So, the interview with Madhura is here. Madhura, there is no character named Madhure in Ramayana, but I didn’t lie. Madhure is the past life name of Mandodari, the wife of Ravana and mother of three illustrious but ill- famed sons.
She came down on earth to answer the queries which generally come in mind when her role in the saga is discussed (which is rarely done).
Me: So… why have you chosen me for taking the interview?
She: My husband and son told that there are plenty of dumb people on paatal, and so don’t waste time on finding the right kind. They suggested your name and made my job easy.
Me: If I am that dumb… why is it that your family encounters only me.
She: God punishes in different ways.
Me: (Ignored :P) So… Mandodari… tell us about something about yourself.
She: You are taking my interview… what do you know about me?
Me: Well… We don’t find much about you in Ramayana… but in other texts there are stories that you were the daughter of Mayasura and Hema. One day Ravana visited your house and fell in love with you and they you two were married. Is this true?
She: That depends on what you believe. You believe what you heard and read or what a demon’s wife is gonna tell you?
Me: Well… I will believe what a sage’s daughter tells me.
She: I am a married woman… I am no longer anyone’s daughter. My only accountability can be drawn through my husband.
Me: Aah… talking about your husband… some say that he abducted Sita as Rama had dishonored Supranakha, his sister. How was that an appropriate conduct for one who is considered to be the biggest devotee of Shiva?
She: Get your facts right. He did not abduct Sita because of his sister. He had already heard about Rama’s victory over several demons. He had the knowledge that this is either Vishnu or just a common man having extraordinary skills… in any situation he knew he would win.
Me: But he lost…
She: How? In the battleground, it was proved that Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu as no other being in the world had power to destroy my lord. He was killed by the God himself.
Me: If that was the only motive, why would he abduct Sita? He could have waged war against Ayodya or against Rama itself.
She: Wouldn’t he then be looked upon as a fool? Why would the keeper of Kuber’s treasure need to invade anyone? He had power, authority, money… everything… what would have been the explanation to invade Ayodya? And about challenging Rama.. well… that is even more amusing as to why would the greatest king be interested in a forest dweller.
Me: Ok… talking about Seeta… how was her conduct in Ashoka Vatika?
She: Well… she was a serene lady. I was very much impressed by her faithfulness towards her husband, and the belief that he would come to rescue her was applaudable.
Me: What was your reaction when your husband told that he has abducted a woman.
She: I was not at all surprised at first as similar incidents had occured in the past, but when I came to know that he had taken the guise of sadhu and fooled Sita to believe him I was a bit disappointed. He did a sin henious than forcefully taking a woman.
Me: We read in Valmiki Ramayana that when all the great warriors of Lanka died, Ravana organizes a yajna (“fire sacrifice”) to assure his victory. Rama sent a troop of monkeys headed by Hanuman and the monkey prince Angada to destroy this yajna. The monkeys created havoc in Ravana’s palace, but Ravana continues the yajna. Angada dragged you by your hair in front of Ravana. The enraged Ravana abandons the yajna and strikes Angada with his sword. Is this correct?
She: You will find gruesome descriptions in Krittivasi Ramayana and Bichitra Ramayana. Well.. I would just say that my husband was no less loyal than Rama and protected me whenever needed.
Me: Ok… last question… what did you learn from Sita?
She: What was the need? Instead she learnt quite a lot things from me.
She: Like… how to put on makeup… I gave her many of my secrets… and yeah… she learnt a thing which she actually had to follow in later life… when Rama abandoned her and sent her to forest where she gave birth to her two illustrious sons… it was my conduct that she followed.
Me: And that was?
She: To be with your man… always. If I was with my husband, when he conquered the world… it was my duty to be with him when he failed at the hands of a forest dweller. If I was with him at his best then I had the duty to be at his worst too. And I did that. Sita also did that.
Me: Panchakanyas…. the one among the five virgins… thank you for coming over and chat with me.
She: Well… I was so bored in heavens… but still don’t call me back.
So, the interview is over. Will meet you soon after I make up something else to publish. 😛