kismat – 299 BCE: chapter

that evening:

gathering:

everyone was talking and ruhaan was trying to look for his goddess saraswati…oops I mean pooja.

ruhaan under his breath: pooja, where are you? couldn’t there be less people here tonight? pooja, why are you torturing me? first you made me wait a long time to see your face or now you have hidden yourself so well in this crowd.

dhanu came up to him saying: what happened yuvraj? you look so distress.

ruhaan: meri goddess saraswati really loves to torture me.

dhanu: so you finally saw her?

ruhaan: haan she is so beautiful and I got to know her name as well…pooja. it suits her.

dhanu: and your cheeks are flushed again.

ruhaan: did you say something?

dhanu: yuvraj, your cheeks are pink again.

ruhaan: huh?

dhanu: yuvraj….

he saw that his friend ruhaan’s eyes were fixed on something…or someone. he looked in the direction ruhaan was looking in and saw pooja talking to akshani.

ruhaan: her smile dhanu…her innocent smile, like a sunbeam kissing a velvet rose.

dhanu: talk to her.

ruhaan: right now?

dhanu: I am sure akshani will understand.

ruhaan: ok, pray for me.

dhanu: I will yuvraj.

dhanu stayed behind as ruhaan walked to akshani and pooja. before he could take another step and say a word to pooja, mishti came to him.

mishti: yuvraj, papaji aur maaji want you.

ruhaan: then tell them that I will come later on.

mishti: it’s the raja’s order so he wants you to come now. it’s very important. you don’t want to disappoint your pitaji right?

ruhaan: fine chalo.

they went to where the raja, rani and ashok was. ruhaan saw that they weren’t alone, they were with some royals he hasn’t seen before but he could make out that they weren’t from any kingdom in India.

ruhaan: is everything ok pitaji? mishti said that you needed me for something important.

Abhay: ruhaan, meet Justin, king of Athens. yeh uske beti hai princess elis.

Justin and elis: namaste.

ruhaan: namaste. welcome to our gathering.

Justin: thank you.

elis: I must say, you are much more handsome in person compared to the painting yuvraj ruhaan.

ruhaan: shukriya.

Abhay: ruhaan, I want you talk to princess elis, keep her company for this gathering.

ruhaan in mind: if I have to talk to princess elis then how will I manage to speak to pooja?

his eyes saw pooja who was looking at him whilst talking to a court dancer. he could tell that she was laughing inside judging by her mischievous smile.

Maithili: ruhaan, where are you lost?

ruhaan: nowhere maa. pitaji, I will talk to princess elis and keep her company. (in his mind) I am only agreeing because I respect you pitaji.

Abhay: thank you beta.

ruhaan: come with me princess elis.

elis: of course yuvraj ruhaan.

the two went from their parents and spoke. as they spoke, ruhaan’s eyes kept searching for pooja and everytime he found her, she saw him staring and walked away smirking. no one has ever dared to torture a yuvraj the way pooja was. but for some reason everything about pooja, even her many ways of torturing the yuvraj, was admirable.

he couldn’t speak to her during the gathering, it was impossible.

after the gathering:

ruhaan’s room:

ruhaan kept his turban down and took off all the gold. dhanu came and said: did you speak to her ruhaan?

ruhaan: no I didn’t. I had to speak to elis for the entire gathering.

dhanu: you can still speak to her.

ruhaan: how?

dhanu: I don’t know much about what happens in the building where the court dancers stay but what I do know is that the little children of some court dancers don’t sleep until they listen to a story. maybe she could be the one telling a story today.

ruhaan: what would I ever do without you dhanu? the day isn’t over yet, I can still have a word with her.

dhanu: I think everyone in the castle is asleep so it’s safe.

ruhaan: that’s good. dhanu, come with me and then you go to the servants building and I will go to meet my goddess.

dhanu: ok chalo.

they went out of the room and they tip-toed out of the palace.

dhanu: good luck ruhaan.

ruhaan: thanks, I need it.

dhanu went to the servants building. ruhaan went close to the building pooja was in. as soon as he entered, his breathing became rapid and shallow. he felt his pulse pounding in his temples. he took a deep breath and walked. she wasn’t on the swing but where the court dancers were dancing earlier when she was singing earlier, she was in the middle of the decorated painted floor with three little girls on her laps.

girl 1: tell us pooja didi about princess Savitri.

pooja: ok then. in our India, in time of legend, there lived a king with many wives but not one child. morning and evening for eighteen years, he faced the fire on the sacred altar and prayed for the gift of children. finally, a shining goddess rose from the flames. and you know what this shining goddess said?

all girls: kya?

pooja: she said…

she was interrupted by a voice…a male voice: she said that “I am Savitri. I am the child of the sun. I have heard your prayers. and by your prayers, you have won a daughter.”

girl 2: yuvraj?

pooja turned to see ruhaan smiling. the girls looked up and smiled seeing the handsome crowned prince.

ruhaan: haan mein. now you have another storyteller tonight.

girl 3: then you and pooja didi together finish the story, only if you are fine with it yuvraj.

ruhaan: I am.

the girls went back on pooja’s laps as pooja said: ok. so let’s continue the story – within a year, a daughter came to the king and his favorite wife. he named her Savitri, after the goddess who gifted him a daughter. beauty and intelligence were the princess Savitri’s, and her eyes that shined brighter than the sun. she was so beautiful and gorgeous that people thought she herself was a goddess.

ruhaan: like someone who is right in front of me.

pooja looked at him and rolled her eyes.

pooja: soon the time for princess Savitri to marry came but there was a problem.

girl 3: kaunsa problem didi?

ruhaan: no man wanted to marry her. so her father said that “weak men turn away from radiance like yours. go out and find a man worthy of you. then I will arrange the marriage.” servants and councillors accompanied her as Savitri travelled place to place.

pooja: after many days, she came upon a hermitage by a river crossing. here lived many who had left the towns and cities for a life of prayer and study. Savitri entered the hall of worship and bowed to the eldest teacher. as they spoke, a young man with shining eyes came into the hall. he guided another man, old and blind.

girl 1 sleepily: like our yuvraj does?

pooja looked at ruhaan who had his turn to smirk. she looked down at the girls, saying: yes like our yuvraj. so anyway Savitri asked someone “who is this young man.”

ruhaan: the teacher smiled and said “That is Prince Satyavan, he guides his father, a king whose realm was conquered. Satyavan’s name means ‘Son of Truth,’ for no man is richer in virtue.”

pooja softly: yuvraj, they are asleep now.

ruhaan: pooja right?

pooja: haan. what do you want from me? when I was dancing, your eyes were only on me. when you were talking to princess elis, your eyes were only fixed on me. kyu? what happened? what do I have that you want from me?

he couldn’t find his voice. he felt his cheeks flushed hot, and his stomach was heavy. his heart pounded in his throat, threatening to break out. her eyes stayed locked on his eyes. judging by her face, she wanted an answer right now.

ruhaan: that I don’t know but ever since we first spoke, I felt something. seeing you makes my heart twirl. hearing your voice makes my stomach flutter. I can’t help but feel this way about you goddess saraswati.

pooja: you felt love.

ruhaan: haan….wait! how do you know?

pooja: whenever I look at you, even I feel the same way. you believe in love at first sight?

ruhaan: yes I do. I believe in love at first sight. even when all I could see was your back, I fell for you. I love you pooja and I am dancing inside knowing that you too love me. mohabbat karna hamare bas mein nahi hai (it’s not within our control to fall in love)

pooja: but ek yuvraj aur ek dancer….impossible. you are very respected, you are soon to be king and me? I am only a mere dancing girl, and dancing girls were not of noble birth. we are considered to be low-born and keeping any relation with us is looked down and strictly prohibited by the society. you are right, mohabbat karna hamare bas mein nahi hai … us mohabbat se door chale jaana … woh hamare bas mein hai (it’s not within our control to fall in love … but to go far away from that love … is within our control)

ruhaan: pooja…

pooja interrupting: I think you should go before someone wakes up and sends guards to look for you.

ruhaan: but…

pooja interrupting: goodnight yuvraj.

ruhaan: goodnight goddess saraswati.

ruhaan turned and walked to the entrance, pooja looked down at the girls…caressing their hairs. just then ruhaan looked behind to see pooja and at that moment, pooja looked up and turned her head only to see ruhaan looking at her. their eyes locked for a minute and then pooja looked down…at the same time ruhaan turned his head to the entrance and walked.

precap: ek pyar ka nagma hai, maujon ki ravaani hai

zindagi aur kuch bhi nahin, teri meri kahaani hai

what will happen next in the legend of ruhaan and pooja? two lovers…ek yuvraj, ek court dancer…will their story be a tragic like salim anarkali, laila majnu, bajirao mastani, heer ranjha, mirza sahiba…will their story be like theirs? who knows?

also guys I know that you all want rikara and rikara is coming soon. in fact ruhaan and pooja is rikara. this story is a little different. how? keep reading.

do vote and comment. let me know how you like this story.

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