Close to the city of Paithan, in a small village called Sauviragram, which lay along the banks of the great river Godavari, lived a woman named Ilaa. Being cotton farmers, her family was well to do, but not among the richest in their area. It was the harvest season, and cotton had to be picked from the plants. The wholesalers and traders from Paithan would be arriving in just a few weeks, carrying gold and goods for barter. They would exchange what they carried for the cotton that the farmers grew. The bales of cotton had to be ready in time! Work was at its peak!
But Ilaa was not to be found in the fields. She wasn’t working. Instead, she was sitting by the banks of the great river Godavari.
“I am sick of this!” she grunted loudly.
“Still thinking of your dream?” Tara calmly inquired, her gaze fixed on flowing Godavari.
“Why can’t I shake this off - it comes back again and again!”
“Come on it’s just a nightmare”
“And what about all the trouble it brings after it?”
“What is there to worry so much about it? And anyway, I like you better when you call yourself Sudyumna; you act so peaceful and logical.”
“What about that I don’t remember a second what happened during it. Baba says I get possessed, because I go out at night with my hair untied.”
“Nonsense, why do we girls only need to follow all the rules?”
“Exactly, was goddess Kaali always possessed? She always had her hair untied.”
“You are no less fearsome than goddess Kaali, when you have the sword unsheathed.”
“And you still prefer me as Sudyumna?”
“I don’t want to lie, but the warrior Ilaa is much more useful at current situation”
“Now you are talking. So is our tonight’s plan final?”
“Yes we meet at midnight.”