The 18th Day

On the 18th day of the Mahabharata War, amidst the exhaustion of battle, Duryodhana (दुर्योधन) sought solace by the tranquil Padma Sarobar, the Lotus Pond. Meanwhile, the Pandavas (पाण्डव) eagerly aimed to conclude the devastating conflict by confronting its root cause.

Approaching the padma sarovar, Bhim’s voice thundered, chastising Duryodhana for evading the warrior’s path. Duryodhana emerged from his retreat, inviting the Pandavas to engage in combat. In response, Yudhisthira, the eldest Pandava, proposed a challenge: Duryodhana could fight any one of them, and if victorious, he would concede defeat and relinquish the kingdom of Hastinapur.

Gazing at Yudhisthira, Duryodhana’s countenance reflected a mix of frustration and confidence. He quipped, “What use is kingship to me now? I’ve lost my ninety-nine brothers, my loyal sibling Dushasan, my dearest friend Karan, and my uncle (Mama) Sakuni, who once fueled my ambitions. Without them, wealth and power hold little meaning. Even victory would ring hollow.”

This narrative holds a profound truth about life’s essence. Success and failure derive significance from the bonds we share. In their absence, achievements lose their luster.

Reflecting on companionship, I recall a friend who rarely initiates contact. Yet, an inner impulse always nudges me to reach out, eager to share my experiences.

I pondered over this inclination and realized its roots in shared history. This friend was my college roommate; we spent three formative years dreaming of a brighter future in the hostel corridors. Our connection transcends expectations or impressions—it’s rooted in shared memories.

Life’s true richness lies in companionship. Cheers to meaningful connections!

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