Bheema, it is said, once came across an old monkey, lying with his tail across the path. Not wanting to step over the tail, Bheema asked the monkey to move. The monkey replied that he was too tired, and could Bheema himself move the tail, since he was so strong? Bheema, always confident and proud of his strength, bent to lift the tail, but was surprised that he couldn’t even shift it an inch! After trying multiple times, he finally gave up, acknowledging that his strength was no match for the monkey. Pleased, the monkey revealed his true form. He was Hanuman, the older son of Vayu, the wind, and thus Bheema’s elder brother. He then blessed Bheema, promising to stay by his side in the great war which was to come.
I remember being fascinated by this story when I was a kid, because of the way my mom told me the story… of Bheema and Hanuman’s conversation, and Bheema’s futile efforts to lift the monkey’s tail. As I grew older, the story continued to fascinate me, since it is one of those events which binds the two greatest epics – the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha!
Recently, I was reminded of the story once again, when a Hanuman Langur sat in our path, tail extended, refusing to move!!!
We were on a safari in the Satpura National Park, while visiting the Denwa Backwater Escape, on an invite from Pugdundee Safaris. The morning safari had been a washout, the animals keeping well away! We were returning, rather disappointed, when this langur stopped us, and made us smile, at his stoic behavior!
As someone so fascinated by mythology, legends and their origins, I couldn’t have asked for a more memorable experience!!!