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DRAUPADI

Also known as PANCHALI, PARSATI, YAGNYASENI, YOJANAGANDHA

Born from the vengeful fire of Drupad, which would explain her volcanic temper, Draupadi was a bit of a bonus as the king of Panchala wasn't actually looking for a daughter at all.

Drupad was unable to father children but was desperate for a son to send on a vengeance mission against Drona who had kidknapped him earlier. Truth be told he brought it all upon himself...

A bonding with Drona, the son of sage Bharadway, resulted in a 'what's mine is yours' gentlemans agreement but when Drupad became the King of Panchal he refused to help the skint Drona and poured scoff on their words. Drupad went on to be personal warfare trainer to the sons of Pandu and Dhritarashtra, turning the tables and asking the princes to kidknapp Drupad by way of tutor fees. Bound and chained Drupad still refused to see sense and blanked Dronas offer to honour their previous agreement.

Instead he sent for Sage Yaja and a sacrificial fire was lit. First out of the flames was Dhrishtadyumna, born fully armed with a sword and a bow, then to his suprise out popped Draupadi too. Bonus.

She was a bit of a looker being copper skinned with long, black hair and the alluring fragnance of blue lotus which drifted for miles. Unfortunately this scent had every tom, dick and harry from miles around banging on her door so she decided to hold a swayamvara to get all of the wannabes in one place to strut their stuff. She was particularly taken by Arjuna and his bow skills.

In true Robin Hood fashion Arjuna excelled in an archery contest and won the hand of Draupadi, though i'm sure Robins mum didn't make him share Maid Marion with his four brothers.

Things went from bad to worse as one of her Pandava husbands turned out to be a compulsive gambler and worse still beacuse Yudhistira had a serious lack of luck. Then Arjuna, whom she really fancied just couldn't say no to the fairer sex.

Draupadi was the first Hindu feminist, possibly a little irate at being born by mistake and being treated like a bag of muck by her husbands. But you can hardly blame her for wagging her finger at all and sundry, ridiculing the elders or speeding off with her motor mouth even though she was already neck deep in doo-doo and unlikely to do herself any favours. She was gambled away on the roll of a dice by the hapless Yudhistira, dragged to the court of Duryodhan by Dusshasana, then stripped and insulted while her pleas for help fell on deaf ears.

You need a cast-iron will, tremendous self-control and unrivalled intensity to deal with that little lot. She certainly had more testicular fortitude than her husbands or any other male in her eventful life for that matter.
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'DRAUPADI' - Indian entry : 06 May 2007
Page last modified on 21 May 2008
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