Life's Crepuscule

Hidden in the mystic oblivion
Lies my woeful verity taciturn

The breeze around me has calmed down considerably as the sanguine skies settle into the twinkling amaranthine labyrinths. Probably wondering, why I am stuck in the solitude that’s bound to consume even the well-armored mortals transcending to the next realm. The birds have long returned to their abodes, while the gurgle of the flowing Markanda has ceased its nippiness. My vision has blurred with crusted blood long ago… most of the crimson fluid has already flown into the river mixing with many others’; my brothers, sons, and other Aryans. But I hear the mild cacophony of frogs and vultures flying not very high as they await the blackness to settle in. They can then nibble away the flesh beneath my hips. Hips that deserved to adorn Hastinapur’s ornate bejeweled throne, and that never for a day rested on anything besides the soft velvety bed in my chambers, now lay crushed. I am the mighty Duryodhana who will go down in history as the evil monster.

But I was not at the vortex of the Kurukshetra war. 

What about Yudhishthira? Was he the Dharmaraja in the true sense of the word? Was Yudhishthira right in coveting the woman who belonged to his brother? Was it righteous on his part to pawn her and his brothers in a game of dice? What about his lie about Ashwatthama behind the façade of a namesake elephant, just like the sun behind the clouds causing the transient darkness? Our guru fell to deceit.

Yet the paragon of virtues is hailed while I am cursed. 

My great-grandfather Shantanu let his most worthy son renounce the throne for his carnal interests, my mother morally led a visionless life…. yet, I am the villain. 

The crown prince of Hasthinapur who had people at his acquiescence is now sequestered from everyone. I lost the war, didn’t I? In reality, I lost it years ago. First when my mother almost killed me in the womb. Later when the Kaunteyas came along, creating ripples in my smooth-flowing life. Can love be contrived? Peremptory and contemptuous relationships never could last, could they? 

But I valued relationships. I was a good husband and father, a good son and brother. Did I mention a good friend? My best friend Karna, known as a charioteer’s son, a sutaputra* also died as one, despite being Kunti’s son. Was it right that Kunti had sons from different deities due to some incantation. How did the Kaunteyas have a right to the throne statutorily belonging to my father and then to me? 

I was always humiliated.

The battle dust has settled and the vociferation will no longer exist, though the putridity of bloodshed still lingers. My father visited me earlier, broken and abject. But I await only one human before I cross the threshold forever. The mastermind of this Emprise, the witty Vasudeva…

Writhing in agony my soul lies debrined
I only wish my father wasn’t blind

Author note:

Sutaputra: A person born to Suta caste parents (i.e. none of the parents are Brahmana or Kshatriya). Karna in Mahabharata epic was a Suta putra to the best knowledge of the world but in actual he was a Kshatriya.


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