"Hello you may not know me, but I have been seeing you sitting here since long, I think quite a few centuries, I am Keshavati Krishnaa. You must be Bhoomi".
"Yes I am, how did you know me" ?
"I have heard a lot about you, all the others out there, always keep talking about you. They say you always prefer sitting all by yourself, so many times I have seen you just sit there, lost in your own thoughts. Is there something that still bothers you, even after this long"?
Bhoomi looks up, with a far away sad look, "I have nothing more to keep bothering my mind anymore, but yes, i do feel sad, because nothing much has changed since i came here. In fact feel this barren lifeless place is a far better abode than the one down there, with all its color, and attractions. They only induce more greed and desire, leading to many more to pay the price like us all here. At least now in this barren empty space there is some sort of shelter, I have also seen you sit but with a lot of anger bottled up within you, even after you have been here, for quite some time. This place is supposed to be nothingness, yet you seem to be carrying a big weight, may I ask you why, if you do not mind sharing. By the way, Keshawati Krishnaa, thats a long name, and where are your tresses, I mean you have been named Keshawati, right. Can I call you KK? I have heard many new entrants to this place call each other with short forms of their names."
KK gives a husky laugh," Yes, you may call me KK, I like that, and I had chopped off my tresses long before I came here, did not want to have anything to do with that which claims to enhance my beauty and also become the means for my doom."
"Doom? What had happened, I mean, I had heard some thing about you being molested and a big war happened because of you, the beings outside this land was discussing when I overheard one day, but I know thats not all true, I mean the real truth must be something else, what is it, please tell me if you do not mind"?
Whats there to mind Bhoomi, aren't we all here after facing similar fate. Where do i start. I was from a politically powerful, influential lineage, I had the best of upbringing, having knowledge of all the sciences, in fact I was far better than any man out there in every skill that they could boast off. My times were a bit more modern than yours, so I had the right to choose, at least that's what I thought. My best friend was a man, I could depend on him for everything and it was he who influenced me to choose one of his friends in my swayamwara. He was looking for a good support for his friend and their family, & my lineage could give them that support. In return I would have one of the most handsome man , the most brave and skilled warrior of his time, and also a very learned man as my spouse. So although it was called a swayamwara, I didn't have any choice. Of course I knew My friend would always do that what is right for me as well as his dear friend, so I followed his advice. But my happiness had started getting eclipsed as soon as the wedding was over. You see the man I married was a prince in disguise, with his four other brothers, and they were victims of family inheritance disputes. With the support of my lineage they could again stand up right and make fresh claims to their property. But fearing further division, this time between her own sons, my new husband's mother insisted that I marry all the other four sons too. This custom was prevalent in some communities during my times. It was their way of keeping the family and property together. She also thought, having me, a very beautiful woman all to just one brother might make the other brothers jealous, so that was the best solution she could offer to keep her sons together".
Bhoomi sounded a little surprised,"Oh, but then what about the man who married you, didn't he object, and your friend? I mean marriage means taking some wows. And what about your father, did he agree"?
"Huh, father, husband, friend, all are men after all. Father saw that he would get five strong, skilled warrior sons-in-law, my friend convinced him, saying once they get the kingdom, they will rule the world, with their righteousness, valor and sense of good justice. As for me I was now married to the third brother, but if married to all, I would be the empress, that would also add more power to my father's kingdom. My friend always believed in the good of the whole society, and he believed any sacrifice for that will only be an added good Karma, getting merits to move on into more higher conciousness. He did not want anything or anyone to come between the unity of these five brothers, not even me his other best friend. His plans were higher, to unite the whole land under one umbrella, with good governance, and i was just another piece of the whole monument. My mother really didn't have anything to say, she was after all another woman".
"Yeah, that i know. Then what happened"?
"I had to accept for the overall goodness to prevail in the society, after all in case a dispute ever broke up between the brothers, whether i have any role in it or not, I would be blamed, isn't it? We women are considered the reason for the wandering minds of men, even after so much of meditations and spiritually moving ahead, most men fail in self control. Of course after marriage all my husbands doted on me, it was really difficult for me most times to keep all of them equally satisfied, but together we all were happy. They also got married to other individual ladies, each having a wife to call their own, and they did go off to live with them often. My third husband also married to our dear friend's sister, and both my friend and my husband said it was purely political alliance, although they did have a son. I adored the kid, after all what was he to do, it was only my fate. I did feel betrayed by my friend though. It did hurt a lot, but there was nothing much i could do. I was aware of the political turmoil going on in the kingdom on the other hand, then came the division of the land, we had to settle for a barren one, which my husbands along with their loyal subjects and our dear friend turned it into a splendid city. My older husband was a very learned man, but also a loved his booze and gambling. Although he did rule our country well, people were happy in his rule. Fearing our growing power in the region, my husbands relatives, ruling the neighbouring land invited us over for a state visit and a gambling duet. My husband lost everything. His cousins had a roving eye, and i was subjected to their nastiness many a times. Whenever I disclosed this to my husbands, they dismissed them as mere eve teasing by cousins. I used to seethe with anger and frustration, but no one cared. Behind our backs they called me a whore for having five husbands, and thought if five, then why not five more, after all, its all within the family isn't it? On that fateful day my oldest husband staked me and lost again, now along with them I too became a slave. I was now an easy prey, and was dragged into a hall full of courtiers, and elders of the clan, and the king as well. They wanted to disrobe me. My husbands watched but their 'values" stopped them from intervening, as now they and I were a slave to these people. My friend had heard about us coming to this kingdom for a gambling duel and thankfully he came at the right moment and saved me from dishonor. No one dared challenge him as he was a very powerful personality of his time. I had wowed then never to tie up my tresses till my insult was avenged. We had to live in the forest for thirteen years. After we returned to reclaim our rightful kingdom, we were challenged with war."
Bhoomi's eyes were already misty and with a chocking voice she asked, "What about your father, why didn't you go back to him. Surely in your times things were bit better, as to your father accepting you back'?
"Yes Bhoomi, father wanted to take me away with him, but I insisted on being with my husbands, how could I let them wander in the forest living through the hardships, while I live in luxury"?
Bhoomi nodded in an affirmation, "Yes, yes, how can any woman do that. After all marriage was being together in good times as well as bad" said Bhoomi, misty eyed.
"Also I wanted to be right before their eyes with my loose tresses, all along reminding them day and night year after year, about their revenge" said KK, is a strong voice. "I could not take the chance with my eldest husband. In his righteousness he might just decide to forgive and forget, that was too much to let go, I sent my children to live with my father. My years were spent waiting for justice, not just for me but for the whole society. If a queen can be molested in a full assembly, what will be the plight of the common woman out there? My friend tried to avert the war, talking of peace treaty, even to the extent to saying I was being selfish, for wanting a war, as revenge. What would he know, he was also a man after all. The war did take place, the wrong doers were killed, I lost all my sons to the war, my father, brothers, and our kingdom was restored, my honor too in a way, but I had to live with the stigma of being the cause of a mighty war when all I was is a pawn on the mighty game of politics, greed and jealousy. I lost my sons, my father and brothers, I lost all respect for my husbands, though I continued to live with them as long as I was alive. I lost trust and faith in all creation. That is why when I came here, I decided to have no tresses, better play safe, never know what to expect in this land of nothingness. That's my story in short Bhoomi. Oh dear, I came to pacify you and ended up sharing my woes. What is the reason for your sadness Bhoomi"?