Mahabharata: Epic retold 1

Retelling An Epic
The Mahabharata is an epic that never goes out of fashion. Whenever it is dipped into, one comes out with gems, the biggest diamond it has to offer being the Bhagavad Gita – the divine song sung by none other than Krishna, an avatar of Maha Vishnu, the supreme god of the Hindus…

A Look Inside

The following verses describe the day after Abhimanyu’s killing. 

Abhimanyu’s Killing: The Day After

As the first rays of the sun break through the eastern sky, Arjuna surveys the battle formation. Drona has arranged to protect Jayadratha. Shakatavyuha. The cart phalanx. Somewhere in this solid, square box is his quarry.

A Father Bereaved

My brother’s face is carved in stone, except for his bloodshot eyes that restlessly flit across the enemy line, assessing, calculating. I look at Krishna. It is clear he too has not slept much.

A Teacher’s Target

Drishtadyumna had predicted the enemy would be arrayed in the cart formation. He had also asked Yudhisthira to position himself securely. “The war will be over if Yudhisthira is exposed,” he said. “Drona will target him, especially now that our attention is focussed elsewhere.”

Kauravas’ Defence

Today, Satyaki is guarding my elder brother. Drishtadyumna has asked me not to stray far either. The rest will support Arjuna. As our men crash into the formidable wall Drona has erected, the Kauravas put up a strong defence. Jayadratha is nowhere to be seen.

Metal Tipped Revenge

Leaving Yudhisthira and Satyaki in the second line, I surge ahead behind Arjuna. My brother stands tall in his chariot, deft fingers distributing metal-tipped revenge from the Gandiva in a way I never thought possible.

Arjuna Unleashes Panic

When Arjuna unleashes the fire arrows, there is panic in the enemy ranks. Our ground troops use the confusion to batter their formation. Leaping down from the chariot, I join in the mayhem. I spot one of the Kaurava brothers in the melee, engaging Arjuna but briefly.

Avenging Abhimanyu

For a short while, I hear the mesmerising song of Arjuna’s bowstring. Then, when I look up, he is gone. Drona’s first line lies in tatters. With Nakula and Sahadeva, I fall upon the Kaurava troops, giving them no chance to regroup. Today, we all slaughter to avenge Abhimanyu.

The Eldest On Frontline

At one point, I see Yudhisthira rushing with unexpected fury at Salya. My elder brother matches the more experienced warrior, arrow for arrow. Realising the danger of Yudhisthira continuing on the frontline for too long, I persuade him to leave Salya to me.

Clouds Of Dust

Drishtadyumna has moved farther away by the time Salya retreats. I see his chariot through a cloud of dust, cutting deeper into enemy lines. The sun climbs high, then begins its descent rapidly.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

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