Thursday, December 17, 2015

2267 : The other one

Its no secret, that Panchali never fully reconciled to the world of forests. While she did adjust and survive in Dwaithavana, she never fully soaked it into her skin.

The Queen Mother Kunti did not help the problem. She was one who held the Pandavas together with the proverbial iron shackle. To Draupadi, it did not feel like another woman or person in the room, it felt like the proverbial counterforce - the doppleganger who is not wanted or liked.

On the day of this tale, Draupadi (Panchali) was angry and upset about the state of her world, the anguish in her life and the wasteral nature of their ephemeral lives.

The King of Dharma returned late in the evening with a collection of fruits, vegetables and wild berries. He was tired, pensive and unfortunately did not feel very upbeat himself.

Yet...being the King of composure too...he silently unpacked the food from the banana leaf he had packed them in. One item at a time. As he doing so, he came across the pomegranate he had picked up in the afternoon. He looked at it wistfully, shined it off with his hand...looked again...shined it again....looked wistfully at a distant nothing....and then proceeded to keep it aside from the rest of the fruits he was unpacking.

Draupadi had caught him doing this. Her side glance distracted by his actions.

As he was unpacking the other fruits, he was preparing how to present this to Draupadi...he knew she was low, he could sense it, he wanted to perk her up, spike up her mood. He believed a rare unique pomegranate, might just be the catalyst that made her bubble over. He almost anticipated the eager look of delight and the bright smile of surprise which he hoped her face would morph into.

Unpacking done, he picked up the pomegranate and slowly trudged towards Draupadi. Without saying a word, he stretched his hand and offered the fruit to her, looking down (at the grass) and at her face alternatively.

In her bile infested mood, she asked him "Was this really meant for me?". As she spoke the fruit dribbled off her hand and fell to the floor.

"Why do you ask?"

"I saw you shine and contemplate over the fruit. I also saw you stealing side glances at Mother at the same time. Are you sure this is not meant for Mother Kunti?"

"Do you really believe that? Is that the first thing that struck you as I gave you this fruit?"

"Did you really mean this for me? You have to answer that first?", she said bosom heaving with anger.

"It now does not matter what I really meant.", saying that he picked up the fruit she had inadvertently let fall. He shined it by hand again. Purposedly walking towards the center of the shed, he placed it near the family dog.

"You still did not answer", she asked icily.

"It does not really matter now.", he repeated, without turning in her direction.

He prostrated to the dog, as if it were the family deity, and then proceeded to walk out of the shed. Silently he took a seat on the grass outside and stared at the sky.

The sky was full of stars. The crescent moon looked like it was scornfully smiling.

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