Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Gift - A Short Story

She had come with a gift from my father. It was my second day in my marital home. She smiled and asked me how I am. I replied with silence. She didn’t question any further. She looked around and found a place to sit. We sat facing each other. I looked at her and felt the compassion in her eyes.

My thoughts flashed back to the conversation we had few days back.

We were best friends and she had shared her marital problems that day. Though a princess herself she had married a soldier. Their love marriage seemed to have failed. She felt her husband no longer loved her. But she would not give up and do everything to make her marriage work. While she shared her story, I boasted of my beauty and high expectations. “The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” These were the exact words I told her.  I had rejected many a marriage proposals from handsome kings and charming princes. I was yet to meet a man who could fascinate me. I was lost in my thoughts and she in hers. I looked at her and felt the sadness in her eyes.

The very next day my eyes fell on him. The handsome youth with great valor. His sharp eyes and radiant face matched my lotus-shaped eyes and deep dimpled face. His tight muscled body was the exact fit for my slender frame. It was love at first sight for us. I confided about my love to my friend. I told her I was wrong when I said I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I had found my love and he made me complete. She congratulated me. I looked at her and felt the delight in her eyes.

My life bloomed with his presence. We spent days together just looking at each other. When he finally bid me farewell he said he will come back to take me with him. He kept his promise. He came back only to win my hand in my swayamwar. As he led me out of the palace to take me with him, I held my head high in pride. My friend stood there waving her hands at me. I looked at her and felt the jealous in her eyes. Was she envious of the fact that I will have a perfect happy married life?

I can no longer feel the jealous in her eyes. She handed over the diamond necklace gifted to me by my father. We sat for some time without either of us saying a word. She stood up and said “Draupadi, take care!” She sounded assertive. I looked at her and felt the fearlessness in her eyes. She then turned away to leave. I kept gazing till her figure faded away. She brought with her not only the diamond necklace but my obscured courage. Courage was the much needed gift at that moment. I realized my strength. I was now ready to face my life ahead.

I did take care of myself and my five husbands.

Note: This is an imaginary piece with Draupadi, wife of pandavas as the centre of the story.

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