kismat – 299 BCE: chapter 1


Khanna’s empire:

many horses trotted their way into Anga, people were yelling with pride in their voices: long live yuvraj ruhaan! long live raja Abhay!

two horses were done shown…one white and one black. they both were decorated with dazzling gold. the most loved and successful king of Anga sat on the snowy white horse, raja Abhay Khanna. on the midnight black horse, the eldest prince sat. he is loved by everyone and like his father, he was also successful. the eldest prince was the future king of the Khanna empire and Anga…yuvraj ruhaan Khanna. their heads carried decorated ruby red turbans and faces had proud smiles printed as they saw their loyal subjects chanting their praises.

behind the leading white and black horses, was a grey horse which had decorations in gold but not much. the man, who sat on the grey horse, had sort of long black curly hair and coal black eyes. those eyes rolled in annoyance. no turban. he was the youngest son of the royal family, rajkumar ashok.

just then the horses and guards entered the gates of the palace where the khannas resided. outside the palace building, servants stood and in front was sabu, rani Maithili, the gorgeous wife of raja Abhay, and Rajkumari mishti, the pretty wife of the youngest prince Abhay. their long hairs were delicately curled and adorned with golden accessories. their noses had nose rings and necks carried heavy diamond and gold chokers. Maithili wore a baby blue dhoti sari whilst mishti wore a pastel purple dhoti sari. Maithili held a veneration plate and both saas-bahu were smiling…gleaming with happiness.

Abhay, ruhaan and ashok went down off the horses and went to queen, princess and loyal advisor. the queen did their aarti and applied tikak on all three. her two sons touched her feet and she hugged them.

Maithili: I am so happy to see you all unharmed. the palace felt empty without you three. me and mishti missed you.

ruhaan: we missed you too maa.

ashok: and now we are back, we won’t be leaving anytime soon.

mishti: thanks goodness. anyway tonight we have hosted a public gathering to celebrate your success.

Abhay: really? but we are tired.

Maithili: haan so if you want to rest, rest now.

ashok: can’t it be tomorrow?

Maithili and mishti: no!

ruhaan: it’s fine. maa, mishti, we will attend the gathering. right pitaji and ashok?

ashok and Abhay tired: yes.

mishti turned to the group of servants and said: why are you people blocking the doors? don’t you know that the king and the princes want to rest?! clear right now!

the servants nodded, it was clear that they were in fear. they moved to allow Abhay and the princes into the palace. the king and ruhaan smiled at them whilst ashok looked at them annoyed. mishti and Maithili followed. as soon as Maithili entered the palace, mishti stopped by the door and said: listen you lower caste! I want you all to do the decorations for the gathering. make sure that everything is perfect, I don’t want to see any mistake! have I made myself clear?

she could see all the servants nodding in fear. she gave a quick, small smile and turned her back to them, walking into the palace. she entered her and ashok’s room. ashok was on the bed, staring into space, anger was visible on his face. she closed the doors of their room and sat next to him.

mishti caressed his face, saying: kya hua patidev?

ashok: you know mishti, everyone was only chanting ruhaan and pitaji’s name! it was almost as if I didn’t even exist.

mishti: kya?!

ashok: haan. I mean obviously they will chant pitaji’s name because he is king but ruhaan?! just because he is the yuvraj, they chant his name and because I am nothing, they will forget me.

mishti: don’t say that patidevi. don’t think so low of yourself.

ashok: if only pitaji could see that ruhaan is unfit to be king but no! according to him, ruhaan is perfect in every way!

mishti: no one can be that perfect. only my husband is perfect. there has to be at least one flaw in ruhaan.

ashok: but what it is?

mishti: that I don’t know but we will find out soon. now calm down and focus on your wife who was lonely for a month.

ashok smiled and kissed her forehead.

an hour later:

ruhaan’s room:

ruhaan woke up from sleeping on his comfy bed.

ruhaan: it’s not even night yet. I think I can go for a walk.

he got up and put his shoes on (whatever shoes royals wore then), he then left his room and the palace. the gates were locked and he didn’t feel like going over the gates so he wondered around the big space round the palace. behind the gate, there wasn’t just the  grand palace, there were two more buildings, the servant headquarters and another building was where the court dancers lived.

the silence caressed his skin like a cool summer breeze, smoothing his soul, taking away his jagged edges.

just then, he heard something. he heard a voice. a voice which was like silk. a voice which sounded like a mermaid calling him. a voice which sounded like an angel. a voice which was as sweet as that which is forbidden.

voice: raghuvar teri raah nihaare (x2) saaton janam se siya… ghar more pardesiya… aao padhaaro piya… (x2)

he could sense that the voice was coming from the place where the court dancers loved. he walked towards the building, following the beauty of that voice.

voice: ta di ya na dheem… ta da dhin…

he was at the entrance of the building. the doors were already opened. he walked into the building, taking slow steps. he was looking memorised hearing such a beautiful mermaid voice.

voice: maine sudh budh chain gawa ke (x2) ram ratan paa liya…

he entered the main hall, in the middle was a pool full of crystal blue water which had some lily pads and water lilies floating. in the middle of the pool was a swing. the reins decorated with ivy garlands and small white roses.  on the swing sat a slender sigure, all he could see was her back and her long plait which was decorated with tiny white lilies and tiny pink rosebuds. she was singing to some women who were dancing in front of her.

girl: ghar more pardesiya… aao padhaaro piya… (x2) dheem ta dheem tanana dere na… (x2)

ruhaan smiled hearing her beautiful melodious voice.

girl: na toh maiyya ki lori, na hi phaagun ki hori…mohe kuch doosra na bhaaye re…jabse naina yeh jaake, ek dhanurdhar se laage tabse birha mohe sataaye re…

before she could sing another word, ruhaan said: what a beautiful voice. your voice is as sweet as the harmonies of Spring, as sweet as the solemn sounds of cherubs, when they strike their golden harps, as sweet as the honeyed dews that drip from the budding lotus-flower, as sweet as the moonlight sleeping on the hills. tu kaun hai? goddess saraswati?

the girl spoke but she didn’t turn to ruhaan: maybe. maybe not. what are you doing here? a crowned prince in the place where court dancers rest? if you get caught phir?

ruhaan: so what if I am crowned prince and I am where court dancers stay? even the court dancers are part of this kingdom and I was drawn into here by your voice. why did you stop singing?

girl: because before I could sing another word, you spoke.

ruhaan: oh then I am very sorry.

girl: it’s fine.

ruhaan: will you show me your face? a girl with a beautiful voice must have a beautiful face, am I not right?

the girl gave a small chuckle and said: beautiful face? I am not sure about that. but if you want to see my face, then you have to wait until the gathering tonight.

ruhaan: but I want to see right now.

girl: patience…I know that patience is bitter but I also know that the fruit of patience is sweet.

ruhaan: why is patience so important?

girl: because it makes us pay attention. be patient. patience is the mother of all virtues.

ruhaan: fine. tonight at the gathering I will keep an eye out for you.

girl: not eyes, ears. keep your ears open because maybe I will be singing tonight.

ruhaan: really? then I will keep my ears open for your sweet voice goddess saraswati.

girl: goddess saraswati?

ruhaan: I am guessing that you won’t tell me your name so for now, your name is goddess saraswati.

girl chuckling: fine, I guess we will meet tonight yuvraj.

ruhaan: we will. I am going now. bye goddess saraswati.

girl: bye yuvraj.

he left the building, smiling to himself.

ruhaan: weird girl. she is very different. well ruhaan, you have to wait for tonight to see goddess saraswati.

precap: public gathering

will ruhaan meet his goddess saraswati?

what is mishti and ashok up to?

who is the girl?

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