Certain elements in the story may appear random to those who are not acquainted with the ‘Mahabharata’, the epic tale of the struggle and battle between two powerful families over a kingdom, a story which is an important part of the Hindu mythology (mythology or history?).
Translated by Prinsep, James; at the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, 1838. Explanations and definitions are presented as endnotes. Translations and comments are within <angular brackets>.
This is an extract from the journal of Draupadi, real name Krishna. The original is estimated to be several thousands of years old, and what survives is taken from a faithfully rewritten account from a distant descendant of Dhaumya, her family priest.
This is her account of how Duryodhan, the Kuru prince, plotted with the help of his uncle Shakuni to deprive their cousins the Pandavs of their kingdom and their rights, and traces the story of her husband, the pandavas, from the time they lost everything at the gamble, to their time in exile.
The story is at odds with the official version of the Mahabharata, as age and the egos of the learned managed to layer the facts with white lies and half-truths to change it to its present accepted version.
<The game of dice>
The announcer ran to my chambers, “Your Grace…” he said, catching his breath, “He’s coming…” “Who?” I asked. “Prince Duhshasan, your Grace…” I was stunned. Anyone who was not a part of my chamber had to ask permission to come in. Even if it were my own husbands.
The guards held Duhshasan’s squad at bay. When he saw me, he shouted: “Come, you Daasi <slave>, it is time for you to go to your master.” I gave a stare that would wither a Banyan tree. Cowering, he said…”You are to come immediately with me to the great hall of kings.” “It is not for you to command or even suggest where I am to go, haughty and uncouth prince. I will come at my pace.”
Misgivings played out in my head as I went to the hall of kings – where a game of Pacheesi(iv) was being played out between my husbands and their cousins, the Kurus. It had so transpired that Yudhistir, normally the most sensible of my husbands, had in desperation, gambled away not only his wealth and kingdom, but also his brothers and himself. Not realising how he’d been cheated, he also gambled me away. So I was now technically a Daasin, a servant of the victors.
Duryodhan, the eldest Kuru prince, had already asked my husbands to disrobe and stand in the manner of slaves. He taunted the younger brothers to give up Yudhistir, who had gambled them all away. They stood there mutely, looking down. What fools I have married!
Karn then diverted the attention to me. He said: “Now that Draupadi is a Daasi, she can marry a Kuru prince. If she can live with five husbands, she can have a sixth, or a seventh, or a hundred and five of them.” The Kuru brothers broke into laughter. There were jeers and catcalls. All this happening in front of the elders of Hastinapur.
Then Duryodhan told Duhshasan: “See how the whore stands…she still thinks she is a princess. Let us all see how she looks. Take off her sari. Let us all have a glimpse of this woman who once dared to mock us.”
With nearly a hundred voices backing him, Duhshasan was emboldened enough to reach out and grab the pallu of my sari. I gripped the pallu and planted my feet there. The yellow sari had an inlay of gold and copper fibres, so it was quite strong and wouldn’t tear. Duhshasan pulled and jerked to dislodge my grip, but I held firm. Was he thinking that he would be able to defeat me in this game of tug?
Beads of sweat had coated Duhshasan’s forehead and nose. He changed position and tried his level best. He might as well have been trying to pull down a castle wall. Then he to dislodge me with quick pulls from different angles. He ran around me, trying to unwrap the sari, or cause it to get entangled around my wrist. The fool. I only had to turn around to counter his angle. The strain on my arm was not too much, but my perfectly muscled forearms and biceps were taut with definition. The veins lining them gave ample hints of the power I had. Duhshasan was embarrassed now and very afraid too. He was jumping like a langur <monkey> and screaming to disorient me.
It was getting exasperating. Finally, I decided that I need to lose this fellow. As he made a jump sideways, I turned and gave the sari such a pull that Duhshasan couldn’t manage to retain balance and sprawled face down at my feet.
The court was silent. Duhshasan’s chest was heaving with exertion and shame.
“O King!” I addressed Dhritarashtr, the father of the Kurus. “Is this how a princess of the family is to be treated?”
“We won her in a fair game of dice, father. We can do with her as we please!” Said Duryodhan. Saying so, he bared his hairy thigh and slapped it, saying: “Come daasi, sit here and give me pleasure.”
“How can I be treated like a daasi? Does Yudhistir have the moral right to gamble me away? Where is the courtesy of the great hall? Does even a daasi get disrobed in this manner?” I gave the assembly a discourse on how the great kings treated women with courtesy. And how by such acts, the entire clan had been brought to disrepute.
On the entreaties of Queen Gandhari and Vikarn, one of the Kuru brothers, it was decided that the results of the game would be annulled, and a fresh game played tomorrow. The loser would go onto an exile of thirteen years, the last year of which would be incognito.
Tonight I called Yudhistir to my chamber and chastised him. I have used a whip to make his butt raw with wounds, so that he would remember what consequences await him if he loses tomorrow.
The twelve years – selected adventures
<Excerpts from the journal>
…we set out with heavy hearts. I wanted to kill my husband for losing the match again. We are marching west, towards the river Sarasvati. Yudhistir intends to reach the forest of Kamyaka, where many Brahmans and ascetics reside. I have left my five sons with my father. I will miss them sorely, as they will miss their mother. But they need to grow up to be fine strong men and warriors.
…This is truly a beautiful place, abounding in animals and birds of all sorts. There are many medicinal plants and varieties of fruit, so the ascetics who live here are truly not wanting for food.
… Our cottage is now complete. Yudhistir spends time with travelling and residing mendicants, discussing with them the scriptures and arguing about Dharma. I fear with no one to guide him, he would while away his remaining days in such discussions. Bhim frets and rants about Duryodhan and Duhshasan, swearing to kill them. But mostly he eats. And can that man eat! The quiet Arjun spends time hunting. At least he is gainfully occupied. The twins entertain us with song and dance, which they are good at.
I am worried about this. What will happen to us after thirteen years in exile? Are we to return to Hastinapura like worn out villagers, only to be killed by the Kurus? I must do something about this.
Last night I thought about galvanising my husbands to action. Today, after the morning meal, I spoke with the family at length. I have convinced the moping Arjun to go to the Himalayas, to Mount Kailas, and learn the secrets of celestial weapons. Bhim is under a strict diet, I’ve got him chopping trees so that he gets back in shape. I need his shoulders to be strong so that he will be able to shatter Duryodhan’s bare thigh when we meet in battle. Yudhistir is not the battling type, so I am going to teach him how to throw the spear. He will never be able to match my prowess in this, but at least would be able to hold his own in battle. I’ve asked Bhim to whittle out practice swords for the twins. I will teach them how to wield swords…
Our largely peaceful and routine life was mightily disturbed today. A few days before he left for Kailas, Arjun had intercepted and killed a Rakshas <demon> called Saardul. The rakshas had been terrorising the old ascetics and killing them. After his death, a great wailing had erupted from the forest, like a hundred jackals calling out together.
Today, a beautiful woman called Sim came to our cottage. She wanted to take me to an old Durga temple deep in the forest. Since I can take care of myself, I let my husbands continue their training and followed Sim deep into the forest. After a while, I realised she was taking me to the denser parts where more rakshasas reside. I confronted her and she turned into her true form, a demon. Her name was Simhika. Her hair was more like a lions’ mane. Sharp claws appeared in place of shapely hands. Rough hair grew on her body. She jumped on me, intending to bite and claw, but I held her off, but with difficulty. The demon was strong and sinewy, but raw strength can be countered with leverage. My gurus had ensured that I learnt grappling as well. Soon I had her pinned down and submissive. She said she was the wife of the demon Arjun had slain. She had been driven by grief, as well as by the urgings of her brother, another demon called Kirmir. She warned me that Kirmir would not spare the Pandavs, especially, Bhim, who had killed his brother Bakasur and friend Hidimb.
Now Sahadev had seen me leaving, and had followed us discretely. As I let go of Simhika and she got up, Sahadev charged at her and slashed with his sword. It was too late to stop him; he had cut her breasts and face. She lay in a pool of blood, her life draining out of her. I finally managed to yank the sword out of his hand and slapped him with the back of my hand. The fool thought that he’d saved me. With sorrow, I went to Simhika and snapped her neck to relieve her suffering.
“But I saved you!” cried Sahadev, as I twisted his ear. “You fool, go run and get your brothers, we have a deadly battle coming upon us. Run!” Sahadev ran. I turned back to see storm clouds gathering, and made my way back to the cottage. I described the incident to Dhaumya, our head priest, and Yudhistir. It was decided that we will have to hold off Kirmir with guile and mantra <spells>, until Bhim came back from his daily chores.
Soon, a dark cloud appeared, taking the form of a hideous monster. It was Kirmir, of red eyes and hair. His very countenance was scary to say the least. He was accompanied by a host of smaller demons. The chants of Dhaumya gave us courage, and the monster hesitated. I stepped forward and spoke with Kirmir, who revealed that he knew we were responsible for the deaths of Bakasur, Hidimb and Simhika. He sorely wanted to kill us all, Bhim first. I parried him with questions of my own, gaining time until Bhim was there.
The battle was intense. Both broke off branches and used them as clubs. The strong rakhsas hurled rocks and boulders as well. It was good that Bhim had begun training. His conditioned body took all the attacks well, and he landed telling blows. Suddenly, a lesser demon attacked Bhim’s knees from behind. He lost his balance and fell. Kirmir took the opportunity to raise a boulder and smash Bhim’s head. But I picked up the club discarded by Bhim, and smote him fiercely on his neck. The monster collapsed dead. At this, his host fled, and darkness seemed to lessen. I helped Bhim to his feet, and tended his injuries lovingly. Tonight I will reward him magnificently.
…Arjun has now been gone nearly five years. I miss my reticent husband. Not that the others are any bad, but Arjun is special for me. So we are setting off for the Himalayas to receive him and bring him back.
… The five years have made Arjun a skilled archer, armed with weapons of mass destruction: The Narayanastra, Pasupatastra and more. He has also blossomed as a lover – has a wife called Subhadra. That brings the count of his wives to four, including myself.
Subhadra, the sister of the esteemed Sri Krishna, is a sweet girl, having many virtues. She is sharp, intelligent and well versed in law. I think we are going to make it off well…
…we are back to our cottage in Kamyaka. Dhaumya is happy to see us, and has prepared a feast…
…our twelfth year. They are ready, honed for battle. I have ensured my husbands don’t have an inch of extra flab. And if they do, I make sure they get the extra exercise at night.
Today the vile Jayadrath tried to abduct me. At least he tried to grab me with that intention. The vile king of Sindhu is also the husband of Duhshala, the sweet sister of the Kurus.
The villain felt that he could just pick me up and leave. He doesn’t know that I am also known as Agnijyotsna, that I am forged from fire. He grabbed me from behind and tried to pin me down. Since I am much taller than him, I hit him with my elbow on the head. He let me go and crouched, massaging his head. Then he tried to grab my legs, but I danced out of his way. My anklets played a tune as he lunged at me with frustration. Finally, I kicked him in the chest and he rolled over. “So, Jayadrath, what did you intend with that friendly approach of yours?” I asked him after I had planted a foot on his chest. He grunted and tried to get up, but a firm push from my foot made sure he didn’t get up. Then he tried to get up, pushing with his legs and arms, thrusting with all his fairly strong body to push my foot off. But I kept him down, pinned with my foot on his chest. He heaved, cried and screamed. He tried to push off my foot with his hands. My foot remained on his chest. The balled muscle of my calf indicating the pressure that was making it hard for him to breathe. “You can’t beat me, let alone take on my husbands. What was going on in your mind?” “I…ahh..I..thought you would be..ahh…sick and tired of staying in the forest…you must be missing the comforts of the palace…why not come with me?” As he said this, his push on my calves became a comforting rub, as he felt the hardness, and traced the lines of the muscles. A noticeable bulge appeared beneath his angavastra <suit>. I thought I should play with him a little.
“Hear, O Jayadrath, about my husbands. The eldest, Yudhistir, is the wisest among men. His nobility and understanding of Dharma <law> is second to none. Calm and composed he may be, but no better hurler of javelin you will find in the battlefield. He can kill an elephant with a spear.” “Bhim, the second husband, of mighty countenance and power, is second to none when it comes to strength of body. He is the slayer of demons, the uprooter of trees. Entire armies quake when he comes. In rage, his mace can fell man, beast and demon alike.” I pressed him even more. “I do not need to sing the virtues of Paarth, my husband Arjun. No other warrior comes close to him in wielding the bow and arrow. His bow is the divine Gandiv, and celestial weapons are for him to choose. Anger him, and chose the destruction of your clan.”
Jayadrath was now alarmed by recitation of my three husbands’ prowess. And aroused as well. He was feeling my calf softly, tenderly, admiring my muscle. I liked it too.
“Nakul and Sahadev are the wise and calm twins. They are well versed in astrology, medicine and battlefield tactics. Both are astute in the wielding of swords and well as other astras and sastras. In battle they are a formidable back up to the aforementioned three.”
I had now tired of Jayadrath’s ministrations to my calf muscles. Lifting my foot, I kicked him on his temple, and he swooned. My husbands rushed to see the inert Jayadrath lying in the mud. He slowly revived. We debated as to what should be done with him, and Yudhistir said: “A Kshatriya, if he lays his hands on a married woman, who also happens to be a related clansperson, deserves death.” These words were delivered by the authority on Dharma. But I argued: “He may deserve death, but remember, he is Duhshala’s husband, the Kuru sister, who you also treat as your own. Do you want her bereaved?” “Then what do we do? Should we let him go? We should kill him” said Bhim. “No. Humiliate him, let him go back to his kingdom, and let him remember that he owes his life to our mercy.” The obstinate Bhim shaved off Jayadrath’s hair in clumps, and sent him scurrying with a kick to the backside.
That fight has left me so horny. I want to fuck my husbands tonight. All of them. I want to make them scream, shout out my name in pleasure, in worship.
I will start with Yudhistir, the calm one. It is so strange to see a man so composed, change into a slobbering, open mouthed beggar, as I make love to him. He is a king, a wise and noble one, but when he lies below me, pinned down by my arms and wrapped in my legs, he begs me, begs for release. He is also skilled with his tongue, the long and strong tongue with which he touches me inside. He begs me for Somras <an alcoholic drink consumed during religious ceremonies>, by which he asks for my juices. I have plenty of that, especially after he coaxes it out of me with his tongue.
Bhim, the tough one. Actually the tender one. He needs tender love. His arms can crush and squeeze any person in this world, and if he gets rough, I remind him that my legs are stronger. Yes, stronger than Bhim’s mighty muscled arms. My legs are like iron maces. They can break a man into two. Or make him a man. After a long hard day trudging through the forest, there is nothing better than to fuck Bhim. He relieves all the tiredness.
What can I say about Arjun? My ‘Jishnu’ (as I like to call him in private). He is the most skilled amongst my husbands. As Subhadra testifies, he aims to please. Possessed of good stamina, and all the tricks of the trade, Arjun is the one to have in your bed if it is an all night long lovefest you are looking forward to.
Nakul and Sahadev, the sweetest, the most adorable husbands. Like children, they have required patience and nurturing to make them useful in bed. Nakul is the most perfect looking man I have ever seen. The most symmetrical face, limbs all in even proportion, a fair complexion, he is so adorable that many sages do not like him simply because their wives are filled with passion and lust when they see him. When I take him to bed, I think of him as a woman. I love to feel his soft chest (now somewhat toned with all that sword play), and caress him delicately. I like to squeeze that rounded rear of his. With both hands. When I get a little rough, he squeals, and I kiss to silence him. I love to part his soft thighs with mine, and pin his arms down. Then I thrust into him vigorously with abandon. How he squeals. After love making, he likes to snuggle in my arms. Sahadev is the naughty version of his brother. He loves a bit of punishment. He likes rough handling, to be spanked, arms twisted, legs wrapped around him. Sometimes I get a bit rough with him and he swoons. But I make sure he is OK. He is also the most acrobatic of the lot. That man can add a lot more postures to the venerable treatise of love written by Manu.