Draupadi

"Jayadratha has killed Abhimanyu" comes the cry, and I hear my heart beating, I struggle with the urge to vomit, I hold my sons close: Prativindhya is Yudhisthira's son, Sutasoma is Bhima's son, Shruthakarman is Arjuna's son (he is my favourite), Satanika is Nakula's son, and Srutasena is Sahadeva's son. To lose them would be unbearable. Subhadra is wailing, I can hear her grief, Uttara is also wailing She is less than 16 years old and she will spend the rest of her life as a widow My heart breaks for the young girl.

"Who killed him?" I ask

"The final blow was struck by Durmashana." says Daumya Ah Duhshasana's son: Why does this not surprise me. Rage boils in my stomach… His father's blood will be the sweetest shampoo.

"But" Daumya continues "that was very much a group effort, for it is Jayadratha who made it impossible for Abhimanyu to escape the Chakravyuha."

"Jayadratha is the one responsible for Abhimanyu's death." I say it loudly so that my voice rings out and can be heard across the camp: all must know that Jayadratha is responsible, especially Yudhisthira. If he had not cared so much for Duhsala then Abhimanyu would be alive… Yet again Yudhisthira's unwillingness to pursue justice has harmed us… Jayadratha abducted me in the most brutal manner and Yudhisthira thought that a mere head shave was sufficient punishment, yet because of Yudhisthira's mercy to that monster, Abhimanyu is dead. I hold my sons closer, the thought of losing them is unbearable.

"Jayadratha is responsible for Abhimanyu's death." I am yelling now. It is the only way I can be heard above Subhadra's wailing and Uttura's cries.

Jayadratha's humiliation and abduction of me may not have been sufficient to merit death in the eyes of my husbands, yet somehow I do not think that Arjuna will take the death of his son as easily as Yudhisthira took my abduction. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil-for the death of Abhimanyu who was loved by all-was for good men like Yudhisthira to do nothing.

"Arjuna is returning with Krishna" When Daumya says this I know that

The only way to defeat the combined forces of bad men like Duhsana and Jayadratha, is for good men like Arjuna and Krishna to associate; else good men will fall, one by one like Abhimanyu, in an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

Arjuna

"I will bring about a solar eclipse" says Krishna, for Krishna, everything is possible, although he cannot bring back Abhimanyu, my son his nephew, I want to weep, and I know that I cannot rest until Jayadratha's head falls on Vridhakshtra's lap. I would rather jump onto a funeral pyre then spend another night and day on a world where Jayadratha draws breath. As the sun is covered by the moon-and was not Abhimanyu as beautiful as the moon-it darkens and Jayadrath emerges from his tent, where the coward has been hiding.

"You great fool Arjuna" comes his voice, he has a harsh Sindhi accent, which I find myself hating irrationally "making a vow that would result in your own death, it's night fall and I am still living." He gloats, as he gloated after he abducted Draupadi, and I am furious that I allowed him to live after that.

"It is not Nightfall for me Jayadratha" I say as the sun reemerges from behind the moon "but for you" and I fire Pashupatastra and with a single stroke Jayadratha's head flies back off his neck into his tent. At that I hear Vridhakshtra's yelp in surprise, and I know that Abhimanyu has been avenged.

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