Taraka and Subahu – How did they die?

Image courtesy: kamadenu.blogspot.com Maricha and Subahu attacking the yajna
Image courtesy: kamadenu.blogspot.com
Maricha and Subahu attacking the yajna

Taraka was fierce rakshasi and with her sons Maricha and Subahu terrorized and devoured anybody who dared to enter the forest near the confluence of the river Sarayu with the Ganga. This forest soon came to be known as Taraka’s forest and nobody had the guts to even go near the place, let alone enter it and try to earn a livelihood in this region.

Fed up with the menace of the rakshasa trio, the great sage Vishwamitra decided to conduct a penance and yajna with his disciples in this particular forest. When he noticed that his disciples were unable to perform the rituals of the yajna properly due to the constant menace of the trio, he decided to approach King Dasaratha for assistance. He went to Ayodhya and requested the King to send his eldest son, Rama, then just a teenage boy of 13 yrs to help him vanquish the demons. Dasaratha had a soft corner for Rama and hesitated to agree to this request of Vishwamitra. However, when the learned Sage Vashista who was the royal guru of Ayodhya instructed the King to send Rama with Vishwamitra, Dasaratha agree to do so. Not to be left behind, Rama’s brother Lakshmana also accompanied him to Taraka’s forest.

When Rama, Lakshmana and Vishwamitra entered the forest, they were almost immediately attacked by Taraka. Rama, with some help from Lakshmana succeeded in felling the foul demon with a well placed astra. Pleased with this outcome, the sage Vishwamitra blessed the young duo, and also gifted them with divine weapons.

Then, the sage took the young princes to the place where the yajna rituals were being conducted and proceeded to restart all the rituals with the boys on guard. The teenage warriors stood guard day and night near the place watching out for any signs of Taraka’s sons, Maricha and Subahu. Despite their constant sleepless vigil, for the first five days they did not notice anything untoward.

However, one thing that they did not know was that they were being watched. When Maricha and Subahu heard the news of their mother’s death, they were shocked and enraged beyond their wits. Shocked because Taraka was a formidable rakshasi who with her knowledge of the dark magic and ferociousness would strike mortal fear into the hearts of even seasoned warriors. And the fact that two teenage boys had managed to kill her struck fear into their hearts.

At the same time, they were enraged as nobody had even dared to think of challenging them and their authority over this forest for many a decade now. And now suddenly these young boys had popped up from nowhere and in one felling swoop managed to kill their mother.

They were therefore watching the activities of Rama and Lakshmana very carefully for the past five days, waiting for the appropriate opportunity to strike back and extract revenge for their mother’s death as well as reclaim the forest, their forest.

On the sixth day, the rakshasa brothers had run out of patience and attacked the yajna from the skies above with their horde of asuras. Despite putting up a mighty and valiant attempt, the entire group of asuras were no match for the battlefield prowess of Rama and Lakshmana. And finally when Subahu was killed by the divine astras of Rama, his brother Maricha fled to the ocean. Thus, the hegemony of the asura brothers over the forest finally ended. Maricha would eventually reappear in Rama’s life, but that story happens quite a few years later.

Thus, even at the very young age of 13 years, Prince Rama clearly showed the world what he was capable of on a battlefield with a bow and his arrows.


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. We give out creative writing topics each weekend for Indian bloggers.

Today’s prompt was that post had to include the line one thing that they did not know was that they were being watched and that is the reason this phrase has been specifically highlighted in the post.


This post has been picked as one of Blogadda’s WoW posts of the weekend.


Good filter coffee


Santhanam Gopalakrishnan Iyer (let’s call him Sandy for short) was proud of his Tamil Iyer heritage. After all his grandfather (too long a name, let’s just call him Thatha) was Director General of Schools in Kerala. His father (another long name, let’s just call him Appa) was an IAS Officer from the 1976 batch and had a long distinguished service. Sandy was no less an achiever. He had completed his Chartered Accountancy when he was 22, his Cost Accounting credentials were proved when he cleared those exams when he was 23, and as if this was not enough he also became a Certified Company Secretary when he was just 25 yrs old.

Sandy was more than convinced that along with the wonderful gene pool which he inherited from his achiever grandparents and parents, the secret to his success was a strict regime that he followed on a daily basis. Getting up at 5 AM, brushing his teeth and completion of his morning ablutions, followed by a cup of hot filter coffee was the secret to his sprightliness in the mornings. Sandy was a worshipper of caffeine in its purest form, the decoction concocted by having the same filtered through a stainless steel coffee filter, and he had to have filter coffee in the mornings, no matter what condition the rest of the world was in. This and the fact that Sandy was a strict vegetarian as was the norm for all TamBrahms also reinforced his belief that filter coffee and vegetarian food were the secret of his success.

By the time he was 30 yrs old, Sandy was a globe-trotter in every sense of the world. His high profile Management Consultancy job took him to extremely offbeat places such as Bosnia, Ethiopia, Liberia and closer home, to the South East Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. And irrespective of whatever else he packed, he ensured that his faithful Salem Stainless Steel coffee filter made all these trips with him. In all the cities he went, he made it a point to taste the best local coffee, buy a couple of hundred grams of the same, and prepare and drink his early morning filter coffee without fail.  He also made it a point only to have strict vegetarian food in all these exotic countries as well.

And as fate would have it, his fortune and fame only increased, which reinforced the faith in his strict morning regime and vegetarianism.

On one of these trips to Indonesia, he happened to come across a coffee which was called Kopi Luwak and based on the recommendation of his local host, he bought some of it. And true to its reputation, the coffee was nothing short of extraordinary. In fact, Sandy liked it so much that he immediately bought a couple of kilos of the same and took it back home. And as if the stars were aligned in his favor, this Indonesian trip gave such a fillip to his already successful career that Sandy was soon ascending the stairs to stardom in his given field. He was made partner in his firm, the youngest person in the firm’s 300 yr history to make partner, he got married to the daughter of one of the country’s biggest automotive component manufacturer’s Board of Directors, his good fortune just went into orbit.

And all this time, he credited it to the wonderful effects of Kopi Luwak which his local host used to regularly parcel to him from Indonesia every two months or so. Sandy became a fanatic of the coffee and loved it so much that he modified his morning regime to include a second coffee after breakfast as well. He also gave equal credit to his strict vegetarian diet as well, for his streak of good luck.

His next assignment in Indonesia was with the Government department for Spices and Cash Crops. And when he reached there, by virtue of his assignment he was invited by one of the biggest producers and plantation owner to his coffee estate where his favorite brand, Kopi Luwak was grown. In the six years that Sandy had started drinking this brand, his fortunes had soared so much that at some levels he felt obliged to the coffee bean itself to make the visit to the plantation.

And when he reached the plantation, he was invited to the processing plant where all his notions about the brand and his strictly vegetarian diet came crashing down on his head.

Kopi Luwak in Indonesian local  dialect meant civet coffee, and these were beans of coffee berries that had been eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet.

All these days Sandy’s fortunes were because he had been drinking animal shit. And that is why ignorance indeed is bliss, he thought to himself.


All the points in the above post about Kopi Luwak are true. Read this Wikipedia entry to know more about the coffee.

I first heard about this coffee in the movie The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


This post has been selected as one of Blogadda’s WoW picks of the week.


The “funny” prank


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. This week’s prompt is to write a post with the usage of the words earphones, cough syrup and prank.


Rustomjee Pestonjee (RP) had been staying in The Wilson Garden Old Age Home for the past 15 yrs now.

Ever since he had that fall in the bathroom around 16 odd yrs ago and bumped his head, his hearing had been affected. For the first few days, the doctors thought that his hearing will be back to normal, but as time went by, they prescribed earphones connected to a hearing device which could be kept in RP’s shirt pocket. Despite the earphones, his hearing did not improve all that much and people still had to repeat their words, and loudly most of the time to enable him to hear them and respond. While his wife and children dealt with it gracefully initially, they finally ended up in putting him in the old age home. After all they were also human and their patience also had its limits.

Life at the home was not that bad and RP did not have any hard feelings against his wife and kids. He understood the problems caused due to his inability to hear well. In fact he enjoyed life at the home that much more after he made two new friends there – Madhav Menon (MM) and James Hunt (Jim).

In fact the three of them had so much fun at the home that the rest of the inmates dubbed them the “unholy trinity”, given their penchant for breaking almost all the rules of the home and doing things which completely went against the grain of what others their age were doing. From late night jaunts at the nearby dhaba and bar, to playing crazy pranks on the other inmates, the fun quotient and enthusiasm of the unholy trinity was so much that it contributed a lot to the entire home being a fun place to be in.

On Independence Day, RP decided to enjoy the lovely monsoon weather of Bangalore and took the small walk down the road to the Lalbagh Gardens very close to their home. Once in the garden, RP got a little worked up and started pacing up and down the walking track unmindful of the gentle drizzle. Given the fact that RP hardly had any hair left on his scalp and the fact that he had forgotten to carry his umbrella, he was almost completely drenched by the time he finished his walk and got back to the home. Quite naturally, one thing led to another and by lunch time on that day, he had the sniffles and by tea time on the same day, he had a severe throat infection as well. As if his lack of hearing was not bad enough, he now could not talk as well. His entire life was like a silent movie now.

Now, MM and Jim were the best of friends with RP and sympathized with his situation, but they were also mischievous enough to realize that this was a golden opportunity to play some memorable pranks on RP, given his situation.

When they bought RP his medicines they added an additional special cough syrup bottle to the mix. Post dinner, when it was time for RP to have his medicines, they ensured that they kept a safe distance from RP.

When he lifted the cough syrup bottle RP’s initial reaction was that the bottle seemed empty, but then, he was too tired and dazed from his sniffles and throat infection that he didn’t pay too much attention to it. This bottle was nothing like any medicine bottle that RP had ever seen. It was dark, small and was sealed with a rubber cork. When he opened the cork, he immediately smelt something sweet and in the next 30 odd seconds, he started laughing uncontrollably. Despite the fact that he was in reasonable discomfort due to his throat infection, he simply couldn’t control his laughter.

Earlier MM and Jim had gone to a chemist that they used to frequent and had asked him for a favor. They asked him to bottle up his most potent Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) and seal it with a rubber cork. They then bought a small cough syrup bottle and carefully peeled the label and stuck it on the bottle with the laughing gas.

Funnily enough after around one continuous hour of laughing uncontrollably, RP had managed to spit out enough phlegm that was accumulated in his throat and as a result his throat infection seemed to have cleared up. And the fact that his laughter was accompanied by tears as well meant that most of his sniffles had also vanished. Therefore, despite the fact that MM and Jim had played quite a nasty prank on him, they had also unwittingly helped RP get rid of his cold and sore throat.

After all, that’s what friends were for, right…


This post has been selected as one of Blogadda’s WoW Picks of the week on 26-August-2013.