I was searching for Stories on Abhimanyu and Ghatokach , instead found the story of Another Wife of Abhimanyu , about which till date , I had no idea she even existed , I thought only Uttara was his wife.
Shashirekha was the daughter of Balarama, Subhadra's elder brother. She was a very sweet and lovely girl. Even when she was still a young girl, Subhadra wished her to become Abhimanyu's wife and her daughter-in-law. Subhadra had once gone to Dwarka before the Pandavas left for the f o rest. She had even then expressed her wish before her brother. Balarama had agreed, thinking that the Pandavas, being the kings of Indraprastha, would live in great grandeur, and that Abhimanyu was the son of the world famous hero Arjuna.
But after the Pandavas went to the forest Balarama's mind began to change little by little. The Pandavas had no place to live in. They lived in the forest, here today and somewhere else tomorrow. They had to spend twelve years in the forest and another year incognito. If recognized, they had to repeat the cycle. Should his daughter enter such a home?
On the other hand, Duryodhana was Balarama's disciple; Balarama liked him very much. Duryodhana's son was Lakshanakumara. Duryodhana who was already a king, had also taken away the kingdom of the Pandavas.
Duryodhana asked Balarama to give Shashirekha in marriage to Lakshanakumara. Balarama agreed.
Subhadra was miserable. Just because her husband was in trouble, her own brother looked down on him; so she wept in sorrow. She confided her sorrow to Krishna. Krishna advised Balarama that a sister should not be painted liked this; he told him that the Pandavas, though in difficulty, then, would again be emperors. Balarama did not pay heed to these words. Subhadra was in great distress.
Abhimanyu came to know of his mother's grief. He was very angry at the insult to his mother, father and to himself. Mother and son decided not to stay in a place where they were not honored; they thought that it was only proper for them to go to the place where the Pandavas lived.
In the course of their journey, they reached a place called Hidimbavana. Ghatotkacha, the king of Hidimbavana was very strong. His mother was Hidimbe. She was Bheema's wife and Ghatotkacha was Bheema's son. Subhadra and Abhimanyu did not know this. They set foot in Hidimbavana. Ghatotkacha was angry because they had come there without his permission. He stopped them.
But Abhimanyu was Arjuna's son. There could be only one outcome. H e became furious and shot a hundred arrows at Ghatotkacha, At first Ghatotkacha did not take Abhimanyu seriously; he thought that he was after all a young boy. He himself was huge as a mountain, and he had tremendous strength. It was not easy to fight with him. Subhadra shivered with fear on seeing him.
Abhimanyu, of course, did not care and was not afraid. Ghatotkacha fell on him like a mountain. But Abhimanyu calmly shot his arrows. Ghatotkacha stopped the arrows, threw them away, and again pounced on Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu again rained arrows on his opponent, all of which entered Ghatotkacha body. Unable to bear the pain, Ghatotkacha cried aloud and fell down.
Hearing his cry of pain Hidimbe came there. She was much grieved at the sad condition of her brave son. She took his head on her lap. "Oh that this should happen to Bheemasena's son!" she wept.
Subhadra and Abhimanyu were shocked. Was he Bheemasena's son? Alas! What had happened? They were puzzled and distressed. Subhadra said to Hidimbe, "Sister, I do not know who you are. How is it you say he is Bheemasena's son?"
With tears in her eyes, Hidimbe narrated her story. Several years before when Bheemasena was in Hidimbavana, she had fallen in love with him; her brother was angry and had fought with Bheemasena, and had been killed; she had married Bheemasena.
So Abhimanyu had fought with Bheema's son and wounded him. Subhadra and Abhimanyu were full of grief. Abhimanyu brought water and tried to revive Ghatotkacha. Subhadra said to Hidimbe, "You are then my elder sister. I am Arjunadeva's wife and Krishna's sister. This boy is my son Abhimanyu."
By this time Ghatotkacha regained consciousness. His mother told him everything. At first Ghatotkacha was furious that he had been defeated; but now he was delighted - after all, the great hero has his own younger brother! He took home Subhadra and Abhimanyu and looked after them with great affection. He learnt the reason for they're leaving Dwarka.
Ghatotkacha was wild with anger when he learnt that Balarama had not kept his word. He said, "Duryodhana sent the Pandavas to the forest and Balarama wants his daughter to marry Duryodhana's son!" He decided that come what might, Abhimanyu should wed her. He took Subhadra and Abhimanyu to Dwarka. He brought Shashirekha and left her with them. Shashirekha also wished to marry Abhimanyu. Both of them were very happy. Duryodhana and Lakshana had to go away because of Ghatotkacha's tricks. Balarama also finally agreed to Shashirekha's marriage with Abhimanyu. It was a grand wedding.
Thus, even as a young boy, Abhimanyu fought with Ghatotkacha, and showed his prowess.