In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Vallabha (Bheemasena) got into a wrestling competition as per Kanka’s (Yudishtra’s) advice to the king of Viraata Desha. As there was an invincible wrestler by name Jeemutha who was sending shivers down the spine to all wrestlers around the country across various kingdoms, Viraata Desha too did not have any one wrestler who could boldly take him down. However, as the Paandava brothers have begun their “Agnyaata Vaasam” at the Viraata Desha recently, as per Kanka’s suggestion, the king of Viraata Desha deputes Vallabha for the marquee fight. Vallabha, being extremely strong with his raw and brutal muscle power, takes down Jeemutha quite easily and single handedly. More than just defeating him, Vallabha kills Jeemutha with his might and this news reaches the Viraata Desha king, who is also excited about it. With this, the king personally meets Vallabha and showers him with all possible gifts and appreciation. As this event concludes, we come to the end of the “Samaya-Paalana Parva”.
Moving on further thus, we enter the next “Upa-Parva” by name “Keechaka-Vada-Parva”. As we move in, we can witness here that the news of Vallabha (Bheemasena) who is just a kitchen servant, killing Jeemutha reaches far and wide. People are starting to look at Vallabha with awe, and this news spreads to other kingdoms as well. This is because, Jeemutha is a tough person to defeat and nearly every wrestler across kingdoms have not been able to stand in front of him during a fight. However, if an ordinary person who is a cook in the kitchen is able to win over Jeemutha, people start wondering how this is possible! Several questions start being raised – Who is this Vallabha? How come a kitchen servant possesses enormous strength like this? Where did this person come from? What is his background?, etc. However, once again, the Paandava brothers are very careful here too in concealing their identity and after a few days, all these questions die down and all of them move on further. Now, we move on to a very interesting phase of the “Agnyaata Vaasam” period.
The king of Viraata, by nature isn’t a great “Balishta” (Powerful person). He had a brother-in-law by name Keechaka. This Keechaka is the queen’s own brother and it is upon his shoulders that the entire kingdom rests. For instance, if there is a battle to be fought and won, rather than the king going and fighting, he mostly sends Keechaka for the assignment. Keechaka is quite efficient and till now he has a great track record in winning battles! Once, as Keechaka passes through the queen’s “Antahpura”, he spots Sairandhri (Draupati in disguise) and falls for her beauty! He starts falling in love for Sairandhri and first talks to his sister, Sudeshna (The queen). However, Sudeshna discourages Keechaka from falling in love with Sairandhri, by saying that the moment she joined as her assistant, she had told her that if someone tries to misbehave with her, there are five “Gandharvas” who are protecting her and would destroy that person completely. Hence, the queen advises Keechaka that it is dangerous to fall in love with Sairandhri and rather, turn away from her.
However, even as Sudeshna advises thus, Keechaka is not ready to listen to her words. Keechaka angrily replies to his sister thus, “Oh Sudeshna! Don’t give me all these excuses for not doing what I want you to do. If you aren’t interested in helping your brother, he himself can take care! I do not need your help!” Saying thus, Keechaka directly approaches Draupati and says thus, “Oh beautiful woman! I do not know anything about you and your background, but I’ve fallen in love with you! You are extremely beautiful and my fire of love is raging within me. Please accept me as your husband! Moreover, I heard that you have five invisible husbands. What is the use of having invisible husbands? Leave all of them and come to me. I’ll be your visible husband and shall protect you in all ways. If required, I shall conquer the entire kingdom and put it under your feet as a token of love and respect for you!”
Saying thus, Keechaka proposes his love to Draupati. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we shall witness what is Draupati’s response going to be, and whether Keechaka is going to pay heed to Draupati’s response or not! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂