Ignis Shattered - 3

Continued from Page 2   

 (Sita lifts her head slightly and looks at Rama.  Rama with a posture of acceptance of Sita. But Sita gets immersed in her thoughts)

Sita : (With a heavy heart. Voice from the backstage)

I am looking at the future
Ignis has demonstrated the truth
Also Sita has been accepted by Ram
But which Sita?
Has Sita been
Left the same at all?
Sita is not merely an animal
She thinks too.
Restored may be the shattered faith of Rama
But wouldn't it be
A mere show?
Does the faith get restored
After being shattered.
Faith is not just rope.
The serpent of shattered faith
can hiss anytime.
Rama is not a woman.
Sita is dead
Dead is Sita herself
How terrible was this
Test of Fire.
How terrible were the fire and the flames
Which went deep inside.
How terrible was the scene
Of honor being incinerated
Carrying the carcass of her honor
Can Sita be alive?

(Looks at Rama. Rama standing for Sita)

Is even Rama alive?
Carrying the unconscious suspicion
Like a dead body
Is even my Rama alive?
What kind of compromise is this
Of two dead bodies?
Oh God! what kind of compromise?

(Sita in the same mood takes a step forward. Rama opens up his arms)

Joy : (Performing mild and affected laughter)

Ah Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Ah Ha Ha Ha Ha!
What am I
A mere name but dead
No, No
I am Joy
But why are my attributes blunt?
What malady has affected
This laughter, this joy,
Oh God! What sort of compromise is this?
What was it,
That was manifest on the faces of the people?
On Rama's face?
And Sita's face itself?
What kind of joy was it
Which I myself do not recognize?

(Looking at the audience)

Do you recognize?
Have you recognized?

(With his face down, sits down holding his forehead. Half -dead SUSPICION enters)

Suspicion : (In a lifeless tone)

Ah! Ah!
I am neither dead nor alive
What curse on these times is it?
Has justice been done even after adjudication
I have watched FAITH being murdered.
I have watched Ignis moving towards suicide.
How cruel can be an Unnecessary test
How humiliating!
I have witnessed.

(Pointing towards himself)

Witness is this Suspicion
Oh death! Have I been spared?
Has the cause been spared?
How, what role is it that I have to play?
Oh my tired self '
I do not wish to appear on the stage anymore
Not anymore
Don't want to appear on the stage anymore.

(Falls down. EARTH appears on the stage)

Earth : (Worried)

Wait 'O' Space! Wait O Time!
I have yet to appear on the stage
There is still the role of mine, Earth's.
I know I am uninvited.
No role has been given to me.
Nor dialogues.
But mother I am'have lived every moment
of daughter's.
I have been silent'like endurance.
I remember Janaka's garden
Remember the happy period
Of Svayamvara* too
Remember Pancavati.
And haven't forgotten Asoka Vattika either.
What can be hidden from me in my expanse?
Can mother really not intervene
In a settlement of married daughter?
In any settlement whatsoever
Can she really not?

(Looking at Suspicion)

I will intervene. I will
Is this the outcome of the settlement?
What sort of result is this,
of this test by fire
Suspicion is alive even after death.

(Looking in the direction in which Rama and Sita had gone)

No, my daughter no!
Even if no role was assigned to the mother
Till this half- dead Suspicion breathe
Mother too cannot remain without a role.

(Suspicion groans. Tries to get up but falls)

Beware my daughter! Beware!
I have but to find a role for myself
Must find dialogues

* marriage by own's choice

On this stage having no role for me.
Lo! Holding the future by its neck
The mother takes a vow for all future
I am with you daughter.
Ready to intervene.
There shall be no more
dead settlement.


Huh! What a great protection Rama has given
Did I marry you off only for you to be
Did I marry you off only so that
You do not enjoy
Your husband's glory even for a single day
Did I marry you off only for this?
For only this
So that you be led to a meaningless settlement
That you are thrown into fire?

(gets composed)

Go dear daughter, go.
No age can have expanse larger than mine.
Neither is Ayodhya separate from me
Nor the forest.
May this era remain the witness
If ever you are insulted
If ever Rama does not receive you with open arms,
This Earth, the mother
will offer her lap for your honor,
Not any fire, not any fire Certainly not
Even fragments of Ignis.

Original Story in Hindi by Divik Ramesh
Translated by AVM Vishwa Mohan Tiwari and Group Captain Anand Prakash

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More by :  Vishwa Mohan Tiwari, AVM (Retd)

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