In the previous episode, we had witnessed King Nala becoming a popper overnight, thanks to the gambling game that he played along with King Pushkara. We’ve witnessed Kali Purusha unleashing his wrath upon King Nala by entering into the dice that King Nala was throwing. Every time the dice was rolled, it always went in favour of King Pushkara. However, just like how Yudishtra continued playing the gamble even though he was losing heavily, King Nala too continued playing the game, even though he knew that something was playing against him. Even as Damayanti advised King Nala to stop the game, he was in no mood to relent. He kept on playing, in a bid to regain everything that he had lost to King Pushkara. However, that recovery never happened, and finally, King Nala was chased out of his kingdom. Meanwhile, Damayanti sent off their two children to her father’s place at Vidharba Desha, knowing that things are going to only go uphill from here on for King Nala. Thus, as King Nala lost the game, King Pushkara chased him out of the kingdom, as he took complete possession of the same.
Now, as King Nala and Damayanti are roaming in the forest, alone with each other, they aren’t able to get enough food for sustaining their regular lives too. At this point, as King Nala aims for a bird that was flying through with his dhoti, the bird pulls away that dhoti too from him and flies away! As the bird does so, it reveals the entire “modus operandi” of Kali Purusha and how he is solely responsible for the mess that King Nala and Damayanti are at the moment! Realizing her folly of mistaking her husband’s intention thus, Damayanti apologizes to King Nala and since he is completely naked without even a single piece of cloth, Damayanti tears apart a piece of her saree and wraps him up. Thus, the couple slept like this for the whole night, under a tree.
As this happens, during the course of the night, King Nala looks at Damayanti with tears in his eyes. He thinks thus, “Oh no! It is only because of me, this beautiful woman had to undergo enormous amounts of suffering till today. I’m not no use to Damayanti. In fact, I’m only a burden for her. If I stay with her further, she would be in great danger. Hence, I think it is better that I leave her here itself and go away to some other place. Perhaps when she wakes up, she would obviously search for me, but later on, maybe she might go back to her father’s place and thereafter lead a happy life. Perhaps, she can marry Kali Purusha as he wished, and hence, both of us would be relieved from these sufferings that we’re undergoing currently!” Thinking thus, with a heavy heart of leaving his beloved wife behind, King Nala takes a sharp object from the ground, tears the saree piece that was connecting both of them together, and silently walks away from that place!
As King Nala does this, he doesn’t have the heart to leave his wife all alone like that! Hence he came back to her – Only to see her in sound sleep! Upon seeing her, King Nala starts crying once again! He thinks within himself thus, “Oh no! This Damayanti is enduring so much suffering, only because she loves me so much. Will it be right to desert her like this and leave? Is it “Dharma” to do this? I don’t think I should! I should be with her till the end, no matter what happens!” Thinking thus, King Nala stands by her, unable to leave the place. However, on the other hand, King Nala thinks that if he is with her anymore, Damayanti’s suffering will only increase manifold. Kali-Purusha is not going to leave her alone, and is going to unleash his wrath even more on her! Why should poor Damayanti suffer because of him? Thus, both these thoughts are oscillating in his mind and King Nala is utterly confused! However, after a few minutes, King Nala decides that the first thought process is the right one, and decides to close his eyes and leave that place before Damayanti wakes up!
Thus, with a heavy heart, King Nala glances at his wife for one last time, and quickly hurries off from that place! As the dawn arises, Damayanti wakes up from her sleep, only to find out that she is all alone in that dense forest! Where is King Nala? Where did he go overnight, leaving her alone? Unable to identify him, Damayanti searches all around the place, and eventually she realizes that she has been deserted all alone by her husband! Understanding this and coming to terms thus, Damayanti cries out with disbelief and extreme grief! She could not control herself and pours out all her emotions! As she does so, she goes on, searching for her husband! As Damayanti started walking without food and water, on the way, she got stuck up amidst a huge python! Unable to free herself from the clutches of that python, Damayanti shouts for help! Hearing her cries, a hunter comes from somewhere and with his sharp arrows, he kills the python and frees her.
As Damayanti goes near the hunter to thank him for his timely help, the hunter starts to fall in love with her. He gets attracted physically towards Damayanti, upon seeing her with a half dress! As the hunter tried to come closer, Damayanti quickly understands his wrong intention, and with the significance of her chastity, she burns him down! Thus, Damayanti’s chastity protects her from the hunter. This is one side of the story. Meanwhile, now King Nala is also roaming in some other corner of the forest, isn’t he? As he is roaming around, he spots a huge forest fire, and a loud cry is emulating from within that place where the fire is burning. Upon hearing the desperate cry, King Nala goes inside to check who is crying for help. He sees a snake getting engulfed by the fire! This snake is none other than Snake Kaarkotaka. Thus, as Kaarkotaka cries for help, King Nala saves him from the fire, and in return, Kaarkotaka proposes that he would do something good for King Nala.
So for today, let us understand up to this point, and let us join hands with both King Nala and Damayanti to await for a better future for both of them! So what is Snake Kaarkotaka going to do for King Nala? Let us wait and witness in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂