~ 82. Sita Arrives in Lanka ~

Ravana brought Sita to Lanka and then dragged her to the door of his palace.
"Stop!" shouted Mandodari, his chief wife. "Stop right there! You cannot bring that woman here against her will. All the rest of us love you, but she does not."
"She will love me!" insisted Ravana.
"I'm sure she will," agreed Mandodari. "But until she does, keep her in the Ashoka Grove. Not here."
Reluctantly, Ravana took Sita away to the grove. "And when I win her love," he muttered angrily, "she'll take Mandodari's place!"
Silently, Sita thanked Mandodari for keeping her away from Ravana's palace.

Inspired by: Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik
Notes: Later, when Hanuman visits Lanka, he will see the many wives of Ravana in the palace. This story appears on p. 136, and on p. 147, Pattanaik describes the board game known as Sitaipandi, a form of solitaire played using tamarind seeds and seven pits in the ground. It is a game to while away the time, and is a form of mancala. You can read more about that here: Sitaipandi (with bibliography).

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