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Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Draupadi": (un)fairy tale of being a strong woman!

The fire scathing as it gulped the dry woods
unrelenting, unforgiving and deep
She was told, it was her unknown mother
puzzled she looked, learning from its spirit

Dark as the mysterious night, she glowed 
questioning, not the coy obeying daughter 
but the clocks ticked on, and she was told
she was to be given away as a "coveted" prize

The hall was full, unknown eyes stripped her
she looked back at them daring, her head held high
they scorned at her, marveling her dark beauty
the trumpet had blown and her freedom wept

They had divided her, as she watched numb
she had looked with deep contempt at the archer
she married 5 men, this was destiny she was told
love, did it exist? or duty was it? she couldn't ask

She was the reluctant queen, changing the old order
of an empire built over the death of a forest
The invitation was just for a game of dice, she reflected
the master of slaves, of kings, was it peace purchased?

The king had lost not just his pride but the obedient brothers 
nobody asked why did he stake her, but she was pawned, 
just the object, is that all she was? this time she asked
they dragged her, as she questioned, but can a woman ask?

She questioned those who had written the patriarchal rules
what is freedom? she asked brazenly as she stared at the beasts
or were they men, as they laughed out loud, at her naivety 
she was helpless they knew, as the "protectors" looked down



Image source: nisachar.deviantart.com



She was to be stripped of pride, of her spirit as they 
ravaged her with their words, eyes; whore they called her, 
and what about the husbands? what name for them?
They tugged and tugged, but couldn't strip her spirit

She was asked to forgive, to forget; for it was her family 
it was a woman's duty, but what of her pride? she asked
they lowered their eyes when the wishes were granted
she asked for independence, the crime wasn't acknowledged

The open flowing hair were to remind of the injustice
but again and again they attempted to crumble her spirit
She sought her justice, even when denied without the hearing
She fought each day to ask the questions, only silence had

She is blamed for a war, that was never her making
after centuries she is still looked down upon
she was "the" wife to five men, she didn't choose
she fought for herself, she fought for being a woman!

We are still fighting that war everyday, every second
the fingers are still pointed at victims, rape did you say?
but she had asked for it, just like the Princess Panchali
how could they resist stripping her when she was staked?


My ode to my favorite and revered mythological character of Draupadi, the woman who asked questions who asked what is right and what is wrong, there are so many dimensions of the character that there could be hundreds of viewpoints and stories!