Bhumi stood before the crowded hall, her eyes burning with defiance. The cross questioning had gone on for long but she refused to budge. It was as if the whole league had gone against her desparate action plan.
Finally Kamalodbhava got up from his throne, fuming in anger. A part of his creation was facing unprecedented danger and he could not just sit back. He was surprised that it was the docile Bhumi, who had lost her composure.
“Bhumi!” He thundered. The hall went quiet, the sisters of Bhumi stared wide eyed at the fiery Kamalodbhava.
“Bhumi, this cannot go on any longer. You cannot just take out your frustrations on your own children. They have every right to take advantage of your sustaining power.” Kamalodbhava’s eyes bore into Bhumi’s looking for a glimmer of surrender.
Bhumi stared back at Kamalodbhava.
“Answer me Bhumi.” Kamalodbhava uttered these words with an authoritative tone.
Bhumi rose from her seat. Her blue eyes combined with the blue garment, embellished by a white wavy pattern, stood her out from the crowd.
“Surajyeshtya! I know I am being made into some sort of a monster but please understand my plight.” Bhumi was ready to defend herself.
“Surajyeshtya! You know that the Manus have been my most favoured children. Right from their childhood I have admired their ability to learn. While my other children like the Vyaghras, the Gajas, who are so majestic and the Mayuras, the Hamsas who are beautiful; they all stuck to a routine, living life only to eat, procreate and die.”
The sisters knew that Bhumi was passionate about all her children, while they had none to call her own. It was no secret that a few of them like Mangala and Shanini were jealous of Bhumi. Shanini wore beautiful drapes, which formed a halo around her and she would have been the cynosure of all eyes in the Mandala, if only Bhumi had not grown into a graceful, blue-eyed beauty.
Mangala had lost all her children due to the utter foolishness of one of them, whom she had banished. This child had managed to seek refuge with Bhumi in her young age but it was rumoured that he had been a bad influence on the Manus. It’s another matter that Mangala’s child escaped from Bhumi’s Adobe as well.
“Surajyeshtya! You will say that I spoilt the Manus, I indulged them.” Bhumi was almost pleading.
“But who wouldn’t? See the speed at which they progressed. Weren’t they the only ones to tame Agni? Weren’t they the only ones to increase their speed manifold? Within no time they had progressed from an ox cart to the fast vehicles of today.”
Suddenly her countenance turned steely. “I should have known then itself, when Manus used and abused their brothers and sisters for their own selfishness, for their…but no, I was blind with love for my Manus.”
“But Bhumi, don’t your other children eat each other? So how are Manus any different”, Kamalodbhava interrupted her.
With a helpless smile, Bhumi answered, “Yes, I satisfied myself with this very logic. But now I realise that while the others eat their brethren, they do it only for satisfying their hunger; Manus eat and kill wantonly…for pleasure.”
Now tears were streaming down her cheeks. Everyone sat, avoiding eye contact with her.
Bhumi continued, “In the years gone by, they looked at me for sustenance. The green, docile Vrikshas provided them with their vital pranvayu; whenever needed Manus used to clear the Vrikshas but were careful to settle them in nearby areas. I never realised when they stopped settling the poor Vrikshas in other places and started the aridification. This in turn wiped out many of my children.”
“And then they violated my very body to reach at the tailadrava, the drills hammered away, shaking me up to the very core.” Her voice choked up as she remembered the violations.
She continued between violent sobs, “And they used the tailadrava in the most reprehensible way; with most Vrikshas already history, the tailadrava’s misuse resulted in increased poison which killed more of my other children.”
As the entire hall listened to her in rapt attention she continued passionately, “Using the tailadrava to make abhigatya, their most heinous product, they had gone too far. One day it will kill me, Surajyeshtya! I don’t want to die. Too many of my other children are still dependent upon me to let that happen.”
Though his most favourite creation, the Manus, were in danger of being wiped off, Kamalodbhava was getting influenced by Bhumi’s strong logic.
Suddenly she declared, “Ok, Surajyeshtya! I can still forgive the Manus, they were my favourite too. But they have to change their ways. I am sure they won’t do it on their own because my past warnings have gone unheeded.
“The vishanu I have released, it was always there with me for many years, the Manus themselves helped release it from its heem confines, and now it is devouring them. Mind you, Surajyeshtya! It is not poisonous for any of my other children.
“Now Manus can only survive by making lifestyle changes, they cannot stay in huge groups together, they have to spend maximum time within the confines of their abodes, majority of their time will be spent in curing themselves till they find the antidote, which I am sure they will. Surajyeshtya, you have certainly given them a big advantage in their heads; it’s a pity that they hardly use it productively. But by the time they find the antidote, I am sure to heal myself for the benefit of my other children. Already, I have started feeling better, my other children have a twinkle in their eyes, they are roaming about freely even in the ghettos of the Manus…”, Bhumi’s voice trailed off, a smile finally lighting up her face.
Kamalodbhava was now fully convinced and he granted a mandate to Bhumi to stick to the path charted by herself.
Bhumi – Mother Earth
Kamalodbhava – A name of Lord Brahma
Surajyeshtya – another name of Lord Brahma
Mangala – Mars
Shanini – Saturn
Manus – Human race
Vyaghras – Tigers
Gajas – Elephants
Mayuras – Peacocks
Hamsas – Swans
Vrikshas – Trees
Tailadrava – Oil
Abhigatya – plastic
Vishanu – virus
Heem – ice or snow