Satyabhama… The most beautiful, most ‘pampered’ and most ‘possessive’ wife of Lord Krishna!
A lot of you may not have heard of Satyabhama, but once you read about her, I’m pretty sure, you’ll understand her as one of the most amusing characters in Indian Mythology…! Satyabhama was, somewhat like a spoilt, pampered, brattish South Bombay kid!
She was the proverbial Shrew! The ultimate Drama Queen!
Satyabhama was the second most important wife of Lord Krishna. (A lot of young kids don’t know that Krishna didn’t just have one wife! And I love the reaction on their faces when I tell them that he in fact, had 16000 wives ;)) Now not all 16000 were actually his wives… he had 8 key wives… most of whom were political alliances. (Polygamy and Polyandry were acceptable practices back then… They were super-broad minded and understood, unlike us today, that man is polygamous by nature…! So anyway…)
Rukmini was the only one he actually wanted to marry and Satyabhama was the one who he indulged the most and the other 6 were political alliances! The remaining 15992 were women he had rescued from Narkasura, who he accepted as wives because they insisted! They say about Krishna that he loved everyone (wives, men, women, kids, animals, good and bad) equally and unconditionally… he was after all, the supreme God! But out of all of his 16000 wives, the one who he was most amused by and the one who kept him dancing to her tunes, was Satyabhama!
Ironically, while Krishna’s first wife, Rukmini who was the reincarnation of Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), came from more humble origins… Satyabhama who was a reincarnation of BhoomiDevi (Mother Earth), came from a very rich family of the Royal treasurer of Dwarka. She was pampered, spoilt and used to a very indulgent lifestyle from the very beginning.
Satyabhama had been given a boon to stay young and beautiful forever and she absolutely loved herself. She was supposed to be elaborately and always impeccably dressed! She had 6 hour long baths and spent most of her day getting spas, pampering herself and getting dressed. (Don’t we all wish a life like that… sigh!)
However, she was also trained to be a skilled warrior! (She’s the one who eventually defeats Narkasura… the reason why we all celebrate Diwali the way we do! That story in the next post though…)
So while she epitomized everything that stood for femininity – grace, poise and vanity… she was also fierce opponent on the battlefield!
Now, proud and possessive as she was, she liked to believe, and for everyone to believe that Krishna loved her the most. And Krishna, knowing that she always wanted to prove a point, kept doing things to tease and enrage her on purpose. And she, being herself, was the only one in the whole world, who actually had the guts to throw tantrums at Krishna. Lovable, adorable tantrums… which made him tease her even more and also dance to her tunes!
The story that I’ve tried to bring alive in this post is of the time when Krishna came back from work (read: long months of strategic visit to Hastinapur), and Satyabhama wanted to make sure that he visited her first… before any other wife. So dressed up in the best of her clothes, tasteful accessories and fragrant perfumes… And she made sure the word that she was waiting for him reached Krishna before he came back…
He however on hearing this, decided to play around a little and so, on purpose, headed to Rukmini’s chambers first!
Now when Krishna, finally came to visit her… he entered her room noticing her jewelry… the gajra (flowers in her hair)… the accessories… all carelessly strewn around the room… her disheveled hair and the fact that he did not acknowledge him entering into the room kinda gave him the message loud and clear! And then there’s a whole legend on how he tried so hard to cajole her and win her back… in the most romantic way possible!
This little story… of how she so symbolically, without really saying anything nasty or mean… or putting up any fight… just through a little lovable tantrum made Lord Krishna go gaga about her, to me is so so romantic!
In today’s day and age… we know what happens to our husbands / boyfriends if they come home late for a date and we’re waiting all decked up… he’s definitely getting an earful, if not having something hurled at him! The heightened (and sometimes over-hyped) need for gender equality has somehow turned us all into these pseudo feminists. We’ve somewhere forgotten the power of subtle femininity and class… and sadly, this has stripped us off that pure and innocent romance of the yester-years.
Satyabhama had class! She knew how to have it her way without even having to say anything… & believe you me… men are suckers for it, even today!
So here… I’ve tried to re-create Satyabhama’s little tantrum story… in a modern context with a contemporary, modern look:
(Satyabhama: All dressed up and waiting for him to come home…)
I’m wearing this gorgeous black ball-room gown, especially designed for me by designer Kaanch Advanie, which is symbolic of the grandeur and extravagance that Satyabhama was made of! The colour and the lift that the gown offers, reminds me of the princesses and noblewomen of the yester years… oozing class, elegance and arrogance.
Her accessories too… are symbolic of her lovable tantrums… That’s why I’ve stayed away from a necklace… and instead am just wearing large earrings (from Drama Queen jewelry)… and a large ‘little-finger’ ring. In my mind… ‘little-finger’ rings are more symbolic of vanity than any other piece of jewelry… as is the Victorian, lacey hand harness.
(Angry and upset on hearing that he’s not visiting her first… yet elegant and proud!)
(Her lovable little tantrum at play…
When Krishna enters her chambers… he sees the room a-mess with her accessories and she, sitting amidst it, not acknowledging him but sending the message out, loud & clear)
This look, is something that you could easily wear to any gala dinner, a cocktail party, a black tie event, your 21st birthday, your 5th wedding anniversary, to your dad’s 60th birthday party or even to a five star new year’s ball! Yes, it is extravagant… and makes you look for those special occasions… but believe me, every woman must have one of these ball room gowns in her wardrobe… it’s totally worth it!
So the next time your man comes home late… instead of nagging him to death… take a cue of Satyabhama and throw your own little classy, lovable tantrum… (you might actually end up being happier than if he’d have come home on time ;))
There’s a second look that I’ve created for Satyabhama… the warrior princess who defeated Narkasura… A look which is more appropriate for wedding cocktail parties, and for the sassy bride’s maids! Coming up soon… stay tuned…
All photographs are courtesy Sonalee Das along with Fahim
Make up & Hair: Sangamithra Pillai