In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important turning point in King Nala’s suffering, wherein he is being bitten by Snake Kaarkotaka. This transforms King Nala from a handsome-looking person to an ugly and ghastly looking person. Upon questioning, Snake Kaarkotaka explains his strategy to King Nala that with this poison, Kali-Purusha who is residing currently in his body would run away very soon, and with this, King Nala would soon be liberated from all this suffering. Moreover, Snake Kaarkotaka asks King Nala to go to King Rituparna and join his group of charioteers. Thus, Snake Kaarkotaka instructs King Nala to spend a few days like this in a disguised form, and when the time comes, he can regain his original form by wearing two pieces of clothes (“Angi”) that Snake Kaarkotaka gives him. Obeying his instructions thus, King Nala makes his way to the kingdom of King Rituparna. Meanwhile, Damayanti’s suffering is also having no end! She tries to join a group of trades, so as to go along with them wherever they go, to make a fortune for her living. However, she is being chased away by them, due to an attack on them by a herd of elephants. The traders think that this attack happened due to Damayanti’s presence along with them! Chased away thus, Damayanti joins yet another group of Brahmins, who are making their way towards the “Chedi Desha”.
Moving on thus, Damayanti travels along with these people and reaches the Chedi Desha. Impressed by her beautiful looks, the queen of Chedi Desha comes forward and greets Damayanti. She understands that Damayanti is not an ordinary woman by any means. She enquires with Damayanti, but she doesn’t disclose her full story to the queen. Understanding that Damayanti is under a huge problem, the queen requests her to stay in the kingdom itself for some days. However, Damayanti puts a clause to her if she has to reside here – Damayanti says thus, “Oh queen! It is so nice of you to allow me to stay here with you. But I would not bow down to anyone. I wouldn’t wash someone’s feet. I wouldn’t become another person’s servant. Moreover, please do not try to marry me off to someone. I wouldn’t like to go as someone’s wife! If you agree to these conditions, I shall reside here!” Upon hearing from Damayanti, the queen also accepts her as her own daughter and Damayanti is also happy. Thus, life for Damayanti is moving on in this way.
At this point in time, one fine day, somebody from the Vidharba Desha pays a visit to the king of Chedi Desha. We should remember that Vidharba Desha is Damayanti’s father’s kingdom. As this person catches a glimpse of Damayanti in the Chedi Desha kingdom, he has a doubt whether this woman is Damayanti or not! Her looks are extremely familiar and her body language and habits also suggest the same. With this doubt in mind, this messenger from Vidharba Desha goes to Damayanti and enquires who she really is. As Damayanti realizes that this person is from her father’s kingdom, she pours out all her emotions and cries to him! Damayanti discloses the fact that she has lost her husband and is roaming around, in search of him! Meanwhile, as the queen’s daughter sees Damayanti in tears, she doesn’t understand why this is so! Of course, the queen’s daughter isn’t in the vicinity of Damayanti, but figures out that something is wrong with her. She immediately passes on the message to her mother, that Damayanti is not feeling good.
Hearing this from her daughter, the queen rushes to see Damayanti and enquires what happened to her. As the queen enquires thus, Damayanti finally reveals her true identity that she is none other than King Nala’s wife, and that, she has lost her husband to the wrath of Kali-Purusha and she is trying to find out his whereabouts. As the queen hears Damayanti’s heart-wrenching story, she consoles Damayanti and replies thus, “Oh my daughter! Till this point, I did not know that you are Damayanti! I’ve heard about you a lot in the past, and I had always envied your character and your chastity! I couldn’t believe that you’re one amongst us now! We are extremely fortunate to have you in our kingdom and from today, you would be treated as a royal princess! You would have no dearth of any kind of help and facilities! I shall ensure that you will rejoin your husband very soon!” As the queen says thus, Damayanti replies back, “Oh queen! I’m extremely happy with your words! I deeply acknowledge your respect and kindness towards me! However, I’ve got a point to make – Till now, I’ve suffered enough and more. I do not have the heart to suffer any further. I shall go with this messenger to my father’s place for sometime. Maybe I shall come back to you at a later stage if I require any help! Thank you very much for your kindness and your hospitality at the right time!” Saying thus, Damayanti starts her journey along with the messenger of Vidharba Desha and reaches her father’s home finally!
As this is happening with Damayanti, we’ve already witnessed King Nala going and joining King Rituparna’s group. He also doesn’t disclose who he really is, and he introduces himself to King Rituparna as Baahuka. However, we have to understand one thing here – We’ve seen earlier that Vaarshenya, who was King Nala’s charioteer earlier, is also working amidst the same group of King Rituparna. But because of King Nala’s disguised form, Vaarshneya is not able to identify King Nala! Thus, days progress in this way, and meanwhile, Damayanti is completely upset and heart-broken on the other end. Hence, she calls a Brahmin pandit to seek some advice. She requests him to go in search of King Nala, to find out where he is! Damayanti has a doubt whether King Nala’s form might have changed. Because, if King Nala would have retained his original form, anybody in this world would have identified him! Thus, as the Brahmin Pandit is about to start his search, Damayanti wants him to ask a few questions to the people whom he comes across! So for today, let us understand up to this point and in the next episode, we shall witness what are the questions that Damayanti wants to pose! Stay tuned for an interesting and an absorbing accord! 🙂