Every time I read about this mythological character, and no matter what it may be, I find myself indulged in solving all the puzzles associated with her life; and it always leaves me mesmerised, the way character is dignified. In this process I picked this book “THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. This novel is one among the best lot for person like me, who want to relate to this character as a human, not a deity.
Draupadi, one of the most powerful personality mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. Termed ‘mythological’ along with all the characters of the epic. Yet there is something in this character that has always captured the attention of writers across the globe.
Draupadi, a title that is honour as well as dishonour at the same time if it is ever bestowed upon a woman. A woman who was considered to be the most attractive woman of her era. A fire born girl who was destined to change the history of Aryawarta, whose life was full of all the prosperities- and adversities that a woman could ever imagine in her life. Born out of the fire of yagya in the wish of a son, yajnaseni was rejected by her father even before she stepped out of the fire. But under the protection and guidance of her sakha ‘dwarakadhish’, she embarked her journey. She was the empress of the most magnificent palace of Aryawarta.
Wife of five pandava brothers, still unacceptable in modern days, but dated back some 4000 years, she accepted her destiny and carried out in such a honourable way that she is recognised among the pious woman of Indian mythology.With Yudhisthir she was a sharp,witty politician talking about politics and management, with Bheem who loved her unconditionally she took part in cooking and prepared his favorite food, and with her favourite the hero of epic-Arjuna she discussed about competition, war, strategies because she knew for Arjuna, his heroic identity is essential and apparently she was right. Arjuna was chosen one- like Draupadi, by Lord Krishna himself.
Similarly for handsome Nakul, she praised him for his attractive personality and talked to him about animals because she knew Nakul was fond of animals; and with Sahadev -the most genius and wise among pandavas she preferred to keep quiet because she enjoyed listening to the unknown facts which Sahadev curiously unlocked before her.
But in-spite of all her sacrifices her destiny has never been mild towards her. Although she gave birth to five pandava sons,but she had never been a mother to them due to her responsibilities towards her five husbands who were exiled to forest for 13 years. When the choice came before her to chose between her husbands, with whom she had no idea how worse the life can be in forests, and her sons, with whom she had to go her father’s palace… she chose her husbands. Apart from her duties as a wife , it was her urge for revenge- vengeance that made the choice easier before her.
A queen who was always carried out with foremost delicacy and honour, whether it was her Panchal, Varnawrta or Indraprastha, couldn’t have ever imagined that one day she will be dragged and pulled out with her hair, in a hall full of her relatives and her own husbands. She was thrown as a possession before the Kauravas after she was lost in a game of dice; and ordered to devoid her of her clothes… biggest shame a woman could ever imagine to face. It is said that the curse which fell upon Hastinapur on that shameful day, due to insult of Draupadi brought the biggest destruction of ages. For more than thirteen years her long matted hair remain untied reminding pandavas of her disgrace. Her helplessness in the hall full of kuru warriors turn into the destruction of entire era. she is still blamed for the historical destruction. But if it is so, why Shri Krishna stood with her throughout her journey protecting her? Krishna was protecting her sakhhi, who was born to settle dharma in the motherland and bring a new phase of time, changing the course of Dwaparyuga. The destruction was written, she was a chosen tool to carry out the task- just like Arjuna.
Every person is ‘a chosen one’ by the lord; but there remain some impressions in history which are unforgettable- and can never be ignored.