her tears breathe fire.
Aaaaaahhh Draupadi. Let’s talk about Draupadi. I just adore her character, she is one of the coolest, most complex, and complicated figures in Indian mythology.
Draupadi is pure fire- and in fact, she was born from one, emerging unexpectedly from the yajna fire her father had created to bring her brother Dhrishtadyumna to life. Dark skinned (she is also known as Krishnaa) and slender waisted with lotus shaped eyes, Draupadi was desired by many, but she would only marry the one who could win the archery challenge her father set out for her suitors at her swayamvara, which was to shoot five arrows at a revolving target, while looking only at its reflection in a bowl.
Arjuna, the Pandava Prince and second oldest of five brothers, was the only person who could do it. When he and his brothers took her home to his mother, Yudishthira, the oldest brother, said “Ma, look at what I have brought home for you”- and without looking at him, she responded, “Whatever it is, share it equally,”- and that is how Draupadi ended up with five husbands, the result of a boon she received from Shiva in her previous life.
This is the first element of what makes Draupadi unique amongst other female figures in Indian mythology. But it just starts there. Draupadi is also special because she’s fierce, selfish, loyal, expressive, angry, vengeful, determined, and very, very, human. She rejects Karna at her swayamvara because she believes his caste is below hers (Karna, by the way, is another one of my favorite characters in the Mahabharata, a true victim of fate and circumstance and misplaced loyalty- but that’s a story for another time), she sends Bhima on expeditions far far away just to bring her a special lotus, and she swears revenge on everyone who has humiliated her and her husbands.
In short, she is no wilting flower who is willing to compromise everything to save face or to save her husbands. When her dignity and self-respect are violated by Dushasana, she vows that she will not tie her hair until she has washed it with the blood from Dushasana’s chest.
She is so complex and so interesting and I have almost never seen any portrayals of her out there, whereas there are multiple retellings of the Ramayana and of Sita. Now, Sita’s an important character and she does ultimately gain agency in the end of the story after her humiliation by returning to the earth where she came from instead of suffering further humiliation, but the fact is that she is forced to go through these tests of chastity before she ultimately says no more.
Draupadi isn’t like that. She is dangerously combative and spits in the face of anyone who questions her worth as a woman. She defies all boxes and labels and I really think that’s one of the reasons people are afraid to show her in all her glory. And I really hope that this new Mahabharat series does her justice, because she is one hell of a character who continues to resonate, thousands of years after she was originally brought to the page.
Everyone: Obamacare is beating expectations!
And here are 20 questions you probably have about Obamacare but are afraid to ask. We have all the answers
Still some of the best advice I’ve ever read.
Just some photos of kindness. Click here to see some more!
The man in the picture is Rachid Nekkaz, a French-Algerian businessman living in France.
He heard about the niqab ban in France. Then he announced that he will pay all fines for women who wear the niqab - not just in France but “in any country in the world that bans women from doing so”.
He opened a fund of € 1 million. Then he said, “My sister, go out free wherever you want and I will pay the fine for you”
Allahu Akbar, May Allah reward him.
this man is perfect mA
Aamir Khan, by A.R. Rahman for Time Magazine.
“Delam barat tang shod” (دلم برات تنگ شده)
Used for: “I miss you”
Literal translation: “My heart has tightened or stiffened for you”
“Jaat khali” (جات جالیه)
Used for: When you are at a gathering and someone couldn’t make it, you tell them “jaat khali” for “I/we miss you.”
Literal translation: It literally describes a vacancy; there is a seat specifically for you and it is unfortunately empty.
“Delam shoor oftad” (دلم شور افتاد)
Used for: “I’m worried”
Literal translation: “My heart has become sour”
“Delam mikhad…” (دلم میخواد)
Used for: “I want..”
Literal translation: “My heart wants..”
“Del be to bastam” (دل به تو بستم)
Used for: “I’m in love with you”
Literal translation: “My heart is attached to you”
Farsi is one of the few languages I have seen that takes such an approach in the attempt to translate emotion. It describes what is going on inside the body during said feelings; the heart is speaking. And for that, it becomes difficult to strip any phrase of its underlying emotion.