Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sitha Devy

Her image kept recurring in my mind...her eyes never drained...all alone...never complaining...taking life in its stride. She had everything, but possessed nothing.

She was Sitha Devi.

Sitha Devy was a mythological character who became a deep rooted concept in the minds of Indian women. She was hailed as the epitome of chastity. She was the wife of Lord Rama and their story was' Ramayana'. ...I was not going to write that story in detail. I was concerned only about her feelings, the  feelings she had when she was asked by her husband to prove her  chastity.

 Her conflicting mind


Sitha shuddered at her husband's decision. She had to scream again from the rooftop that she had committed nothing wrong She saw thousands of inquisitive eyes interrogating her.She could bear it and it alluded her concern.But when her eyes met her sons' gaze she could not take it. She looked again and was relieved to see that their gaze did not spurt any suspicions. It told nothing, but offered solace. With reverence, she looked at her husband Ram, who always loved her. She knew that neither Ram nor his subjects nurtured any suspicions about her. She could not understand the logic behind her husband's decision. He told her that as a husband he believed her, but as a King it was his responsibility to show his subjects that their queen was innocent and nothing went wrong between her and Ravana, while she was abducted.


She wondered how Ram could make such a discretion between a King and a husband. Sitha felt as if she was going to faint. Her vision blurred. She could not see anything. When she opened her eyes, she found her lonely. Neither her husband nor her sons were there. She listened to the calmness and loneliness that enveloped her. She could hear water flowing in the nearby brook.The breeze touched her lips... The birds chirped... The leaves danced... It soothed her mind for a while. 


Everything ceased all of a sudden.The brook stopped its course...the birds went silent...the breeze detoured...the leaves went still...Her surrounding became too silent that she could hear her heart pounding. She could hear a voice calling her name. She looked around, but saw nobody. Her gaze followed the infinity. She wanted to drink the water from River Lethe to quell all memories haunting her. She was awakened from her deep thoughts when she heard her name again. She turned around to find someone standing beside her. Who was it?

 Her self

Sitha was bewildered to find a woman standing a few yards away from her." Who are you", Sitha asked. The woman came closer. Sitha was mystified to see her replica. The woman said "Do not ask me who I am, but ask yourself, you will get the answer. I am your self, Sitha. Do not be frightened of me. You always escaped me."

Sitha was stuck to the root. " What do you mean that I always escaped you." 

"You never listened to your heart. You always glossed over your feelings. You lived with your sincerity, but failed miserably to live with your heart. You lived as a good daughter, wife, mother and a queen, but not as a woman you truly are. You always yielded to your circumstances. But it's time to wake up from the deep slumber and face the life as the woman you are"

Sitha was perplexed and said  " I do not understand."


" Close your eyes and remember the war that was waged for you", the woman said.

Sitha closed her eyes. " What do you see now?, the woman asked.


Sitha could hear the battling swords, the neigh of the panicked horses, arrows being hurled in the air.


Sitha answered " I could see...I could see..."


The woman continued " Fix your eyes on the battle and tell me the face that you see.


Perplexed Sitha opened her eyes quickly for the image of Ravana struck her first.


Sitha murmured " Ravana...Ravana..." 


The woman went on " This is Ravana, who abducted you, because he loved you. He abducted you to make you his queen. He abducted you for he could not live without you. Ravana did not last without you. He died for you. He ruined his kingdom for you. This is the same Ravana who pledged not to touch you, until he gain your consent. He could have given you back to  Ram to save himself and his empire. But he chose death, just  for you Sitha."


Tears welled in Sitha's eyes. She was keenly listening to her self. Sitha thought " Ram forsaken me to do his duty as a King. I was abandoned mercilessly in the forest. I was pregnant then. It wasn't enough to melt the King's heart. I was a queen, but lived with my children in the forest. Ram never had any suspicions about my fidelity. He knew it, but kept mum. He could have told the whole world of my loyalty, but preferred to remain quiet. Why? Is this the law and justice of the King.Why he chose to remain quiet. The subjects of Ayodhya believed their King, yet he never told them that his wife bore no stigma. Did he really love me?. I was a good mother and wife. But was he a good husband?.  Why Ram? You could have saved me from the humiliation. You did not do it. You once asked for this sacrifice, I gave it but not again. Sitha would never go through this humiliation again. This will be the end of it".

Sitha opened her eyes. She was standing in the court of King Rama with whole Ayodhya watching. She looked in the eyes of Rama. She is Sitha, not ready to take any more humiliation. She looked above and prayed to her mother Earth to take her away from this entanglement and make her free. Tears rolling down her cheeks, she prayed and prayed until the earth split and there rose here mother seated in a throne.


Sitha said " Mother, take me away and make me free and let the mother earth not bear any humiliation committed against woman".


Mother earth stretched her hands, took her daughter in an embrace. They vanished into thin air.


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