All days were the same here. Every morning when the sun became too bright to bear, I sat up on a little pile of dirt that had become my spot in the garden of Lanka. My formerly yellow sari was now covered with the filth of my garden domain. I stared at the sun because it reminded me of Rama, we used to joke about how his smile was as blinding as the sun’s rays. Every night ends with the rising of the sun. Just like this nightmare, this place, my spot in the garden, the cowls of rakshasis. They were all temporary. Like how the moon temporarily replaces the sun in the sky.
(Picture of a painting by Vincent van Gogh from Wikipedia.)
“Always staring off into space dear? Are you trying to remember what your little lover looks like?” One of the rakshasis cackled at me. They appeared and disappeared periodically to torture me in the garden, their movements always silent. It was hard to tell the difference between the rakshasis, all had jet black hair with ghostlike skin. Or maybe I couldn’t tell any of the rakshasis apart from each other because every time they appeared my eyesight would go blurry. They always knew how to bring tears to my eyes. It was their voices more than anything.
“How could the foolish girl even remember what her little Rama even looks like? It’s been far too long and humans do not possess the longevity of memory like us asuras. You know he has long forgotten you, he probably cannot even recall your name. Besides, even if you were with him it was only a matter of time till he took another wife. One with a slighter waist and more delicate feet. He would never want a girl who lies around in the dirt all day.” Another rakshasis bellowed at me. There were three of them dressed in black from head to toe. They mocked me as they danced around my spot in the dirt.
“Oh precious and beautiful Sita born by mother nature herself. Look at you now. You were a princess and future queen of a pitiful human kingdom but now you’re exactly back to where you came from, dirt.” Remarked the last rakshasis as they all cried with laughter. They made obnoxious royal gestures to me and started to throw chunks of dirt. My eyes became hazy with tears, “This is only temporary.”
“Listen to me you foolish little brat. Ravana cannot touch you without consent, but there is no curse to prevent us from bashing that pathetic brain out of your dainty little skull.” The first rakshasis pulled my face towards hers and I was finally able to look one of them in the eyes. They were like a shark’s eyes, cold and lifeless.
“King Ravana wants you as his Queen. I am certain that he will not mind if not all of you is intact.” With this statement all three of them jeered and pranced on me. Their hands ruffled and violated every part of me. They acted out breaking off my limbs from my body and snicked the entire time. Just as I thought their pretend game was about to turn very real, an order to stop echoed across the trees. All three immediately stopped and backed away, leaving me tussled and unkempt, lying on the ground.
“I told you to guard her, not barrade her.” It was Ravana, all of this twenty eyes glared at the rakshasis with displeasure.
“We were just trying to convince her to go to your house my lord, and live out the rest of her piteous life in the pleasure you provide,” hissed the rakshasis that had grabbed my face.
“My sweet Sita, you are filthy. I would not have resorted to having you stay in my garden if you had not refused to sleep in the palace. Come inside and bathe. I shall set you up in your own room and tell you latest of Rama’s excursions. This is no place for a woman of your stature. If you fear the rakshasis I will bring the people of your land to wait on and serve you.” Ravana pleaded to me. It was difficult to avoid his gaze because there were ten heads avertly paying attention to my every move. I could not even bring myself to imagine what he would do to me if one of his tentacles could touch me. When I did not answer him he continued with frustration. “Give me one reasonable answer why you will not enter the palace.”
“You cannot see the sun rise. And that is the only thing keeping me alive.” I replied as a swift movement caught my attention. Something flickered behind a tree in the forested part of the garden. For a moment it looked like the tail of a monkey. "Impossible," I thought to myself. "It must have been a cattail flower flickering in the wind."
Author's Note: Sita was definitely my favorite character from the Ramayana. I loved her loyalty, so I decided to write this story about what she endured while being held captive. I think Sita's captivity will be the basis of my storybook project that I will expand upon. However, I wanted to end this short story on a happy note with Sita noticing Hanuman. It was pretty difficult finding a picture to match this story, so I just went with a beautiful landscape of a sunrise.
Narayan, R. K. (1972) The Ramayana.