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THE STORY OF SAVITHRI


A STORY FROM THE MAHABHARATA

THE BRAVE WOMAN WHO FACED YAMA, THE GOD OF DEATH

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She was Savithri, the daughter of a powerful king-a beautiful princess,
The king’s fond and sustained efforts to find her a suitor were fruitless,
As the charming princess was determined to find him on her own.

Thus set out she with the king’s guards, and soon enough found her prince,
Knowing whose background made her father the king wince!
For Satyavan was the son of a once-upon-a time king, poor and blind,
Who, along with wife was dependent on his wood-cutter son, who was kind.

As nothing would dissuade Savithri in spite of all persuasion,
The king agreed reluctantly, to honor her firm decision.
To add to his woes, the king came to know from a Seer,
That Satyavan’s life would end in just about a year.

When even this terrible information failed Savithri to deter,
The king conducted the wedding without delaying further.
In great happiness, Savithri accompanied Satyavan to the forest,
Living with the woodcutter and his parents happily in his little nest.

Together they spent their time in marital bliss- soon passed a full year.
Alas! Fate was about to tighten its noose, as already foretold by the seer.
One day, at noon, Savithri saw Yama, standing like a silent rock,
Her sleeping husband in her lap, Savithri was overcome by shock.

As Yama took Satyavan at the appointed hour, ignoring the pleas of his wife,
Savithri followed the God of Death, pleading and imploring to spare his life.
Seeing her dedication, Yama offered her a boon in place of Satyavan,
Promising to grant her anything except life of her man.  

When Savithri asked to be blessed with many children,
Yama granted the boon, not realizing the implication.
On her pointing out that it would be impossible without her man,
Yama had no other choice but to return Satyavan.
    





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The poor guy innocently said ‘Pramadham’ which means ‘Excellent’ in Tamil, but unfortunately means ‘Danger’ in Telugu!

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Indiscreet use of this word- which means a street dance or something in Hindi- is not received kindly by them.

The simple word ‘Avasar’- which also is a Sanskrit root word- means ‘Occasion’ in Hindi; ‘Avasaram’ means ‘Requirement’ in Telugu; ‘Opportunity’ in Malayalam and ‘Hurry’ in Tamil!

There must of course be several such examples in the various languages ‘spooken’ in our delightful India.




RIGHT WRONG

Seeing her eyes glow in excitement,
Obviously though she has it all wrong,
I rush to grab the correction opportunity,

Till I have another look at the gleam in her eyes.

Hell, I think, let me be wrong a hundred times over,
If only to preserve that glorious joy,

Rather than prove her wrong
And watch her enthusiasm wither.

THULABARAM

There is, in the Lord's Abode in Guruvayoor,
A common balance for weighment of offerings.

It's called Thulabaram.

Only, it is anything but common.

A priest there is entrusted the task
Of weighing the offerings you committed
To Lord Krishna.

It may be a few kilos of some vegetable
Or fruit, grains or sugar or what you will.


But it got to be necessarily what you committed!

For,

Have seen with my own eyes
The priest struggling to weigh
A couple of kilos or maybe three
Of a certain vegetable, think it was yam.

But it simply wouldn't balance, though he
Kept on heaping the yam on it!

Then, on the priest's asking,
The devotee said he had thought
Of a different vegetable, maybe raw banana,

But had settled for yam since he couldn't
Get the banana.

The priest quickly removed the yam
Asked the devotee to be back
With the vegetable committed!

Only then, the priest said with conviction,

The weighment would happen.