On The Son and A Dim Side To A Suryavanshi Love.
He was the last of the four valiant sons and the child of Dasharata’s last wife. His eldest brother was handsome, smart and ideal- revered Rama. His other brothers Lakshmana and Bharata too excelled in all activities considered ‘kingly’. Every time his mother Kaikeyi told him that he was the best, he knew that she lied. “The grandson of the Kekeya kingdom could be nothing less than the best” she said. His inferiority complex shone brighter than the Suryavanshi flag as he refused to play with his brothers and friends because he always knew they’d beat him. He was never a specialist nor was he attractive and he knew it. A peasant in a princely household.
One day, after dismissing a long session at the royal court, father Dasharata walked into the bedroom chambers to get some rest. Shatrugna was sitting quietly in his room and staring at the giant rose that grew by his balcony. He heard the door crack and was horrified to see his father stare at him in disbelief.
Enjoying the view of flowers were effeminate things. He slowly extended his left hand anticipating lashes from the cane. Dasharata was left aghast. This the image he had created for himself among his children. A monstrous man who discriminated among his children. Shamed by this behavior he asked his son to join him during deer hunting next morning. What better way to get to know your child?
Shatrugna woke up early next morning eager to please his father and prove his manhood. He had never been more nervous. They left the palace grounds on 3 stallions, armed with bows and arrows, silently waiting to hear the rustle of the leaves. A deer darted before them. Dasharata was quick to chase. They closed in on the ‘innocent’ one.
Shatrugna had waited his entire life to prove his worth. His inclusion depended on it. It would make him one among the respected. Guru Vasishta would be proud if he used the secret mantra to summon invisibility and be one with Vayu or air.
He walked stealthily towards the fine musk and caught it by the neck. Dasharata shot an arrow unaware of his son’s presence. There were two cracks, two thuds but one big roar of pain. That day, Dasharata lost a deer and a dear.