During their exile, the Pandavas used to frequently keep changing the place they stayed as they didn’t want to be discovered by the Kauravas who were constantly trying to have them killed. During their travels, they lived in a place called Ekachakra for a while.
When in Ekachakra, they managed to find refuge in the home of a Brahmin. Life was going on peacefully with the Pandavas doing odd jobs and helping out around the house. For food, the Pandavas used to beg from the villagers and in the evening would give all their alms to Kunti who would then distribute it among the brothers. Since Bhima was fond of eating, she would give half the alms to him everyday.
One fine day Kunti found the Brahmin’s wife weeping. When she asked the woman as to why she was crying, the woman first refused to tell Kunti the reason. She told “You are our guests, and it is not proper or honorable for a host to share his troubles with his guests.” Upon being probed further by Kunti, she told the story of Bakasura, a demon who was terrorizing the residents of Ekachakra.
This demon used to come to the village every once in a while and take away men, women and cattle to eat them up. When the king of the region fought with him, he was defeated and ran away with his life barely spared. Seeing the plight of their king, the villagers then entered into an agreement with Bakasura that he would be sent a cart load of food everyday with a villager, and the demon would have to be satiated by eating the cart load and the villager.
Tomorrow it was the turn of the Brahmin’s only son to take the cart load of food to the demon and it deeply saddened the Brahmin’s wife that today was her son’s last day on this earth.
When she heard this story, Kunti immediately responded “Sister, you have only one son, but I have five of them. Don’t worry I will send one of my sons to Bakasura with the cart load of food today.” At first, the Brahmin and his wife refused Kunti’s offer as they knew that death was inevitable for anybody who went carrying Bakasura’s food. But Kunti was steadfast that she would send Bhima today with the cart load of food.
The next day, early in the morning, Bhima took Kunti’s blessings and then proceeded to meet Bakasura outside the village with a cart load of food. Once he had travelled a reasonable distance from the borders of the village, his stomach started rumbling due to hunger. After all, this was Bhima whose fondness for food was nothing short of legendary, and he therefore, stopped his cart and started gorging on the food.
In some time, he heard an earthy rumbling sound coming from behind one of the nearby hillocks. And in a few moments, he set eyes upon the most grotesque demon that he had ever seen – Bakasura.
The demon started roaring and told “How dare you eat the food that the villagers of Ekachakra have sent for me? Just who do you think you are?” To this question, Bhima nonchalantly replied “I don’t have the habit of sharing my food. So if you want any of this food, you will have to fight me for it.”
Enraged Bakasura charged at Bhima and in the ensuing battle was defeated and killed by Bhima. Famished after the fight, Bhima then proceeded to eat up the entire cart load of food and then loaded the demon’s body on the cart and took it to Ekachakra.
On seeing the demon killed, the villagers celebrated with joy and would live in eternal gratitude to Bhima, Kunti and the Pandavas for having relieved them of the scourge of Bakasura.
Image courtesy: Wikipedia.org
This post has been written for the Three Word Wednesday 3WW CCCCLVIII prompt where the prompt had to use the words – earthy, grotesque, nonchalant which is the reason these words have been highlighted separately in the post.