• Vijeta Gawdi

Storyteller: Hell hath no fury, Sita's Curse


Lately, the house has been very quiet. It is almost like a lull has crept into the walls. It seems unusually very solemn, cheerless and unsmiling. Unusually, because a house with 3 kids cannot be any of those things. There is no more screaming for the remote. There are no bawls for toy stealing. There is no more hollering for who got the bigger piece of chocolate. Yes, the house bears a listless and languid look. Yes, the lockdown has exhausted all of us, children included. We have learnt to become more patient and accommodating with each other. We have learnt to live in peace with ourselves, without having to constantly look for activities to fill our already busy lives with. We have learnt that we can live minimalistically. We have learnt that we can do with fewer toys, we have learnt to share our chocolates and we have learnt that sometimes repeat episodes of Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly on a loop can keep us entertained. This period of lockdown has imbibed in us the virtues of patience, satiety and gratitude.

However, the house is quiet not because the girls have suddenly attained the worldly wisdom of the ascetics and given up on their usual banter. They are too young to live in peace with each other right now. The cognizance, that the three of them will share the ups and downs of their lives with each other, more than they will, with the old and haggard me, is still far far away. So then what makes the house so quiet and still? The 8 year old is living with Nani for some time now. The girls are separated, there is no physical interaction and hence no friction to disrupt the peace and quietude of the house. Now girls will be girls. Their fights are physical and vociferous in nature. They leave no stone unturned when it comes to calling each other names. Their wisdom sometimes lacks the basic knowledge of the laws of nature, the law of Gravity in particular. The way they hurl objects at each other can make Sir Isaac Newton roll in his grave. A fight between the two, mind you they are 5 years apart is game set match.

I see my childhood in them. Their constant brawls, the sibling rivalry and the constant kiss and makeup that lasts for barely an hour before they come to blows over the most frivolous of things again, reminds me of the times I spent with my brother. My brother is 7 years younger and was constantly on the receiving end. I am guilty of bullying him, hitting him, shouting at him. I am so sorry Ashu, there was a time in our lives when I was really mean to you. In my defence, I was a young teenager and still struggling with all the changes physical and mental those years bring. It is just that women have that innate ability of evening out the score in one way or the other. Now I have been guilty of being wrathful with my better half as well. On those days when I was being mean to him, I made for his bitter half really. The incessant taunts and callous remarks that I have inflicted on him every time I was in my post partum phase, calls for a public apology. Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Once again in my defence, I was a tired nursing insomniac.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, is a proverb not to be taken lightly and here's why-

The Curse Of Sita-

After Raja Dashrath's death, Bhagwan Sri Ram along with Sita and Laxman went to Gaya to perform the rituals of the Pind Daan. On the day of the pooja, Ram and Laxman went to the city to procure all the things required for the pooja. Sita sat on the banks of the river Phalgu, waiting for them to return. A few hours had passed, when Dashrath's soul appeared before her. Sita bowed to her father in law and asked him if he needed anything since the pind pooja was yet to start. Dashrath told Sita that he was very hungry and wanted something to eat. Sita requested him to wait till all the rituals were complete but Dashrath was famished and pleaded. A reluctant Sita reminded him, that if she were to give him anything to eat, it would mean that his pind daan would be done at her hands. Dashrath was getting impatient and readily agreed. Sita looked around, there was only sand everywhere. She asked him if he was ok with eating ladoos made of sand. Dashrath agreed and ate the ladoos that Sita made for him with her loving hands. Sita appointed 5 things as witnesses to the Pind Daan and fed Raja Dashrath, thus completing all the rituals and freeing him from worldly bondage.

The 5 witnesses were an old Brahmin, a Tulsi plant, the Phalgu river, the Peepal tree and a cow.

When Ram and Laxman got back from the city, Sita narrated to them the series of events. Now in the Hindu religion it is the prerogative of the eldest son, to perform the Pind Daan for his deceased father. A right, that Sita had taken away from the one person in the world who was known as Maryada Purushottam. A visibly infuriated Ram refused to believe Sita's story and called upon the witnesses. Everybody was petrified of Ram's wrath and found it easier to just refute Sita's story. It was only the Peepal tree, that stood by her and spoke the truth.

Now although, after a while, Ram made peace with the turn of events, Sita's anger and wrath knew no bounds. She cursed the old Brahmin, saying that old age would forever be surrounded with difficulties, the Tulsi was cursed to never be able to grow into a tree and remain a shrub forever, the cow was cursed to always be at the mercy of others and the Phalgu river was cursed to never have enough water.

Yes, women hold within them the power to change your destiny :) Behind every successful man is a woman and behind every successful woman, a man who plays by the rule- Ladies first!

Vijeta Gawdi.

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