The Life That Never Was: Chapter Four

Their journey was uneventful. Vasusena was worried about what might happen. Suyodhana would do his best to dissuade his father, and as a rule, Dhritarashtra never denied his son anything, but this time might be an exception.

Vasusena found himself hoping that the war would not happen. But for how long? He wondered. The cousins were incapable of living in peace. Sooner or later, war was the only solution.

He knew he was being selfish when he hoped there would be peace. He would not need to choose sides. He would not be in a position where he had to fight his own brothers.

He frowned. When had he started to think of them as his brothers?

“You are frowning,” said Padmavathy softly. She had been silent till then.

Vasusena looked at her and his frown disappeared. He smiled at her. “It is of no moment,” said he. “My mind refuses to stop thinking of what might happen back in Kurukshetra.”

“Would you be terribly disappointed in your wife if I tell you that I hope there won’t be any war?”

He shook his head, turning his attention back to the horses. “None of the women might be wishing for war, except one.”

“I think you wrong her,” said Padmavathy gently. “I do not know her very well, but from what I have seen and heard, your sister does not seem to be bloodthirsty. And what happened to her was enough to make any woman angry and vengeful.”

Vasusena spoke no word but the word rang in his ear. Sister! Padmavathy was right of course. Draupadi, the wife of his younger brothers was his sister. And was it not his duty as a brother to avenge her? Shouldn’t he be trying to promote war?

He sighed and slumped a bit. It was not easy to know what to do. Not that there was anything for him to do now. He was here and there was no way to know what was happening.

He straightened his back. The decision would be made without him. And all he had to do was to accept it. Either he would need to live with it or he would need to fight his own brothers and perish. And in spite of his ambivalent feelings for Draupadi, he still hoped that there would not be war.


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