The she-man exacts vengeance
How did Bhishma run foul of Princess Amba? Why did Amba hold such a hatred for the kind Bhishma that she dedicated her life to destroying him?
Amba hurried, to the feet of Salva, expecting matrimony; instead of sastras chanting testimony he rained ignominy
Defeated disgraced am I, by the one who touched and carried you off spoiled; return to him whose breath your cheek first felt, for my bloodline, shall not be soiled
Distraught, Amba returned to Hastinapura a living dead; Bhishma suggested she wife Vichitravirya instead
The king declined, when unblemished orchards beckoned; what need had he for a soiled fruit, he reckoned
As recourse, take me for your wife, beseeched Amba; alas, I’m married to celibacy pleaded Bhishma
Chained in sorrow, her sweetness morphed and raged; blaming Bhishma, for her life so disparaged
Amba sought Parasurama, hater of the Kshatriya Race; the Brahmin gave relentless battle to the Grand Sire, to disgrace
Combat between the two finest then present, this was not; the peerless Kshatriyan prevailed, as ordained by the gods
Consumed with unbridled hatred, to the Himalayas retired Amba; through rigorous austerities, she won the grace of mighty Lord Siva
The Lord Destroyer, the Master Manipulator, did grant her a boon; in her next life, he declared, she will birth Bhishma’s doom
Unwilling to await Yaman, Amba plunged into a fiery pyre; reborn as King Drupada’s daughter, her avatar did reappear
As the she-male Sikhandin, she would drive Arjun’s chariot against Bhishma; the patriarch will not fight a woman, she knew that of the Old Charisma
In the ensuing battle, Bhishma would invite the cloak of arrows; wrapping himself thus, the Grand Sire ends his long probation of sorrows
Vasistha’s curse paid in full for the milk from Nandini; Bhishma joins his Seven Brothers, the Vasus, and his Queen
Thus, winds one thread in mankind’s tapestry of mortal destiny; that which wise men lament as human failings and ignominy
This is not the end; O People of the Faith, there are no restraints; for the Alpha and the Omega are figments born of constraints
Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2020
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Next Friday: Vidura, the Mahatma
The above is in verse. If you like to read in prose (short stories) based on the Mahabharata, subscribe to Eric’s Newsletter.