Subala- The twin brother of Radharani
People say that Sridama’s younger brother, Subala is the monozygotic twin of Sri Radharani. Usually monzygotic twins are exactly similar in physical features. Seeing Subala from a little distance, he looks like a girl. People say that he looks so identical to his sister that many times even Kirti Maiya is confused between her Lala and Lali. Subala always keeps around with Krishna. Krishna keeps him inclined on his left side and stands and walks with him. Subala too keeps whispering his sister’s matters in Krishna’s ears. Krishna loves him immensely, but when it comes to snatching the tiffin, Sridama is the first one. Bhadra says- “Lali, is the idol of decency. She can neither speak, nor lift her head and glance. If you want to see her with Krishna, then look at Subala.”
Sridama and Subala- The leaders
Among the Sakhas of Barasana, even those of higher age groups, accept Sridama as their chief leader and in sports and competitions, all these accept Daudada’s companionship. Those of equal age groups or the younger ones accept Subala as their leader. They keep moving with Krishna. Hardly does Krishna tease or trouble the Sakhas of Barasana. He only meddles with Sridama. He doesn’t even tease any Sakha coming from Sridama’s group. No Sakha from Barasana interferes in the fierce battle between Sridama and Krishna. Even Sridama’s own brother Subala, on such hilarious situations, becomes a neutral witness and watches standing at a distance. And Krishna too doesn’t expect anybody to help. This instigator, can single-handedly meddle with everyone and tease all of them and if Sridama takes the complaint to Dada, he in turn receives love from him or else Bhadra caresses and explains things to him. Even in the division of the Younger Sakhas, 4 are prominent- 1) Tejasvi 2) Anshu 3) Deva Prastha and 4) Toka Krishna. These 4 are all the sons of Krishna’s Tau and Chacha, they are Krishna’s brothers. All the Wife chambers of the Sakhas are ever-eager to have them.
Friends in the chamber of women
Concerning the Chambers of the women, Madhumangala’s entry is unhindered there. He has to call everyone “Ma” and wherever he goes this Brahmin will be well-received. If he feels sleepy he will lay wherever he feels. He will tell someone- “Ma, I will sleep here only, Quickly spread my bed”. He is neither hesitant while speaking to somebody nor does the other feel uncomfortable in his presence. Except the division of the younger gopas, the rest all are extremely reserved and hesitant. If the purpose is demanding, very rarely does one visit the wife’s chamber of another Sakha or of an elder Sakha, and on reaching there, even if his Bhabhis tease him, he would like become the personification of modesty. These very Sakhas on being along with Krishna turn extremely fun-loving and of the troubling nature. To tease anyone or pull their leg they are ready even before Krishna. But there are exceptions to these too. Daudada never becomes prankish. Nobody even jokes with him. He doesn’t even participate during the festive occasion of Holi. Only Sakhas apply colors on him. Even if Bhadra participates in the Holi festival- If Krishna forcibly pulls him along- he would even then not smear color on any. If a Bhabhi casts some color on him, then taking one handful of Kumkum he would lay it on her feet. So, none of them even joke with him. On wife of Bhadra’s comes from Barasana. She is just the younger sister of Sri KirtiKumari (Radharani), but for Bhadra, Barasana is like a prohibited zone. Just on taking the name of going there, he takes to his heels. No restriction has been put on the entry of Sridama and Subala to the residence of any Sakha, but both are extremely hesitant. If their leaders are so shy, how can the Sakhas of their group be unrestrained? Both have their own ways to hide their hesitance- “We do not go to the mansions of others. Others should come to our hall. We are people who offer hospitality. Why should we accept other people’s hospitality? But actually Krishna keeps moving in everybody’s chamber of wives. Mostly alone, and sometimes even along with some Sakhas. Being in the company of this Mayura Mukukti nobody can remember anyone or anything else.
Forest- The Pradhan Peeth for Sakhya Rasa
The Sakhas come together only during the forest pastimes, and their mutual humor and fun carries on. The maturity of Sakhya lies in the forest pastimes only. Only Through the cow grazing venture in the forest, can all the Sakhas corroborate and enjoy playing with each other. Krishna’s unleashed companionship can happen only in the forest without hindrance. Like the presiding-abode (Pradhan peeth) for Vatsalya to fructify is Nanda Sadan and the temple for Madhurya’s complete maturity lies in secrecy of Nikunja (Nibhrita-Nikunja), so the ground for Sakhya Rasa’s maturity, is the forest (Vana). Immeasurable friends. In their divisions, according to their virtues and qualities, by following the commands of their group leader all keep getting blessed with the opportunity for serve Krishna and regale in the company of this Vraja Yuvaraj. Based on age, qualities and dynastic differences there is no room for prejudice of high and low amongst the Sakhas. Likewise, all those greater in age are addressed as Dada by the Sakhas, but usually the Sakhas address each other by their names only. Even if they call someone Dada, but that is done by joining their names along, Simply Dada is only Daudada.
How do the Sakhas address each-other?
The Sakhas speak in terms of “Tu” while speaking amongst each other or while even addressing their elders. They all are accustomed to calling Tau, Baba, Chacha, as “Tu”. It is certain, that Tau, Chacha etc would often be calling these children “Tum”. If a Sakha calls another Sakha “Tum” it means he is angry or is piercing him. He can also be delivering a cranky complaint. Like the elder gopas know Maharishi Shandilya and Brahmin class by calling them “Bhagvan”, likewise these people address by the terminology “aap”. The rishi-munis with matted hair locks and beard are very strange. Don’t know whether they are eternally upset with others, or they don’t know how to say “Tu”. Not just Daudau, on even spotting Krishna and the Sakhas, they start calling that very person “Aap”. That is why if one happens to meet any of them, after offering salutations, the Sakhas prefer to immediately take a flight.
Krishna hears the words of Rishi-Munis
Only Krishna keeps hearing their difficult to understand- mysterious talks. Perhaps he is listening because he can’t understand a single word of theirs. Bhadra once asked him- “What were you listening from that Baba? What was that Baba saying? I don’t understand, do you know? Krishna said- “When he was speaking, I liked the way his Dadhi (beard) was moving. I was watching his beard.” The poor baba would be thinking, this little Krishna would be understanding all his hymns, but one thing is for certain that Krishna’s power of hearing is severely good. From a great distance, even if a Sakha softly whispers- “Kanu,” he hears it all and quickly comes running. Krishna can fight with his Sakhas, and his sakhas can get upset with him for a few moments, but Krishna neither knows to get angry with his friends nor can he live without them. The humiliation of his Sakhas is also not tolerated by him. The life and soul of the Sakhas, he is the only one.