Sita’s Deer

There is a belief that all our actions are premeditated, and free will but an illusion. That as leaves afloat on white waters, we might feel we are simply tossed around randomly in whirlpools, when in fact we are rapidly hurtling down the stream. We might in the incessant chaos around us feel that we had a say, when actually our decisions were taken for us.

In that bleak and dark jungle, a glaring orange or yellow meant that one was witnessing a tiger. Yet this glow, as Sita noticed was more alluring. It shimmered like long grass tossed by the wind and it’s radiance was like gold. It was indeed better than gold, the jewels she had left behind were dead. What she witnessed was enthused with life, it animated the leafs around it. Unblinking she stood gazing, till that form entered a clearing and she could see what it really was.

Some distance away, stood a deer. A golden deer with eyes as dark as coal. And the deer blinked, as they stood peering into one another’s eyes. Sita stood rooted to the spot, her hand stuck midway in plucking a parijat flower, when suddenly the basket she was carrying slipped from her fingers and fell and spilt the delicate flowers around. And in that instance the deer, with all its gold jumped and vanished into that darkness from which it had sprung.

Sita awoke from the dwam the beauty of the deer had cast her into. She leaped not unlike the deer in the direction in which it had run. She desired the deer, she desired that gold.

The jungle was dark, dense and prone to magic she did not know. She thought she saw the deer, once here and then there. She jerked her neck and turned to keep it in her sight. She desired that deer and she would have it.

She came to her hutment, and picked up a type of plant she had seen other deer love. As she proceeded back into that jungle, she imagined how pretty the foals of this deer would be. How pretty the hide would be.

Yet the deer was not baited. It tantalized her by coming ever closer, but never withing her grasp. It moved it limbs tentatively, one at a time while approaching. It head bobbing forwards and backwards, and it would leap back and begin all over again. Sita grew restless and finally flung herself towards the deer. She was sure she would have caught it, but she didn’t.

She then turned to her husband Ram, and begged him, to please get the deer for her.