"Tell me again, Ma, the story of my birth."
I looked into my son's beady little mischievous eyes, as I nursed his jaw. His attempt to eat the Sun, mistaking it to be a ripe mango, and thus avoiding an eclipse had made Lord Indra rage after him. But he is but a child, I will never forgive Indra for having thrown Vajra (thunderbolt) at Anjaneya. Now he has a permanent mark on his jaw.
"Oh, Hanuman!" I let out a sigh as I looked at him. "Hanuman", I mumbled, 'one with the broken chin'
"Yes, my love...." I began,
"Not so long ago, in a place faraway from here, King Dasaratha of Ayodhya was a performing a yagna. Like me and your father, VeeraKesari, the King too was praying to have his own children. After Sage Rishyashringa performed the Putrakameshti yagna for King Dasaratha, Lord Agni came before Dasaratha and gave him some payasam (pudding) which was to be be shared between King Dasaratha's three wives."
Hanuman, sat up straight mouthing the words with me as he had heard this the story many a times, both from me and his father. I often wonder what he would think if I told him, how I actually came unto this Earth. What would he say, if he heard the story of Apsara Punjikastala - the heavenly maiden who was cursed by a sage whose meditation she had disrupted and whose looks she had mocked, thus being sent to the Earth as a Vanara (monkey). Would anyone care at all, what my identity was, before I became a wife, before I became a mother?
"Ma, then what happened?"
Ignoring my thoughts, I continued.
"As King Dasaratha was about to hand over the pudding to his third wife, Queen Sumithra, a huge bird snatched it from his hands and flew up in the sky, far from anyone's reach. The bird flew higher and higher and wanted to keep the pudding for herself but a gust of wind blew her way and she lost her grip. It was then that Lord Vayu, the Wind God, following Lord Shiva's orders blew the pudding straight into my hands."
"My Hanuman, I had been praying to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati everyday for you. And finally they heard my prayers. I took the offering and was blessed with you, my Anjaneya, my Pavanputra, my Kesarinandan"
He was beaming ear to ear, and I couldn't help but smile. Does my past matter at all? The path that I took, the roads I walked in my life, in one way or another led to this. It is destiny. To many destiny may mean something, but to me, destiny is 'someone' and that someone is my Son.
I patted his head gently and could see his eyelids dropping. "You are destined for great things, my child" I whispered and promised to be always grateful to the past, present and future.
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These short stories were developed during the A-Z challenge in 2014. Each story is based on 26 colours which commence with every letter of the alphabet from A to Z. The themes developed in these stories range from marital despair to urban city-life blues, from love to loss, from child abuse to infidelity, divorce, and much more.
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