ImageThe breeze felt warm and shadows came alive, it was as if each shadow had a story to tell.

Kathanika, had just finished reading the story of Nagamandala the much acclaimed play by Dr.Girish Karnad. The abstractness amused her .An untold story coming to life asking to be told.

“Well, the bird sings because it has a song”

“Says who”

“Mary Angelou”

Kathanika looked at the woman who invaded her privacy both in the physical world and somewhere in the realm of her thoughts.  And the answer Mary Angelo did not go with the woman in front of her, this woman was clad in hand-woven sari her long stresses caressing her she looked like she was from another era.

“And you are”

“What would you like to call me?”

“I don’t know what you are called.” The woman smiled “”okay you know me as Savitri”

“Haa! Sati Savitri,”

“If you choose to say so”

“Satyavaan Savitri”

“If you choose to say so, let’s talk about you before we talk about me”

My story wondered Kathanika, there was nothing much to her story, she was married off to  Manas because she was in love with him, now she wanted to divorce him because over the year she discovered that he was sick, a sick soul though he did love her the way his upbringing permitted him.

“Maybe you would disapprove of me”

“Why would I Kathanika, you don’t know my story”

“Yes I do you fought the God of death to bring your husband back to life.”

Savitri smiled, so that is the story, what were told after the story?

“I was told I should face hardships like you to save my marriage and husband.”

“Do you think I did right?”

“I don’t know Savitri right now I am at a place where my husband has a year at the maximum to live, I can donate my kidney and save him, but I don’t want to.  To tell you the truth I was planning to leave him before he fell sick.”

“This Kathanika is my sorrow every story teller has twisted me in his tale to so much that I am no more recognizable. Probably the story teller from Auroville came the closest to me and my persona, but he could not help making a Goddess out of me either.”

“I do not understand”

I did share my story with the sage of Auroville,

Kathanika, my story is very similar to yours, I was the daughter of Ashwapathy a King who brought me up with strong sense of right and wrong, he also taught me not to judge or preach but just be who I am and transform people.

When I fell in love with Sathyavaan, the Bard Narad warned my father that Sathyavan was not the right choice for he was saddled with a father who was blinded with ignorance and greed hence he was called Dhumatsaketu or the smoky one.  Sathyavaan himself was so activated by his father and his father’s thinking that he his self image, and sense of right and wrong or what we call as conscience was dying. The rate he was breaking he would hardly last a year before he breaks down completely.

What I did was to just be me, it took me almost a year to transform Dhumatsaketu, and it was a battle of wits and tact. With both the son and father. Then one day we had to go out to the forest and Sathyavan had reached his all time low. He was exhausted and collapsed.

Slowly and softly I asked him, what was that he wanted in his life, and talked of life instead of death, I spoke to him of the joy of living and sharing, a vision of future and hope how we could transform our lives as long as we wanted it. It took me almost the night but I could bring him back.

“So you did not argue with the Lord of Death”

“In a way I did, I spoke of living, to spoke to Sathyavan of the children we would have the kingdom we would reign with each of these he came back to the world of living.”

“Even Sri Aurobindo said you fought death”

“Yes, and you chose not to listen, I fought the act of giving up, I fought and dispelled that and not mortal death. It is about the conscience and right choice; it is about living and not existing.”

“So what is that you want from me now?”

“Kathanika, I do not want anything from you, but I want you to know when you say Savitri you are not talking about giving up you are not talking about sacrifice, you are talking choice.”

“Like”

“I chose to marry Sathyavan, and when he was giving up on life I chose to bring him back, not for him, not for the tradition but for me, because I loved Sathyavan. I choose which war I wanted to fight the Lord of death, it was either the war to keep Sathyavan alive, or it would be a war to deal with my conscience. Letting Sathyavan go would be compromising or killing my conscience that was a battle I did not want to fight.”

…..”And there was Savitri who fought for her marriage.”Manas grandmother was sniffing declaring her displeasure about Kathanika not wanting to donate her kidney.

Kathanika smiled to herself, she knew what Savitri came to tell her, it was her choice, 

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