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How was a Rainbow formed?
by Ramendra Kumar

Do you know the story behind the rainbow? No! Well, let me tell you?

Long time ago there lived a young man. His name was Surya. He was young, handsome and very intelligent. In the same kingdom lived a young woman Varsha. She was beautiful, vivacious and brilliant. As normally happens in most stories, Surya and Varsha met each other and promptly fell in love and got married.

Over the next ten years they had seven children - all girls, all extremely pretty. Both Surya and Varsha loved colors and so named their daughters Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red.

Now once, when Violet was thirteen and Red six, there was a competition in the kingdom. The contest was to select the wisest and the most intelligent person in the entire kingdom. Both Varsha and Surya participated and gradually progressed to the final round. And here they clashed with each other. The competition went on for eleven days and eleven nights. But no one emerged the winner. Finally the king took a decision and declared both of them joint winners.

They should have been happy but they were not. Their individual egos raised their ugly heads.

After reaching home Surya declared, "The contest was a hoax. I should have won."

"No, you are wrong. Only I deserved to win."

"That’s what you think," shouted Surya going red in the face.

"That’s what I know," retorted Varsha.

And so the big fight started and went on and on.

Surya grew more and more angry, his whole body burning with rage. Varsha began crying, her tears flowing down like twin streams.

For days, weeks and months they kept yelling, shouting, screaming and fighting with each other.

Finally the girls could take it no longer. One dark winter night, while their parents were busy fighting, the seven little girls jumped into the well at the back of their house and ended their sad lives.

***
Surya’s father Brahmarishi was a great sage. He had gone to the Himalayas for penance. On his return when he came to know of the tragedy he was furious. He summoned his son and daughter-in-law.

"Surya, Varsha, I am ashamed of you. Your ego, your selfishness has destroyed seven precious lives."

"We are sorry father. We are ashamed of ourselves. Please forgive us. But please, please, bring our little darlings back," both Surya and Varsha pleaded, their heads hanging in shame.

"What has been done can’t be undone. Nor can both of you be forgiven. In fact, you deserve to be cursed." Brahmarishi thundered.

Turning to Surya, he said, "You will forever live in the sky burning with the same rage that destroyed your happiness. And Varsha, your abode too will be the sky. Every time you feel remorse you will lament, shedding tears which will come down as rain."

"What about our girls?" Varsha asked.

"In the heart of hearts I know both of you not forgiven each other nor shed your egos. In the sky you will maintain a distance from each other. Surya, when you reign in the sky Varsha will normally disappear. And when Varsha you appear, Surya will vanish. However on those rare occasions when you decide to come together in love and forgiveness then your dream will come true?"

"I...I....don’t understand," Surya said.

"When Surya will shine, giving not heat but the warmth of love, when Varsha will shed not tears of grief but pearls of joy, then there will be a miracle. All your seven girls will appear in the sky in the shape of beautiful ribbon. It will be called a rainbow and will bring happiness and joy to every living creature in the whole wide world.

And so dear reader, since that fateful day, whenever there is the warmth of love and happiness in the sky, seven little girls come together. The join hands to create a gorgeous band of seven delightful colors which we call a 'Rainbow'. 

3-Mar-2001
 
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