King Dusmanta comes back to the palace, never to go back to the same forest again. Neither he shows any interest to bring the forest girl in his palace. Reader can argue he should have brought her as long as he promised her so. But there is also another phrase in our memory  – there is nothing wrong in love and war. Truethat the esteemed King fell in love in the forest, but that was the love in the forest, not the one he enjoys in the civilised world. Why should he carry his memories of his powerlessness of the forest in the palace which keeps him powerful? The articulate love-sick ladies in his palace makes him feel powerful. His committed army, trusted courtiers, faithful servants as well as his grand palatial structure and the planned cityscape maintains his power. A king is the symbol of power after all. Kingship is threatened without power attached to it. And hence – the king takes an wise decision of forgetting his forest experience.

Botu the Brahmin believer was not being able to cope with the ideology of power since long – his decision of leaving the job brought some relief to the king as well. Encountering unsuitable moral preaching every now and then makes the life of a King horrible. The king does not forget arranging generous pension for his once friend, anyway. The illustrious Kings of the Chandra dynasty never forget their royal duty.

The forest lady Sakuntala and her friends waits and waits for the King’s messenger, till they realise the difference between the forest and civilisation. Sakuntala gives birth to a male child as expected who is growing up in the hermitage. The sage Kanva wis aware of the overwhelming role desire and fulfillment and power-games play in human life. Lions are not always very affectionate to kids. The King is the Lion who protects the land, not individuals. The hermit took up the task of educating his grandson to be the next ruler of the land.

We see some change  in Dushmanta’s behaviour after this adventure. He stops seasonal hunting sessions after this. Is the fat little Peggy responsible for this? Did she turn an advisor stronger than Botu? We know she and Dushmanta is still talking to each other – sometimes discussing administration, sometimes fighting. But does she preach too? We are not sure.

Sakuntala will meet Dushmanta after a few years – how will act and react seeing their once lovers after years? will they  reunite and appear in the royal court as happy couple for ever? What will happen to Peggy confined in the body of the macho King Dushmanta?

We will have to wait a few more months to know the conclusion of the story. Till then….bye.

© Kathakali Mukherjee, 2018