Who was Raavan, Really?
Raavan, represents evil. But what was he really like? Read on to this piece of fiction, to show Raavan for what he really was.
"Mu ha ha ha", laughed Raavan, coolly side-stepping a metal-reinforced arrow with 'Made in ARR' [Ayodhya Ram Rajya] engraved on it. He was at war right now, against Ram, the king of Ayodhya, whose wife Sita, Raavan had cunningly kidnapped to woo and to revenge Ram. Raavan, the master warrior, lowered his heavy bow effortlessly, to string it tighter and thought to himself
"Am I not good enough for beautiful Sita? I have a fire resistant palace with gold detailing, an army of actual humans unlike Ram’s, a vedic education that I passed with such colours even the gods were impressed, I have mountains of gold and confidence... Why isn’t Sita willing to marry me?!"
If someone told him, that 6000 years later, people will believe he had ten heads, he would have cocked his head to the side and said ‘huh?’ and gone back to stringing his bow. Raavan had 10 metaphoric heads … of greed, jealousy, arrogance, and some qualities like intelligence and knowledge, that you wouldn’t expect in a "Mu ha ha ha" kind of villain.
Raavan was tall. The modern day 6’2” (or 8 ‘kadd’ in height, a unit measured to be the stride of an average man). He had black curly hair, alert brown eyes, minimal clothing of a loin cloth with embroidery, and one gold necklace with lord shiva carved on its pendant.
Raavan was satisfied with his bow performance. Of course he would be, he had done this so many times. He had trained hard. Most of his life went by waking at 4am to meditate, then pray, exercise and practice the art of war. His hard work reflected in his fit body, ribbed with muscles. He oozed with confidence. His walk, his slow meditative deep voice and his height, collectively towered over his kingdom, making him a feared, revered ruler and his stories crossed continents. The people of Lanka, wanted to be him.
Raavan plucked the bow string once more, to check for tightness and lifted it. He grabbed an arrow from the ledge of the rath, and as he positioned it to aim at someone causing a nuisance in the distance, he could not help thinking of the monstrous efforts he had put into revenging Ram. He had planned it meticulously for months. Raavan had specially retrofitted a big bird with a carriage that would smoothy lift him and his kidnappee Sita from Bharat to Lanka. The army on standby and a couple of ships docked near the tip of Bharat, in case his airlifting bird failed and he had to run with Sita on foot to the shore.
One half moon night, a few weeks before his attack, he had summoned his Guruji from the deep forest, to the palace library.
“Pranaam Guruji” Raavan bowed to the white robed, white bearded scholar.
“Tell me, Raavan. What is on your mind? Why do you summon me from afar?”
“Guruji. I cannot get over Ram insulting my sister Shurpanakha. I am burning to take revenge!”, his eyes widening in anger. “I want him to feel my pain! I am choosing to tear away what is closest to him, which is Sita, his devout wife”.
Guruji waited, allowing Raavan to get a hold on his heated breath.
“Raavan, you know this is not…”
“Yes, I know Guruji. Revenge cannot be the right path! Anger cannot be! Jai Mahadev!” Raavan clenched his fists tight and closed his eyes with a deep breath. His was a master of the vedas. He knew the right path…. but his ego, his nature, the inbuilt fire he was born with, overshadowed and consumed all the vedic wisdom he knew.
Guruji kept silent, thinking for a minute. Then said. “Raavan, I get a feeling this is not all about vengeance”.
“I know you Raavan. You are smart and calculative. You choose not to war with Ram, but to target his wife. This doesn’t sound like a normal war tactic”.
Raavan took a deep breath. Why was he not surprised? Guruji knew the answer. Guruji always knows everything.
“It is about Sita”. Raavan walked slowly to the steps of the large balcony. He turned his back to Guruji and looked out to night, where the view of a half moon was accompanied by lights from burning sticks along the palace wall and silhouettes of soldiers, some asleep standing.
“While planning my revenge on Ram, I heard about Sita from my spies. The more I heard, the more I was mesmerized with the idea of her. Her virtues, devotion, loyalty... Her beauty... her skin is supposed to be milky, eyes honey brown, and her long hair like silk. She smells better than the best agarbatti. She is perfect. I want her…...no, i want her to want ME!”. Raavan turned abruptly to look at Guruji.
”I will ask her to be my wife!”
“Raavan! The consequences of your actions will be heavy”
Guruji was not afraid to voice himself (which is why he was the guru in the first place. No one else dare challenge Raavan’s confident decisions).
“Your madness and obsession will drive you down. Do not war with Ram. He has magnitudes more loyalists and supporters than you do.”
Raavan turned his back, to look at the fireplace. The debate was over.
Raavan had made up his mind.