Saturday, April 11, 2015

J for Jealousy


Sharing your loved one with another is impossible. And when you know that the object of your affection has been nursing emotions for another, jealousy and anger are inevitable. Jealousy is born out of love and the feeling that your loved one prefers someone else over you.

This tale from the Mahabharata talks about the protagonist and what led to her feeling jealous and bitter.

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Draupadi sat before the huge mirror in her chamber and let her maids dress her up. Komala had dried her hair and was holding a clay bowl of the most fragrant sambrani  (resin of benzoin)  to perfume her hair. Anagha was putting on the ornaments, and as Draupadi saw her reflection in the mirror, she blushed. She looked like a bride; the girls had done a good job indeed. Parth would be so pleased to see her. Swara draped the beautiful red saree around her slender waist and pleated the end so that it fell neatly around Draupadi’s right arm.

Draupadi raised an eyebrow, and her eyes spoke, questioning Swara about her appearance.

“You look very beautiful Maharani. Rajkumar Arjuna will not be able to take his eyes off you today,” she teased.

Draupadi smiled, her cheeks flushed pink with embarrassment.

She had waited for this day for the past 12 years. She had married Parth, but by a quirky twist of fate, had been married to his brothers too. To prevent any bitterness amongst them, it was suggested that Draupadi would stay a year with each of her husbands. Unfortunately, Arjuna had interrupted Draupadi and Yudistir during their time together and had been sent into exile for 12 years. He was coming back today, and her heart was full of excitement. The husband she had loved the most would finally be united with her.

Her body shook in anticipation of their union and she bit her lips to control her overflowing emotions. The sound of the horses’ hooves could be heard as they galloped towards the palace and as they drew nearer, and the sounds became louder, she could hear her own heart beating wildly. The chariots screeched to a halt and the drummers who had been beating a soft tune, increased their pace, reaching a crescendo, before slowing down again to a rhythmic beat.

Parth must have gotten down from his chariot she surmised.

Just then, Chaitali, another maid, entered her chamber, her face devoid of any emotion.

Draupadi could immediately sense something was amiss.

“What’s the matter, Chaitali? Did Parth not come?” She was suddenly worried.

“No, Maharani, he has come.”

“Why the sad face, then?”

“He has brought his new bride with him.”

“What?”

New bride? Who was she? Why had he brought her here? She had agreed to her husbands marrying other women, but did they not promise her, that she would be the only wife who would live with them in their palace? Why then, had Parth brought his bride home? Did he not know that she would be waiting for him?

She dropped to her seat, tears beginning to form at the cusp of her eyes. Did it mean that Parth loved this new girl more than he loved her? It must be so, or why else would he break the promise given to her?

She turned to Chaitali, “Is this new bride more beautiful than me?”

“No, Maharani…” Chaitali hesitated, “But she is younger to you.”

“Oh…”

“Is she fair?”

“She is…”

“Hmm…”

Draupadi looked at her reflection in the mirror. She had been named Krishnaa because of her golden skin. But did she not look resplendent in it.

“Is she dressed more beautifully than me?” Jealousy had begun to creep into her heart. She could not bear the thought of relinquishing her place to another.

“No Maharani, she is dressed quite plainly. Not a piece of jewelry on her.”

“Oh…” Whom had Parth married? Why wasn’t she dressed as befitting a queen?

As she sat immersed in her thoughts, Ranjini, came rushing in.

“Maharani Draupadi, the new bride has arrived, everyone is awaiting your presence to welcome her,” she announced.

“Hmmm…” Draupadi waved her off with a flick of her wrist and the maid made an exit with her head bowed.

How could Parth do this to me? she thought. I loved him more than I loved any of my other husbands, and this is how he decides to reward me? Who is this girl who has snatched my Parth away from me? I will never forgive her.

Jealousy was slowly giving rise to anger and in a fit of rage she removed the kamarbandh from around her waist and threw it away, breathing heavily, eyes moist with tears.

Mother Kunti, came to call her and sensed Draupadi’s restlessness.

Putri, come and welcome your sister,” she said simply, not wanting to rouse ruffled feathers at this time.

“Yea Maate….” bowed Draupadi politely.

With a heavy heart, she dragged her feet outside to welcome the woman who would take her place in her beloved Parth’s heart. Or maybe that place was already taken.

As she reached the door, she saw Parth, smiling at her. She did not smile back. She then looked at the bride.

Putri, this is your sister, Subhadra,” said Kunti.

She was beautiful and young and very fair. No wonder Parth was so taken by her. But like her maid had informed, the girl was dressed very plainly. Seeing Draupadi, the girl walked up to her and touched her feet.

“Didi….” she said, “Give me your blessings and a little place in your home and heart,” she said innocently. “You shall always remain my elder sister and it will be my duty to do as you say. Consider me to be one of your many maids.”

Draupadi’s jealousy suddenly turned to love. What a sweet little thing she was. How wrong she had been about her.

Draupadi blessed her and picked her up. “No, my dear sister, you will enjoy the same place in Parth’s life that I do.” They both smiled and hugged each other.

Arjuna and Lord Krishna looked at each other and sighed with relief.

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This day...last Year...J for Being Judgemental

42 comments:

  1. Visiting you during the #Challenge. First impression of your blog is one of energy and sunshine. So nice to read a blog with such clarity and uncluttered. Congrats! If you have a minute between posts, come and visit me as well.

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    1. Thank you Stepheny for the kind words...will drop by soon!

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  2. As I read the title of this post, I figured the post must be about this trio. Nicely done, as always. :)
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

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  3. didn't know of this tale at all. shows the Mahabharata is that epic an epic :) potrays jealousy well.

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    1. Thank you Vinay! That is why it is my fav epic!

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  4. The complexity of human emotions, the totality of all human condition is so beautifully depicted in Mahabharata. Everytime one reads a story from it, one feels totally in awe of its oceanic vastness. But the moment we remove a story from its larger, vast context and the intricate complexity and connections between all the episodes we miss out on the deeper meaning, do you also feel that, Titli? Anyway, I am really enjoying reading your stories from Mahabharata series. Great going.

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    1. True...when you read a story in isolation, you might get opinionated with the protagonists, but when you read the whole thing, then you realise the connectivity in the grander scheme of things....

      My view is that Krishna thought it was important to bring Subhadra into the palace to ensure continuity of the clan...he knew that each one of Draupadi's children would be killed, and it will be the son of Abhimanyu who will finally have to take over the reins of the kingdom...the above story if read individually may make Krishna look like a scheming person who wanted to protect his sister's interests...but when you read the whole epic, it makes you realise his foresight!

      Thanks for the valuable comment Beloo!

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  5. it must be so difficult during those times to welcome another woman. The woman in those days must be so patient and calm. Loved the narration.

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  6. It must've been heartbreaking for Draupadi to watch another woman by the side of the man she loved so much. Subhadra played her cards well

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    1. That move was orchestrated by Lord Krishna himself. He knew Draupadi would not take well to Subhadra sharing place with her in the palace...so he advised Subhadra to submit to Draupadi to win her affection!

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  7. Arjuna would surely feel much relaxed :-p

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  8. Oh! Was not aware of this story! Gosh, exile for 12 years, so many husbands and some more wives too.... it must be so challenging for Draupadi :D

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    1. Hahahha....yea..polyandry and polygyny was supposedly not such a bad thing back then!!

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  9. Ah! That was a lovely tale :) Arjuna is my favorite and I love reading anything related to him :)

    Just Listen

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  10. Hey, You! Did you notice? How well you have crafted this particular post. That narrative
    of Arjuna's welcoming by playing the drums and other instruments was brilliant. Loved that linking. Your creativity was at the peak whilst writing this one is what I could read from.

    Just lovely and amazing.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Aj! I was really hoping someone notices that connection and I'm so glad you did!!

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  11. Nice tale!! Overbearing Jealousy one moment.. and then Love the next.. The human mind is really complex!!

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    1. It is complex!! it is so easy to win love when there is no power struggle or one upmanship!

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  12. The narration is simply beautiful. It makes the reader travel back to the days of Mahabharat. It is my favorite mythological series. Each time I read your posts I get a chance to go back to the days of watching it on the TV with my family.
    Love and simplicity can overcome every feeling in the world. Loved the way it ended :)

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    1. Thank you so much Sushree...The epic is like that! It has this mesmerising quality!
      Glad you liked it.

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  13. Ya and one more thing. May be if you add a picture of mahabharat relating to the particular write up, it will make it more lively. Well it's just a simple suggestion from my side :)

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    1. I tried, but most of the stories that I'm featuring here are mentioned in passing in most books, since these are lesser known stories and pictures are not available for all of them...but thanks that you thought about this.. :)

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  14. I didn't know of this story from the Mahabharata. Thank you for narrating it so beautifully :) Arjuna is not one of my favorite characters in the epic though. I'm much more fascinated with Karna.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Aathira! There are two stories featuring Karna, C for Crush and F for Faith, maybe you would like to check them out.

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  15. Such complex lives back then, Uh!

    You have brought all characters alive through your posts, can't even imagine you've understood Mahabharata so thoroughly!

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    1. I hope that's a compliment! Thanks Alok...touched!

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  16. What a lovely story, and so well told! Kudos!

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  17. Arjuna was lucky isn't he ? ;) nicely told :)

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    1. When the Lord is your guide, how can you not be? :)

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  18. Nicely told indeed :) It is nice to see a tale about jealousy turn for the better in the end, we don't get a lot of those... I always wondered what it would be like to live in a culture where it is normal to have multiple wives or husbands. Looks like it worked out for them :)
    I gave you a shout out on my blog today! :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed reading this! this and many many more tales together make up the Mahabharata...and the essence of the epic is better when we read it in its entirety. Polyandry and Polygyny does look be an acceptable way of life back then, without constituting too much of a moral issue, but in spite of being acceptable, jealousy did raise its head now and then!!

      Thanks for the blog shout, touched!

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  19. "Yea Maate"! :D :D
    Hehehe! I love the way you narrate these stories... better than any other narrations I've read so far!

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    1. Hahahaha.....Gosh!! I actually wrote "yea maate"!!! I didnt even realise till u pointed that out! What was I thinking? :) :)

      I'm not changing that...kinda makes the lady look a little hip!

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  20. Beautifully written. Don't quite know how I missed this one :D

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  21. Was unaware of this little story..Thanks for introducing them..And yes,there are a lots of facets to the great epic which we don't know of.It always surprises us.

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At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person..deep gratitude for those who have lighted the flame within me!! your comments will be appreciated..

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