Chapter 17- Honor and Glory !
Royal Palace , Bhatinda-
“So , another conspiracy?” Altunia asked Razia as he joined her at the balcony of her chamber , enjoying the night sky with her “Yes and I am pretty sure Ameenudin has done the task by now.” Razia replied after a pause “So , you are leaving tomorrow morning only? “ Altunia asked as he wrapped his hands around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder “Yes , I was supposed to leave this afternoon only if only you had not been stubborn.” Razia replied with a chuckle , tilting her neck slightly and yawned “ You seem to be tired . Come , get into your bed , I’ll leave now.” Altunia said moving away , Razia could only nod , she indeed was tiered .
The sun slowly raised and so the palanquin of Razia the very next morning , Altunia had a formal smile on his handsome face , but his heart was bleeding to see the love of his life go away and this time for longer period , as the palanquin made it’s way towards the palace gates , Razia peeped through her palanquin just to catch a glimpse of the man, she had loved with all her heart and soul , she reluctantly drew back as her palanquin crossed the main gates of the palace and a sad smile formed on Altunia’s face.
Royal Palace , Ajabgarh-
Fatimah closed the Quran she had been reading and placed it neatly where it was always kept ,it would give her peace , just then a hawk arrived at the window of her chamber , it fluttered it’s massive wings , adjusting itself while Fatimah reached it , only to find a cylindrical box tied to one of it’s feet , she carefully took the box off it’s foot and let it go ,she opened the box only to find a small paper rolled in there , a secret message , it definitely was.
Her eyebrows drew together as she read the letter silently. After reading it , she put the letter in one of her jeweled boxes and marched out of her chamber.
Rana Bhanu was having a word with his ministers at his chamber when Fatimah made her way into the chamber , the ministers stood up and bowed in respect , some in reluctance though . “Ghani Khamba Baisa!” one of the ministers greeted her , Fatimah replied to their greeting with equal warmth and finally spoke up “Ekant ! (Privacy please)” the ministers bowed to Bhanu and left the chamber , Rana Bhanu eyed her questioningly “Anything grave ?’ he asked out of concern “Ji Pitaji (Yes father) , very much , . The king of Umarkot , Jaswant Singh Rathod , who hold some personal grudges against you , that we all know , but this might shock you that the king had stooped so low that he is planning to join hands with the Afgans , those back-stabbers.” Fatimah revealed with a hint of anger in her calm voice “What ?” Rana Bhanu was beyond shocked , betraying their own motherland was not only against the honor of the Rajputs but was itself a sin. “We need to act calmly and slyly . We must find a way that would neither disturb the peace between two kingdoms nor invite any betrayal.” Fatimah suggested “Hmmmm , you are right . In that case , I guess there is only one way . Union of the two families by the marriage of their respective children.” Bhanu said in a serious tone , Fatimah raised an eyebrow at the statement “Jaswant Singh has a daughter he loves dearly.” she informed “ I need to talk to Rajdeep before any advancement.” Bhanu said thoughtfully to which Fatimah only nodded.
Rajdeep and Karanveer patiently waited at their father’s chamber as they kept on wondering the reason behind this sudden meeting. Soon Rana Bhanu entered his chamber and smiled at them “Pranam Pitaji .” they greeted him together as soon as he entered the chamber “Pranam!’ he replied and continued “As you know , for the Rajputs , our honor and motherland comes first and to save both of them , we are willing to sacrifice anything.” he began “Ji Pitaji ! We all agree to that and hence are willing to sacrifice anything for this.” Rajdeep assured him “I know my son and that is the reason why you are here.” Bhanu smiled and continued “It’s time , when you will have to fulfill your responsibilities as the crown prince. I want you to marry the princess of Umarkot.” Bhanu finally revealed.