If you haven’t read part 1 then https://jdscribbles.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/kurukshetra/
The glimmer of the club had blinded him. Although Ved wasn’t really a party animal, but who could say no to some attention. And for a successful author, there can never be an end to the following. After posing for random women’s profile pictures and lecturing about writing skills Ved finally managed to squeeze out of the mob and hit the bar. The challenge wasn’t over yet. Even this popular, prolific and proficient writer found it hard to get the bartender’s attention. Yelling, banging the table, he tried it all. No success there. He almost lost hope when suddenly someone whispered in his ears, “Can I buy you a drink?” He turned.
All the glitter and beauty of the club had taken the form of a woman and was staring at him. He had never seen such beautiful eyes. It said so much yet concealed the world. For a moment her face seemed familiar but Ved realised he couldn’t have forgotten those eyes. He was definitely meeting her for the first time. He could have written an entire book on those eyes. “Can I buy you a drink” she asked again. “Ye….Yes yes of course”, Ved fumbled. A writer at a loss of words. Ved was discovering a whole new side within him. She screamed at the bartender. The bartender came rushing. Ved felt overshadowed. After all beauty wins. Always! She got him a drink. They raised a toast to the New Year. But secretly Ved raised it to the most beautiful pair of eyes he had ever seen.
The night never seemed so dark. Ved struggled to find a source of light. He was lying on the floor. His head seemed heavy, his legs weak and his heart rate was also slower. His mouth was dry but he was perspiring. Slowly the dizziness gave way to sanity. He had no idea where he was. It was dark. He tried to drag himself. Like a man dying of thirst he tried to reach the well. The only problem was that he couldn’t see the well. A wall banged against him. He was in a room. A scary thought engulfed his mind. Was he kidnapped? Who could it be? Was it that girl? “Helloooooo is anybody there.” Who are you? What do you want”, his voice echoed. It seemed his kidnapper had found a huge room for him.
Welcome to my world!!!! A beautiful voice roared.
Welcome to the world of darkness and helplessness. A world where you have eyes yet you can’t see.
Who are you? What do you want?
You don’t remember me? That’s strange. I am your progeny dear Ved Vyaas. You created me.
Ved was at a loss of words. Twice in the same night. Because of the same woman. He tried hard to figure out. Finally the words made sense. “Where you have eyes yet you can’t see”. She had to be…she is Gaandhaari.
Ved – Gaandhaari?!?
Gaandhaari – Yes my creator.
Ved – What kind of a sick joke is this? Why did you drug me?
Gaandhaari – Honestly Ved, I was disappointed you didn’t recognise me last night. But then again, eyes are the most unique feature of a person. It gives each one an identity. And you hid mine from the world.
Ved – Get me out of this room! Right now!
Gaandhaari – I am no longer at you service, Ved. I have taken control. And if I were you I would watch my tone.
Anger filled Ved’s heart. His character had betrayed him today. He had created his own doom. But he was helpless. The darkness weakened him, made him scream. But it echoed in such a way as if it was mocking him.
Ved – What is it you want?
Gaandhaari – To take you on a journey. Into the world you have created. Today you bask in glory and fame. Today the world worships your book. Today your book has created the base for faith. But like every world this too has dark places. You are inside one right now.
Ved – The world my book created is the world people live in. Is there any other book that can match up to that? Be thankful you were a part of it. Had it not been for me you wouldn’t have even existed.
Gaandhaari – I did exist. But I never lived. Today I exist in the minds of your readers. As a foolish woman who decided to blindfold herself. Why don’t people talk about my sacrifice the way they talk about Bhishma’s. An oath to not sleep with another woman, wasn’t that foolish too? Why has my sacrifice been ignored? Has there ever been a wife who loved her husband so much that she decided to accept his pain as hers.
Ved – Everyone had a significant role.
Gaandhaari – And what was mine?
Ved –To be a wife who sacrificed so much. To be a mother who tolerated so much. To be a queen who can rule.
Gaandhaari – What about the woman? Her aspirations and dreams? A woman who lived in the dark. A woman who never saw her beauty being appreciated. A woman who was looked at with sympathy rather than respect. A woman who was never taken seriously.
Ved thought for some time but before he could react Gandhaari again said.
Gaandhaari – And what about their brothers? Seriously, were you molested by your mama when you were a kid? Or beaten? Why the hell did you make both Kans and Shakuni so negative?
Ved – Kans was hungry for power. And Shakuni wanted revenge.
Gaandhaari – Revenge for what?
Ved – For the wrong they did to you. Because he couldn’t see his sister get married to a blind man.
Gaandhaari – Did I ever complain? Wasn’t it my idea to sacrifice? So who is he to intervene? Revenge simply overshadowed my sacrifice. His revenge was remembered more than my sacrifice. Good or bad, your men always overshadowed your women. Your women have never been seen in good light.
Ved – What rubbish!!! All my women are respected.
Gaandhaari – Stop fooling yourself. Kunti, the mother of Gods. Today she is laughed about as the woman who slept with four Gods. Was it her mistake that her husband was impotent? Was it her mistake that her husband requested, no wait, insisted that she goes through that humiliation just so that he could become a father. What kind of a husband does that?
Her words made Ved patiently listen. This definitely wasn’t the Gaandhaari he created. Such power. Such conviction. Such a demeanour.
Gaandhaari – Draupadi. The wife to five brothers. Today she has become a synonym for a slut. All she asked for was five qualities in a man. Was it her mistake that those five qualities were impossible to be found in one man? In a world full of Gods and Demi Gods not one man had the power to fulfil five wishes of a woman. Puny Gods!!!
Ved – What do you know about writing? About creating? Creating a complicated story with characters whose personalities and character traits is a part of every person on this earth. A story so perfect that it will hold true for generations. And the Gods you are mocking, today are beheld as epitome of strength. What has Draupadi lost by marrying five men? Which woman gets the privilege of marrying five sons of Gods? And look what they did for that one woman. Such was their rage that they slaughtered their own brothers, their teacher, their mentors, everyone. For one woman. One man couldn’t have done that.
Gaandhaari – You are right I know nothing about creating. But since you do, let me ask you. Do you know about the responsibility a writer has? Especially when he knows that his book will be followed like a religion. Do you know the consequences of showing women the way you showed them? Weak. Insignificant. Passive. Women were not the weaker sex. Their love and their obedience cannot be considered as weakness. But there’s isn’t one woman in your book who can be look up to, who can be worshipped as an idol, whose ideologies can be followed. Most of you male characters either had a suffix or prefix which glorified their name. Dharam Veer Yudhishtir, Bhishma Pitamah, Gadadhaari Bheem, Surya Putr Karna and not one for the women? Yes Mr. Writer, your book will always be the most celebrated book of the world. But, none of your women will be celebrated.