Nirbhaya, the bhata has lost a leg and is in care of Nirvaira’s family. He decides to abduct Nirvaira’s daughter to end delaying tactics. Is it his Dharma or Kama ?
The man who has no enemy
I miscalculated the man without enemies. After I began walking with one wooden and one muscled leg by myself, he avoided Srijanee staying alone with me. She was always with her mother whenever I was resting. When I played or walked with Srijanee Nirvaira always kept close without fail. In the night my wooden leg was removed and my sword was already hidden somewhere I could not trace in weeks. Ilika slept after I slept and Nirvaira woke before I woke. When I consumed more vegetables or herbs purposefully, Nirvaira went to the market along with Srijanee. He was astute like an adept bhata who would track his assailants before they could sniff him.
The only option was to put out Nirvaira or his wife. I could not harm Ilika because I , as a crippled was weaker than a woman. I only needed an opportunity to break Nirvaira’s wooden leg and enough time to snatch Srijanee before he could put on a replacement.
Nirvaira sometimes went downstream Kalyani to fetch the iron ores with the son of the boatman. I got my first lead for the iron mine. One day, Nirvaira asked me to build a boat for the family of the drowned boatman. That was, my opportunity.
Building a boat is an exhausting task, especially for two crippleds. You have to find the right tree for the timber and saw it in right proportions. Then you need iron for the anchor and ballast. Finally the wood and the irons needs to be attached by nails and chain. In the next few months I became a novice carpenter and a smith. In due course I also built a small bow and arrows with iron tips without Nirvaira ever knowing it. I hid the arrows and the bow under a nailed timber. The day we shall go to the village with him to deliver the new boat to the boatman’s family I will detach Nirvaira’s wooden leg with an arrow.
Today Nirvaira has asked me to visit the Banyan tree with him. The tree has spread at the center of the island. We arrive at the root of the tree and Nirvaira brings out my steel which he hid within tree and asks
“Why do you want the mine ?”
I did not expect this. “You will not understand.”
“How would you know that without proposing your scheme ?”
“You are just a bhata who abandoned his Kama. The Kama of a bhata is standing alive at the side of the victor. That moment can only give Artha to a bhata . It does not matter whether you have one leg or two. I, with my king will end the war by defeating everyone with the iron from the mine.” I berate again.
“A bhata who wants to end the war ” Nirvaira laughs “Doesn’t your purse size increases with war ? Do you need a larger purse ?”
“I am just tired of fighting.” I respond calmly.
“No, you are blind, too blind to see that the wars do not end with more iron. Your kings are afraid that they will lose their lands or treasuries. They believe in scarcity not in abundance. They create wars to reduce scarcity and mass produce weapons to reduce war. War will never end because if war end anger of the people will axe the kings.”
“My king is different. The queen with her child died during childbirth because of blood loss. He never married again and only cares about his subjects.”
“So what has he done for his subjects ?”
“Built temples for the benevolence of gods and statues to honor the fallen brave warriors in the war. ”
“Did it stop the flood, the famine or the war ? Your king only engraved his name on stones.”
I will not allow Nirvaira to insult my selfless king. “And you who abandoned the kama of a bhata to raise a family, now a coward hiding in an island and selling spades, should not be lambasting well-earned glory of warriors .”
Nirvaira is still calm after my enraged reply. “Your gaze does not fall on people around you, does it ? You are fighting for your glory that will be granted by the king. Ending the war is your Kama because you are doing it because you are tired. A storm was in the horizon. You knew that and yet you bribed the poor boatman to drown in the river. My family who has nourished you for ten months, You are plotting to hurt them.” Nirvaira reveals something that my Kalpa never will. “Have you even looked at yourself ?”
Nirvaira leaves me there alone under the banyan tree. I stand in silence without retaliating. Do I seek glory ? Respect and love from the King ? Is that my Kama ? If I want to end the war then is this the only way ?
I do not have time. I have to carry out my plan. Goddess Abheepsa, whose womb creates universes, may she immaculate Daiva.