Peace yet anger, acceptance yet ignorance, satisfaction yet unfulfilled desires and serenity of age yet playfulness of youth and what not ;I could see all this in Sita bai’s eyes in my recent visit to her. I always thought that with the change in yuga’s, lives change but maybe I was silly enough to forget that women’s lives are an exception. Treta yuga’s sita had faced the same institutions, the same society and the very same patriarchy which were borne by me, Draupadi from Dwapara yuga also.
For some moments her eyes were constantly staring me as if the mixed emotions which floated in her eyes were seeking an answer from me. But why me? How can a women who herself is entangled in her own life be an answer to Sita maa’s questions? Moreover isn’t a woman of treta yuga insufficient address the puzzles of a woman of Dwapara yuga?
After a long pause she said, in fact she asked me how justified was it for her to be born out of earth’s womb and thus not possess a ‘father’ and a ‘mother’. This question amused me because Sita didn’t realize that if she was born out earth ,I was born out of fire. Yet she was heartily accepted with affection by Janaka whereas I was considered an extra product and not so desirable by my father who did the yajna for a son not a daughter. I told her that by being accepted with affection by Janaka ,she was luckier than me by not living life of uselessness.
When Sita maa herself asked about the justification of birth, it gave me the confidence to ask if it was dharma to be made a wife of five men without my consent? She was polite enough to say that even her consent wasn’t considered when she was abandoned and sent to tapovanas in a pregnant state. Huh!! maybe our consent, our views and our acceptance never mattered to society. Sita’s simple but tricky answer raised a storm in me. Was it really like that? did women’s consent never mattered to society and their own family?
One event of my life whose justification and rightfulness will always haunt me is my cheerharan. I asked Sita ,how was it possible for such an infamous incident to take place in the presence so called the most learned people of society? Was it dharma to be disrobed in front of the whole clan? Do you know the pain of being disrobed in front of helpless husbands? How can they drag me in this when the issues in interest at that moment were entirely political? Sita maa answered each of my query with a question itself. She asked me that how was it possible to raise a question on my character in the presence of vanar sena,Laksmana and vibhishana?Was it dharma to raise a question only on my purity and not Rama when both of us had remained separated? Do you know the pain of being questioned on your chasteness by your husband itself? How can i be dragged in when the tension developed was that of between a Raja and praja and I was sent to forest in pregnant state?
Oh God!! we women live a life of confusions woven by the society itself. Today I realized that our problems , our difficulties and issues transcend the kala also. I always thought that i was the most suffered women but no , it’s not like that.
Probably Sita had sensed my confusions and maybe that is why she asked me to solve her query. She asked me that what would I have done if I would have been in her place and there were two choices-either to cross the Lakshmana rekha and serve the Brahmana or to stay inside and bear the ill words of a Brahmin.These tricky puzzles always remind me of Krishna and yes I would have thought of him and sought the solution from him .After all Krishna is so good in making and solving such tricks & puzzles.
My answer was probably not very convincing to Sita but maybe it was funny that’s why she smiled. And that heavenly smile captured my senses as well as raised a question and I asked her if beauty was really an asset for women because it became a cause for her abduction as well as my ill fate too .Oh God!!I was an idiot to ask this question as these words just faded her smile-that heavenly smile away.