Chapter Twenty One

Queen Gandhari stood before the idol of Shiva, palms joined. Though only a few months pregnant, her belly was already large and she was having difficulty moving around. She needed assistance in doing the most basic tasks. The King and the queen mothers as well as the patriarch Bheeshma were worried about her health, but … More Chapter Twenty One

Chapter Twenty

The moon was a pale crescent, casting little in the way of light into the hut. It stood apart from the others, almost at the edge of the clearing, and the windows had shades unlike the other huts. A beam of the moonlight still found its way into the hut, but not enough to illuminate … More Chapter Twenty

Chapter Nineteen

The arrow buried itself into the target painted on to the tree. The arrow was a crude one, just a piece of wood sharpened till it looked more like a stake than an arrow. If not for the fletching of feathers at the end, no one would have taken it for an arrow. The target … More Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Eighteen

The forest was unfriendly, and wild, and to Kunti, used as she was to a life in a palace, this place seemed like an enemy. An enemy that sought not just to make life difficult, but which sought to end that very life. Time spent in the forest had not dimmed her dislike if it … More Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Seventeen

The streets were decorated with flowers and garlands hung at every corner. The whole city wore a festive atmosphere. Hastinapura was decked out like a new bride. There were celebrations at the palace too. Designs of flowers and coloured powders added to the decorations. “What’s the celebrations for?” Vasushena asked Radha as he helped her … More Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Sixteen

There was a nip in the air that day. The corridor through which King Dhritarashtra was led to his chambers by Vidura, was open on one side. It was partly a balcony that ran through the outer perimeter of the palace, before it made a right turn to enter the palace. The King and the … More Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Fifteen

The forest glade was quiet. The dasis and dasas were all asleep. The fire that was built in the centre of the clearing to keep away the animals was still burning brightly. One of the dasas wrapped in a blanket sat near it, to stoke it and to replenish it with firewood. In the large … More Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Fourteen

It was a warm day. There was a large area near the river which the children had earmarked for their playground. The girls had marked one corner for their own and the boys another. There was a common area, where both together had planted a garden. The children had marked the area for their own … More Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Thirteen

The palace of Hastinapura was glinting in the sun, though the glint did not affect the people gathered in its courtyard. The pavilion that was erected kept the sun from the assembled crowd, and the royal pavilion was shady enough for the newly crowned King and Queen of Hastinapura. Dhritarashtra sat erect on the throne, … More Chapter Thirteen