WPS: Before, When There was Nothing

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Image from Google Maps

Before, When There was Nothing

Words 152

  “Mother!” Shvetaketu was aghast. “What are you doing with him?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Her face was still flushed with passion.

“Mother, whose son am I?”

“Mine.” She straightened and smiled at him affectionately.

“I demand you tell me.” He roared.

“Hush! It’s a free world. I can do what I like, with whom I like.”

“I shall rewrite the marriage laws.” Shvetaketu declared. “From now on you can go to other men only with your husband’s permission.”

“You will still not know whose son you are.” She twinkled.

“But of course your husband’s. He owns you like his fields and any crop that comes out of you is his.”

“I am not a field!”

“So be it. From now on you will be allowed only four husbands, the Moon, Gandharva Vishvavasu, Agnideva and finally your husband.”

Is that why when husbands no longer want their wives she is passed on to fire?


A/N: In Hindu mythology, Gandharva Vishvavasu is a celestial being skilled in the art of music and Agnideva is the god of Fire. This piece is inspired by Devdutt Patnaik’s book 7 Secrets of the Goddess, which describes the origin of this Vedic wedding ritual. Until now I wasn’t aware that I have four husbands. Did any of you (wedded according to Vedic customs) know it?

Written for What Pegman Saw – a story in 150 words or less.  Thanks to J Hardy Carroll for hosting the challenge and Google Maps for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Thank you for reading. I dithered quite a bit over the title – could you help me? Do you think it would have been better if I had titled it The Evolution of Civilization?








The Evolution of Civilization

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Email me at mysilverstreaks@gmail.com or tweet me @mysilverstreaks

25 thoughts on “WPS: Before, When There was Nothing”

  1. What a sassy lady!!! Loved her answer.. not that I’m promoting promiscuity in any manner but the sheer boldness with which she answered.. 😄😄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😀 Thank Vishakha for reading. I am sure there was a time when she would have been like that – unapologetic, unencumbered, unbound unbowed and free. Have you seen ‘Friends’? There was this scene where Joey finds Rachel’s porn book and initially she is embarrassed and taken aback but later she rallies wonderfully and shrugs it off as a natural ‘so what’? But Joey continues to tease her probably stifling her, embarrassing her, instilling ideas, and creating divisions of right and wrong.


      1. Yeah.. that’s true.. We are conditioned to act, speak and behave in a certain way anything not in accordance is subjected to jest or worse anger. However once we accept it others loose that power to make us feel guilty or bad about it.. 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  2. An excellent retelling of (what I presume is) an ancient tale. I’m sure you were right not to give it the title “The Evolution of Civilization”. The irony would have escaped most of your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Penny! I am thrilled that the irony that the irony didnt escape you and of course for going unerringly for the crux of the matter. But then that’s your specialty. I always marvel at your ability to neatly and comprehensively summarize all that I (or anyone else) may have been struggling to put across in 100 words or more! Such a treat to read your comments 🙂


    1. I dont know about his political activities but I really love his books. All the ones that I have read so far and also enjoyed his talk show on TV Devlok. He has a very refreshing and pragmatic practical take on all that is deified and glorified. I like that he focuses more on spirituality than religiosity. I have just begun this particular book where he has presented stories from not only Indian mythology but also other cultures and civilizations making it a complete and interesting read.


  3. Before, There Was Nothing the Gods(Men) decided to tame the Earth and bring her to her knees and destroy her free spirit. I like the title.
    As a child, Shvetaketu saw his mother going off with another man(men?) and also found out that his father was not his father.( Reminds of funny Trinidadian song ‘Scandal in the family’)So when he grew up he brought in the concept of marriage and monogamy between both men and women. The rishi got married to Survalata, a scholar like him and became a householder. Shvetaketu was a sensual man and edited the original work Kamsashtra by Nandi, basis of Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra.
    Of all the four husbands for many women, Agnidev (Fire) is the only resort to escape the injustice of the society.I wish that if only The Ideal man (Adarsh Mahapurusha)Shree Ram had supported his wife Sita ,she and other women would have been spared the Agnipariksha.
    Good Afternoon Dahlia.


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