THE UNEXPECTED SOLUTION
“But that should not be a problem at all for you Mahadev” commented Nagaraja. “After all, you can read anyone’s mind. Why don’t you just peep into Mother Parvati’s mind to know what exactly she wants.”
“Excellent idea, Nagaraja” said Chandra Dev, thumping his colleague on his back.
“You really think so?” questioned Shiva, his eyes lighting up.
“Indeed Lord. Our thoughts were never hidden from you.”
Shiva closed his eyes and went into meditation. Chandra dev and Nagaraja looked on expectantly. Shiva’s face seemed to brighten up for a few moments but soon became crestfallen Shiva opened his eyes.
“Well, Lord? Were you able to read Mother Parvati’s mind?”queried Chandra Dev
“Yes, yes Lord- What did you see?” questioned Nagaraja, excitedly
Shiva replied “Nothing….much. I only saw myself in her mind”
Chandra Dev and Nagaraja looked at each other delightedly. “That means, Lord, Mother Parvati only wants you. Your problem is solved.”
“Then why is she annoyed with me?” asked Shiva, still puzzled
“Because you don’t want her the way she wants you to want her” explained Chandra Dev.
“Eh….? What was it? Could you repeat ?”
Chandra Dev and Nagaraja began to speak slowly as if explaining to a child.
“Mother Parvati is angry with you because….” Nagaraja began
“You don’t want her…”
“The way she wants you…”
“To want her” finished Chandra Dev
Shiva still looked bewildered.
Chandra Dev sighed. “My Lord, you need to express your love to Mother Parvati. Please go and cajole her. Tell her how much you love her.”
Reluctantly Shiva got up and began walking away.
“Do you think Mahadev call pull it off? asked Nagaraja in a whisper to Chandra Dev
“Not a chance. He is sure to make a mess. Let’s follow discreetly”
Shiva reached the banks of the Manasarovar where Parvati was sitting, throwing pebbles into the lake.
Shiva cleared his throat to let her know he was there. Parvati’s only acknowledgement was to look stubbornly away.
“Parvati….I know you are angry with me. And I think I know the reason” Shiva said with confidence
Parvati looked at him expectantly.
Shiva began “Parvati…I have not wanted you the way you want me to want ….No no…wait…. You want me to want you but I have not wanted….Wait…not that”. Mahadev’s voice trailed away as he racked his memory furiously to recollect what Chandra and Nagaraja had said.
Parvati responded by turning her face away and throwing a stone into the lake with more force than necessary.
“Psst…psst…” Shiva heard a familiar hissing sound. Looking down he saw Nagaraja slithering near his feet in his serpent form. Shiva lowered his hand and the snake crawled up to his shoulder.
The snake whispered into his ears “ Forget all that. Tell her I love you….”
Shiva cleared his throat again and began “Er…Parvati….Nagaraja would like me to tell you that… he loves me”
Parvati gave him a look of total incredulity.
“No…no” winced Nagaraja “Say.. you love her”
“Oh” comprehension dawned on Shiva’s face. He began once again “Er…Parvati…Nagaraja tells me I should tell you that I love you.”
Chandra Dev slapped his hand on his forehead. He knew his master was called Bhole-nath, but was he really so naïve?
Seeing Parvati getting furious, Chandra Dev and Nagaraja decided that it would be prudent to remove Shiva from the scene. They grabbed an arm on either side and began leading him away.
Shiva was too worried to protest. Back at Kailash, Chandra and Nagaraja seated Shiva on his seat while they stood in front of him.
“My Lord… you were certainly remarkable” commented Nagaraja sarcastically.
“Don’t rub it in Nagaraja” replied Shiva quietly
Nagaraja shook his head in disbelief. “My Lord…the words of love which come naturally to every man, on seeing his wife, didn’t even occur to you? We had to prompt you? ”
Shiva buried his head in his hands.
All three were silent
“My lord” began Chandra Dev in his soft voice, “it’s not your fault. Ever since Kamadeva was burnt by you, feelings of love and desire have evaporated. You may not have noticed, but the world has not been the same since. The plaintive call of the cuckoo is not heard, the peacock does not unfurl his feathers and dance for his peahen anymore and young men and women pass by each other without as much as a glance.”
“My lord, Kamadeva’s presence would spread a magical enchantment. Under his influence, despair would turn into hope, past would give way to future, ugliness would transform into beauty.
The feelings of love, passion and desire are essential for existence. “Without them”, concluded Chandra dev “the bliss in marriage, the joy of union, is lost.”
“As you have, no doubt, discovered by now” remarked Nagaraja icily.
Shiva’s face became inscrutable. Chandra Dev trembled, wondering whether he had overstepped his limits. “Forgive me Lord…if I have…”
Shiva held up his hand, “you are right Chandra Dev.” Shiva closed his eyes. Nagaraja and Chandra Dev watched with bated breaths. They realized Shiva was summoning someone.