================================PYAAR KA ABYAAS
330 years ago
1677, Sath Muhurth – theen Kala – therah kastha (that is 05:38 acccording to ancient Indian time system)
Surya Ghat, the capital city
As the sun shone in the sky of Surya Ghat in all its glory, it seemed to be losing its shine as the 26 year old eyes exhibited the burning aura of its possessor for the whole world to see, for it knew, no one would dare to meet eyes with the warrior whose sword moves just as any other part of body on his command, it knew no one who wouldn’t be blinded and scorched on looking into it, for it knew there is no need to fear the world that would hide that fire which defined this person.
The Crowned Prince Sanskaar Maheshwari was practicing or it is better to say unwillingly practicing for winning the swayamvar of the crowned princess of Brahmavarta
Swara Satnami. The whole royal family knew that the prince is not interested in getting married which is why they are making all the efforts to make him be the winner of this swayamvar. He sat down after a tiring practice session and wrote the name that occupies his thoughts.
After staring at the name for some time a soft sigh escapes his lips. He would soon leave with Laksh for Brahmavarta.
‘‘Mujhe nahi pata agar Laksh aapke kwaishe ke bare mein nahi baatata toh main kabhi aapse shaadhi karne ke liye saj hota yah nahi. Par jab Brahmavarta ki niyatiyon ke bare mein mujhe pata chala jisse aap todna chahti hai, jisske liye apne sukh, dukh, aur parivaar se aap apne aap ko dur kardiya hai, itna hone ke badh bi jiss tarah aap apna parivaar aur Brahmavarta ka maan rakte hain, mere maan mein ab aapko apna banana ka junoon ka ehsaas karna chahta hoon. Aapko Sanskaar Maheshwari ek vachan deta hai ki jab tak humari shaadhi hogajati uske pehle mein aapke har woh kwaaishe pure kar doonga aur aapke dil jeetunga. Kyunki mein aapse pyaar karta hun.’’
Saraswati Ghat, The capital city
The slightly pinkish light on the casted a glow on the figure that was effortlessly swinging between the high risen buildings that attempted to stall her movements like every day. But today too she won against everything. Today too she has kept her promise. On reaching her room in the mighty palace she removed the black cloth covering her face and faced the window and as if the sunrays were waiting for her call to caress the palace floors, the sun rose fully and her as the light tinted her cheeks, the sweat drops glistening on her forehead, with a victorious glint in her eyes, Princess Swara Satnami stilled looked beautiful without any ornaments decorating her. She is the soft spoken, sanskari, innocent and meek princess to the outside world but only her own eyes knew what is the damage those two hands which are expected only to pluck flowers and play with silk can do to forms with flesh and bones. In Brahmavarta, girls’ education is banned. But the princess always yearned to have education. Seeing her Laksh Bhaiya playing with swords and learning to read and write 6 year old Swara asked her Bhaiya to tech her all that she learns. And he being the sweetest brother ever always thought her everything he learnt. As they grew bigger and stronger they understood the seriousness of the situation. Swara realised that it is not only her but there are many girls in the Kingdom who are worthy of education. After he became the crowned prince of Bhairavagiri, Laksh arranged for a proper guru to teach all the fighting techniques who happened to be Kavita, a widow whose husband was a captain in Bhairavagiri’s army. Kavita and Swara used to train in the forest area nearby the border of Brahmavarta and Bhairavagiri, the Kaalibanga Van whole night. Now after 24 years of her birth Swara Satnami’s fighting skills are venomous. Now it is time for her to choose her husband. Her Swayamvar is arranged. She has to choose her husband as it is him who is going to be her pillar of support for the whole life. Bhai is going to bring the right one as promised that she was sure about.
After 7 days
Kaalibanga forest area
Sanskaar threw a pebble on Laksh and said
‘‘Sab tere wajah se hua hai’’
‘‘Arre meine kya kiya’’
‘‘Here I am sulking because I am not able to meet her soon and the reason for that is you. The whole day you were throwing tantrums like a spoilt child, if not for you I would have been with my princess.’’
Laksh just smirked in return unnerving Sanskaar. Sanskaar asked in return
‘‘What is going on in your mind? ’’
‘‘My dear friend, I know that love is the way god chooses to make every sane creation of his insane, but I never knew that Prince Sanskaar Maheshwari will act like a fool one day’’ before he completes his sentence Sanskaar interrupted
With gritted teeth
‘‘What do you mean by that? ’’
‘‘First answer my questions. I told you that every night Swara practices Archery and Fencing with Kavita. I told you the place too. Name the place.’’
‘‘umm…… Kaalibanga Van ’’
‘‘And where are we?’’
‘‘Kaalibanga Van…… oh god!! ’’
‘‘So shall we leave’’
And Sanskaar sprinted towards their horses.
Princess Swara Satnami was practising her moves when she heard the sound of her Laksh Bhai’s horse she was surprised when she heard the footsteps of another horse too. Kavita was seeing the glint of recognition in Swara’s eyes. Thinking that this is the right time to attack she slashed her sword towards her dear student’s heart but a sword effortlessly diverted the said attack and before Kavita could blink her sword was gone and before she could think of the next move to regain her sword, Swara’s sword slits the air to make the weapon lying on the ground spring to her other hand while all Kavita can see was a flash from her pupil’s sword caused due to the light that full moon offers. As Swara looked into the eyes of her master she saw a thin layer of tears in her eyes and her lips twitched into a sweet little smile. Behind her she could hear Pari speaking to Laksh Bhai in hushed tone. ‘‘This is the first time after years Kavita Didi is smiling at something. Since her husband Senapati Sahil’s death she has never smiled.’’
Swara was pleased to hear that. But the next voice she heard made all the rational thoughts fly out of her mind. ‘‘Your sister is the reason of many smiles knowingly or unknowingly’’ it said.
Something was there in that voice hat made blood rush to her face and she suddenly had an urge to turn and look into the eyes of the owner of that voice to know whether she was the reason for his smile too.
When her mind recognised the small smile, admiration, devotion, and above all lots and lots of love all reserved only for her in the voice she turned her face towards him. Swara who was captured by a need so heavy that the mere thought of not being able to see the owner of the majestic voice that has pulled her into this whirlwind of emotions didn’t notice the black cloth covering her face being removed by the soft fingers of the blowing zephyr.
Soon the waiting eyes of the princess were feasting on the most gorgeous creation of god. Yes, gorgeous, he was drop dead gorgeous. But wasn’t gorgeous used to address girls. Never mind. Her thoughts were so messed up to think of the right word. Otherwise why will she be wondering whether this man is coming to her swayamvar or not.
Sanskaar Maheshwari didn’t skip a heartbeat, didn’t forgot to breath, was not mesmerized because for all this thing to happen his mind and heart should be under his control.
‘‘Tujhe dekte hee hamare dadkan daudaa bhi nahi, ruka bhi nahi
Tujhe dekte hee hamara saanse teezi se naa chale, ruke bhi nahi
Kyunki uske liye mere dimag aur dil hoona chahiye mere paas
Par milte hee chura liya humse us doono ko
Ab zinda rehne ke liye sirf ek maarg bacha hai
Tere dil aur dimag ko mein churaloon
Mein to bewakoof tha jo pyaar mein is keemti cheezon ko kho diya
Par tujhse kaise churaoon yeh cheezein?
Bas ek hi raasta bacha hai mera zinda rehne ke liye
Kya pyaar karooge mujhse? ’’
His eyes was conveying all this to her. He was looking at her as if taking in all the minute details about her. Be it her firm petite frame standing in front of him just a few feet away in a slightly dazed state as if his voice has drugged her or the long, curly hair with which the breeze was playing as if making him jealous. But after reaching the eyes he felt as if his life was hanging at the tip of a steep cliff. Did he just see reciprocation of his feelings because it was gone before he could make sure?
Prince Lakshya Satnami has expected this eyelock to happen. He was the one who persuaded the Maheshwari Royals that Swara is perfect for Sanskaar. He was the one with whom his sister shared everything. He was the one for whom his rebel sister dressed up as a male guard attended the sagai of him and Ragini. He was the one who found a dazzled and blushing Swara near the garden which was a site nobody has ever seen. He was the one who found the reason of her blush to be a ‘trip, fall, and catch’ experience with Prince Sanskaar Maheshwari. He was the first one who noticed the zoned out and unreasonably smiling Swara for some days after that. He was the one who found it was love and explained it to Swara. He was the one who explained everything about the girl Sanskaar wants as his wife to Swara. He was the one who used it as the last push required to make Swara the lethal warrior, wicked planner and a wise ruler that she is today. He was the one who explained Sanskaar about his sister’s true shade. He was the one who is going to give his sister the sweetest fruit for her hard work, her Sanskaar to quote her ‘‘Uska Arya’’.
The next day was her Swayamvar. The princes have started arriving from different parts of the Aryavrath. Prince Sanskaar Maheshwari was the first to arrive along with her brother. But only she, Pari, Bhai and the Prince himself knew that they have met before. She and Arya himself seemed to be surprised and shocked by the way Bhai introduced him to her.
‘‘Rajkumari saa, tho yeh rahe aapke hone wali Pati Parameshwar aur aapke ARYA, Mahendrapuri ke Rajkumar Sanskaar Maheshwari. Aur kuwar saa, yeh rahi aapke hone wali Dharam Patni aur aapke SAKHI, Brahmavarta ki Rajkumari Swara Satnami’’
Laksh asked some minutes to talk to both of them. Once they reached a silent place he told them that he choose Sanskaar for his sister and he wants both of them to think about this relation and have a talk about it amidst themselves and then they were left alone. Prince Sanskaar Maheshwari true to his name turned out to be really Sanskaari, he first said about himself and his life from the start. When he started to explain about his family convincing him to attend her Swayamvar he noticed the eyes of the princess going suspiciously glassy but he continued nonetheless. But something he said got the princess’ attention that she saw him after staring at the fire with determination to not see his face. Swara was determined to not see his face as soon as she got to know that he was forced by his family to win the Swayamvar on which she was sure her Bhai had a hand. But as soon as he said that after all the failed attempts her brother met him and was successful in making him want to win this Swayamvar with all he has got she couldn’t help but look at him and ask
‘‘What did he say?’’ did her brother beg him for her. If it so she won’t have it.
He answered quickly with a small smile seeing that worried frown on her forehead.
‘‘He told me that there is a warrior behind the mask of the meek and soft princess whom I refused to have for my wife. He told about the precision, perfection, deadliness and calmness of the warrior which made me yearn to catch a glimpse of her. He made me see the courage that she gathered to fight for the right thing against her own family and the challenges she faces daily to prepare for the same. He told me that the last push she needed to face all this was LOVE…….’’
On hearing which her heart stopped beating. Did Bhai just tell him about everything, she should clear this, this is so embarrassing? When she opened his mouth to start explaining he finished his sentence
‘‘of freedom. And I fell in love with her. Will you give me a chance?’’.
She let out a sigh of relief in mind and blushed a little. Then remembered his words
‘‘the meek and soft princess whom I refused to have for my wife. How judgemental Kuwar saa? I didn’t expect this from you, my brother’s friend and his to be brother- in- law. But still as you are my brother’s choice you will be my choice too. You asked for a chance and I give you one as you gave my brother a chance to explain things from my side and fell in love with my true self. I will choose you as my husband that is for sure but you will have to make me fall in love with you and fulfil my dreams before our Marriage. Is it okay for you?’’
she asks him smirking inside her head seeing the change of expressions on his face. She would have accepted her side of truth to him. But he had to confess his judgemental self and had made her helpless to make him realise that being judgemental can be disastrous. Sanskaar Maheshwari didn’t know he should be happy that he would be her husband for sure or sad that still nothing has changed and his love has to go a long way to get reciprocated by her. But he is also Sanskaar Maheshwari. He will do this by hook or by crook.
Princess Swara Satnami is silly. That was the conclusion that was going on in everybody’s mind after seeing her face when the dasis where making her ready. But she does not care about what they think about her.
Swara was irritated beyond anyone could imagine. As soon as she has returned after the practice or it should be meeting with Arya, the total female occupants of the palace entered her chamber. The mob was led by her Maa and Choti Maa with a giggling Pari on toe. Once she saw Pari giggling she knew what was going to happen. Pari did that only when something she dislikes is going to be forced on her. Considering what is going to happen the next day she very well knew what it is going to be ‘‘ Shringaar’’. Sighing in her mind about her ill fate she did what she was asked to do throughout the day. Applying whatever potion, attar, perfume, pastes and oils they gave her with the help of the maid she waited till the news of the arrival of various princes made her mothers busy which she and the maids used to their profit by giving some rest to their hands. In this ‘‘Shringaar chakkar’’ she slept late night only to be woken up unceremoniously at the break of dawn by her mothers who made her go through a mini version of yesterday which ended with a scrub with the paste of pearls grinded with milk after which she was clad in traditional royal Marwari bride costume which was as heavy as her horse. But as she arrived at the Raj Darbar with Varmala in her hands the whole place went silent. As she felt an intense gaze on her she slightly tilted her head towards the direction and suddenly felt all the two- day- trouble- for- free offer that was forcefully handed to her and the suffocating dress was worth the look of love her Arya gave her which suddenly made her feel light. Behind every Prince their family was sitting. She saw Ragini happily wink at her and felt blood rushing to her face.
She reached the place allotted to her just next to her father or it will be apt to call him Rana saa. As she settled in her place Rana saa spoke from his throne.
‘‘Princess Swara Satnami my only daughter and the heir of the throne of Brahmavarta was brought up by us enclosed in a safe cocoon. And I expect that her husband to take care us just like we do and is capable of wisely handling her heart. She is precious to both us and this land and I want that in her life where I have been the decision maker of every little thing comes a person who can show her what is independence and make my daughter a worthy ruler. So as a testimony of her freedom is that she will be the one who decides on the conditions of this Swayamvar. On this special occasion I would also like to announce that the freedom that my daughter got shall be given to all the daughters of this land. Aaj se ladkiyoon ki padayi Bramhavarta mein jayaaz hai’’.
And then turned towards Swara and gave a smile which was same as the smile he gave when he first held her after she was born as her mother recollected from her back. He told her in a voice audible only to her.
‘‘You could have told me little one. Agar tum mangthi tho main sitaron ko be tere liye lee atha. Ye tho bhot hee jayaaz aur achi sooch hai naa. Anyways I am proud of my little warrior after all you are Durga Prasad Satnami’s daughter. Mere Sherni’’
And he turned towards the crowd. With the still dazed look she looked towards her Arya because she knew only he could do this. No body from her family will do something like that and considering her challenge to him it is surely him. And she found him already looking at her. As she looked towards him he signalled her to wipe her tears and smile and she didn’t even realise she has been crying and she did as she was told gladly for the first time in her. She seemed happy to accept his orders. Why won’t she be? After all he has given her, her father who was dominated by Rana saa. And she decided the task. The task was announced that the person who will propose her marriage with her favourite object in the right way before sunset will be her husband.
When everybody was busy in thinking about her favourite objects and bribing her dasis to known the same, Sanskaar Maheshwari just smiled to himself. She wanted to be his bride. He doubted it when her eyes reflected her love back in forest and when she searched the whole darbar for catching a glimpse of him, now his doubt is confirmed. She wanted him to win that is why this task is given and he asked the servant bring a thalli with different scrolls with Satnami Rajmudra.
He stepped down aasan and proceeded towards her throne. He gestured the servent to give the thalli to her. As Swara Poured through the approval letter for their marriage from all the people in her family including ladies a tear ran down her cheeks and a hand caught it preventing it from touching the ground.
‘‘Yeh aasu bohot anmol hai. Isse kissi bhi wajah se mein aisse he aapke aankhon se nikalne nahi doonga. Aur main isske liye mein zindagi bar aapka sath rehana chahtha hoon. Aapka suk duk mein sath nibhana chahtha hoon. Aapka maa papa ne tho aapka hath mujhe dhe diya kya aap mujhe apna hath thamne ka ijjazat doge?’’
He proposed extending a dagger towards her. She smiled a smile which overpowered the shine of the sun and said
‘‘mein aapse beintehaa mohobat karti hoon pichle 3 saal se. Agar meine apne manzil ke liye meine itna mehennat karne ka sakthi mila tho uska kaaran aap hai. Aap hai mere pyaar, jeene ki wajah, chaaya aur dhavaa. Mein bus khel rahi thi aapse se. Sirf issi janam ka nahi pur sath janam ke liye mein sirf aapki patni hoon.’’
And adorned him with varmala. Sanskaar had no words to define his happiness. He had won his love 3 years ago when she first saw him. She has been his since then and he didn’t know. He was so tied up with his judgemental opinions that he would have lost her if not for Laksh.
All he could think was
‘‘Pyaar yeh ehsaas hota hai khudha ka dhaan
Tumhare zindagi ka har ek pal kissi ke hathon se khoobsoorat banane keliye
Kya karen khudha kho bhi sirf dho hath hotha hai’’
3 days later
He chuckled to himself as he gazed at the peaceful sleeping face of his sleeping wife as he carried her in his arms into their new isolated home where they are going to spend the first 2 weeks of their married life. Now how can he wake up his little wife sleeping like that. Time for us to give them some privacy.
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