Since our Childhood, we have known Shakuni as cruel, shrewd and full of vengeance.
But what we do not know is why he became such.
So, when Gandhari – Shakuni’s sister got married to Dhritarashtra (The Blind Man). Her father did not tell Bhishma that Gandhari was a widow.
Yes, she was a widow. Earlier in her life, she got married to a goat which was later executed. Why this custom is that it is said in the Indian Vedic Astrology that if a person has Mangal Dosh, that person should get married to an animal or a tree, so that once their life is executed, the Dosh will end or else it was believed that it will come over to the partner’s life and can even take away his or her life. It is believed even now in India.
So, Gandhari was technically a widow and her father did not disclose it to Bhishma.
Marriage happened, Gandhari became the wife of Dhritarashtra. But by fate or whatever Bhishma got to know about her being a widow after the marriage. He was enraged and so he decided to avenge this deceit. So he decided to welcome and greet Gandhari’s father and all her brothers to the mansion.
He greeted them well. Provided them with all kinds of luxuries and facilities. And delicious foods. But as the days passed by the quantum of food slowly started reducing. By then all of them have realised that they were welcomed for revenge.
They could have left! why haven’t they left? After all, they had a kingdom and a home where everything was available.
But During those times the culture was such that you cannot leave your daughter’s in-laws house till you are well greeted and taken care off. So, everything was well only the quantum of food decreased to such a level that the quantum of food reduced to one morsel each. they became skinny. But they could not leave. So his father decided that one of them who was the wisest of them all, that is Shakuni will eat all the food and others will starve to death. It is said that when his brothers died, his father even asked him to eat their organs and live strong.
And when his father was dying, he asked Shakuni to cut his fingers and make dice out of them and it would always listen to him. Whichever number he would ask for, it will appear and he also whacked his right ankle. Shakuni screamed in pain and asked why father?
His father replied “It is because you should always remember why you are fed for? Every step you take, you should remember that you should live only and only for revenge” and he died. That is why Shakuni limp.
It is said that
“What is in Mahabharata could be everywhere but what is not in this epic could be nowhere”