Monday, April 20, 2015

A-Z April Challenge 2015: Q for QUEEN DAMAYANTI’S SWAYAMVAR

Q for Queen Damayanti's swayamvar
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Queen Damayanti stared unseeingly at the garden from the window of her chamber. All the riches in her father’s kingdom and her adoring children did not stop her from missing her husband. They had shared twelve years of happiness. Twelve years in which they had lived as one soul in two bodies.

Alas, he had left her alone in the forest. Of course, Damayanti knew that Nala loved her more than his own life. He hadn’t left her for a better life. She knew that he had left her so that she did not have to undergo the suffering along with him. A deep sigh came up from the depths of her being. Where was he?

A bizarre idea took shape in her head as Damayanti’s eyes began to sparkle. She snapped her fingers before turning around to call out to her maids. Her step was lighter as she got ready to go meet the king, her father. It was time to hold another swayamvar. Yes, a swayamvar for Queen Damayanti this time as against Princess Damayanti. Despite the passage of almost two decades, despite being the mother of two growing children, Damayanti looked young and beautiful. And there were even the Gods lusting after her.

The king sent out the invitation, knowing of his daughter’s intention. He prayed from the depth of his heart that Damayanti was reunited with her husband King Nala.

The day of the swayamvar dawned. Indra, Varuna, Yama and Agni had come down to earth to try their luck at securing Damayanti’s hand, at least this time round. They were all happy that Nala was not in the running this time round. Dwarf Bahuka rode Ayodhya King Rituparna’s chariot as the king of Ayodhya was also keen to participate in the swayamvar. Bahuka wondered what his wife was getting at. Yes, it was Nala who had attained the form of a dwarf due to a snake bite. Had Damayanti given up on husband? Didn’t she have faith that he would return to claim her?

Damayanti watched from her window as the kings and Gods arrived for the swayamvar. But the face that she sought was missing. Her disappointment was acute.

Just then, her maid brought her a bowl of cooked meat. The aroma was titillating to say the least. Moreover, it was familiar. Hope flowered in Damayanti’s heart as her appetite returned with a vengeance. As she took a bite of the dish, a wide smile broke out on her face. Her husband was back. Her maid took her to the kitchen to point out the dwarf Bahuka and informed the queen that it was he who had cooked the meat.

Damayanti walked into the kitchen to face Bahuka, much to the surprise of the palace cooks. She lifted the swayamvar garland and placed it on his neck. Lo and behold! Bahuka was transformed into the tall, fair and handsome Nala. Queen Damayanti’s joy knew no bounds as she was reunited with the love of her life.



Check out some of my favourite bloggers who are also participating in A-Z April Challenge 2015

I Luv Fiction by Ruchi Singh

38 comments:

  1. Fascinating tale! I can somehow see this one as a comic book with illustrations.

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    1. :D Thank you Devika. Amar Chitra Katha has come out with a comic book on Nala-Damayanti's story.

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  2. I had never heard of this story. Happy to know that her faith in her love was vindicated and rewarded too.

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    1. So am I! Thank you for stopping by Cynthia :)

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  3. What a lovely story to start the day with :)

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    1. Thank you so much Fee! So glad you liked this story :)

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  4. True love always reunites. Fascinating tale of Damayanti :)

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    1. Yeah, I agree with both points Prasanna. Thank you for stopping by :)

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  5. Did this really happen? If in that age a married woman with an estranged husband decided to get remarried & the turnout of prospects was such, then why in our so-called advanced age is it a taboo ?
    I did the same thing Devika, imagined everything in comic illustrations :D

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    1. It is a tale from Indian mythology. From what I find when I am checking wikipedia, the particular lineage seems to have existed. Only God knows if the tale was true or not. One thought did cross my mind though. The lifespan in yonder years was much more. So, two decades in Damayanti's life wouldn't have aged her much set against a lifespan of a few hundred years. :)

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  6. Wow, this was quite a love story! Fabulous.

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  7. Awww such a wonderful story!!

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  8. Oh! Wow! That was a lovely story!

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  9. What a wonderful story :) True love always finds a way :)

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  10. A lovely romantic tale, Sundari! The first time around,at her Swayamvar, Damayanti was able to choose Nala as her husband even though the Gods had come down to attend it and try their luck, all disguised as Nala, right? I vaguely remember that story.

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    1. You are right Deepti. She could identify the Gods because of their unblinking gaze (in the lines of #PK ;) )
      Thank you :D

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  11. Did not know of the tale, so I definitely enjoyed how you have woven it, Sundari. Any twists here?

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    1. A bit of a modification while describing it. Otherwise, no twists. Thank you Vinay :)

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  12. Love is truly magical! Great that he could cook so well! Wonderful love!

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    1. Thank you Inderpreet. Yeah, lucky Damayanti :)

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  13. He is definitely a keeper if you can tell his apart by his cooking! :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. I totally agree! Thank you for stopping by Tarkabarka Holgy :)

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  14. ohh..is that why a good gourmet is called Nalapaka? I did not know of this tale, but Nala are Damayanti are somehow connected to the Mahabharata, no?

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    1. Not gourmet. Nalapakam means exceptional food! Most of the kings seem to belong to the Surya or Chandra races - either ancestors or descendants of the kings in Ramayana and Mahabharata. Otherwise, no specific connection.

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  15. Wow what a tale. I had not heard this one. Just goes to show that we should never judge a book by it's cover.

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  16. This story is new to me. You have told it beautifully.

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    1. A story that you don't know??????? I am impressed with myself now. :D
      Thank you Ina

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  17. I had never heard this sequel to the Nala Damyanti story. How adorable!

    *Shailaja/Alternate Angles/A-Z*

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    1. Thank you Shailaja! I also recently came across this one :)

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