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Parag Raje

Drama Tragedy Classics


4  

Parag Raje

Drama Tragedy Classics


The Soliloquy of Queen Kaikeyi

The Soliloquy of Queen Kaikeyi

9 mins 35 9 mins 35

From the wild wacky weird world of Pandemonium emerges a trilogy,  a gift of 3 stories based on the Adbhut Ramayana. 


Story no 1: 


Title of the story : 


 * " The Soliloquy of Queen Kaikeyi " .. 

Or 

Hence did She Banish Him into Exile! 

---- * ----* 


How could Goddess Saraswati, the Source of Divine wisdom, intellect and knowledge,  ever succumb to the mind manouvering,  malevolent,  malicious,  tales of a mere gossip-mongering, maid like Manthara? Ludicrous and ridiculous ! Yet as Queen Kaikayi she could and did. For a jolly good reason... no it was not her love for her son Prince Bharata... Intrigued ? Curious? Interested to know the inner story ? Please read on... But beware! curiosity killed the proverbial cat!... But its okay.. after all a cat has nine lives to spare... so hop on!


The following story is nowhere written in the Original Ramayana.


However I do remember reading it in one of its many versions. So this is a rehashed imaginary retelling of that tale. Before the advent of Lord Vishnu as King Rama, the script was pre written in the Heaven s. Different Gods and deities too wanted to enact a part in this immortal worldly drama of King Rama.


Lord Brahma, with his three wives, Goddess Brahmani, Goddess Gayatri, and Goddess Saraswati were chosen to be cast as King Dashratha and his three Queens Kausalya, Soumitra, and Kaikeyi respectively.


It was pre decided, that Rama was to go into the jungles, where Sita would be kidnapped by the evil Ravana,  and eventually Rama would kill Ravana in the ensuing rescue operation.


Everything initially went according to plan. King Dashratha was a benevolent King and was in good health and had plenty of years left to rule as a King before retirement. Prince Rama too was newly married and enjoying domestic bliss.


According to one version of the script, the public of Ayodhya were to demand Prince Ramas coronation as King. Much like modern monarchs,  Not wishing to abdicate, Dashratha was to send Rama into exile, where Ravana would try to kidnap Sita and be killed immediately. 


However in his worldly role as King Dashratha, as Rama’s doting father, Lord Brahma forgot the original script and instead, in a sudden hasty whim of Filial Love, decided to abdicate as King. Overnight, blatantly deviating from the Divine preordained script,  King Dashratha publicly announced the coronation of Prince Rama at early dawn the very next day!.


On hearing their demand of making Rama the King having been so easily and pre-emptively met, the whole city of Ayodhya, much before the actual event, went joyously crazy in anticipation of Rama’s coronation.


Caught off guard by these sudden turn of events , the dozing heavenly string pullers and the other Gods in heaven were aghast! There was no chance now of Rama going into exile and fulfilling his life mission of killing Ravana. Time was running out. Script options were limited. Something had to be done to change the course of events, urgently! It was a state of emergency for the Gods! 


Overnight, on the eve before the coronation, the subtle causal bodies of King Dashratha, ( Lord Brahma ) Queen Kausalya, ( Goddess Brahmani ) Queen Soumitra ( Goddess Gayatri ) , and Queen Kaikeyi ( Goddess Saraswati ) were summoned to the Heavenly back stage directorial room of " Vidhilikhit" aka " Mr. Ordained Matrix " 


Chaotic cacophonic confusion prevailed!


All the main actors were acting differently from the given script! And that too onstage before a live audience! Things were going out of the Hands of Lady Destiny, the Original script writer! Explanations were demanded.

Multiple Rectifications by inserting seemingly logical subplots,  had to be made urgently to salvage a script gone haywire! 

All this before daybreak at dawn!


Lord Brahma, now in the physical form as King Dashratha flatly refused to conform to the script and Banish Rama He did not care for any drama director, . His love for Rama was so immense that he would break all the Universal Laws to see him coronated. 


As it is, things had gone out of hand. The coronation was scheduled for the very next day and there was no logical or rational reason for Dashratha to do a volte face or sudden turn around and Banish Rama into exile!


Goddess Brahmani, as Queen Kausalya, the womb mother of Prince Rama was so filled with joy that she had no reason nor opportunity to ask for,  or seek Rama’s banishment. 


Goddess Gayatri as Queen Sumitra was now the next choice. Maybe she could manipulate events and force King Dashratha The script past tracks record keeper Mr Chitragupt was summoned. Was there any event, any occasion in the past that would allow Queen Sumitra to do some last minute Salvaging of the script? Alas there was none!


Ever the dutiful wife and the doting mother, Queen Sumitra refused to commit any thought or deed,  even if it be only an act or role,  which would hurt either King Dashratha or Rama.


Both were dear to her.

She was loving to a fault.


Unconditional love, Sacrifice and duty were her forte, but of villainous nature, not the slightest cue had she! 


She would gladly let her Lakshman and Shatrughna suffer than even think of hurting Rama! 


All glances now turned in despair towards Goddess Saraswati Incarnated as Queen Kaikeyi. Perhaps a wild card, a stray boon, something in her past, would come in handy to rescue the Gods! The stakes were high


 But would She as Kaikeyi be part of such a devious scheme? Would She as Kaikeyi agree to Eternal damnation, ridicule, and insult? 


She was their final and only hope!

And then addressing that August assembly of Gods,

 In a soft low sorrowful sing song voice, with a lilting musical tone ,  


Melodious like the notes of a Veena, (1 )


Filled with pathos, filled with tears,

Thus did the wise Queen Kaikeyi spake,  


” *For Eons to come, will I be branded as an epitome of villainy supreme ! 


Eternally exiled from the realms of Glory or Goodness! 


Sung along with the glories of Rama shall I be also condemned and cursed! 

The Supremely evil, cruel, malicious step mother! 


For my outward villainy 

Openly done,  and seen! 


And yet for the Eternal Glory of my Beloved Rama,  


Redeemer of redeemers,  


It is but a small price to pay! 


Indeed it is not a price at all! 


For I Goddess Saraswati, Divine Knowledge incarnate,  


Beyond all worldly considerations and values,  


Beyond all praise and censure,  


For my dear dear Rama, dearer to me than life itself,  


Such an act shall I agree to enact!


Portray and Pretend shall I to be,  

Foolishly and 

so easily influenced,  

By a venomous pernicious,  thought altering Manthara! 


I Goddess Saraswati, am Divine keeper of knowledge Supreme,  

And yet shall I as Queen Kaikeyi 


Appear to be led away astray,  

Swayed by the sayings,  

Misled by a mere maid 


Seem to be a selfish scheming extracting wife, Who drove her husband to death and a family to disaster! 


Shall stubbornly, rigidly, firmly insist! On fulfillment of a foolish, forgotten boon 

Shall use all feminine Wiles and guiles 

And provokingly invoke ancestral glory 

And stupid Male ego, Clannish pride,  


In an oath, in a promise, in a vow,  

Given and kept,  


No matter what the vow is worth, No matter what havoc it creates 


Shall invoke Egoistical Harishchandras pride 


Of his rigid honesty,  at the cost of his wife and life of his child.. 


Just so my Rama, my dear dear Rama,  


Breath of my life, my very Soul,  


Shall I Banish Him to exile into deep deadly jungles 


Knowing fully well, that sweet lovely, delicate Sita,  


The cynosure of my eyes,


Whose tinkling laughter and loving nature


Has endeared her to one and all! 


Who Is but a beloved daughter to me,  which never from my womb I had,


Only because, Only so that,  


Rama’s wife Sita could be ! 


Knowing fully well my tender daughter, my Sita! 


Shall follow Rama too,  deep into the Jungle,


Not as a wifely duty, but because of her love Sublime 


For my Rama, my dear dear Rama! 


What travails my beloved daughter shall have to face, shall undergo 


Due to this one heinous act of mine! 


No escape route to Divine Detachment thru Death,  


 No exit into Heavenly witness, (3)


An Observer status


Like that granted


to Lord Brahma as King Dashratha!


With human eyes shall I observe, the result that my boon deserves. 


At every step you both shall step,  My trembling heart shall suffer too! 


Shall share the sorrow and the torment, and yet outwardly show,  


A life long facade of a Chastised mother suffering alone her guilty Repentance! (3) 


O Lord grant me strength, grant me courage to do this brave, heinous act, and Banish You into Exile with a mere Boon! 


And grant me life long enough, that I may see the completion, the successful fulfillment of my boon ,


To see the victory, the Glory,  of your Divine Deeds,


Culminating in your Coronation! 


So long foretold,  so eagerly awaited,  


Culminating in your coronation!* 


 ( End of Queen Kaikeyi’s soliloquy.) 


All the gods rejoiced that finally Goddess Saraswati had agreed to fulfill the Divine script and after due Obeisances, all the causal subtle bodies of Lord Brahma, Goddesses Brahmani, Gayatri and Saraswati,  returned to their respective human physical bodies.


Soon thereafter, the maid Manthara entered Queen Kaikeyi’s bedroom to inform and incite her against the coronation.


The rest that followed, is legendary History.  


--* -- * -- 


( Explanatory notes : 


This story is adapted from an old Marathi play … " Dhadile ka Rama la tine vani " ( Why she banished Rama into exile ) But the whole poem of Queen Kaikeyi’s soliloquy is my own composition.. Parag Raje. )


(1) Veena is An extremely sweet and melodious musical instrument attributed to Goddess Saraswati. Here it is used to show that Queen Kaikayi shares similar attributes of Goddess Saraswati being one of her not so well known incarnation. Another such incarnation of Goddess Saraswati is supposed to be Queen Ganndhaari in the Epic Mahabharata.. But that is another story.  


(2) No escape route to Divine Detachment through Death....  In these lines in the soliloquy,  Queen Kaikeyi, aware of her Divine nature as Goddess Saraswati, reveals she is also aware of the consequences of her act and hints at King Dashratha s impending death,  soon after Rama’s Exile. The grief of separation from his son Rama, which King Dashratha suffered as his earthly father,  was no more when after his death, King Dasharath reverted to his true form as Lord Brahma and knew the true form of Rama as Lord Vishnu ). 

Shedding his mortal coils as King Dasharatha ,  Lord Brahma at once realised his true Divine nature as Creator and was freed from all human failings,  attachments, ties,  and self created bonds of a human nature. 


(3) A facade of... chastised repentance..... Here too Queen Kaikeyi reveals that she knows she will have to lead her remaining life full of tormenting guilt and repentance after being chastised by her son Bharata in the future 


--- * --- 


 *Moral of the story: 

Sometimes someone has to play a cruel part to be kind in reality! 

--- ** **--- 

Authors note: 


This story is Specially and sincerely dedicated to

Diabetic Foot Specialist,  Surgeon and Saviour,  

Dr Tushar Devidas Rege 

And Anaesthetist Dr Mrs Aparna Tushar Rege ( nee Bhangle) 

 and his entire dedicated team.


( In a lighter vein..... Had not his wife Dr Aparna Rege hit me on my head with her rolling pin and had not Dr Tushar operated on me with his blunt and rusty hacksaw,  I would not be alive today.....


Dedicating this story to them is

the authors small gesture of gratitude to them for sparing... sorry.... a typo error... for saving my life ! 

.... Parag Raje 


--- * --- 


First Weird story " The Soliloquy of Queen Kaikayi " complete! 


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