Agneeya – A Worthy Descendant
The incandescent flow of the words from my soul to say the whole story of the sole hero of those woods and those rivers would quiver with shivering fright of not doing justice to the dawned star of mid-day who shone like the sun in forests, for the people who built shrines in their hearts for him since he was born, who raised him and gave him the horn of power, which he honored by being the best he could, that is, the best anyone would, without capitalizing the blind faith of the people of DakshinaAranya, he, the scion has led the decent people thrive with treasures and unjust, ruin.
“He is a great mean, isn’t he?” mused the agonizing mind of the youth whose shoulder was being band-aided in one of the caves of SeshaaGriha, painted by the flickering lights of kindled fire of decaying wood by the old man who lived with that shining star of the DakshinaAranya.
“How would the frail youth fathom the magnanimity of the quests devised and ridden by that luminous leader?” Hrikesha chuckled. The old man with creaking muscles walked past and forth the warrior who was sitting on the rock before him. “Agneeya,” the old man spoke, talking the youth’s wounded hand into his, “Do not talk of him,” he cleaned the blood that crept the hand like a rust of ancient mace. “You do not worth.”
Agneeya, the frame of his with which he could scare a hundred deadly warriors sat stunned listening to the old man’s instinctual comment. “I did not understand you,” he said, just like a person who wouldn’t get passionate at a comment which hurts his innermost self. Durjaya is his idol. Agneeya rose listening to his grandfather’s myths through the folktales. Till date, people of DakshinaAranya pray Durjaya as the mighty, unmatchable king of their lands. In myths he has raised to the stature of a Demi-God, who in the next thousand years would be called as a true myth, legend and a God who has walked on earth.
“That exactly is what I was saying,” Hrikesha said, tightening a cloth around the battered arm. “How would a frail youth understand the magnificence of DuraaKaala DhuraaDishaaDesha Aadesha Durjaya RudhiraaDhira?”
“Durjaya RudhiraaDhira,” Agneeya echoed in the silence. He stared at the rustling fire which was eating up all that was being given to it without a second thought. Fire is heavenly gift; as long as we kindle it and it is not kindled upon us. “Is it what he called?”
“Yes,” Hrikesha said, proud in his tone, wet in his eyes, quivering in his fingers and withering in his heart. The images of he serving Durjaya’s battle scars flashed before his eyes. When he was young, even though Hrikesha tried to enter the armed forces of Durjaya which was being strengthened just then, he couldn’t get in because of his unstable health; both physical and mental. But the devotion was evident on many occasion which were witnessed by Durjaya made Hrikesha closer to him. On a few occasions Hrikesha wore the armor of Durjaya to enter the battlefield distracting the enemies while Durjaya would ambush them in a most unexpected manner. Later, Durjaya would shoulder Hrikesha for his bravery, but all praises of his had a ting of fun in them.
“What happened?” Agneeya asked, eager to know what that was that’s going on in Hrikesha’s head that precise moment. Hrikesha hushed it off, not answering it. “I don’t know if we are going to get alive or not,” Agneeya continued. We are stuck in this mountain caves and now, with no army at hand, with all our people stuck at the other side of DakshinaAranya, I don’t know how we will cross the mountains and lakes and reach them on time without being caught by these. . .”
“KaalaKutakas. . .” Hrikesha added, sitting on the ground in the dark cave, cleansing his bloody hands with a wet cloth.
“Yes,” Agneegya nodded his head.
The Kaalakutakas was a clan which was completely vanquished by Durjaya Rudhiraadhira in one of his final battles which he fought along with Trinetrika Devi, the virgin princess of NarmiDesha, who loved Durjaya more than her own self, and was hailed as a heavenly-being born for Durjaya, and was looked upon as an incarnation of goddess Siri, for her rein has brought down rains, sprouted out grains and coins of gold were minted endlessly in the caves and mansions alike. “These Kaalakutakas are saplings of those great trees which were axed down by your grandfather.” Hriksha mumbled. “He destroyed them all before he perished off this realm.”
“His last war, right?”
“Last?” Hrikesha mumbled. “For RudhiraDhira, fights do not end. No, that was not his last.”
“When you wish to know about your grandfather’s last war, I should be telling you all about Trinetrika Devi of NarmiDesha.”
Trinetrika Devi – The Divine Virgin Princess of NarmiDesha
The times were of a plague. The woods of DakshinaAaranya, mountains of SheshaaGriha and the kingdom of Narmi; the NarmiDesha were being decayed. People were suffering with strange diseases and it was a time when people grieved that doom is upon them, it was a time when priests announced the God’s abandonment, and it was a time when holy cows turned into caves of bones and vultures have become predominant. The times were of a plague.
The king of NarmiDesha, JataaDriva, was lying on his golden bed of embedded jewels with his spine broken. With no male heir left to the throne, a deadly civil war stood at the brink of the throne. Barons, like vultures were waiting for the last breaths to escape the kings grip. The private armies were being assembled, patiently waiting to pour into the castles and kill everyone off before anyone can claim the throne. Chaos. People has become mere properties about whom no one really cared of. Power has started to take its toll over the weakened minds of those fake rulers. But JataaDriva is not an easy man to get crumbled. He is not a mindless ruler who would leave his kingdom at the brink of acivil war when he leaves. He had a daughter – Trinetrika – whom he has kept far from his own mansion and raised in the far away woods of DakshinaAranya, under the protection, care and in the training of MahaRiva, the father of Durjaya.
Apart from her occasional visits to the kingdom, she has spend most of her first eighteen years of life in the woods, with those people and along with them. No luxuries; even the king of DakshinaAranya – MahaRiva – himself lives in a thatched hut and they have their assembly at the river bank on the rock in an open ground. Trinetrika Devi has trekked the thorny hills with bare legs without frowning her brows, with her smile never going off. The child in her has always stayed calm and serene. She was always happy.
After she crossed her sixteen, seasonally, a messenger would come from NarmiDesha to DakshinaAranya and he would update all the political ongoing of the state. She would understand the maximum of it. She’s a prodigy. But the things which she found very complex to understand, estimate and predict, the great MahaRiva would sit beside her and explain. Nobility, chastity and bravery are prime. Nothing wrong should be done, if not to set something bigger wrong into right. Being playful and having a great time, she has learnt everything from MahaRiva. But that was not just her biggest asset. One thing which no one predicted was Durjaya RudiraaDhira, the son of MahaRiva and the unclaimed prince of DakshinaAranya was her closest acquaintance. His accomplishments in his childhood has awed everyone including MahaRiva at times. Two years younger to Trinetrika, he has always bee a secret behind her impulsive decisive strength in many subtle issues. “It might bring us problems,” if someone says this in their mock assembly, “Then it will be taken care by Durjaya,” was her unflinching answer.
At her eighteen, the time has come. The time has come that not any of the barons, but she, the daughter of JataaDriva, princess of DakshinaAranya, has to instill herself on the throne of the southern kingdom. The king, when he is still alive, wants to give the heir, so that the opposition would be a bit weaker, and if there is something, MahaRiva, who has taken care of Trinetrika like his own all these days, wouldn’t tolerate someone usurping against her coming on to the throne. And when the name of MahaRiva and his mighty army is heard in a war – which doesn’t generally happen – armies bow in DakshinaAranya and NarmiDesha, no one dares raising a sword up.
“My dad, the reverent king JataaDriva proposes that I, Trinetrika, his only daughter and the princess, takes the throne,” Trinetrika said to MahaRiva after reading the parched letter sent to her by JataaDriva.
“I always thought you set on the throne upright,” MahaRiva said, with a smile, placing his palm on her hand. “Take care of your people. You will sure be a great queen and your name would be written in golden letters in history.”
She thought for a while. Trying not to show her stumbling heart on her face, “What if I cannot handle it and problems arise in my kingdom?”
There just was a radiant smile on MahaRiva’s face. He took his eyes off her and stared at the corner of the room, “Then,” he said, with his voice filled with pride, “He will take care of it.” When Trinetrika turned to see whom MahaRiva was staring at, Durjaya was standing with his hands folded at the corner of the hut. “It is a promise being made by the king of DakshinaAranya, stading as the word of all my people,” then he said again, “Durjaya will come to take care.”