Sita, after her banishment, and Surpanakha.
Under the berry tree, Sita found Surpanakha, full of hate and rage, gloating. 'They rejected you as they rejected me. Now you suffer as I do, stripped of status as I was stripped of beauty.' Sita smiled, and offered Surpanakha a berry. 'These are really sweet, as sweet as the berries in Mandodari's garden.' Surpanakha was surprised.
'How much punishment will be enough? Ever since the sons of Dashratha disfigured you, they have known no peace. Yet you rave and rant relentlessly. Humans are never satisfied with justice. Animals never ask for justice.' 'I am not an animal, Sita. I will not be treated as one, said Surpanakha. “Then be human. Let go and move on. They who hurt you cannot expand their mind. But surely you can, “reasoned Sita.
'I refuse to submit,' said the demon princes. Sita warns her, ‘You trap yourself in your own victimhood. Then be like Ravana. Stand upright while your brothers die, your sons die and your kingdom burns, imagining your own nobility. Who loses, but you? Cultures come and go. Ram and Ravana come and go. Nature continues. I would rather enjoy nature.'
Surpanakha picked up the berry offered by Sita. It was indeed sweet, sweeter than any lover's impatient, lustful gaze. She ate another berry and smiled. 'Now I will race you to the river,' shouted Sita as she ran for the stream. Surpanakha giggled as she jumped into the waters. Once again she felt beautiful.