If you have a problem, fix it. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing. - Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The path of truth: 10

[A novella based on the Ramayana and S R D Prasad's Bharatakaandam in Malayalam; continued from the previous post]

C K Kerala Varma

XIII. The final journey

Some of our provinces on the banks of the river Sindhu were under the threat of attack. Rama asked me to drive away the invaders. I took my two sons along. It would be a good lesson in warfare for them. It was a well-fought battle that we won on the seventh day. Come to think of it, this was the only battle that I had led. After the war, I stayed on for five years training my two sons in statecraft. My elder son Taksha took over Takshasila. My second son Pushkala was given Pushkalavata. I returned to Ayodhya confident that the two boys were well settled in their new roles.

When I reached Ayodhya, Rama said it was time for the sons to take over. He agreed to my suggestion to make Lava and Kusha the rulers of the North and the South of Kosala. Mathura went to Subahu and Vaidisha to Shatrukhadi. Lakshmana’s sons Chandraketu and Angada took over two other provinces.

We had reached the end of our life’s journey. Lakshmana was the first to go. My wait on the banks of Sarayu will soon be over with the coming of Rama and Shatrugna. Am I happy that I have had a complete life? I have churned this ocean of life seeking the immortality of gyan and karma, overcoming the temptations of mohini-lust, iravat-power and lakshmi-lucre. I have been a prince; I have been a hermit. Have I led equally well my extremely austere life as an ascetic and the worldly life as a prince, a husband and a father? Did I have the inner peace of an ascetic and the bliss of a family man? Did I ever do anything that was not fair, that was not just? My mother and my brothers Rama and Lakshmana had misunderstood me. What did I do to deserve that? Let me now hope that I’ve laid at rest all such notions of my ambition. I can hear the sounds from my brothers’ procession. Louder is the call of the river, inviting me on her divine flow to the sea of truth.

[C K Kerala Varma is a friend of mine and a senior officer in the State Bank of India. This is the thriteenth and last chapter of his novella. Please go back in this blog if you wish to read the previous chapters. Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri]


  1. No!! How could it end so soon ? Our hearts pining for more !! I'll have to go all over it again (and again) in hard!

  2. I share your feeling, Kaushik. I have read the novella many a time while cutting and pasting it for my blog. I too feel sorry that it has ended.

  3. Thanks, Kaushik & Santanu. Like I said earlier, this story never ended in the last 2500 years nor will it in the next 2500. There's no black and white here, only the grey presence, the grey present. What's feel-good about the end is the way GenNext (8 of them) took over without even a suggestion of rancor or acrimonia.

    I'm indebted to Santanu for giving my novella a window that opened to minds of remarkable sharpness and sensitivity, that let in breezes of opinion in all hues.

  4. I just completed reading the whole of it. Such a remarkable piece of work! So simply written, in such a comprehensive, lucid and fresh jacket like read never before perhaps. Mr. Kerala Varma has given his point of view in such a measured tone that is perfectly in rhythm with this generation, i think..

    Thank You, Jethu, for publishing this wonderful thing! :)

  5. Thanks, Sayantani, for your generous comments.
    Ramayana is a celebration of man and nature. Prakrti, the female and purusha, the male. Purusha becomes divine when he mimics prakrti. Ramayana describes Rama thus: He is strong as the mightiest mountain (Himalaya), immeasurable as the deep sea, bright as the day, beautiful as the night, enduring as the earth and fierce as fire. He is as bright as the sun’s might and the moon’s benign light.

    “The limitless nature and omnipresent God are indistinguishable from each other” (Atharvaveda)

  6. it was really good to read ramayana written in such a beautiful manner.. and we are really waiting for the next part. you have expressed it soo well..

  7. I just want to say how much I have enjoyed this novella, you have given us something wonderful to read and reflect upon. But yes, it HAS ended too soon I am going to re-read this whole thing again! Thanks so much :)

  8. Thanks, Vaishnavi. Your comments are special and precious because you've been regularly blogging (Dust Jacket) on some of the best writings in the world. Please send your email id to keralav@hotmail.com so that i can send you my novella as an attachment.


I will be happy to read your views, approving or otherwise. Please feel free to speak your mind. Let me add that it might take a day or two for your comments to get published.