Volume One in the Krishna Trilogy


(Extracted from Chapter 2: Birth of a demon child)

Kansa moved in his sleep. The nightmare was disturbing and it had been recurring for the past few days. Images of death….his death came to him in patches. A little boy was running in the royal gardens, butter smeared across his face. He had the most innocent smile Kansa had ever seen. He moved surreptitiously towards the child so he wouldn’t disturb the infant’s unbridled frolicking in the mud. He bent down to see what the child was doing. He saw the infant shaping something out of the mildly wet mud; it looked like he was making a toy dagger. Kansa smiled indulgently at the toddler. At the age of three, he was already showing signs of being a true Kshatriya (Warrior). After all, he was the son of his beloved sister Devki and his valiant friend Vasudev. He had to be a warrior among warriors. The child had by now completed fashioning the dagger out of the wet mud and was waving it in an arc as if parrying with an unseen foe. Kansa playfully tried to pull the toy dagger from the child’s hands, but the child resisted with a baby smile. Kansa laughed at this.

The baby laughed too. But it seemed to Kansa that the child was not laughing with him; he was laughing at him. Suddenly the child thrust the toy dagger in Kansa’s direction and in that moment the dagger became real; a metallic dagger with a lethally sharp tip, pointed in his direction and Kansa barely escaped getting hurt. Instinctively Kansa pulled out his own sword and just as he was about to plunge it in the direction of the child, Devki appeared out of thin air. She screamed, “No, Kansa, he is my son….your nephew! You can’t hurt him!”

Kansa was shocked at what he had been about to do. He turned back to apologize to the child, but the child was gone. In his place stood a fifteen year old youth with the same innocent smile the child had had. The young boy was holding the infant’s dagger by the handle, but the tip of the dagger now rested in Kansa’s abdomen, and Kansa could see more than feel the life blood from his body pouring out on to the ground, making the mud even wetter. He looked uncomprehendingly at the boy. The boy laughed, and again it seemed that he was laughing at Kansa. Devki came close to the boy and hugged him. Why was she hugging him? His beloved sister, hugging his murderer! And then Kansa heard the words that chilled his heart and turned all the warmth inside him to ice. “Thank you my son!” Devki had just thanked the boy who had killed him…..

Kansa got up from his nightmare, his angavastra drenched with perspiration. He felt sick. The dream had seemed so real. As if it was happening right in front of him. Devki’s betrayal haunted him. Of all his brothers and sisters, she was the dearest to him. What if she ever betrayed him? He shook his head vigorously to get the vile thought out of his mind. “She would never do something like this. This was just a dream!” he said viciously to himself.

“What if it was not a dream?” The hoarse and raucous voice came from somewhere inside his mind. Kansa jumped off his bed. His fighting arm instinctively reached to retrieve his sword from the other side of his bed. He looked around him trying to see where the voice was coming from.

“You fool, you think you can kill me with your puny sword?” the voice rasped. Kansa was familiar with the concept of ventriloquism. He knew there were people who could throw their voice in such a way that it gave the appearance of coming from one place, while the speaker could be at an entirely different place in the room. Somebody was using ventriloquism with him but to what purpose? Kansa decided he would find out. He walked stealthily towards the curtains on the other side of the room and with a swift jab he thrust his sword through the curtains. The sword passed through the cloth without meeting any resistance. He repeated this action with the curtains on all sides of the lavishly decorated room. He looked under the bed to see if the intruder was hiding there. Nothing! Kansa looked around the room bewildered.

“You look in the wrong places for the wrong person, Kalanemi! The voice was mocking. Kansa put his hands to his ears trying to shut the hoarse voice out of his mind. “You can’t shut me out by shutting your ears, Kalanemi!” The voice was gentler now; more appeasing. “I’m not your enemy…I’m your friend. The only friend you have.”

“Show yourself you coward!” Kansa growled in anger. The voice in his head laughed mirthlessly. “You are not prepared to see me yet Kalanemi. One day you shall, and then I will show myself to you. Right now you need to prepare yourself against your true enemies, Kalanemi.”

Kansa stopped moving around the room. He understood now that there was no intruder in the room. The intruder was in his mind. Someone was using cosmic telepathy to communicate with him. But who? And how? Only the three Supreme Gods or a Brahmarishi could communicate through cosmic telepathy, and this voice was no God’s. Who could possibly be doing this?

“My true enemies….What do you mean?” He growled.

“Your closest friend and your loving sister…Vasudev and Devki…they are your true enemies, Kalanemi”. The voice in Kansa’s head was even gentler now as if sympathizing with him.

Kansa’s mouth tightened in anger at the slander of the two people closest to him. Then another thought struck Kansa with the force of lightning. He spoke aloud. “Why are you calling me Kalanemi?

“Because that is your true name…that is who you really are…inside that mortal body that you inhabit.” The voice was softer now, gradually fading away.

“What? You are mistaken!” Kansa said in a mixture of confusion and anger. “I am Kansa, son of King Ugrasena of Madhuvan.”

The voice in his head was almost inaudible now, “You are not Kansa, you are Kalanemi….the greatest demon king the world has ever known. And Ugrasena is not your father…”

“You lie, you coward. Show yourself to me so I may cut off your blasphemous tongue!” Kansa screamed with barely controlled fury. There was no answer in reply to Kansa’s outraged scream, and Kansa thought the voice in his head had left him.

Then all of a sudden it was back again, and with what seemed like a super human effort, it whispered, “Go ask Ugrasena who your true father is…” And with those words, the Dark Lord’s voice disappeared, accompanied by his sad and hoarse laughter, even as Kansa struggled to come to terms with the reality of what he had just heard.


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