Monday, April 20, 2015

Q for Quiescence

While quiescence can be a virtue at times, in love it can leave a lacuna, and a longing to be loved. Love needs expression; you cannot just love and leave.

This is a tale of two people, who loved each other. The love was never lost, but it never found its rightful expression and left the protagonist aching and hurt.


Draupadi sat inside the royal bath, tears streaming down her face. She sat devoid of her robes, unmindful of the maids looking at the bruises on her bare body.

What use are these robes that cover my outer body? The honor and dignity that covered my soul is gone, she rued.

Her long lustrous hair fell to her knees, messy and unfettered. Her kohl had breached its boundaries, flowing freely out of her eyes, past her pink fluid lips. Her maids poured milk strewn with petals of rose on her, and as the milk touched her skin, it bubbled with the heat emanating from her.

“Colder…” she screamed, with pain ridden voice and the maids rushed to get pots of cold milk for her.

No matter how cold, the milk refused to soothe her.

“Leave,” she commanded her maids, with a flick of her wrist. Warm blood continued to ooze out of the fresh wound on her wrist, formed by her broken bangles, as Dusshasan dragged her to the court.

The maids looked at the wound, trying to decide if they should bandage it first, and then they looked at her eyes. No, she needed to be left alone to heal her wounds in solitude.

All alone, Draupadi sat immersed in the tub of milk and roses and closed her eyes.

“Why Parth, why?” she said looking at the exquisite emerald ring Arjuna had put on her finger after the swayamvar.

“Your quiescence kills me Parth….” she thundered, and the echoes of her screams shook the pillars in the room. “What is it that seals your lips? Why cannot you speak?” she shook with uncontrollable anger, and as her body convulsed into spasms of indignation, she held on to the sides of the tub, breathing heavily for several minutes, before her muscles relaxed and her body loosened and slid into the pool of milk.

She remained drowned till she could hold her breath no more and as she emerged, the anger in her eyes had been replaced with tears, 

“It was your quiescence that led to me being shared amongst your brothers, Parth. You shocked me into a stunned silence that matched yours, but I accepted your judgment. I loved you Parth, and I wanted to be yours alone.” She reminisced about that day, about how her heart had fluttered as she garlanded Arjuna, the most handsome and capable archer and how she had dreamt of a perfect life with him, and almost like a curse her dreams had come crashing down.

And then the tears turned into an ache.

“It was your quiescence that sent you into exile for twelve years. My body ached for you, Parth, and my heart longed to hear words of love. I have pined for you in every moment of your absence. Did you not long for me like I did, Parth?

Chitrangada, Subhadra, Uloopi….you showered them all with your love. Why did you forget me, Parth?”

It was beyond her understanding, why he would love her so briefly and then forsake her like he had never loved.

And he had done that again today. She should have known. Why had his silence shocked her? He had been quite predictable. Her eyes had turned a fiery crimson and the scenes from the day gone by flashed before them.

“Today your arch rival Karna called me a characterless woman; did it not make your blood boil, Parth?
Dusshasana dragged me by my wrist,” she looked at the clot of blood that was beginning to form at the site of the wound, “and then by my hair, and you kept silent? Why Parth? Did you not want to chop those hands that dared to touch your Paanchali?
Duryodhana ordered me to sit on his thigh, and you said not a word. I died a thousand deaths not by his disgraceful words, but by the silence that adorned your lips.”

And with that she broke into fits of delirious sobbing. She had loved Arjuna the most, but he had always chosen quiescence over expressing his love towards her, leaving a void in her heart, that stayed till she lived.


This day..Last Year.... Q for Quiet

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