Secret Mission -3 is here
At the age of sixteen, when a girl falls in love, at that time I started working on this great mission. “I used to accompany my father and brother in wars. Once, your father and my father together supported Indra, the God of rain, in the war against Samhasura. On the fourth day of that war my father asked me to dress in male costume and accompany Dasthratha in war, driving his chariot!”
“You were father’s charioteer!” Rama was astonished.
“Yes! Because of constant attacks from Samhasura on the chariot drivers, most of them were either injured or killed. For Dasthratha’s safety my father asked me to become his chariot driver. During the battle, Samhansura against the rules of battle field used the agneyastra on the wheel of chariot. Before I could extinguish the fire, it burned the bigger portion of wheel, making the chariot unfit for any movement. As quickly as possible I repair it by tying the dhala, a weapon of protection, with a piece of wire to three different spikes of the wheel. I jumped back on the chariot to drive it. Dashratha was exchanging arrows with Samhasura. And his younger brother cheated us by attacking form the left side — as only one person ought to fight with another. By now, two were fighting with one, Dashratha. He is a great warrior before he could realise Samhasura threw a satra on him which hit his heart. It started bleeding. Meanwhile my brother, Yudhajit came forward to rescue us and engaged himself with fight in Samhasura’s younger brother and killed him with vayavya astra. In rage, Samhasura attacked my bother Yudhajit. I turned the chariot out of the battle field as it was bleeding profusely from Dasthratha’s wound.”
“It must have been a difficult time for you.” Rama said.
“Time to be brave and courageous as our camp was on the other side of the battle field across the huge mountain range. I was driving as quickly as possible. I turned back to have a look at him, he was bleeding severely. To reach camp early before he fainted, I dragged him on the fastest running horse leaving the broken chariot behind, rode it towards the camp, taking a shortest and narrowest path. On seeing a small opening between the rocks, I changed my mind because of fast increasing dampness of blood on my back, where he was tied with the chariot flag securely. I turned towards that location. On reaching there, I laid him on the floor. Without wasting a moment, I broke open his armor, removed all the burnt portion containing burnt pieces of armor, ashes, blood and mucus. I removed my turban, loose it and tore it in two unequal parts. The smaller portion I tied diagonally around his left shoulder and under arm tightened it and took two more rounds as before. Larger portion was tied across the left shoulder and under the right arm. Tightened grip decreased the bleeding drastically. I felt relieve and gave a look around on the vegetation grown outside the cave. I noticed a few plants of haldi growing some distance away in the wild. I collected the green leaves, crushed them with stones and put the paste on the wounds and redressed him. When bleeding stop, I sighed.
I was awake for a long time when Dashratha murmured something inaudible. I was happy to hear a vague sound, the sound of recovery. I moved near to him close to his ear. ‘Water’ is what I inferred. I form a cup with my hands; slowly and lightly put a few drops of water in his mouth which I have collected by cutting a banana stem. Drank some and again become unconscious or went into deep sleep I do not know. I knew that proper rest was more important for him than taking him back to the camp. I prayed to God Shiva for betterment of his fitness whom I always worshipped when I am in trouble or very happy. I chanted Maha Mrityunjaya mantra for his health to stabilize.”
She was on the train of thoughts. A sensational kiss on her face awoke her. “You are like a full moon on a starless night.” She heard the soft voice. Her heart beat fast she was in those strong arms in which she always yearned to be. She realised that her hair loosen from the bun in sleep. Her curly hair was loose on her back and a few on her face.
“How lucky I am to have a female chariot rather a male.” Her dhoti and top were the same to reveal the secret. “Who are you beautiful lady?”
“Myself, Kaykeyi, daughter of Kaykeya.” His fingers moved down and lightly touched her’. They were not as soft as they should be. He looked at them. Three fingers of her were totally burnt and a portion of thumb was also having some burnt scars.
“How this happened?” He asked with exclamation.
On knowing the truth he said, “I bless you with two boons; first boon for saving my life ignoring your own safety and second boon for healing me without having proper rest.”
“I will ask for them sometime again as I get more than what I have ever dreamed of.”
Her mind was overwhelmed in Dashratha’s nectar of love. She couldn’t think of anything more or plainly replied that she will ask when ever she will need them.
“Have you learned the art of chariot driving?” Rama asked to break that long silence of her.
“Yes, darling. I and my brother, Yudhajit mastered the art of fighting under the Sage Kalpi. Most of the time I accompanied my brother in war, I was his tail. Planning the strategy of war, changing positions, distribution of weapons, supervising the proper medication to injured solders and repairing of weapons of those that can be and cremation of dead was all I do.”
“I have never seen you doing this entire, Mother. Never! Nor I knew about it earlier!!” He was sitting on a sofa with the comfortable velvet cushions on it. He rubbed his index finger over the handle in shape of lion faces. The sofas were made up of sandalwood whose strong fragrance filled the entire hall.
“I used to do all this before marriage. After that I was busy with my married life and motherhood. Before marriage I was fighting physically on war land with asuras and after that I was fighting mentally with them – planning to destroy the asuras from the earth.”
“Planning is the toughest job to do.”
“Implementing it will be tougher than planning.”
A smile bloom the red rose face of Kaikeyi as she saw Manthra entering the room. A very useful piece of information she was waiting eagerly for. Manthra bowed two of them. She couldn’t bend much with her hunchback. Ram was ultra polite to touched the feet of a servant as a due respect to her because of her age.
“Sughriv is hiding in the forest with his faithful companions including Hanuman, Neel and Nul in the hills at a distance in the west of Kishkindha were Vali can’t go due to a curse.” Manthra said.
“Now we have enough of information to proceed further.” Kaikeyi said.
“Should I move to forest with my brothers?” Ram asked.
“If Bharat goes with you then asuras will easily doubt us and spoil it before anything positive in this direction takes place. Maharaniji will ask for the two boons which she was blessed at the time of war long ago; First boon for reign for Bharat and second one for fourteen years of banishment for Ram.” Manthra said.
On hearing the tinkle sound, Kaikeyi gestured her to check. It could be a servant, who must have heard what Manthra had said about the boons. Manthra walked with a fast pace beyond her capacity.
“Four of you brothers, will divide in two groups. Rama and Lakhman will go the forest. And the other two Bharat and Shatrughana will look after the kingdom so that it is not attacked by any enemy or asuras.” Kaykeyi continued in low voice. “Nobody can even guess in their dreams about our mission.”
‘My mission’ was replaced by ‘our mission’ brought a smile on Ram’s face.
“You will be disrepute for doing so.” Ram said with a bit of hesitation.
“I can be notorious if the whole human kind is benefited with it. I have no desire to live for myself; I wish to live for others. Dashratha will not send you to that mission. He knows it well that it is damn difficult. Moreover his weak heart because of that wound does not allow him to take more strain physical as well as mental. That’s why it is you my son who has to accomplish this great mission.”
“O mother, Blessed me for the success!”
“You are blessed, my darling son!”