King Pandu was in the forest.
With his wives in the kingdom, Pandu was hunting in the jungles surrounding the kingdom of Hastinapur, looking for good kill.
He was searching for the wild animals.
But he was unable to find any wild animals and that was when he spotted two deers running around the forest. As Pandu was studying the deers, it was obvious that the animals were happy and joyful in each other’s company.
But unfortunately Pandu did not pay any attention to that. He was just frustrated that he had no kill for the day and without thinking he pulled out his arrow as he saw the deers.
The deers had just run behind a shrub and without thinking Pandu let his arrow fly.
The single event changed the event of Hastinapur. To an enormous extent.
As the arrow flew from Pandu’s bow, he heard the sound of the arrow hitting its prey.
Confidently he was about to walk towards the prey, when Pandu stopped stock still.
He knew that he had hit the male deer. He had not expected the deer to cry out.
But that was not what had happened. It was something worse. Because what Pandu heard was the piteous cries of a human.
Stunned Pandu ran behind the shrub and he was shocked as he saw the deer missing and a human lying behind the shrub.
A long arrow was protruding from the man’s chest and that was what told Pandu that his arrow was a shot to the heart, leaving absolutely no room for errors. It was Pandu’s arrow at the man’s heart.
Pandu was hyperventilating as he was studying the dying man as he let the spare arrow in his hand fall as he cradled the head of the dying sage in his lap.
“Sir...” Pandu let out a gasping breath studying the man.
“Why did you kill me?” The dying man wheezed and he was barely able to get the words out.
“I..” Pandu shook his head looking terrified. “I did not intend to hurt you. I was hunting the deer.”
The man let out another painful breath. “I am Kindhama. I am a sage in the forest. I wanted to enjoy the company of my wife in the form of a deer.” The dying man looked at Pandu with broken eyes. “It was at that time that you shot me.”
“How...” Pandu could barely even breathe. “I… I… did not know it was you, my Lord.”
But the dying man was angry. More than angry.
“You can hunt wild animals in the forest who had done you harm. Why did you kill a harmless deer?”
Pandu had no answer to this one as he was tongue-tied. The bow in his shoulder felt heavy.
But Kindhama was still not done having the last word.
“You seem to be a man of royal bearing. One of the things that a king should learn is how not to misuse the power he has. Not only have you not followed that, you have shot me when I was with my wife.” The sage’s eyes grew furious as he nodded at Pandu. “For this I curse you.”
Pandu screamed shaking his head.
“My Lord.” Pandu begged the sage. “You do not understand. It was a mistake. I made a mistake. Please do not curse me. I did not know what I was...”
“I DO NOT WANT TO LISTEN TO YOUR FOOLISH EXPLANATIONS.” The sage wheezed looking even more angry.
Pandu stared at the sage as blood was coming out of the sage’s mouth.
“You shot at me when I was with my wife. For this, I curse you human, that the minute you touch your wife, you shall fall dead.”
But Pandu’s words were worthless. His words and sobs echoed through the entire forest. But no one heard it.
Because Kindhama had died with those last words.