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Mahabharat - Episode 19 - An uncertain future

2021-12-08

Recap

The story of Krishna ends and the focus comes back to Hastinapur. Pandu dies and Madri with him, while Kunti takes his five sons to Hastinapur.

An uncertain future

Mai shok mana raha hoon unn jeevan moolyo ka jinki mrityu meri aankhon ke saamne ho rahi hai. Main shok mana raha hoon uss ujli rekha ka jo hamare purvajo ne satya aur asatya ke beech kheechi thi maa. Mai ro raha hoon uss kathor sachchai par, ki maine pitashri ko jis singhasan ki raksha karne ka vachan diya tha, jis singhasan ko nishtha ki shapath di thi.. uss singhasan ko Dhritrashtra ka putra bahu apmaanit kar raha hai. Lobh ne uske vivek ki aankho par patti baandh dhi hai, aur abhimaan uske sar chad kar bol raha hai, aur meri vivashta ye hai ki mai pandu putro ko sneh ke alava kuch nahi de sakta.

Synopsis

Seeing Kunti come home with Pandavs, Dhritrashtra starts feeling the throne slip away from his grip once again. Maharshi Vyas visits Satyavati and takes her along with Amba and Ambalika to live an ascetic life, hinting that the future was bleak and she will not be able to bear it. Shakuni starts making his moves to make sure that Dhritrashtra's son gets the throne and not the rightful heir Yudhishthir.

Discussion

Vyas meets Satyavati

Maharshi Vyas was trikal gyaani. He knew the past, present and the future. He knew what was about to come and how it would shape the future of Bharatvarsh, and yet all he did was take his mother out of there so she doesn't have to see the bloodshed. He cites a reason for this, the future is inevitable and that is why the future is not shown to materialistic people. Vyas hints multiple times to Dhritrashtra, Satyavati and Bhishma about the things that are about to come, but Satyavati doesn't have to worry about it, Dhritrashtra is too blinded by his greed and Bhishma is bound by his vow.

Dhritrashtra stroking the crown will never get old. From the moment that scene comes on you just know what he is thinking. The man is obsessed with the throne. At one point he tells Gandhari that she will never understand what it is to lose something that you value a lot. He tells this to the same Gandhari that gave up her eyes for him. Dhritrashtra is blind, metaphorically as well. He is blinded by his greed and his never ending thirst for power. While he himself is going to be king for life,he cannot accept that happily. He wants to take the throne from its rightful heir Yudhishthir and give it to his own son. Many texts mention that Dhritrashtra's love for his son was the cause for Mahabharat, but in my opinion he was just a weak man. It was not love, but second hand greed that took him and his hundred sons with him. Adding to that, it looks like Shakuni is training Duryodhan to be just like himself. They both plant the seed of doubt in Dhritrashtra's mind and leave him wondering.

This episode has two monologues, one by Dhritrashtra to Gandhari and the other by Bhishma to Ganga. The better half of the episode ends with the Bhishma monologue and it is worth it. Writing wise this episode is a gem. Bhishma, the terrible vow taker stands helpless before his mother who can do nothing but tell him to face his present and the future. He tries to find reason with Vidur for a while, but is left with nothing but more confusion as Vidur leaves him with the harsh decision he has to take. In the end, he enrolls the Pandavs to Gurukul to be trained as kings, knowing he made the right decision. I think this is a gem of an episode in this series and a must watch.

Here's to hoping I write more frequently!

Satyavati leaves with Amba and Ambalika

Dhritrashtra and his crown

Shakuni conspires against Pandavs

Helpless Bhishma asks Vidur for advice

Notable dialogue:

Samay to ek nadi ki tarah behta rehta hai, aur shareer, nauka samaan sthir nahi reh sakta.. aur aatma ek yatri hai jo apne ghaat, apne lakshya ko nirantar khojta rehta hai.

Dhritrashtra Netraheen hai maata, vo to dekh hi nahi sakega. Aur aap se dekha na jayega

Sanyaas apne aap se bhaagne ka naam nahi hai, sanyaas apne aap apne aham ka saamna karne ka naam hai.

Rajneeti netraheen ho gai hai.

Jab kisaan apne hi khet ke ankuro se shatruta kar baithem to uss khet pe kya beetegi

Mai vartamaan se asantusht, aur bhavishy se atyant chintit hoon

Aayushmaan bhava! ye aashirwaad na dijiye maate. Mai pehle hi se pitashri ke vardaan ki dor me jakda hua hoon Itne dukhi naa ho putra Dukh ki to koi seema hi nai maate. Ek kaaran ho to bataun.

To be continued

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