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Hiatus and back!

The last post on this blog was on June 12, 2017 where I closed the writing with the portentous words – to be continued. Trust me, I had all intentions of continuing it as well. In fact, I have a post half-written sitting in my drafts, to conclude the story on Ekalavya. However, quite a few things have happened after I wrote those words. Actually, lots of things happened last year.
1 engagement, 2 weddings, 1 huge loss, 1 birth announcement, and plenty of overwhelming emotions. It was quite a year.
By the end of the year, I didn’t even have the energy to write a year-end mandatory wrap-up. I really did want to get one out there, even if it was just for the sake of writing something and getting the fingers to mirror the thoughts. But hey, fatigue took over and all that! I think out of all the posts that I drafted (some in my head, of course) this one was really the bummer. I had gotten used to the idea of writing a year end post over the last few years recapping the years’ happenings,…
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Ekalavya - The Mahabharata Chronicles #16 - Part 1

Govinda looked down upon the scenes unfolding below. He had to admire his cousin’s tenacity. He doubted if any of the Kuru princes would have had the guts to do that. The thought struck him that both of them, princes in their own right, standing in front of each other, were in fact third cousins, through him, though neither knew that. ----------------X---------------- His hand still bleeding, he looked at his future fallen carelessly by the side. The severed thumb seemed to be mocking at him. He was still in a state of shock. He was now wondering if his courage was nothing but foolhardiness. Which archer would give their right thumb willingly? But then for that matter, which guru would ask for such a heinous guru-dakshina?  All to save the ego of a Kuru prince?  [Pic Source:] He had glanced at Drona, looking straight into his eyes, when the request was made. His face betraying none of the emotions he felt underneath, he had calmly taken his hunting k…

Vidura - The Mahabharata Chronicles #15

Na hrishyatyaatmasammaane naavamaanena tapyate Gaango hrada ivaakshobhyo yah sah pandita uchyate That one is wise who does not rejoice when honoured, does not become dejected when dishonoured and is not swayed by emotions under the most trying circumstances.      [Vidura Neeti 1.31]
Even as I have followed these words all my life, I sometimes feel the small stirrings of discontentment in me. I thought I had gained control over my uncertainties. Instead I find that as I am growing older, the weight of the older, smothered down resentments are catching up. My mother named me Vidura. I doubt if she knew what it meant, for while she was a wise woman, she was not very educated. She probably heard my father mention it in passing and remembered it. My father is Veda Vyasa, son of sage Parashara, my grandmother is Queen Mother Satyavati. My mother, Parishrami, was a maid-in-waiting to the queens of Hastinapura. Vyasa had come to Hastinapura at the beckoning of his mother, Queen Mother Satyavati,…

Abhimanyu - The Mahabharata Chronicles #14

Soma looked down on the battlefield.
Today is the 12th night of the war at Kurukshetra. Soon it will be the 13th day and a much important one at that, for it is then that Varchas turns 16. The day he will come back to me. I have missed him so much these last few years.
For 16 years, I have been separated from my son. I have pined for him. I have wondered whether it was a mistake to send him down as a human, as my amsa, for the greater good.
Like I have been doing every night for the last 16 years, I peek down through the shimmery curtains, at his taut form. The warrior that he has become. Progeny of Nara. Nephew to Narayana. And trained in the martial arts by the Yadavas themselves. Does he sense my presence? Does he remember that his father is yearning for him? Or is he in all senses a true Kshatriya prince now, about to become a father himself?
Oh! How I remember that conversation with Narayana, when he came to me asking for Varchas to be incarnated as a warrior to cleanse the earth.…

Another year. Another post. :) - Wrap up 2016!

I read somewhere, that a year changes you a lot. Its true. Its slow and its steady, but it does change you. The past few years have perhaps changed me a lot, but 2016 was the year that in all probability I accepted the changes in me.
When I started 2016, I was under the impression that it would be another 2015. 2015 had been awesome. 2016 at best can be termed as a mixed year. And it was. My wish for 2016 last New Year was very simple.
I wanted madness, magic and not much of the mundane. You could say I got what I wanted, in short bursts. :) But definitely not in the way I expected.
I wanted more of the journeys, more of the fun and more of joy. Travel was at a minimum this year, but on those short travels fun was had and there were some unexpected moments of joy.
I created a bucket list at the beginning of 2016. It was filled with some regular stuff and some out of the box stuff.  Out of the 19 odd items in my bucket list (most of which involved travel :-/) I completed 8 items fully an…

Bhanumathi - The Mahabharata Chronicles #13

They said women aren’t allowed on the battlefield. And yet here I am! Fighting my way through the mounds of dead bodies, the stench of rotting flesh and the cawing of the vultures. My eyes are weary of searching, my limbs are aching and a sense of dread has caught hold of my heart. I am hoping against hope that he is not here, in this blood strewn battlefield. I don’t think I can see him like this. In my heart, I know he is gone. His fate was sealed that dratted day in the sabha. And yet I hope! Maybe, I thought wrong. Maybe the gods decided to give him one last chance. Samantapanchaka… I heard a whisper. Duryodhana lies at Samantapanchaka, the winds whisper. Or was it the spies?  I am not sure. I am not sure of anything anymore. I only know now that my feet are leading me towards the lakeshore. I was but a na├»ve girl when Duryodhana abducted me. I was scared, cowering inside the chariot of the boorish man who had held me by force, furiously pegging his horses to ride faster and away …

Amba - The Mahabharata Chronicles #12 - Part 2

Dusk had now turned into night. And yet, Shikandini, was entranced by the clearing and couldn’t move away. Everything seemed so familiar and yet nothing was clear. She found a smooth rock surface under a tree and sat down. She closed her eyes, in a bid to clear her mind and almost as if she had done this before, crossed her legs into the ‘padmasana’ pose and started chanting Lord Shiva’s name. The rhythm came to her naturally, the breathing settled into a regular tempo and she submitted herself completely to the consciousness.
Amba sat in penance invoking the warrior god, the commander of the devas – Kartikeya. He was the only one she knew capable of defeating Bhishma. Days passed, months passed, and years flew by. Amba’s austerities soon forced Kartikeya to reveal himself in front of her. She fell at his feet and beseeched him to defeat Bhishma. Kartikeya smiled. He gave her a garland of blue lotuses and told her that whoever wore the garland would be able to defeat Bhishma. O…