Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The game ends and the exile begins. Visiting Mahabharata. 66

I have said this earlier. It will need many pages to translate from Kannada. As each actor in this high drama, there are no heroes and most of them in differing shades of a 'negative' role, are etched brilliantly by the author and I feel that whatever I write is inadequate. I have muted the narrative a bit as I did not want to keep writing about Draupadi rolling on the floor crying and wailing in abject misery amidst the heartless and cowardly kings.

 I liked the way Samhita has written the final chapter of Sabha Parva and have used her style of narration for this blog.

Suddenly calls of jackals and hyenas rent the air. As Duryodhana goes out to investigate, Dhritharashtra worried by the ill omens, grants Draupadi two wishes lest evil befalls his family. She seeks the release of Yudhisthira first and the release of the rest of her husbands. Dhritharashtra also gifts her Indraprastha hoping to he would never see the Pandavas again. Pandavas are on their way back and Duryodhana returns, learns about the his fathers gifts and rushes to stop the Pandavas.

Breathless with running, he pants, 'let us have another round of dice. Whoever loses in this round shall go into exile for thirteen years, and live for twelve years in the forest. The thirteenth year to be spent in disguise. If the loser is discovered during the thirteenth year, he would have to spend another twelve years in the forest'.

Anyone would think that by now Yudhisthira would have learnt the lesson not to gamble again. But they would be wrong. Yudhisthira did not like to think it was Draupadi who had given them their freedom. He wanted to prove to his brothers that he could win. In vain, they tried to stop him, but he returned to Hastinapura to play the last round.
The gloomy brothers.

The pandavas watched in gloomy silence. Yudhisthira, sure he would win this time, threw the dice and lost. The Pandavas and Draupadi were in exile.

A dejected Yudhisthira after he lost his final game.

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