Obsession brings together love and lust, betrayal and hurt, grief, life and longing. It strips the human spirit of all pretense, exposing shame and sorrow, desire and desperation.
What happens when someone loves you to the point of insanity? What happens when someone’s love becomes such an obsession, that it clouds all rational thinking? This is a tale of obsessive love of a father for his son, which led him to shun all reason and hand hold him to the path of destruction.
“Maharaj, the fight between Bheem and Duryodhana has claimed its final victim. Your eldest son is no more,” said Sanjaya.
“Nooooo……” screamed Dridhrashtra, falling to the ground, shrunken like a corpse, head buried between his knees, and hands capping his ears, as if shutting himself off the news would make it unhappen.
“Maharaj….control yourself,” pacified Sanjaya.
“How can a father who has lost a hundred sons, be calm?” cried Dhridrashtra, “What did I do wrong, Sanjaya?”
Many things Maharaj, Sanjay wanted to say, but how could he say to a bereaved father?
“Was it wrong to want the throne of Hastinapur? Wasn’t I the eldest son? It was my birthright. Was I not strong? Was I not knowledgeable?” Dhridhrashtra’s hands clutched the sword slung across his waist, digging into them, as if he was ready for battle right then. Blood had begun to ooze out of his palm and he let the cold liquid trickle out.
Yes Maharaj, but Hastinapur could not have a blind king. But Sanjaya said nothing. He quietly took the king’s hand and tied a cloth to it, ebbing the flow of blood.
“Pandu was never the king, he could rule only till my son was old enough to be king. My Duryodhana was right. The Pandu sons deserved nothing. So how could they refuse him? My Duryodhana was capable.” screamed Dridhrashtra, wrenching his hands from Sanjaya and banging them on the ground.
No Maharaj, YOU were the caretaker king after your brother’s death. And you could rule till Yudhistir was old enough. Why did you refuse him? He helped the king collect himself and seated him on his chair.
“They blamed Duryodhana for Draupadi’s vastraharan, but what could he have done? She provoked him, didn’t she? She called him the son of a blind man. She deserved it. My Duryodhana was right.” There was a sarcastic smile on his lips, more sinister than Sanjaya had ever seen, as if he was reliving the events of that fateful day.
No Maharaj, that was sinful. How could you support your son and keep quiet when your daughter-in-law was being humiliated? But again, he dared not say anything. The king was grieving, and he should be allowed to spit out the venom from his heart.
“Yudishtir and his brothers had been identified during Agyatvas, hadn’t they? So why didn’t they go back into exile? My Duryodhana was cheated.” Dhridhrashtra shook his head in self pity. If they hadn’t come back, perhaps his Duryodhana would have lived.
The agyatvas was over Maharaj. Duryodhana tried to cheat them. But the exile itself was wrong. You should have stopped Duryodhana from sentencing them to exile.
“Duryodhana was right. He was always right. His plans were perfect. He had wisely chosen Krishna’s vast narayani sena, how could he die? It must be that cunning Krishna and that cowardly Bheem, who must have schemed to kill my son. My Duryodhana was invincible.”
He was seething with rage, and all his hatred was beginning to rise into every muscle in his body. If the Pandavas had been here, he would have gladly crushed them into pulp merely by holding them in an embrace. He got up from his chair and walked across the room like one inebriated and possessed, pushing away everything in his path, banging into walls and pillars, chairs and vases, roaring like a wounded lion, crying like a child, screaming like warrior, and all the while Sanjaya helplessly tried to calm down the king.
Who could change destiny?
Dhridrashtra was born blind, but what his eyes could not see, his mind understood, his ears heard and his heart followed. Why then had he been so been blind to the atrocities of his son? Tied up in the obsessive love of his son, he had rejected all wisdom and had encouraged Duryodhana’s plans. The war had been suicidal right from the start; why was the knowledgeable king unable to see that?
This day....last year....O for Organise