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The pendulum swings inexorably, keeping time for Destiny

Chitrangada battles a gandharva, and falls in ignominy

To the fore, came Vichitravirya as the boy-king

Leading Bhishma to rule, after allegiance swearing

In time, Vichitravirya was ready to wife

And Bhishma set out to prepare for him new life

Beautiful daughters had Kasi, a neighbouring king

The fair maidens would make good wives for the new young king

The princesses’ famed beauty well known throughout the country

Kshastriya princes came, to win wives, sprouting rivalry

Bhishma’s presence shocked these sons of the warrior born

Forgotten his vows of celibacy, they scorned

This stoked the wrath of the finest in the Bharata Race

Bhishma rose, fought and defeated them all to lose their place

Claiming the prize for his King Vichitravirya, Bhishma took leave

To Hastinapura in triumph, with the Kasi princesses, three

One of the virgins had a secret love, the first born, Amba

Her heart she had given to King Salva, who ruled Saubala

Image credit_bollywoodpage3

(Ratan Rajput as Amba – Image credit Bollywood Page3)

From a distance, Salva had felt the fair maiden’s choice, his heart pierce

Overtaking Bhishma, the love struck king to win her, battled fierce

Salva worsted, the Peerless prevailed, and only by Amba’s intervention

Saubalan’s life spared, but defeat would weigh him down in public humiliation

Meanwhile, Hastinapura blossomed for the betrothal of Vichitravirya

Kings thronged to witness his union to sisters, Amba, Ambika, Ambalika

Flames flared, sweet scents rose, ancient mantras brought rushing, the auspicious moment

Alas, the congregation shocked, witnessed Amba bemoan her fate fallen

He lives in my mind, release me from this shame or on this flames I end

The life of a maiden of the Bharata Race, for this my amend

Shame on this august assembly to give unto another, one unwilling

Know you Scripture, O Son of Bharata, I’m your daughter, do the right thing

A great commotion erupted, Bhishma in humility, he submitted

With royal escort, Amba to Salva’s court immediately, he conducted

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The horses did gallop, nostrils flaring and tongues lolling, ignoring the sting of whips as if they would summer flies. The feminine raced to receive the spear of masculine ardour. Alas, if it were so, the Destiny of Man, he shall miss. The gods did let loose, knowing no beast or man can outrun – Fate.

———— Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2014 ————