Status: A Retelling of the Classic Tale of Krishna



Vasudeva’s back rested on the wall behind him. He raised his head to see the window above and saw the beautiful moon staring back at him. It was surreal and he felt calm. He hadn’t felt this way for years. He smiled, as he knew that the child would be saved. Devaki glanced at him as she embraced the nurse. She smiled after years and a euphoric rush filled Vasudeva. It was the smile he fell in love with and he knew he would do anything to keep that on her face.
Months passed and he would hear his wife singing to herself while he pretended to sleep. Her spirit was rising and his was still not broken. The nurse would come in and embrace the couple and shower them with little gifts that she would find now and then. She had made the child clothes and promised to dress the babe in the finest attire. The child was due soon in almost a week it would be here. Devaki could feel it and told the nurse. The nurse rejoiced and brought sweets to Devaki and Vasudeva. They were all ready to save this child.
“This child will live!” cried Vasudeva. “What tales they will speak of this child when he defeats Kamsa! What can we call the child Devaki? How about something poetic and powerful like the Gods above, or how about something that will calm the ears when people her the name?”
“How about we call this child what we know what will happen to it? Lets call it dead! This mighty child!” A cold chill struck the spines of everyone in the room. The voice was familiar but they wanted to believe that it wasn’t. The room seemed to shake as the presence drew near. The undertone of dread turned into a reality. The knob on the door turned slowly. It then gave way as the door burst into a thousand pieces. The knob was still in Kamsa’s hand, but had turned into nothing more than a crumpled piece of steel.
“I’m sorry I trespassed into your festivities. I meant no intrusion, but the story of a child defeating Kamsa was too magnificent a tale not to hear. Vasudeva do tell, you must not stop because of me. I am but one of the characters in your story, all I want to know now is what happens after defeat. Does he become the king? Does he conquer the world, or does he become nothing more than a worm like the father it has?” Vasudeva shivered and there was no retort from him.
“Let me tell you my version of the events that will come to pass. Devaki your child will be born and I will take this child to the tallest mountain myself and throw it off. I will then climb down this mountain and see the child, if it is not dead or deformed from the fall, I will take it back to the top of the mountain and drop it once again. I will do this again and again until I am sure that this child is completely destroyed. You say I am a cruel man but I had spared you the tale of how I disposed of your previous children. But this time I had to reveal to you my plan for this so called slayer of Kamsa.” Devaki’s eyes had grown solid and she was not responsive, Vasudeva’s tears could not be contained at the thought of what Kamsa would do.
“Now don’t think that I was just passing by and I heard this conversation, I knew all along, for months now. Who do you suppose had laid out the child’s final attire, and all the lovely gifts for the child’s funeral? I even passed on sweets for your whelp. You should be grateful that I welcome this child on its first and last day, no one has ever dreamt of this much merriment for one day.”
Devaki’s eyes shot to the nurse. The nurse, who had been looking down this whole time, slowly rose with a dark grin on her face. Devaki’s heart dropped, she didn’t want to believe it.
“How could you possible think that I would help you?” the nurse laughed and made her way behind Kamsa, “I did swear on my children I would help you, and yes you can take my forged children from me. And the horrors that Kamsa had done to me? His many assaults on me, how Devaki could you ever believe in me? Are you so naïve, for not even a child would dare trust an ally of the enemy? And you have given away the child that would save your world to the enemy. You might as well have killed it yourself.” The nurse could not contain her laughter as she shrieked at Devaki’s folly. Kamsa smiled but motioned her to stop.
“Do not tease the fool, it is their nature to seek help in the darkness of despair. But I must agree this was not the best plan Devaki.” With that Kamsa laughed hard this time. “Your vanquisher of evil will die next week, from now on you two shall be on constant watch by my guards. Your every movement shall be tracked in the next week. Enjoy your baby while it lasts Devaki, if this child, as you say, is in fact my killer, and I succeed in killing the child I will let you both go on your way after your child’s death.”
The nurse flung her arm into the hollow space between Kamsa’s elbow and shoulder, and rested her head onto Kamsa’s body. Kamsa and the nurse laughed all the way as he lead her out the door and to his quarters. Devaki could not move at all and she stood still. Her eyes searched for an answer to solve this inescapable problem. Vasudeva slumped in the foreground and watched his wife’s world collapse around her.
He looked back up at the window and saw the moon. It did not seem as beautiful and bright now.