Thursday, August 30, 2012

Iravan Katha - I


Eighth Night Of The Great Battle Of Kuru-kshetra

The warrior stood, his long black hair flying around him, his body glowing in the golden light of dusk, his eyes placid with contentment. He looked down at the weapons that he had sharpened until they shone. The night was warm with a hint of breeze. He could overhear strands of conversation around him.

“Give it a day or two and Hastinapuri is ours”

“If you ask me, just one day, tomorrow, and Yuvraj Bhima  would mash the enemies’ heads like turnips”


There was laughing, merrymaking, and revelry for the imminent victory. There was hope and happiness about returning to one’s family.The war would soon be over, and things would be just fine. Talk of optimism in a war camp.

“Iravan!” a voice called out in the dark. The young warrior stepped forward and walked away from the congregation attracting attention to him.


Courtesy: Artist Namboothiri ,Indulekha.com
Who is this handsome young boy? Whose son is he?”

“He is Iravan, son of the Naga princess Ulupi.”


“I meant who is his father?”


“He says he knows his mother who nurtured him in her womb for nine months, gave birth to him, bathed, and fed him. His mother taught him to swim like a fish and to run like a rabbit. She taught him how string a bow and to shoot an arrow. She did everything a father would do for his son and much more than that. He never mentions his father.”


“Looks like the father deserted the poor mother and the unborn child. I am sure of one thing ;he father is not a commoner. His father was definitely a noble.”


“True, Iravan has the eyes of a wise ruler, the body of a king and the gait of a monarch! And how he fights. Just like a kshatriya.Just like a Veera!”


Iravan’s friends unable to hide their pride added,” Do you know he has on his body all the 32 marks that are considered sacred?”

Murmurs of appreciation filled the air until the wizened old physician from Panchal croaked, “I know two other men with the 32 sacred marks in this camp.” He paused enjoying the pin drop silence his statement had elicited.

“The great Krishna of Dwaraka and the might warrior Arjuna of the Pandavas!”

Ninth Night Of The Great Battle Of Kuru-kshetra


Last night’s revelry is all but gone. It was Kauravas day on the field. Pitamah Bhishma turned out to be an astute general. He understood the dynamics of a war and the strategy for winning one. As long as Bhishma stood in his chariot, he was a formidable general and victory for Pandavas would be long cry.

Courtesy: Artist Namboothiri ,Indulekha.com
The five brothers, Drupad, Dhrishtidyumna and other leading warriors sat around in Yudhishitira‘s tent and discussed the strategies for the next day. Whichever way they plotted they knew Pitamah was going to beat them at their own game. Vexed they turned to Krishna.

In his mellifluous voice, Krishna suggested, “Pray to Kali, the goddess of war. Pray for victory. Get her blessings with a sacrifice. A human sacrifice!”

One cannot sacrifice any human being to Goddess Kali. The person should be ideal. He should be a man with 32 sacred marks making him a worthy of the sacrifice.

Yudhishitira cried in horror,” No! We cannot sacrifice Arjuna or Krishna! It will be a disaster!”

The wise Sahadeva interjected,” Brother, We will lose this war otherwise. We do not have a choice but to sacrifice.”

Arguments were made back and forth. Words flew sharper than arrows. Between much shouting Arjuna volunteered to be sacrificed. This lead to another bout of hues and cries. The whole tent was reverberating with tension. Krishna alone remained calm and smiled at the obsession of humans with material world.

And then like a bolt of thunder in the middle of a calm night somebody dropped a message,” A warrior from Naga territory claims he was born with the 32 marks. He has volunteered for the sacrifice”

“Bring him in!” shouted a partially relieved Drupad. His son-in-law was safe.

Iravan glided in to the tent, his shoulders square and head held high, emerald eyes shining bright in the light of the oil lamps. He bowed to the elders in respect. A fleeting image passed through Arjuna’s mind. A picture obscured by the passage of time. The boy reminded him of someone. He had seen those placid eyes somewhere. Unable to recollect Arjuna brushed the thought away.

Arjuna got up from his seat and strode up to the young warrior. This young man had volunteered to die for him ;Arjuna the great. Iravan deserved his attention.

Standing face to face with Iravan, Arjuna placed his brawny arms on the firm square shoulders of Iravan and asked,
“Tell me O Veera, who are you?

Iravan lifted his face filled with pride and happiness and said;” I am your son, Iravan!”

(To be continued..)

13 comments:

  1. Good one.. Waiting for the next part..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you..Part 2 has been published...

      Delete
  2. Fantastic. I am waiting for part 2. Please write it soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you..Part 2 has been published...

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The way u express the Iravan - I started imagining him in mind. The way the words u expressed, I can see the story in front of my eyes live. Very Nice. Awesome... Fabulous Sree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deepa..Feels good to know you like it...

      Delete
  5. Well, well, a mythology from you! Great story. Our epics are replete with such tales which have gone into obscurity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mahabhartha is a potpourri of stories..I am an enchanted child everytime I read the book

      Delete
  6. good work.keep writing.would love to read more.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-)...I am happy to hear all the comments..

      Delete