Reading the Mahabharata by the Tungabhadra - Day 11#
Oh Suyodhana! Oh, Suyodhana!
Why won’t you listen to them? When Sanjaya gave you the message sent by DharmaRaja, why did you mock him? When Krishna Vasudeva himself descended with mighty Rishis, why did you ridicule his offer of peace? When even the mighty Bhimasena sent you word of reconciliation, why did you laugh at him?
Oh Duryodhana! Did you think that Karna, stripped of his Kavacha and Kundala, could stand up against the likes of Dhananjeya?
Oh Kouravya! Did you believe that Bhishma could forgo his vow to not hurt Shikandi?
Oh son of Gandhari! Did you think after defeating the mighty son of Jamadagni, Gangeya was peerless?
Today, after eleven days of reading, I finally reached the beginning of the battle. My fingers trembled with the anticipation, I laughed coldly as Karna chided Kunti as she came to beg him to side with his brothers. I shook with trepidation as Bhishma accounted the time he fought Rama of the Battle Axe. I shook my head as Gandhari cursed her son to doom as she declared that he was lost to her at the hands of the Pandavas.
In the aftermath of the palla-puja here in Hampi, after the annual engagement ceremony of Virupaksha and Uma, all is silent. The only visitors are lonely tourists, who seem to be lost here.
Today, I went to read the Mahabharata by the Tungabhadra and I did. I sat cross legged on a mound in plain sight of the hill I ascended yesterday and the mountain I will ascend tomorrow, as I read the portents of Duryodhana’s downfall.