if you are annoyed by someone just tell them so…or monetarily penalize them…or ask them not to talk to you again. Why to curse? One was considered to be sage a learned man …but without any control over their anger! Most of our Katha’s (mythological ones)…are enriched with Shraap’s and the episodes following that.
Well my mockery can go on and on. As children most of us watched Mahabharat on Sunday mornings. Our grandparents watched it as if it was a LIVE telecast from heaven. Things with our children from now on generation would rather change. Chota Bheem might be more interesting than most of the characters back then. As for me, I can accept as true that mythology had evil and good equally. But some where the logic defies every time something needs to be comprehended. I have nothing against the people who follow and idolize Katha’s and mythology. This was just an effervescent vent of what I felt in my mind when heard or watched so many strong characters on screen portraying such peanut parade of jealousy, emotions and anger. Reading my thoughts might make you laugh and might cross your sentiments. But do not get Red with anger, do not get offended and throw some illogical ‘Shraap’ at me. You know why???…because they won’t work!