The Pursuit Of Identity

Maitrayani Das

It was late in the dawn when the most fierce yet most benevolent warrior of the Mahabharata stood by the Ganges. He was karna, the son of the sun god- Surya, a fact that he himself was unaware of, until this day. All his life, he had fought for the recognition as the finest warrior that he was, while gracefully accepting that he was the son of a charioteer- a Sutputra. All his life, he remained the rejected, unloved, and unrecognized character of the epic and yet so unique to draw attention. Never did he crave for the crown, the kingdom or the pleasure to be called a kshatriya. The glory of being the best warrior was what he dreamt of. This very desire of his, had haunted and tormented him throughout his life. Among many other privileges, he was also denied of the knowledge of weaponry, by virtue of his social status. The ever burning urge to learn weaponry led him to deceive his Guru Parashuram. This very aspiration of his, had led him to take the infamous, uncelebrated side of history. And with each step towards his coveted goal, it seemed that the secret of his origin pulled him closer to his identity.
Finally, his truth had come walking to him early in the dawn, in the reverent, beseeching and earnest figure of his birth-giving mother, Kunti- the mother of the pandavas. She had come to take back her long-abandoned child to join his brothers in the terminating war of kurukshetra. Even this unimaginable, phenomenal and appealing exchange with his mother could not make Karna change his side. When Kunti had returned, Karna stood there, late in the dawn by the Ganges. What would he call himself now? A king? A sutputra? Or Suryaputra Karna and Kunti’s eldest, kaunteya? Or was he Radheya, the son of his beloved foster-mother Radha? And even if all this was real, his entire life and its struggle would turn into a falsity. Revelation of karna ‘s true identity made his ever oracular existence even more enigmatic.
Well, this is not the story of a great mythological hero, but this is the tale of us all, with or without an intricate background as Karna. This perpetual search of one’s own self makes each one of our lives beautifully distinct. In the process of this hunt, we develop ourselves, build and rebuild ourselves and metamorphose into a reformed being . So, let us all lift up our heads and celebrate this pursuit of searching ourselves fearlessly. Lets just hope that we all have a memorable journey.


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