iUP Publications Online
Home About IUP Magazines Journals Books Archives
Recommend    |    Subscriber Services    |    Feedback    |     Subscribe Online
The IUP Journal of Commonwealth Literature
Short Stories: Vimukta (The Liberated)

Having finished the fourteen years of exile in the forest, overcoming in the process innumerable difficulties, and crossing the vast ocean, when Sita, Rama and Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya, the whole palace turned out to welcome them.

Except Urmila!

The eagerly searching eyes of Sita could not find Urmila anywhere. The hug of mothers-in-law, pleasant enquiries, the friendly words of Mandavi and Sruthakeerthi, their services—none of them could enter Sita’s mind.


As quietness returned a little later, drawing Sruthakeerthi nearer to her, Sita whispered, “Where is Urmila?”

Sruthakeerthi’s face turned pale. On seeing her face, Sita became anxious.

“What happened to Urmila? Is she all right?”

Though she understood her anxiety, Sruthakeerthi didn’t know what to say.

It had been fourteen years since she saw Urmila.

“Why do you stare silently? Where is Urmila?” Sita asked anxiously.

“I don’t know how Urmila is. I haven’t seen akka1 since you left.”

Sita could make no sense of it. Wondered she might have heard wrongly.

Said loudly again: “Sruthakeerthi, I am asking about Urmila.”

“I too am speaking about Urmila. After you people left, she didn’t appear before anybody. She didn’t come out of her chamber. Nor did she allow anybody in.”

Sita was stunned.

“You mean none! Mothers-in-law too?”

“Didn’t allow anybody. Maid servants were, of course, going in and out. Entry into her chamber is granted only to Charumathi. She kept us posted about her welfare.”


Commonwealth Literature Journal, Aravind Adiga, Cultural Production, Commercial Mediations, Indian Fictional Writing, South-Asian Cultural Commodities, Contemporary Corruption, Social Responsibility, Postcolonial Literatures, Foreign Cultures, Commercial Implications, Postcolonial Production.