MahaBharath : Deus ex machina - Part I

Sathyavathy's father extracted the terrible celibacy vow from Bhishma because he wanted his daughter to be the queen and his grandson to be the future king. And God from above said, 'All right! But that's it. Nothing beyond that.' So the first grand son Chitrangada died in battlefield in his prime. The second grandson Vichitravirya and the reigning king remained childless when he was afflicted by a strange disease that had no cure.
This chapter is from the last day of Vichitravirya.


Vichitravirya is rotting in his bed. He is thin as a stick. His first wife, Ambika, is in consultation with the physician.
'Is it two teaspoons every six hours or six teaspoons every two hours?' Ambika asked.
'It depends.'
'Depends on what?'
'Depends on whether you want him to die now or later. It is euthanasia medicine. Six teaspoons of it and he will die.'
The physician bows solemnly and withdraws.
'Doctor, Stop!' Vichitravirya calls out.
He turns to Ambika.'Oh, Damsel of fair thighs and black eyes!', Ambika rolls her eyes annoyed. 'I want to talk to the doctor in private.'
'I think the disease has reached his head. Go for six teaspoons.' The doctor whispers as he goes past Ambika. Ambika leaves the bedroom.
'I saw you prescribing the same medicine to my father. And he was out cold in two hours.'
The doctor remains silent.
'Well! Say something.'
'What can I say? You already know the truth.'
'Oh, Dear God! I was just bluffing there.'
'Well..'
'Save it now! I don't mind dying. It is the future of dynasty that I am worried about.'
'These things are not in our hands.'
'Of course, it is! How much time do I have?'
'You have been trying for ten years. What is going to change now? Besides, the very act will kill you. Abstain from acts of pleasure!'
'I am not after pleasure, OK! I have a duty to perpetuate this dynasty.'
'And that very act will bring an end to this dynasty.'
'It is an irony. Isn't it?'
'What's an irony?'
'Haven't you watched Hollywood movies? The hero saves the dog from volcano but lets the grandmother die. That's irony.'
"Isn't it an example of farce?'
'Oh I don't know! There is so much I want to do. I want to be a father! I want to know irony from farce!'
Doctor pats him understandingly and leaves.

Ambalika, Vichitravirya's second wife enters the room little later.
'Oh, Damsel of..'
'Will you come to the point. That bitch Ambika said that you have got just six hours to live.'
'That's four hours more than my father got. But dear, the doctor forbade me from indulging in your last wish. He says I might die.'
'All the better! That means I will have a kid and my sister will not..'
'But..'
'You know how much I hate my sister. All my life I have been using the stuff discarded by her. Clothes, books! She gets the new ones. I get the ones used by her. This is my best chance of revenge.'
She draws closer to him and kisses him. First on forehead, then on cheeks and lips.
The door opens and Sathyavathy and Bhishma enter. The couple separate.
'Queen Mother! I was talking with my husband.'
'It didn't look like the way I saw it. Anyway, you scram now. I and Bhishma need to discuss something with your husband.'
Ambalika withdraws from the room petulantly.

'She was trying to cheat her sister of her right again. Wasn't she?' Sathyavathy asked her son.
'Ma! why don't you stop poking your nose in things that don't matter to you?'
'OK! Here is a thing that matters to me. How do we perpetuate this dynasty?'
'I am not dead yet. Am I?'
'Son! I know a loosing horse when I see one.'
'You never loved me. Did you? Chitrangada was your blue eyed boy. No wonder, you can't understand Ambalika's feelings.'
'This is not personal. It is strictly business. Do you want to hear my thoughts or not?
'OK. Go ahead.'
'There are just two ways to perpetuate the dynasty.After your death..' Vichitravirya vinces.
'Bhishma becomes the king.'
'But he has vowed to stay away from the crown!'
'Or..'
'Or?' Bhishma opens his mouth for the first time.
'Or he gives offspring to Ambika who begets a son for Vichitravirya.'
'Mother! How could you..' Vichitravirya and Bhishma shout in unison.
'Just calm down now! Both of you. I have consulted vedas with respect to the propriety and...'
'Vedas be damned! You will not do this to your brother, will you Bhishma pitamah?'
Bhishma thinks hard for a moment and then says, 'No! I will not break my vow of celibacy either.'

Ambalika enters the room with a glass of Soma juice.
'I hope your discussion with my husband is over.'
'What is this? I never knew you were good at stirring up love potions.'
'Oh, no! Ambika made this specially for me. She is sweet and trusting. Isn't she?'
'Well I will not stop you. I hope you succeed in your devilish plan for the dynasty's sake.'
Sathyavathy and Bhishma leaves the room. Ambalika closes the door behind them and walks to the bed seductively.
Sathyavathy and Bhishma come out of the room.
'We need to come up with something before he dies in six hours!' Sathyavathy sighs. Bhishma nods.

In Ambika's room, she throws an empty medicine bottle in the trash can.
'That bitch! I am going to kill her. I really am going to kill her.' Ambalika's scream fills the palace. She has on her lap the dead body of vichitravirya.

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