Secret Mission -1 is here
“Taataka, a celestial nymph who was cursed to be a demoness until killed by a pure spirit, was polluting the surroundings of Kosala by her wrong-doings. As you know, she threw bones and bloods in the yagnas of the sages to interrupt and spoil their noble doings. She had to be stopped, and my son, you did that by killing her with a poisonous arrow. Taataka’s two sons, Mareecha and Subahu, were following her path of destruction, which you checked by killing Subahu and by throwing Mareecha in the ocean thousands of yojanas away with an arrow. And victory over them made you the most suitable person for handing over this project.”
He bowed with moist eyes.
“They were working for Ravana,” she said.
She looked at Rama’s face to observe the reaction. Seeing none, she inquired with her raised left eyebrow. “You must have heard his name?”
He folded his hands for a moment and nodded, looking towards her fair feet anointed with red alta.
She felt the need to elaborate. “Ravana is the King of Lanka, the magnificent Kingdom built using only glittering gold. Ravana is ten-headed, or as some believe, as intelligent as ten wise men. He is a maestro of veena, and has excellent knowledge of a wide range of subjects, from astrology to political science. A couple of months back I read his powerful book Ravana Sanhita. To my utmost surprise he is an expert of Ayurveda too. Among other things, he has mentioned quite good cures for different types of inebriation, a few of which I can personally say work very well!”
“With his great strength and towering knowledge of divine weapons and magic, he has gained absolute invulnerability and supremacy over Gods, heavenly spirits, other rakshasas, serpents, and wild beasts. He is the ruler of heaven, earth and paataal. Only humans and animals residing on this earth he had spared, thinking them useless for conquest. But now his companions with their evil doings are creating disturbances in Aryavarta itself. They are forcing their unreasonable demands on local residents. They are depriving them of good education and advance research so that they remain uneducated and underprivileged, consequently making them mental and physical slaves; ruling over them here and taking some of them to Lanka, where they withdraw even the basic amenities and make their life even worse then hell!” She shivered with anger. “They find immense pleasure in tormenting others!”
She slipped out a golden bangle of exquisite shine from her left wrist and showed it to Rama. “Yesterday, I bought this from a seller who had purchased it from Lanka after selling opium poppy there; on both counts he made good money. Talkative man he is, went on and on about Ravana and his Lanka! It seems in Ravana’s reign, because of his quick decisions, strength and mastery over various subjects, Lanka has flourished more than any other kingdom has ever. Even the poorest of the residents have vessels of gold to eat and drink.” After examining the jewelery Rama returned it. She slipped it back on her wrist.
“I am a secret admirer of your artistic taste.” Rama said, knowing full well how much Kaikeyi liked to be flattered. “Especially that pair of perforated tortoises in stone inside which twenty one similar tortoises can be seen, each one smaller than the outer one.”
“Oh! The vendor of this unique piece brought some very useful information too, about the fight between Vali, a vanara king, and Mayavi rakshasa. As I was curious to know the result, I asked him to bring another piece as a pair of tortoises is considered to be auspicious if placed near the entrance gate. During his second visit he told me that Vali had won the battle. And captured his younger brother’s wife and thrown him out of his Kingdom as a punishment for closing the door of cave in which he was fighting with Mayavi. Even after Sughriv, Vali’s younger brother, explained that he waited outside the cave for him day and night without food and water. On eighteenth day, the blood, red as ruby, was flowing out of it like a river, which he mistook as the death of his dear brother Vali. He feared that Mayavi will kill him too, and will destroy all the vanaras and their small and beautiful kingdom. He put a huge stone on the mouth of the cave to stop Mayavi. Vali was annoyed on finding the closed entrance of cave and his anger increased manifold on returning and finding that Sughriv is ruling his kingdom.”
“Capturing another’s wife is against the laws of nature.” Ram uttered.
“Vali is becoming more and more like Ravana, powerful and egoistic, unable and unwilling to reflect whether what he is doing is wrong or right or just or unjust, especially after shaking hands with Ravana.” Kaikeyi’s eyes turned to Rama once more. Rama was looking around with renewed interest.
“Every antique piece of jewellery, clothing or furniture in this hall is indirectly associated with this great mission. That’s the reason that you have such a good collection of unique things from far off places.” He said in childlike manner with a tinge of astonishment.
With a smile on not so young still youthful face she narrated the story behind each and every piece of her antique collection not missing any. They talked, laughed and admired the artistic beauty, until it was time at last to return back to her mission. “Even though Ravana is regarded as a benevolent and effective ruler, yet because of his wicked deeds arising from his heart overwhelmed with ego; asuras must be brought to an end. For eradication the evil from this earth and to maintain the balance between evil and good, he, along with his all companions, must be destroyed.”
“Before killing Ravana, his companions should be killed otherwise they will come to assist Ravana. Mother Sumitra says if hot porridge is eaten from the centre it can burn one’s fingers but if eaten slowly from the sides it can cool the middle till one reaches there.” Rama said. Kaikeyi noted with a twinge of pride how Rama had accepted the mission without a question and was already strategizing with her.
She added, “Not only this, on attacking Ravan’s companions you have to be very careful as he may get agitated on hearing their grievances and can unleash aasuri magic or get into underhanded plots to hurt you. At that time, my dear son, you have to be extra cautious. These asuras can do such wrong acts without a bit of hesitation that we, human beings can’t even think of doing. For them nothing is both good or bad only their wish counts, and its fulfillment. And now they have well-equipped weaponry to scare, injure and conquer whoever come in their path of wish-fulfillment.”
“To fight weapons is easier than to fight fraud!”
To be continued…..
Secret Mission- 3 is here