Saturday 29 May 2021

Kamala Belagur, Third Prize, Prose 500 2021

Urmila, The Wave of Emotions
The meaning of the name, "Urmila" is the wave of emotions, perhaps also a mermaid or a magician.

Urmila was a good painter as well as being blessed with virtues of kindness, renunciation and sacrifice, she pleases all. However, the less sung tragic heroine of the Hindu epic Ramayana is Urmila. Urmila's role in the Ramayana is of no importance. No justice was done to enhance her role. If so, that would have been a more epic story. 
Consider this.

Rama and Sita are the protagonists of the Ramayana. The lord Rama is the eldest of the sons of Dasharatha the king of Ayodhya. Lakshman, Bharath and Shatrughna, are brothers of the Lord Rama. The King of Mithila, Janaka's daughter, Sita and Urmila, Mandavi, Shrutakirthi, are her sisters. Sita's sisters were married to Rama's brothers during Sita's swayamvar, a ceremony where the princess chose her future husband based on his acts of valour at the event.

Many people do not know that Urmila was the Sita's sister and daughter of King Janak. When Rama sent on an exile, with Lakshman and Sita, to honour his father's words, Urmila also wants to follow her husband, but Lakshmana convinces her to stay back in the palace and serve her mother-in-law.
Accordingly, at the height of her youth, Urmila spent fourteen years in isolation, without her husband. She goes into a deep sleep of meditation in anticipation of Lakshman. According to one story, Urmila spent fourteen years in a meditative sleep (also Lakshman's sleep). During this time, although  Lakshman was conscious and was engaged in the service of Sita and Ram in his corporal form.
Lord Ram supported Sita in every trouble. Urmila was also Janak's daughter and grew up in the same palace. The narrator has no remorse for the way, Urmila is portrayed, who despite being the wife of Lakshman  is deprived of all happiness. There is no clarity about the role of the tragic heroine.
Surprisingly, even those who still remember Kaikeyi and her evil friend, Manthara, do not know about Urmila, who topped the line of great women. But it's the truth..

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