“Mother, my father is no more?” The young Angad asked his mother Tara.
Tara saw the innocent face of her young son, and felt a strange ache fill her heart, “I told your father Vali, not to fight the demon at night! I told him demons were powerful at night,” Tara struggled to control herself as she saw her young son sitting before her, “But Vali did not listen!” Tara said crying openly.
Ruma, the first wife of Sugriva, hugged the two of them. “Angad, your father was a great Vanara! And do not worry that Vali is not there with you now! Sugriva will take good care of you and your mother!” Ruma said watching the two of them.
“Sugriva needs to focus on his kingdom,” Tara told Ruma, “He is the king of the Vanaras now and Sugriva should not give in to his grief….!”
Tara did not even finish talking when a horrendous scream filled the kingdom.
Both Angad and Ruma were terrified when they heard the unearthly screams. But Tara was feeling numb. She knew this voice. She knew this voice too well.
All the citizens of Kishkinda were scared as they raced outside their homes.
“YOU EVIL VANARA! HOW DARE YOU?” the wild, disheveled very angry looking Vanara was shouting outside Kishkinda on top of his voice.
Sugriva could not believe what he was seeing. He nearly stumbled as he saw who was before him.
“VALI?” Sugriva yelled partly numb from joy and partly unable to believe what he was seeing.
Sugriva ran towards Vali joyously and that was when Sugriva was in for a shock.
Vali rudely pushed Sugriva to the ground and looked at him with angry, hatred filled eyes.
“NOW YOU PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT ME?” Vali bellowed loudly as Sugriva was staring blankly at Vali. Vali angrily pulled up his brother almost choking Sugriva, “I do not think you would be so foolish as to believe that Mayavi would be able to defeat me!” Vali said snarling. “You planned this, didn’t you? You closed the cave door thinking that I would rot inside the cave! And you thought by doing that you would rule my kingdom?” Vali sneered angrily.
It was at that time that Vali caught sight of Tara inside the palace and grew even more angry as he threw Sugriva back angrily. “DID YOU REALLY THINK THAT THAT WAS GOING TO STOP ME?” Vali shouted.
“Br...Brother,” Sugriva stammered gasping for air, “Please listen!” Sugriva took a painful breath and looked at his brother, “I thought that you perished in that cave,” Sugriva said as Vali snorted, “I did not want Mayavi to come back and haunt our kingdom. That is the reason I closed the cave door. Please….”
Sugriva could speak no more as Vali nearly choked him again. “Lies!” Vali yelled, “You speak nothing but lies!” Vali pushed Sugriva out of his palace.
Vali pulled his hand back in another punch when Sugriva was really scared and pushed himself back.
Ruma yelled running after Sugriva as Vali caught Ruma viciously, “And henceforth Ruma stays with me,” Vali said watching his brother with angry, glittering eyes.
Sugriva beat a hasty retreat from the palace.
Following Sugriva, Hanuman also left Kishkinda.
Sugriva feared for his life and he knew that the only place Vali could not come was Rishyamukha where the ashrama of Sage Matanga was situated. Sugriva and Hanuman lived there and over time, Sugriva, the beloved brother of Vali became bitter towards Vali.
Hanuman, on the other hand, met Lord Rama and Lakshmana who were traveling in the forests in search of Sita. (Sita had been kidnapped by Ravana, the king of Lanka)
Sugriva and Rama reached a pact whereby Lord Rama agreed to kill Vali on behalf of Sugriva and make Sugriva the king of Kishkinda and Sugriva promised to help Rama in finding Sita.
Armed with the promise from Lord Rama, Sugriva came back to Kishkinda and challenged Vali to a fight.
Tara was frowning as Vali was fuming and getting ready to fight Sugriva, “How dare that Vanara challenge me?” Vali yelled.
Tara was silent. In fact she did not even look like she was paying attention to her husband’s ranting.
“What?” Vali demanded as Tara said nothing.
“I do not think you should fight Sugriva,” Tara told her husband finally.
That nearly stopped Vali. He stopped ranting and turned his attention to his wife, “What did you just now say?” Vali asked Tara.
“I said you should not fight Sugriva,” Tara said.
Vali was watching his wife as he was getting more and more angry as Tara continued, “We know that Sugriva has taken the help of the Prince Rama of Ayodhya,” Tara said calmly, “Rama is an avatar of Lord Vishnu and I am sure that he would be helping Sugriva in his battle,” Tara shook her head. “It would be unadvisable to fight Sugriva when he is protected by Lord Rama!”
Vali went near his wife standing very close to her, “You know I would never hesitate to fight when challenged!” Vali told her. “It would not matter to me whether the challenger is Lord Vishnu himself!” Vali said shaking his head as he could see a single tear in Tara’s eyes. “Even if Angad were to challenge me, I would fight him,” Vali said and walked away without a second glance.
It almost seemed like Tara worried about nothing. Because Vali won the first fight almost effortlessly. Sugriva realizing that he could possibly end up losing his life, ran away from the fight. (Lord Rama was hiding behind a tree and waiting to shoot Vali as Vali and Sugriva were fighting. Unfortunately, Lord Rama could not distinguish between the two Vanaras while they were fighting and did not fire during the first fight as Lord Rama was afraid to kill Sugriva by mistake. It was to solve this problem that Sugriva wore a garland, the next time he challenged Vali to a fight.)
Once Sugriva came back for the fight, this time Tara was adamant, “It does not make sense!” she said watching Vali and for the first time there was fear in her eyes.
“What does not?” Vali demanded angrily. “That Vanara does not have sense and keeps coming back to fight….”
“It does not make sense!” Tara interrupted Vali, “Why would a man who was so completely defeated by you come back for a fight so soon?” Tara asked Vali frowning.
“I think you should end your enmity with Sugriva,” Tara said with sharp troubled eyes, “Make him the crown prince of Kishkinda and make friends with Lord Rama,” Tara said clutching Vali’s hands tightly as Vali could feel her hands trembling.
Strangely Vali smiled at Tara, “I know how much you love me! But as I told me before, I will never ignore it when someone has challenged me to a fight.” Vali said walking away from the place. Vali stopped at the door for a few seconds, “I will not kill Sugriva! I will just crush his pride!” Vali said walking away from the room.
The two Vanaras fought and this time there was no mistaking in Lord Rama’s aim.