Chapter 19 – A Royal Treaty !
Royal Place , Ajabgarh –
Fatimah pulled on her veil over her face as a typical honorable Rajput woman was expected to do as she settled herself in her palanquin , though she never supported such things , neither was she asked to do any such thing in her kingdom , this was a different matter , they were to decide the fate of the Rajput alliance.
Nasir was to stay back in Ajabgarh as he was a guest , while the whole family was laving for Umarkot , they expected to reach there by the nightfall since their journey was to begin even before dawn.
Feeling a bit sleepy that she was , Fatimah laid back her head , leaning against the walls of her palanquin, taking a deep breath , she closed her eyes to let sleep take over her senses as she felt her palanquin being lifted.
Fatimah’s eyes slowly opened , embracing the bright sunlight as they fell on her face ,penetrating through the translucent curtains of her palanquin . She slightly tugged the curtains a little to look around , they were crossing a meadow , the enchanting sight of half dried stretches of long , untamed , untrimmed grasses and the way the sun rays danced on them , a smile crept on her face unknowingly , pulling the curtains back , she rested her head against the walls of her palanquin , the family wasn’t alone , they were accompanied by around 300 soldiers and some personal , specially equipped bodyguards dressed as royal messengers , after all , the king of Umarkot could not be trusted.
We finally reached Umarkot as soon as the sun had vanished from the sky , we were welcomed by the royal family. Rana Jaswant Singh , along with his three queens , four sons and a daughter welcomed us. “Ghani Khamba Rana Ji , Ghani Khmaba Rani sa , please come . It’s a pleasure for us host the royals of Ajabgarh , the most powerful dynasty among the Rajputs.” Jaswant Singh welcomed us. Pitaji greeted him back and we were led into the palace. The entrance of the palace itself was a treat to anyone’s eyes , beautiful , typical Rajputana designs of vines and leaves , with mirror pieces fitted with perfect symmetry with those of coloured glass and the fragrant candles and silk curtains added their grace to the masterpieces . We were directly led into the dinning hall , it was dinner time and we could continue the talk the next day. After the dinner was over , I was led into a lavish chamber by the crown prince Adiraj . He is a well built man in his late twenties , he is tall , dark , having rather tanned skin , he was a spectacular man , to be honest , had I not been in love with Nasir , then I would have surely developed a liking for this man , but the current situation is different ,complicated and messed up. I was so lost in my own thoughts that I didn’t even realise when we finally reached near the chamber I was supposed to stay in , Adiraj cleared his throat to jolt me back to the present “Here is your chamber Rajshree Bai .” he said and gestured towards the lavish chamber where I was supposed to stay this night , well I’ve seen such chambers earlier , yet , I felt at home here. I thanked him and bid him a good night before entering my chamber.
End Of POV
Fatimah got up from the floor after she was done with her morning prayers , she then sat on the huge swing that was in the chamber itself , making herself comfortable . As soon as the dawn broke , she dressed herself for the breakfast the two families were to have together , with of course , their peace talks. Finally , it was time for the breakfast and we all sat at our respective places and now , the real game was on.
“So , Rana Jaswant ! As you know why me and my family is here , let’s get straight into the point.”Jaswant nodded as Rana Bhanu continued ”As a peace treaty , between the two families I want your daughter Kuwri Heer’s hand for marriage with my eldest son and the crown prince of Ajabgarh , Rajdeep.” Bhanu put forward his proposal , Jaswant raised an eyebrow , Heer was his dearest child and he was not at all willing to give his daughter to a family he do not trust a bit “And why do you think we will agree?” Jaswant asked , glancing at Heer and then at Rajdeep , finally , turning his gaze back to Bhanu , he waited for an answer , a reasonable justification “Well , trust us , you know very well how much we respect our women , beside that , Rajdeep isn’t married yet , thus ,if Heer marries him , she will surely have the position and power of the prime queen , moreover , we all know that the Uday Singh dynasty is the most influential Rajputana dynasty ever……. our alliance would give you all protection power and , trust me , your daughter, the happiness every girl dreams of.” Rana Bhanu tried to sound convincing and perhaps he was successful till an extent as Rana Jaswant smiled a bit and then nodded and said “I agree , but , let us come to the point ,it’s you who ants a peace treaty , it was you who came up with the offer. I am ready to give Heer’s hand for marriage to Rajdeep ……but in only one condition.” , Rana Bhanu frowned and then replied confidently “What is it ?” “Rana Jaswant smirked and finally revealed “We want your daughter…I mean only and I guess the dearest daughter , Kuwri Rajshree’s hand for marriage with the crown prince Adiraj! My son , Adiraj too is is an able man , with no wife , Rajshree too will enjoy the same status as you claim Heer will if she gets married tot he crown prince .” he was too clever , the offer was just to make sure that Bhanu keeps his promise and there wasn’t any loophole , he knew if Bhanu agreed , they were safe and if he didn’t , there wasn;t any loss they were to suffer as they could easily decline the offer of Heer’s marriage too. Rana Jaswant was a sly and shrewd politician and Rana Bhanu knew it. Fatimah felt as if her world came crashing down as soon as Rana Jaswant had put forward his offer , suddenly , she felt hollow and empty , her chest tightened as everybody began to eye her , unknowingly , her eyes met with a pair of light brown ones , it was Adiraj , she could easily tell that Adiraj was rather happy , he admired her and she had sensed it when it seemed to be too late.
I guess it was a boring chapter , but it was an important one for the story to proceed , what do you think would be Fatimah’s answer , how will Nasir react when he will come to know about it ?