The Immortals Siva

Lord Ram\'s Unfinished Task

is not tested in good times. It is only in bad times that a

person shows how steadfast he is to his dharma.

But Parvateshwar, sighed Daksha. We are not under attack by people

who are as ethical and decent as we are. Our way of life is under assault. If

we don fight back in any which way we can, we will lose.

My apologies once again, your Highness, said Parvateshwar. I have

never said that we should not fight back. I am eager to attack. I have been

asking repeatedly for permission to declare war on the Chandravanshis. But

if we fight without our rules, our codes, our ethics, then ”our way of life ” is

as good as destroyed. And the Chandravanshis would have won without

even fighting us!

The conversation came to a halt with the ringing of the prahar town bell,

as everyone said a quick prayer. Shiva turned towards the window,

wondering if Sati would be dancing today.

Daksha turned to Shiva expectantly. Do you need to leave my Lord?

No, your Highness, said Shiva, hiding the pain and confusion he felt

inside. I don believe I am expected anywhere at this point in time.

Dakshas smile disappeared along with his hopes, on hearing this. Shiva

continued, If it is alright with you, your Highness, may we continue our

conversation? Perhaps we can delay our lunch a little.

Of course we may, my Lord, smiled Daksha, pulling himself together.

I have got the story so far, your Highness. Whereas I can understand your

reasons for not wanting to attack right now, I can also see that you clearly

have a plan, in which my blue throat has some strange role to play.

Yes, we do have a plan, my Lord. I feel that as an emperor, my giving in

unthinkingly to the righteous anger of some of our people will not solve our

problem. I believe that the people of Swadweep themselves are not evil. It

is their Chandravanshi rulers and their way of life that has made them evil.

The only way forward for us is to save the Swadweepans themselves.

Save the Swadweepans? asked Shiva, genuinely surprised.

Yes, my Lord. Save them from the evil philosophy that infects their soul.

Save them from their treacherous rulers. Save them from their sorry,

meaningless existence. And we can do this by giving them the benefits of

the superior Suryavanshi way of life. Once they become like us, there will

be no reason to fight. We will live like brothers. This is the unfinished task of my father, King Brahmanayak. In fact, it is the unfinished task of Lord


That is a big task to take on, your Highness, said Shiva. It is sweeping

in its kindness and reason. But it is a very big task. You will need soldiers to

defeat their army and missionaries to bring them to your side. It is not going

to be easy.

I agree. There are many in my empire who have concerns about even

attacking Swadweep, and I am putting forth a much bigger challenge to

them, of reforming Swadweep. That is why I did not want to launch this

without the Neelkanth, my Lord.

Shiva remembered his uncles words, spoken many years ago, in what was

almost another life. Your destiny lies beyond the mountains. Whether you

fulfil it or run away once again, is up to you.

As Daksha resumed speaking, Shiva refocused his attention on him.

The problems that we are facing were prophesied, my Lord, continued

Daksha. Lord Ram had himself said that any philosophy, no matter how

perfect, works only for a finite period. That is the law of nature and cannot

be avoided. But what the legends also tell us is that when the problems

become insurmountable for ordinary men, the Neelkanth will appear. And

that he will destroy the evil Chandravanshis and restore the forces of good.

My Lord, you are the Neelkanth. You can save us. You can complete the

unfinished task of Lord Ram. You must lead us and help us defeat the

Chandravanshis. You must rally the Swadweepans to the side of good.

Otherwise I fear that this beautiful country that we have, the near perfect

society of Meluha, will be destroyed by endless wars. Will you help us my

Lord? Will you lead us?

Shiva was confused. But I don understand, your Highness. What exactly

would I do?

I don know, my Lord. We only know our goal and that you will be our

leader. The path we take is up to you.

They want me to destroy the entire way of life of eighty million people all

by myself! Are they mad?

Shiva spoke carefully. I empathise with your people and their hardships,

your Highness. But to be quite honest, I don really understand how one

man can make a difference.

If that man is you my Lord, said Daksha, his moist eyes opened wide in

devotion and faith, he can change the entire universe. I am not so sure about that, your Highness, said Shiva with a weak smile.

What difference will I make? I am no miracle worker. I cannot snap my

fingers and cause bolts of lightning to descend upon the Chandravanshis.

It is your presence itself that will make the difference, my Lord. I invite

you to travel through the empire. See the effect your blue throat has on the

people. Once my people believe that they can do it, they will be able to do


You are the Neelkanth, my Lord, added Kanakhala. The people have

faith in the bearer of the blue throat. They will have faith in you. Will you

help us, my Lord?

Will you run away once again?

But how do you know that my blue throat makes me the genuine

Neelkanth? asked Shiva. For all you know, there may be many Meluhans

with a blue throat waiting to be discovered!

No, my Lord, said Daksha. It cannot be a Meluhan. The legend says that

the Neelkanth will be a foreigner. He cannot be from the Sapt-Sindhu. And

that his throat will turn blue when he drinks the Somras.

Shiva did not answer. He looked stunned as truth suddenly dawned upon

him Srinagar. The first night. Somras. Thats how my body got repaired. Thats

why Im feeling stronger than ever.

Daksha and Kanakhala looked at Shiva breathlessly, waiting for his

decision. Praying for his right decision.

But why only me? All the Gunas were given the Somras. Was my uncle

right? Do I really have a prophesied destiny?

Parvateshwar stared at Shiva with narrowed eyes.

I don deserve a prophetic destiny. But maybe this is my chance to redeem

myself. But first…

Shiva asked with controlled politeness, Your Highness, before I answer,

may I ask you a question?

Of course, my Lord.

Do you agree that honesty is required to make any friendship work? Even

if it means deeply offending your friend with the truth?

Yes, of course, replied Daksha, wondering where Shiva was going with


Complete honesty is not just the bedrock of an individual relationship,

but of any stable society, interjected Parvateshwar.

I couldn agree more, said Shiva. And yet, Meluha wasn honest with


Nobody said anything.

Shiva continued in a courteous, but firm tone. When my tribe was invited

to Meluha, we were under the impression that you needed immigrants to

build a work force. And I was happy to escape my benighted land. But now

I realise that you were systematically searching for the Neelkanth.

Turning to Nandi, Shiva said, We weren told that a medicine called the

Somras would be administered to us as soon as we entered. We weren told

that the medicine would have such effects.

Nandi looked down with guilty eyes. His Lord had the right to be angry

with him.

Turning to Daksha, Shiva continued, Your Highness, you know that the

Somras was probably administered to me on my first night in Kashmir,

without my knowledge.

I am truly sorry for that act of perfidy My Lord, replied Daksha with

folded hands and downcast eyes. Its something that I will always be

ashamed of. But the stakes were too high for us. And the Somras has

considerable positive effects on ones body. It causes no harm.

I know. I am not exactly upset about having to live a long and healthy

life, said Shiva wryly. Do you know that my tribe was also probably given

the Somras that night? And they fell seriously ill, perhaps because of the


They were under no risk my Lord, said Kanakhala apologetically. Some

people are predisposed towards certain diseases. When the Somras enters

the body, it triggers the immediate occurrence of these diseases, which

when cured, never recur. Hence, the body remains healthy till death. Your

tribe is actually much healthier now.

No doubt they are, said Shiva. That is not the point. Both my tribe and I

are the better for it. Yet I hardly expected such deceit in the land of Lord

Ram. You should have told us the complete truth at Mount Kailash. Then

you should have let us make an informed choice rather than you making it

for us. We probably would still have come to Meluha anyway but then it

would have been our choice.

Please forgive us the deception, my Lord, said Daksha, with guilty

regret. It is not our way to do something like this. We pride ourselves on

our honesty. But we had no choice. We are truly sorry, my Lord. Your

people are well taken care of. They are healthier than ever. They will live

long, productive lives.

Parvateshwar finally broke his silence, speaking about what had always

been in his heart ever since the search had begun many decades ago. Shiva,

we are truly sorry about what has been done. You have every right to be

angry. Lying is not our way. I think what was done is appalling and Lord

Ram would never have condoned this. Deception is the instrument of the

weak and even extenuating circumstances can provide no excuse. I am

deeply sorry.

Shiva raised his eyebrow a bit.

Parvateshwar is the only one apologising instead of making excuses. He is

a true follower of the great king Ram.

Shiva smiled.

Daksha let out an audible sigh of relief.

Shiva turned towards Daksha. Let us put this in the past, your Highness.

Like I said, there are some things about your nation that could be improved.

No doubt about that. But it is amongst the best societies that I have seen.

And it is worth fighting for. But I have a few conditions.

Of course, my Lord, said Daksha, eager to please.

At this point of time, I am not saying that I can perform the tasks that you

expect of me nor am I saying that I cannot do it. All I am saying is that I

will try my best. But to begin with, I want to spend some more time

understanding your society before I can be sure of how I can help. I am

assuming that from now on nothing will be hidden from me nor will I be


Of course, my Lord.

Secondly, you still need immigrants to expand your population. But you

should not mislead them. I think that you should tell them the entire truth

about Meluha and let them make an informed decision on whether they

want to come here. Or you don invite them at all. Is that fair?

Of course it is, my Lord, said Daksha. Nodding briefly towards

Kanakhala, he committed, We will implement that immediately.

Furthermore, it is clear to me that I am not going back to Kashmir. Can

my tribe, the Gunas, be brought to Devagiri? I would like them to be with me.

Of course, my Lord, said Daksha with a quick look at Kanakhala.

Instructions will be sent today itself to bring them to Devagiri.

Also, I would like to visit the location where you manufacture the

Somras. I would like to understand this drink of the gods. Something tells

me that it is important to do so.

Of course you may, my Lord, said Daksha, his face finally breaking into

a nervous smile. Kanakhala will take you there tomorrow itself. I too will

be there along with my family for a scheduled puja at the temple of Lord

Brahma. Perhaps we could meet.

That would be nice, said Shiva smiling. Then taking a deep breath he

added, And lastly, I guess that you would like to announce the arrival of

the Neelkanth to your people.

Daksha and Kanakhala nodded hesitantly.

I would like to request that you don do that for now.

Daksha and Kanakhalas face fell immediately. Nandis eyes were glued to

the floor. He had stopped listening to the conversation. The enormity of his

prevarication was tearing him apart.

Your Highness, I have a terrible feeling that when people know I am the

Neelkanth, every action and word of mine will be over-interpreted and

over-analysed, explained Shiva. I am afraid that I don know enough

about your society or my task to be able to handle that at this point of time.

I understand my Lord, said Daksha, willing a half-smile back on his

face. You have my word. Only my immediate staff, my family and the

people you yourself allow will know of the Neelkanths arrival. Nobody


Thank you, your Highness. But I will say it again: I am a simple tribal

man who just happened to acquire a blue throat because of some exotic

medicine. Honestly, I still don know what one man like me can do in the

face of the odds that you face.

And Ill say it again my Lord, said Daksha, with a child-like smile. If

that man is you, he can change the entire universe!

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