Duhsala was the only sister born in the family of Kauravas. But her goodness is overshadowed by the vast amount of evil that filled the Kaurava family. Her brothers loved her dearly and made most of her decisions. This led to a life full of sorrow and misery. 

Dhritarashtra and his wife Gandhari were childless for years. As a king, Dhritrastras needed someone to inherit his throne and so he consulted a wise Sage Vyasa for a solution. Vyasa was impressed by the hospitality of Gandhari and gave her the boon to bear 100 sons.
After two years of gestation, Gandhari gave birth to a lump of flesh. She angrily asked Vyasa to fulfil his promise and Vyasa cut the lump of flesh into 100 pieces, placing them in 100 pots. Then he poured Ghee into the pots and instructed Gandhari to wait. Gandhari requested that she also desire a daughter so Vyasa cut an extra piece. While the 100 pots gave birth to 100 Kaurav brothers, the 101st pot contained their only sister, Dushala.

Interestingly Dushala was the only daughter in both Kaurava and Pandava families and hence was loved by both. She was married to the king of Sindhu, Jayadratha. Jayadratha was vastly powerful and on the same hand arrogant. During the time of exile of Pandavas, he kidnapped Draupadi from the forest.
Yudhishthira and Bhima found Jayadratha and defeated him. They were about to kill him but Dushala intervened. She requested them to let his husband go as he was unaware of who Draupadi was. The duo of Pandava brothers instead shaved his head and let him go.

Following this incident, Jayadratha left his kingdom as penance for kidnapping Draupadi. In his years of absence, Dushala served as the head of state. She is the only Matriarch mentioned in the entire Mahabharata. Jayadratha was killed by Arjuna in the battle of Kurukshetra and Dushala again took the mantle of ruling Sindhu.

A few years after the Mahabharata, the Pandavas had an Ashwamedha Yagna. It was a royal ritual in which the ruling King lets a horse run wild in his Kingdom. If the horse is captured by any opposing King then the ruling King had to fight him. The horse left by Pandavas was captured in the Kingdom of Sindhu where the son of Jayadratha and Dushala, Surath ruled. Under the guidance of his mother, Surath wanted to take his revenge on Arjuna.

Arjuna arrives with his army in the kingdom of Sindhu. And even before the battle begins, Arjuna blows the conch shell so powerfully that Surath falls off his horse and dies. Dushala comes to understanding that Pandavas have the divine backing them and apologizes to Arjuna. Arjuna observes the pain in the eyes of Dushala and feels guilty for killing both his husband and son. He leaves the kingdom of Sindhu free and makes the grandson of Dushala the new king.

Dushala gets very little mention in the telling of Mahabharata for being an oddity, a daughter in a war of sons, and a good-hearted human surrounded by evil-minded people. Her life was full of misery and disappointment. Her sufferings were the result of her surroundings. Her brothers, who thirst for power, married her to a powerful yet corrupted man. And it was the brother mindset that evokes the need to take revenge on Arjuna and got his son killed.
Hence the culture of India puts a lot of emphasis on an individual’s company. One popular saying explains how a saint can be mistaken for a thief if he walks with a group of thieves and a thief can be mistaken for a saint if he walks with a group of saints.

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