Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Satyavati (Mythological Monologues #19)

Women are judged everyday- aren't they?
You are kind - you will be labelled weak
You are outspoken - you will be labelled blunt
In my time, in the past
Also in the near and faraway future
Women will be judged more harshly than men;
So I - Satyavati, a headstrong fisher woman 
Decided to live life on my own terms
Let them call me anything they want-
Selfish, Manipulative, Scheming
Yet I will live life on my own terms
Defying the rules of the society. 

I did not want to marry King Shantanu
Unless he promised to give my sons
The rights to be called King of Hastinapur.
I- Satyavati never saw it as blackmailing
It was a wise concern for my position;
Desiring a life of power and respect
Living life on my own terms
Was considered a sin for a woman
I attracted mean glances and taunts
Yet I never wanted to live a life of sacrifice.
Shantanu and Ganga's son, Devavrata 
Took a colossal vow, becoming Bhishma
To ensure his father's happiness with me. 
He left his rights to be the King, 
Giving my sons the power the rule the kingdom.

Blessed Bhishma is, the son of Goddess Ganga
Divine qualities are inherent within him
Whereas I had to experience the eternal 
Tug of war between virtues and vices.
Be it destiny or Karma, I lost both my sons
-Chitrangad and Vichitravirya 
Leaving the kingdom without an heir. 
I- Satyavati was not a woman 
Who would succumb under remorse and pity.
I ensured Hastinapur has heirs
By calling Sage Vyasa, my son out of wedlock.
My grandsons, Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidur
Were born, taking the Kuru clan forward. 

Women are judged everyday- aren't they?
I- Satyavati, the great grandmother 
Of Pandavas and Kauravas 
Never feared being judged and criticized;
Never did I compete with anyone
Never did I want to be better than anyone;
I embraced everything about myself-
The virtues and the vices.
I weaved ambitious dreams
Tried to capture the entire sky
In my two tiny eyes
Controlled and rectified situations
When things went wrong;
I- Satyavati lived life on my own terms
I was a woman way ahead of my times.

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: Satyavati was the queen of King Shantanu in the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. She was the great grandmother of the Pandavas and Kauravas. 

Rukmini (Mythological Monologues #18)


  1. These tales always suggest Purba that even throughout our history women have exhibited such strong desires and dreams for their progeny. Such a lovely weave yet again

  2. Your monologue shows feminstic conciousness. Satyavathi liberated herself from male dominated society.

  3. It is enlightening to know how women have been conscious throughout the history and mythologies... Thankyou for bringing out these strong characters and introducing their turmoil and struggles so well through your verses.

  4. She was way ahead of her times indeed. Women have been judged, are judges and will continue to be judged. That's the Mahabharata for you. It describes events of the past, present and the future!

    P.S: Drawing inspiration from you, I wrote a poem from Mother Earth's point of view.

  5. With your verse, got to see Satyavati in different light. She was quintessentially strong headed woman for sure.

  6. Hari OM
    Purba - the women of the world are ever strong, even as they face contiually the judgements! YAM xx

  7. Satyavati was such a strong women with intelligence, foresight and self-confidence. She is one of the powerful character from Mahabharata! Have read that if she didnt ask for her sons to be the kings, Bhishma would had been the king and guess there wouldnt had been a Mahabharata!

  8. Yes when you know you will be judged irrespective, it's better to be judged for your happiness than your misery. Satyavati was one strong lady, queen and mother.

  9. Never saw Satyavati's this side. It's a ew revelation for me. How beautifully you penned her pain here. I just wonder, wonder and wonder.


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