Pandava-s spent 12 years in forest and 1 year in incognito. They seceded themselves and approached Virata kingdom. Yudhishthira joined for a job as King’s advisor Kanka, the mighty Bhima as cook Ballava, Archer Arjuna as dance teacher Brihannala, Nakula as Horse keeper Granthika and Sahadeva as sage Tandibala. Draupadi became Sairandhri.
Draupadi served Sudeshna – the Virata queen – as a beautician. Kichaka – Sudeshna’s brother – was the commander in chief for Virata’s army. Pandava-s and Draupadi spent that one year by isolating themselves from each other.
But It was too difficult to hide Draupadi’s charming in incognito mode. She got into the #MeToo problem once again. This time, it was by Kichaka.
O beautiful one! Your supreme form and your youth are useless if you are alone, like a beautiful garland that is not worn. O beautiful one! Though you are handsome, you are lacking in radiance. O one with the beautiful smile! I will give up the wives I have had before. O beautiful one! I will station myself as your servant. O one with the beautiful face! I will always be under your control.Kichaka to Draupadi – The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes
To save her modesty, Draupadi formed a perfect fable. She told Sudeshna that she is a wife of five Gandharva-s. They will safeguard her from all troubles.
But Kichaka troubled Sairandhri every day. Intolerable Draupadi complained to Sudeshna one day. Unaware of who she is, Sudeshna disregarded her and her complaint. Invariably, it is the female’s evilness towards another female. Although she is a queen to safe guard her own people, she convinced herself about Kichaka’s violation of modesty of a woman. In addition, Sudeshna envied her for her beauty.
O Kaikeyi! Act so that I can be united with Sairandhri. O Sudeshna! Otherwise, I will give up my life.Kichaka to Sudeshna – The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes
One day Kichaka asked his sister to send a bottle of whine through Sairandhri.
Predicting an awkward moment, she obliged Sudeshna.
As expected, Kichaka tried to misbehave. She escaped and came to the hall, where King Virata and Yudhishthira was playing dice to seek refuge.
Bhima was also there. Kichaka chased her and kicked her in front of them. Bhima was about to lose his temper. Yudhishthira calmed him down and asked Draupadi to tolerate that as a trivial thing and directed her to go to Sudeshna’s abode.
O Sairandhri! Do not stay here. Go to Sudeshna’s abode. The wives of brave ones suffer on account of their husbands. Though suffering, they conquer the worlds of their husbands through their servitude. I think that your husbands do not see this as a time for anger. Therefore, the gandharvas, who are like the sun in their energy, are not rushing to help you. O Sairandhri! You do not know that this is not the right time and are prancing around like a dancing girl. You are disturbing the Matsyas, who are gambling in the king’s assembly hall. O Sairandhri! Depart and the gandharvas will act so as to bring you pleasure.Kanka (Yudhishthira) to Sairandhri (Draupadi) – The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes
Humiliated Draupadi was not happy with Yudhishthira and went to Bhima in the night. Observing the three major humiliations of Draupadi, Bhima took Draupadi’s stand always. While Yudhishthira’s attention is on perfect completion of incognito at any cost, she knows that Bhima would think about his wife, at least.
O Bhimasena! Arise! Arise! How can you sleep as if you are dead? The evil one, who molested the wife of someone who is not dead, is still alive. My enemy, the evil-doing general, is still alive.Draupadi to Bhima – The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes
Draupadi could not tolerate the miseries of being a servant in Virata’s palace. She burst into tears to Bhima to do something to save her.
While Dharmaraja looked on, Kichaka kicked me with his foot. … It was in your sight too. It was you who protected me from the terrible Jatasura and together with your brothers, also from Jayadratha. Kill the evil one who molests me in this way. … Destroy him like an earthen pot against stone. O descendant of the Bharata lineage! He is responsible for many of my miseries. If the sun rises tomorrow morning and he is alive, I will drink poison, rather than fall into Kichaka’s clutches.Draupadi to Bhima – The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes
Bhima gave a helping hand to Draupadi. He drafted out a plan to eliminate Kichaka. She play it very well. She acted as if she agree to Kichaka’s wish and asked him to meet her alone in dancing hall.
O Kichaka! I will agree. But you must accept a condition first. None of your friends or brothers must know that you have gone to unite with me. I am scared that the illustrious gandharvas may get to know. If you promise this, then I will come under your control.Sairandhri (Draupadi) to Kichaka – The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes
Dressed like Sairandhri, Bhima went to dancing hall to wait for Kichaka. Unware of this, Kichaka came and started talking to her (him) in romantic mood. Bhima came out with roaring laugh and finished him once and for all!
Kichaka’s death had shaken Virata. Sudeshna suspected Sairandhri for her brother’s death. She has been punished to burn alive in the fire along with his brother. Bhima came like a whirl and destroyed the one who was holding her hand, released Draupadi, without exposing his appearance!
References / Gratitude:
- The illustrated Mahabharata, Dorling Kindersley India, Penguin Random House, 1st Ed. 2017
- The Mahabharata Set Of 10 Volumes, Bibek Debroy
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