Thursday, April 16, 2015

N for Noxious




Can love be noxious? Can it be so poisonous that it consumes the one you are supposed to have protected? Can your love for someone be a mere pretense?

This is a tale of hatred and revenge, rather, a love so noxious that like a termite, it kept gnawing at the object of his hatred from within, till it led to his complete destruction.

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The gates of the prison had opened.

Finally.

Sister Gandhaari had managed to convince her son to let him free. As Shakuni limped out the prison gate, he took a deep breath and inhaled the stench. This stench he must not forget. It was the stench of death. The death of his brothers and his dear father. Their death… that was responsible for his life. A life… that would now be committed to revenge.

The pain in his legs was excruciating. Silent tears flowed out them and Shakuni remembered how his father had dealt that severe blow and broken his leg. Even the memory of it was traumatic. Each step was torturous.

Let this affliction keep reminding you of the suffering of your brothers and father,” his father had said. How could he forget?

As he took another step, a scream of pain rose to his throat but died down before it could escape his lips. He could not let his nephew see the agony on his face.

His nephew stood smiling at him. Was he mocking him? Was he mocking the way he limped? Laugh away my dear nephew, laugh away.

“How are you, Mamasri?” asked Duryodhana.

Very well, my dear nephew. Life in prison is great. And especially, when you have seen your brothers and father die before your very eyes. 

But he just smiled back.

Gandhaari hugged her brother and wept. “I am sorry Bhratasri, I am so sorry,” she kept repeating. “I should never have told Duryodhana that father married me off to a goat and slaughtered it before marrying me off to Arya,” she said amidst sobs. “I did not know he would do this to you.”

Blood rushed to Shakuni’s eyes with such enormous force that they turned purple. A sinister smile was beginning to form on his lips, his jaws tensed, and his whole face assumed demonic proportions. His grip around his sister’s body was beginning to tighten and if she could see his face, she would have collapsed from fear if not from suffocation.

“Mamasri…” his nephew’s voice broke the spell, and Shakuni released his grip and let the moment slip.

“Yes, my dear nephew,” he said in his inimitable style, smiling as he turned to face him.

“Lunch is served, come let’s eat.”

“Ah! Lunch…yes, let’s eat.”

A bowl of rice…that had fed him through the months in prison, while his brothers and father starved to their deaths. The food, that they sacrificed for him, so that he may live. The food that had given him strength to hold on in the hope that one day he would avenge all that.

Did Duryodhana’s hands not tremble when he sent a mere bowl of rice for his 100 uncles and an old grandfather? Did he really think they could survive on that?

His father Subala’s hopes were pinned on him. He would never let his father down. His sacrifice would not be wasted.

“Pass this thread through the tiny hole in this bone”, his father had said, “Whoever can do that, will be my chosen one… the one to avenge our plight.”

Where all his brothers had failed, Shakuni had won. That had been easy, hadn’t it? He had tied a grain of rice to the thread and fed it to an ant. Then he had guided the ant through the hole in the bone! And he had won his father’s trust and the bowl of rice.

He looked at the plate of food before him, and then he looked at Duryodhana’s plate. 

Mentally, he injected the most venomous poison into it and imagined Duryodhana choking and withering away.

No, he could not die so easy. He deserved to die a slow, painful death. A sugar coated poison that would kill him slowly.

Be ready Duryodhana, he said to himself, your countdown to destruction has begun!

                                                            *************

This day...last year...N for Nonchalance

33 comments:

  1. Gosh! That's so clever of Shakuni. So it was not love for duryodhana. I see.

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    1. The one which you have re-written is awesome! Simply superb! Excellent narration and this one sounds better !

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    2. I guess you are the only one who got to read two versions of this story!! Thank you!

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  2. I thought Shakuni favored Duryodhana and the Kauravas.

    Wow, waiting to know more.

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    1. That was indeed the perception he created!

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  3. Now this was a story I never knew, I thought that he loved his nephews. Shakuni was cleverly cunning and his thirst for revenge saw the end of Kauravas

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    1. Yea...one of those lesser known stories! very cleverly and cunningly he managed to poison his nephew's thoughts and actions leading to his downfall.

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  4. Oh, this enlightened me. So Mahabharata was an act of revenge within the Kauravas, and Pandavas fell prey?

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    1. Yea, you can call it that! almost everyone looks like pawns, na?!

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  5. I had an inkling of Shakuni's hatred that brought forth the fall of the Kauravas. But can't recall hearing the details. This is amazingly written Little Princess! Shakuni bided his tie for so long before taking revenge - each one of his steps planned. It's sad that his love for his sister wasn't enough to forgive her children

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    1. Yea he almost waited a lifetime...he could never forgive.. he held Duryodhana and his family responsible for destroying his clan.

      Thank you!

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  6. That Shakuni was one truly diabolical creature. How much venom was filled in his heart! Your story brought that out successfully. Remember the novel Ajaya, I told you about? It also talks about how Shakuni used the Kauravas as a pawn to secure his revenge.

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    1. I remember...! And to think of it, Duryodhana would have no inkling of that venom! did he think he would be forgiven by Shakuni in spite of the torture?

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  7. This was a story I didn't know. Shakuni is one of the most manipulative characters in the epic.

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  8. This is chilling. I have never heard about his story...would love to know more.

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  9. This was a story I didn't know!! It must have been so awful to see his brothers and father die like that! After reading this, I can understand Shakuni's character a little more than before.

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    1. Hmmm...I had always wondered about that magical dice of his, and about his limp...seems his father gave him both!

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  10. This is such a wonderfully written tale of hatred and revenge! Shakuni had so much hidden within his heart! The whole tragedy of the epic revolved around these emotions! Amazing, Little Princess!

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    1. Thanks Deepti! We can never know what's in a person's heart!! and Shakuni proved it with panache!

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  11. Oh! I thought he loved Duryodhana dearly! Was not at all aware of this side of Shakuni and this story too. As usual, this made for a very captivating read. You are on a roll, S!! Amazing stories you are weaving every day! WTG! :)

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    1. I'm loving it too Shilpa! This whole challenge has been educative for me too! Thanks for the lovely words!!

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  12. Whoa. Those are some strong emotions! Really well told :)

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

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  13. Brand new follower here, dropping by from A to Z.

    Nice to meet you, Princess!

    2015 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Matthew MacNish from The QQQE

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  14. I knew Shakuni had been imprisoned and that he actually hated the Kuru dynasty for marrying Gandhari to Dhritrashtra. So all his plans were really for their downfall but I didn't know that it was Duryodhana who had imprisoned him.

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  15. This was an interesting read as I was completely unaware of this story. Thanks for sharing. *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

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  16. The character of Shakuni is the most venomous according to me in the Mahabharata. He favoured or love no one. Interesting to know the reason behind his behaviour.

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  17. Love is weird, it can lift someone and it can consume someone.
    It takes one on the top of the world and then throws one back to reality.
    It is overrated, people fail to understand real love.
    Enjoyed reading your post.
    Do stop by...
    http://blog.shinekapoor.com/

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  18. Oh! I'd never heard of this one before! This whole show of affection was a ploy to get revenge? Wow! Ekta Kapoor could never create a serial with so complicated a plot as Mahabharat!

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  19. what! really. That's like reading Mahabharata with whole new perspective. I had always thought the opposite. Well narrated.

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  20. So even Shakuni's love towards Duryodhana was fake!!!

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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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