* Draupadi’s thoughts after collapsing on the final journey. *
It’s cold here. Yet I feel warmth as you call my name. Perhaps this is what death is like. One no longer feels cold, pain, discomfort. Just blankness with you as a light.
I can see you beckoning me, the same way as you would when I was a young, shy girl, unaware of where life would take me. We would sit under the frangipani, as you narrated some obscure mystery of the scriptures or a fact of everyday life, and then watched, in amusement, as my face changed shades in thought.
There was so much noise, and now finally there is quiet. It is perhaps true what they spoke of me- Draupadi is immoral, unchaste, with five husbands, how can she not be?-yes, it is. I say so because in the face of death, I do not remember any of my five lords, not even Arjuna, to gain whose affections I struggled a lifetime. In truth I had expected this- each of them was a warrior, king, husband, father, but not my love. I had almost definitely thought that I would remember the only other man I ever loved-Karna. What could not happen on Earth might perhaps be fulfilled in another realm. Yet it is curious, for it is not him I remember.
It is you.
Perhaps it is foolish of me to say I remember. I have never forgotten you. How can one forget that which is in everything? You were my earliest memory, a flash of brilliant blue as I stepped through the fire, holding my brother’s hand. You are my last prayer as I seek an answer to the eternal question. I wish for you and you alone.
I can see you walking towards me, gliding almost; you assume your most human form for me once again. My Sakha, the first man I loved, my friend, my guide, my best support and worst critic. Distantly my human mind remembers the news of your death, the poise I maintained in court, while my husbands collapsed in distress. A cry of raw pain was all I permitted myself in private. A part of me knew that it would soon be time for me. And all the grief would end.
You stroke my head gently as I kneel before you, feeling like a child. I have not felt so pure in a long time.
“You’ve done your part, Krishnaa. Now rest” You say.
My smile can bedazzle the heavens.