Krishna looked at the dead and valiant Yadavas piled one on the other. Samba’s aborted embryo had mutated to a deadly shape, worse than any raakshasa he or his brother had had to handle. Krishna had tried his best for his clan. The blue blood of Ugrasena’s ran through his veins as well. By some mysterious act of nature the colour of his skin resembled a mixture of the hues of his veins and the blood that flowed in them. Lotuses of this particular colour were reputed to bloom in silent ponds, deep in the woods and far away from prying human eyes.
Krishna and Balarama had saved Mathura time and again from the marauding soldiers of Jarasandha, who used sheer manpower as well as sorcery against the brothers. Fed up of the senseless killing, Krishna had not bothered about the derogatory epithet uttered by fools of his   of his being “ Ran Chod Rai”, or the coward who ran away from the battlefield.  He knew that sometimes it was bravery itself to accept a wrong image of cowardice. If such an undeserved epithet served to help his people, Krishna was happy to wear it so.
Some vague marine memories stirred in him and he bade the marvellous city of Dwaraka to be built on the sea. Strangely, the builders saw that the foamy waves of the ocean were forming a belt around the city’s foundations and holding it up firmly. The citizens of Mathura were thrilled with the upgrade.  Krishna too moved in there with his retinue.
Kunti, his father’s sister, was persistent in her demands that he help her sons. Krishna liked them all well enough. But he found his frail aunt’s steely ambition to be unpalatable.  The eldest son of Kunti was a pompous and self righteous man. The second one was the best of the lot, even with his gluttony and rough manners. Arjuna, handsome and ever the consummate warrior, was a trifle conceited.  The youngest of them, the twins, were locked within their own world of ancient manuscripts and horses.
Krishna loved Draupadi, their common law wife. She could take the kind of freedom with him which he had given only to the people of Vrindavan.  Draupadi was Yashoda, bullying him. He was very careful not to let himself fall in love with her. In any case as the list of women whom he conquered became longer and longer, Krishna’s eyes became sadder and sadder.  His physical form went through the appropriate motions. His words were soft and seductive.  Yet all the women who he was with sensed a great gap between themselves and him that they dared not speak of. Krishna had a kind of motionlessness in him which was more awesome than the dreary stillness of Death.
Krishna had secured a kingdom for his cousins, who were in reality no kin to the throne. His aunt was triumphant and her standing up for her children vindicated.  Scarce a few days as the Rajmata or queen mother, Kunti found the thrill of royal possessions fading fast. None of that was Krishna’s problem.
Balarama and Krishna exchanged a look. Right from babyhood the brothers communicated without words. They gave each other a half hug and parted ways.
Listening to some ancient call, Krishna lost himself in a forest and clambered on to a tall tree. Spine against the tree trunk, he let his hands and feet dangle freely. He was at last relaxing all by himself. He found a languor that he had not felt till his old Vrindavan days.
Suddenly he felt something tear into his heel. He gasped. At no battle had he felt depth of pain. Leaning forward, he found the hunter Jara’s arrow embedded in his leg. The pain was precisely at that very point
the arrow had entered. Quickly he made peace with the devastated Jara. This was just a settling of accounts from a past birth. A monkey was hunted and killed by a God and this was the return favour.  There was an urgency in the way he bid farewell to Udhdhav and his faithful charioteer Daruka. This was Krishna’s me-time!
And then, almost ethereal, out of the firmament she came. Radha was as beautiful as she was the day he had met her first. Krishna recollected the touch of her hands, the fragrance of her breath. He could have listened to her talk for hours without hearing anything she said. He would watch the ballet of her lips. He felt his heartbeat adjust itself to the rhythm of her anklets. Her eyes were softer than those of the cows he milked in the evening.
She wove flowers into a wreath for her hair which matched the garland she put around his neck. Her laugh was as the sunlight caught in the dew at Sunrise. When she got angry the thunder clouds seem to be born on her curved brows. When Radha smiled, Krishna was convinced that he was born just to see this smile.
He was jealous of the bangles that caressed her forearms. Of her Odhni she tucked in neatly between her breasts where he had often rested his dreaming head. He yearned for the moth wing caress of her eyelashes as she woke up to look at him. He cherished her sleepy look of love for him, lust for him wherein he saw the Universe his mother Yashoda was alleged to have seen in her son’s mouth. Radha’s smell, taste, texture; he came alive became a man when he was with her. She was his. He was hers. This was the way it was supposed to be. This was the way it was with Shiva and Parvathi.
Krishna felt himself being held in Radha’s arms, rocked in her lap. “ I missed you…gave you up… for things that don’t matter. You never gave up on me, did you? He hurt me Radhay. He shot me through my heel. I had tattooed your name there. That was what held me up.  That was the only one to hold me up… always. I used to run my fingers round it. I knew no princess would bend down and kiss my feet. That was for us remember? Head to toe I love you. Your name would have burned their lips… but you… you kissed me all over. Was it  your lips which heal or your love?  I am confused. They call me God. God? I never knew what was important.  Never did anything for those who loved me.
Yashoda…Nandagopal…you, most of all you.  None of the princesses were half of you Radhikay. I tried…I tried to forget you. Your silken hair pillow on the forest floor. You rising wet and glowing like a second full moon as you rose from the Yamuna. If I am ever a God it’s only now, like this, in your arms. Never let me go. Never let me go ever.”
Tears fell from Krishna’s eyes. He had not cried since he left Vrindavan. Silently Radha held him to her.
“ Come let us go then where we will never be separated”, she said softly slipping him a gift she had carefully kept for him. “ Let us be together Kanha my love, like this flute and your music.” Sometimes even a God too finds heaven in mortal love.