The Life that Never Was: Part Six

Vasusena bid farewell to his wife as he mounted his horse. It was not a tearful farewell. For the first time since the war was announced, there was hope in both their hearts.

He had decided to leave the chariot behind as he could go faster on horseback. He was also travelling light, taking only his weapons.

The forest was the only difficult part of the journey. But the path was a much travelled one and they had had no difficulty while coming. Though well trodden, the path did have a few places where they were forced to get down from the chariot and walk. The chariot had to be pushed in a few places. There was also an old and worn bridge which they had crossed one by one. Vasusena had first brought Padmavathy across, then unhitched the horses and brought them over one by one, tied them and then had pulled the chariot across. Fortunately the chariot was not heavy and the bridge held.

A lone traveller on horseback was not going to find it too difficult to traverse such places. So Vasusena anticipated a quick and easy journey. He also hoped that some decision regarding the war would have been reached by the time he gets back.

It was quite possible that things would still be at an impasse, thought he, as he rode back. If the King and Suyodhana both held firm, no decision might be possible in a day.

Of course, if the King stood firm, Suyodhana might not have much choice. His obduracy would not make any difference.

He frowned as the day darkened and dark clouds rolled overhead. His horse seemed restive too.

There was no shelter to be found anywhere on the way, he knew. But there was a guest house if he took a detour to the west. It was a more frequented path.

He turned his horse to the west. There was no point in taking chances.

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