Monday, September 5, 2011

Chanakya's Sacrifice - A short story

She sat waiting by the window. But he had not turned up. The streets were deserted. It was a cold and quiet night. Most of the lamps had been extinguished. People were deep in their slumber. A small lamp was all she had kept for herself and that too was threatening to blow out, leaving her alone in darkness. Finally, with a sigh Suvasini gave up. Why is he doing this to me? She asked herself for the umpteenth time. He promised….and yet I could read his mind. He was merely avoiding an argument. Chanakya never really loved me.Magadha’ and ‘Akhand Bharat,’ are all his mind has been occupied with…since… She did not want to remind herself of the painful past. So she tried shutting her thoughts.

But they leapt back taunting her.  She directed all her anger towards the love of her life. He really can go to any extent for it. And how he has used me!  That cunning and shameless Brahmin. What had I seen in him? That queer poker faced man with protruding teeth and large piercing eyes. What did I have to fall for him when I could have had any man? I must’ve been mad. I am mad. Despite chiding herself she knew she had loved him with all her heart.
Have I not already suffered enough? Does not Vishnu realize what torture and humiliation I must have undergone since the day my beloved father was treacherously captured? And now he wants me to marry that uncouth Rakshahas? What about me? What about my feelings? I love him. And I am paying a price for loving him blindly. Why? Am I just another one of his pawns in the scheme of things? Feeling extremely upset and sad at not getting an audience with her childhood sweetheart, Suvasini cursed Chanakya. May he rot in hell! May all his knowledge becomes useless for the future generations and fades into oblivion. And as if she knew her curse was no more than a lament, she wept. For the first time since she had become a Nartiki at King Dhanananda’s court, she wept openly. She knew they would never meet after tonight. Her fate was sealed as was his. The knowledge grieved her. She wanted to die. But then there was no escape. She couldn’t die. There were greater responsibilities to be fulfilled and she had made a promise. She could not die like a coward. Even if meant she would have to sacrifice her love. She cried without restrain. That was all she could do. She let the bitterness and sadness flow. She cried for herself, her father and the love she had lost forever. Her softhearted Vishnu was dead. What the world now witnesses is the heartless Chanakya!

Chanakya picked up the lota of milk and drank directly from it. The milk was sweet and cold. Chanakya almost gulped it down and finished the milk in matter of minutes. It was still dark. He had skipped both his meals and was hungry and thirsty now. His trusted disciple had brought him some fruits earlier but he had refused even that. The day had been very busy. There were preparations to be made. Everything needed to be planned carefully. One little slip of tongue or careless action could change the course of history.

Sauvasini must be cursing me. My beautiful Suvas! With large innocent eyes and petulant lips. My moody Suvas.  How she loved to fight with me. But she was always a bad loser. Deep in thoughts Chanakya smiled at the old memory he seldom allowed himself the pleasure of. But I used to love to be defeated by her. Just to see her smile. So many times, I had troubled her before begging her forgiveness. She was always kind to me and forgave me always with a smile. My sweet Suhas! My childhood was beautiful only because she was there. I did everything just to make her feel proud of me.

His features softened as he was lost in his past. But suddenly, jerking himself, as if he could not bear it any longer, he cruelly pushed down the memories from his childhood.

 How times have changed? I am no longer the Vishnu. They took him away when they brutally killed my dear father. My loving and gentle father. They took him away when they decided to plunder Magadha and cause its ruin. Chanakya was born. And Chanakya has a great mission.  I cannot give in to my heart’s foolish cries. He reminded himself. I must forget her. She’s the only one my heart will truly belong to. The only woman I will ever love. But I cannot give in now. The ruthless resolve was back.

One wrong move on my part would cost me Magadha. It would cost me Akhanda Bharat, (United India). He continued contemplatively. All that I have dreamt of and diligently worked for will collapse like a pack of cards. I must not listen to my heart. Oh Suvasini, how much I love you! And to bear the pain of losing you forever, how shall I live without you! But I must sacrifice you. Forgive me my darling. You are and will remain my only love. With these thoughts still lingering in his mind, he left the small window, by which he was standing. The dawn was nearing, he decided to rest. He had much to do.  

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