Sunday, June 24, 2007

On A mother's curse

Gandhari is one of the most profound characters in the Mahabharata. A wife confined to darkness, a mother destined to loose her children, mother-in-law who has to live the tears of all her 'daughters' wailing over their husbands' death. A character of suffering . The most absorbing female character. My second most relatable one after Karna.

I watched Mohiniattam performed by Sridevi Unni on TV over my weekend stay in Cochin and it was more to the aesthetics of the art form than the emotional dramatisation of the story. It depicted Gandhari's curse to Krishna, ( Mahabharata in that way is a balanced epic, democratic and justified. Every character is given a fair share of justice or atleast never denied the chance to fight for it.)

Gandhari's curse

"I curse you, Krishna. I hate to do that, but I curse you. I cannot forgive you what you have done to all these men. I cannot forgive you what you have done to my sons. Look at Duryodhana lying there! Look at Dushshasana! Look at my other sons, all lying dead! All my sons are dead, every one of them, all hundred of them. Killed by you. For, I know you could have saved them if you wanted to.

And look at my daughters-in-law, Krishna. Look at them. They don’t know whether to weep over the dead bodies of their husbands or of their sons. They run from one to the other, possessed by the madness of sorrow, their hair wild, their eyes wild, their speech wild, their hearts wild. Women whom the sun has never seen, women who have never stepped out of the inner apartments of the palace without their heads being covered, without being surrounded by their maids, women whom the world has never seen in the open. Look at them now, Krishna, their cheeks bathed in tears, their eyes red, their lips quivering in uncontrollable sorrow as they try to give expression to their grief in meaningless words, in words that are incomprehensible because they are choked. Look at the women hugging each other, in their vain attempts to find consolation, to give consolation. Look at how they pound their chests, pull at their hair. Look at how their tender faces are streaked with fresh blood as they tear at their skin brutally in their savage sorrow. Listen to their shrieks, Krishna, listen to their wails that fill the battlefield and echo from the distant hills. "

Now thats just the beginning ... The curse is even more deep. For more read here ..
Years later death engulfed krishna .. Death of krishna marked the start of Kali-yuga and they asked ...

Gopis :"Have you abandoned us lord?"
krishna : "How can I abandon those who love me? In Vaikuntha is Go-loka, the divine pleasure-garden. There, surrounded by celestial cows, under flowering trees, beside sparkling rivers, I play the flute and dance with Radha. Come, come and join me in my paradise, sing and dance around me for all eternity."

An eternal message of hope . The gopis should have found their way to Vaikuntha for pleasure is the eternal hope . An undeniable truth. Pleasure is so pleasurable, its worth all the pain.

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"Florentino is so in love with Fermina that he eats gardenias and drinks cologne so that he can know her taste. He becomes drunk on the cologne, and his mother finds him the next morning, in a puddle of his vomit, in a cove of the bay where drowning victims are known to wash ashore" - Love in the time of Cholera