Pramukh, DuiMukh and Hasmukh were the renowned trio of the Mukhi family. Pramukh true to his name was the leader in all situations. He was like Bhima of yore. Ready for a fight anytime, everytime.
Duimukh, as was his name had a split personality. A modern day Jekyl and Hyde. He enjoyed the vices as if they were his forté. A Drunk and a Womanizer he fathered kids beyond the known.
Hasmukh, the youngest wore a pleasant smile. True to his name he wanted to be happy and would go beyond his means to ensure others too were.
Maharishi Valmiki was born as Ratnakara to sage Prachetasa. At a very young age, Ratnakara went into the forest and got lost. A hunter, who was passing by, saw Ratnakara and took him under his own care. Under the love and care of his foster parents, Ratnakara forgot his original parents.
Mukhi was Mukhia at the local boatyard. As team leader he had to issue work instructions daily to the labour. Unfortunately his family was huge and his last three kids to his new wife were born after he had crossed 60 years of age. By the time Hasmukh was 5, Mukhi’s services were no longer required at the yard. With the meager savings the family managed the next decade. But times were tough.
Under his father’s guidance, Ratnakara turned out to be an excellent hunter. As he approached marriageable age, Ratnakara was married to a beautiful girl from hunter’s family.As his family grew larger, Ratnakara found it next to impossible to feed them.
The family found it difficult to keep the kitchen fires burning. The boys had to stop their education midway and venture into the unknown. This was how they landed in the city-in search of a job. Hasmukh found an assignment at a factory and soon could refer his brothers to jobs in other established companies.
As a result, he took to robbery and began looting people passing from one village to another.
Now that earnings were assured, they needed to have a more decent abode, a distant cry from their present, where 18 of them were cramped in bunker beds 3 to a column. The three soon got married to women of their choice.
One day, the great sage Narada, while passing through the jungle, was attacked by Ratnakara. As Narada played his Veena and sang praises of the Lord, he saw a transformation coming over Ratnakara.
Lighthouse – a sea fronting villa was seen by Hasmukh in search of a new apartment. His brothers too liked the new abode. Money changed hands . Hasmukh paid major while the other two paid the balance. Deal settled, the landlord informed he could put just one name on the tenancy contract. Hasmukh unhesitatingly suggested Pramukh’s as he was eldest.
Then, he asked Ratnakara whether the family, for whom he was robbing others, will partake in his sins also.
Pramukh’s wife on realising the house was in their name did not hesitate to create a situation where Duimukh and Hasmukh had no choice but to pack their bags. She encouraged Pramukh to visit the local bar, and come home drunk. In a drunken state a fight would ensue and utensils would be flying. Finally Hasmukh and Duimukh decided to move away.
Ratnakara went to ask the same question to his family and on being refused by all his family members;
Hasmukh sought his share, Pramukh promised that whenever the house was sold, the money received would be shared in proportion to the investment. Hasmukh walked out empty handed with his wife and kids.
he went back to sage Narada who taught him the sacred name of ‘Rama’ and asked him to sit in meditation, chanting the name of Rama, till the time Narada came back.
24 years later Pramukh informed Hasmukh that he planned to sell the house and shift to a bigger apartment. Hasmukh reminded him of his share in the pie. This set the clock back. Pramukh wanted to consult his wife before a decision could be arrived at. The wife would have none of it. 9 years after Pramukh’s death the family decided to shift to a new apartment in the distant suburb. When Hasmukh asked Pramukh’s family for his share, they feigned ignorance and knew none of the commitment.
Ratnakara followed the instructions and kept sitting in a meditative posture for years, during which his body got completely covered by an anthill. At last, Narada came to see him and removed all the anthills from his body. Then, he told Ratnakara that his tapasya (meditation) paid off and the God was pleased with him. Ratnakara was bestowed with the honor of a Brahmarshi and given the name of Valmiki, since he was reborn from the Valmika (the ant-hill). Sage Valmiki founded his ashram at the banks of River Ganga.
Hasmukh was disheartened, but was happy to watch his children do well for themselves and settle happily. But happiness seemed elusive to Pramukh’s children. Was the past catching up.