I am the spirit guarding the holy river Kuvery, The river flows for most parts of southern India. I help keep the soil fertile and protect the small aquatic beings living inside the water. Being a tributary of the River Ganga or Ganges, Kuvery has it’s origins in a small village called Talakuvery. A long long time ago. When India was known as the Jambhudwipa and kings ruled over the land there was a horrible drought that hit the then dense forest lands of Talakuvery. The trees grew dry, their leaves shed off. The land became barren and broken. The water levels of the river decreased drastically. So much pain. The animals died without food and water. The forest dwellers had nothing to eat either. Their vegetation was dependent on the ground waters, the river and the sky waters which has all of a sudden stopped favoring the living beings. “Aiyyo! tayi, Kopa bittu haridu baa!” they prayed (alas!, mother, give up your anger and flow once again). My small fish, the turtles, the under water plants all looked at me helplessly. The trees barked in pain. “Mother, do something, help us!” they all said. The mornings were so hot, it looked like the sun was in deep anger on the forest, he kept shining so brightly that the trees and animal skin burnt, they all fell on the ground and rolled around in agony.With all the people, animals, plants crying for help I myself felt helpless. My hands were tied, I could see my thirsty children, with only little water to drink, they fought each other for a single drop of water. Man who could no longer grow what he could eat began to hunt down animals for food. Bats began to drink human and animal blood to quench their thirst. I cried, my face felt like it was being burnt, my wings were torn and I could no longer fly around the water. My fresh green hair turned brown. My skin broke into small piles of dry sand. It was as if I carried the pain of my children with me. Thankfully, my human children could not see me. If they could they would mistake me to a demon for sure!I needed answers. I wanted to know why my children were being tested? they were all such lovely beings who believed in coexistence. Why would the gods ever punish them? I had to go to the holy Ganges and find answers before it was too late. So in my absence, I needed someone to protect the forest and the people, I was in a confusion as to which of my children should be assigned the duty. I could have handed it over to the humans, although the last to be born, they were better in communicating with each other. But they had all gone mad, they were killing their brothers and sisters and eating their burnt dead bodies, they were selling their skin to get circles made out of the yellow and white paste removed from below the earth. If they were left in-charge, they would have cut down the trees which did not produce fruits and build their shelters with the corps of those trees! they had done this plenty of times. I had asked the snakes, lions and tigers to scare them away from doing that for a long time now. I could not burden the aquatic animals, they were too small in size and number to carry out my duties. I needed someone mighty, some one big enough to control the humans. I chose the elephants.A few years before I set out on my journey to find a cure, I called upon the king of elephants “Gajaraja kesari”. I told him “Son, it is up to you to protect your siblings now, I am traveling up north to meet the holy Ganges and I am not coming back without an answer to her anger. Our family will perish if the situation is the same for another decade and I can not let that happen. You stay and guard the holy sandalwood, do not let humans hurt any animals and protect the humans from the angry nature.” “Fear not mother! I shall die but not let any harm occur to our family!” he assured. I trusted and still trust the elephants. They are so mighty in strength and size, yet so mild at heart. They stood by me when I began to build our tiny home and they still stand by me. But the humans! they are my most notorious children. They ride on the elephants and hit them with ropes. They love the elephants too, but they display tough love. The elephants on the other hand mischievously disagree with the humans, but as time goes by they give in to the human’s demands. Our family is indeed a blessing on the face of the earth.I left to the north and began to meditate on the Himalayan mountains to summon the gods of wind (Vayu), Rain (Varuna), Fire (Agni), Skay (Indra) and Earth (Bhudevi). I also summoned the holy Ganges, her master Lord Shiva (the destroyer of evil), his better half Parvathi (The goddess of nature), Lord Vishnu (the protector of good) and goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth), Lord Bramha (the creator) and goddess Saraswathi (the goddess of knowledge and music). They were all my bosses, I reported to them and they assured my family’s welfare, so now that my children were in pain, they had to tell me why? I had never denied any of my duties and yet my children were suffering for many years now.My penance and call was finally heard. The gods set up a meeting with me. They all appeared and goddess Parvathi spoke, “Open your eyes kuvery, we received your call for help. We are here to resolve your issues.” By then I had almost perished. I had no water inside me left to sweet or cry, my hair had fallen off my head, my wings were as heavy as rocks, my eye and soul was dried out, I was not in a presentable condition at all. “My dear! what happened to you?” asked Ganges. “Sister I am sure I’ve been cursed!” I replied.Indra: Cursed? what for?Agni: Who cursed you?Lakshmi: For how long has the curse lasted?I replied, “I myself need answers to all these questions, I was hoping that you all will have answers and thus I summoned you.”There was utter silence. They all looked at me as if I was about to vanish from the earth for ever, they all pitted me, I could see a sense of sorrow in their eyes. Then the creator, Lord Bramha broke the silence. “It is I who has placed the curse!” All the other gods were confused. It was not usual that the creator got angry or cursed someone. “Dear little sister, what have you done? you not only got cursed yourself but are currently making your children suffer!” I was in a shock! I did not know where I had gone wrong. But what ever wrong had occurred by me must have been very very serious that the creator got angry! so I fell down to the creator’s feet, “Forgive this offender my lord, punish my sinful soul for my wrong deeds. Kindly accept my prayers and set my children free of the curse” I requested.”The curse is not on you Kuvery!” said the goddess of knowledge Saraswathi, “Your human children are the one who are cursed. And because you all belong to the same family, the curse has its effects on you and your other children!””But mother! what did the humans do to deserve such a harsh curse?””They have polluted you! they have shown disrespect to their mother! that deserves a special place in the hell of it’s own, then too their wrong deeds will not be substituted with the punishments of hell! So their suffering shall begin from the time of their birth and carry on even after their death! go now and console your other children, they have fallen pry to their sibling’s punishment!””I know the humans are a little mischievous, they throw out their waste into me, but it is also true that they drink the same water and bath in it too! mother have mercy, I will make sure the humans learn their lessons. They are the youngest and I agree that I have been pampering them for that reason. But I promise that they will behave themselves, they will learn the importance of everything nature has to offer! Please show kindness over my family!” I kept praying to all of them for years. Finally they heeded to my cry and agreed to lift the curse, they directed me to take Varuna the god of rain along with me. I received their blessings and instructions and departed towards home.************************************