Grief of Gandhari

Siddhi T

Tears rolling down her puffed red eyes she asks, “Was the retribution so important, that lead to the brutal killing of my hundred sons?”

Refusing to leave the side of those severed bodies of her sons she says, “Though the world has abandoned them, branded them as epitomes of evil and even though they are dead I will do everything in my power to protect their bodies, the bodies which I gave birth to.”

Crying she remembers those days of her pregnancy, how the pots of ghee contained her sons-to-be-born, how she waited for the slightest movement in any of them.

IMG_5024Her agony at the prolonged pregnancy, her pain at delivering those hard pieces of lifeless flesh, her joy at Vyasa’s  remedy for assured birth of her sons; and her excitement during those days of waiting, her happiness at Duryodhana’s birth and her sorrow when she remembers her brutal fate which forbid her to look at her loving Duryodhana.

Crying she remembers those hundred small hands tugging her saree to catch her attention, silently requesting her to unfold her blindfold, and she cursing her fate every moment she touched them, heard them, but couldn’t see them.

Crying she comes back to the present moment, caressing the body of her dead son, suddenly she felt a tent in the thigh of her beloved son, that reminded her of the brutal and unethical killing of her dearest son, and a sudden surge of anger filled her heart. The moment she was about to curse Bhima, chilled cruel laughter rang her ears, four men laughing and her beloved son ordering Dushasana that he wished to see his maid naked, “disrobe her” he yells. Tears rolled down her cheeks on her defeat, all anger gone but misery and sorrow at its place.

Another voice rang up, Draupadi’s this time, “You have no right to shed tears”, says that cruel face, a pitiless smile spread across it,  “I have my revenge at last, they deserve it, you deserve it for giving birth to these immoral beings”. The laughter — cold and merciless – cut deep before it disappeared.

Gandhari stood up abruptly, turning around for the source of that voice, yet found none. Was it her own conscious showing mirror to eyes held blind? But being a mother she rejects the reality. She accuses Draupadi of being heartless, “Does it satiate your desire for revenge, now that you have dyed your hair with my son’s blood, now that you see your sons’ dead bodies, now that the killing of thousands of young men is upon your head, are you satisfied now?” Can ever she be answered?

Her deep grief filled heart, denies any escape, solace. Then suddenly a voice from the past comes to her rescue, an innocent loveable voice laughing at her, daring her to catch him, she takes him in her embrace, kisses him and he laughs –  that adorable familiar laugh. Leaving the grief of present, she looses herself in those happy memories of the childhood of her Duryodhana, her innocent and sinless Duryodhana.

Siddhi was fortunate to be trained in Indian mythology by her grand-mother, a poet-singer.

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1 Comment

Filed under Forever

One response to “Grief of Gandhari

  1. Navin Chandra Misra. C. Misra, Ph.D.

    Gandhari’s grief and lamentation raise important emotional and ethical issues that need to be resolved by each one of us.

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