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Abducted by Ravana, she is sitting by herself, when Sita meets Sati, consort to Mahadev, who visits her. What happens next? Part 2 of a short story. Read Part 1 here.
She tried to test my Ram? My Ram? My breath quivers. And, what did she plan to test him?
Devi Sati starts speaking. “So, I started my ambitious mission. I arrived on the earth. Mahadev was kind enough to accompany me even though he was not completely with me, but this mission was mine and I had to execute it alone, he had said.
I knew Mahadev had his eyes on me. Of course, he knew everything. He just didn’t know what I had in my mind because if he did, he wouldn’t have allowed me to do that.
I waited and saw Shree Ram and Laxman coming. The very same anxious expressions. The urgency to know your whereabouts,” Devi Sati said as she looked at me. “And then, I did something that I shouldn’t have. I disguised myself as YOU, Devi Sita!”
This fact startles me. She tried to mislead Ram. The breeze feels thick, suddenly, a little difficult to inhale. My heartbeats races faster.
“I approached them with a beatific smile on my lips, I faked longing in my eyes,” Devi Sati continued, “Shree Ram smiled the moment his eyes landed on me. The smile so beautiful. Laxman looked perplexed. Shree Ram’s smile encouraged me. So, he thought he had found his Sita, finally. I approached them with hasty steps. I needed to look eager. We were finally face to face when Shree Ram folded his hands, and bowed in greeting.
‘Mata, you are alone? Mahadev hasn’t arrived with you today?’ he said, and his words came as shock. A shameful shock!” Devi Sati pauses to compose her breath.
It somehow seems deceitful.
“Sounds deceitful, no?” Devi Sati says as if reading my thoughts. “Even I felt so when I realized that he actually could see through me, no matter how I looked. That moment I didn’t feel like Sati, Shakti, The Significant Half of none other than Lord Shankar. I felt vulnerable. A sense of surprise and shame washed over me. I was speechless. Such a wishful thinking it was! To test the divinity of Shree Ram whom my husband worshiped.
When I returned to Mahadev, he raised his eyebrows which said ‘I told you.’
At Kailash, I said asked for his forgiveness for not believing his words. While talking to him, I was about to sit beside him, my destined place, when he stopped me.
‘Why don’t you sit there?’ he said, pointing towards a seat just across from him. My heart skipped several beats. He had changed my place. An unknown fear gripped me. His tone was calm and amused but there was something in his eyes that seemed different. A certain kind of seriousness that was unusual when he looked at me. A tinge of sadness that arises when you lose something.”
Devi Sati touched my hand lightly as she looked at me intently. “I knew it that very moment that something had changed between us and I was the one who had caused that change. I realized later why he did so. If only I had listened to him. I wish I had listened to him.”
Devi Sati sighs and continues. “You were a mother figure for Mahadev, Sita. How could he have accepted me when I had disguised myself as you? He had abandoned me, mentally, that very moment and the plot of future disaster was created that very moment.”
Tears sprout in my eyes. I squeeze her hand gently. “So, you are not alone, Devi Sita. Not the only sufferer.”
“But, it hurts. Life seems bleak,” I say.
“It does. But, if you can see darkness only, it doesn’t mean there’s no light. Even the darkest nights promise a bright morning. So, get up and collect your courage. People call me Shakti. I, Shakti, want to share my strength with you. Strength to endure. To evolve. To rise. To win. To live a life with profound dignity.”
She smiles at me lovingly. Oh, this smile reminds me of my mother. “You have to care for your little ones too. You have to make them strong just like you. Exceptional warriors.”
Wind blows and I hear rustling of leaves. Another banyan leaf falls on my lap.
Little ones. Not little one. Them not him or her. Warriors. Before I could ask anything she says, “You look tired. You should sleep now.”
I do as she says obediently. I ask for her hand, not wanting her to go. She holds my hand affectionately.
Gentle sunshine touches me and I wake up, hearing chirping birds. For the first time in my life I have slept until sunshine touched me. This looks a happy place in the morning. With all these lovely creatures, brightness and calmness. Devi Sati is not here. Was it a dream or reality? I can still feel the warmth of her touch. A sense of sadness and loneliness clutches my heart yet again. Then, a very familiar voice resounds. “Endure, strength, evolve, courage, rise, win, dignity. And Shakti!”
I get up and start walking, in search of a new life. Oh, I have to count my mistakes too. Where was I? Two….
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Published here and here earlier.
Image source: free photos
Author of 'We Will Meet Again'. Freelance writer and editor. Tarang's works have been
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