Tuesday, September 6, 2011


If you haven't read Part1 then this story would make no sense to you.

Rajkumari kept looking at her toes as mantris described each charming prince. Her heart was pounding to hear just one name- Prithviraj. Each time with each next prince her heart fluttered a little bit and yet after 9 princes Prithviraj’s name was not announced. Rajkumari started wondering whether Prithviraj had even arrived or decided to attend. Finally the 10th prince was announced.

Suno suno lokvasiyo (listen all you great warriors)! Standing in front of you is the ambitious, most graceful, humble ruler of Magadh. Known for conquering the world he stands 6 feet tall. His praja (people) call him their savior, his enemies call him raw fear. Dressed in white and adorned by pearls- Raja Prithviraj.

Rajkumari immediately raised her eyes and in that instant met Prithviraj’s eyes. Ah! She said. He gave her the brightest smile in the world. She wasn’t supposed to look, but yet she did. For that moment the entire court paused. It was him and her. She was pulled out of this charm by the sound of a drum indicating the commencement of the competition. Prithviraj turned around and started walking towards the stadium. He was strong built and walked tall. Dressed in white he spilled aura around himself. Rajkumari kept staring at him. Hoping against hope for that one last look. Just as he was about to enter the arena, he turned and smiled at her again. She knew it then, that it would be him or no one. This was what her heart said, but being the individual she was, she immediately warned her heart and asked it to be practical. It wasn’t about the grace, nor the charm. It wasn’t about what her resources had told her. She wanted to know for herself if Prithviraj was intellectually compatible and how emotionally involved he would be. A man who won so many wars, who achieved so many victories, would he be able to bend his ego once in a while? Would he be able to discuss strategies and accept if she gave him a better solution that what he had? Would he accept her going on a war instead of going Sati? So many questions, but how could and would she get the answers to them. She had to think of something quickly, very quickly before the final ceremony. She kept thinking of some solution, but none came to her mind. Suddenly Rajkumari heard Dwarka’s voice, who was telling her for a while to walk to the arena throne. She got up and slowly walked toward the viewing area. The seating area was located very high and allowed viewing of entire area. The audience was cheering, the place sparking with energy. The first two princes engaged in a chariot race. The winner would continue to progress to the next round. Loser would leave the arena. The competition was about speed, skill of handling animals, balance and concentration. The prince would need a good pair of horses, most trusted ones. He would spend time going to the stable, taking care of these animals and winning their trust. It was one of the skils Rajkumari was looking for as well. The competition between first two princes went straight forward, winner was clear. Such went the other players, till Prithviraj arrived. His chariot was strong built. White horses tied to the golden chariot. He looked like Arjuna from Mahabharata standing in his chariot. Confidence sparked around him. Rajkumar Hiram was next to him on a chariot of black horses. He looked equally graceful but it was in the previous race that he had ruthlessly pushed the other prince out of his tracks. These kinds of things were common at Swayamwar. Rajkumari watched impatiently as the signal for race was given. Prithviraj’s horses quickly gained the lead. As they reached the midpoint of the track, suddenly Rajkumar Hiram’s chariot sped and dashed against Prithviraj’s causing Prithviraj to lose his balance for a moment. Suddenly Prithviraj turned to look at Hiram. His expression was changed to that of anger. His horses seem to understand his language and immediately changed tracks. Rajkumari shifted in her chair restless. It was in that moment she saw him put his right hand on his sword. She gasped. She knew what he was about to do and feared it might disqualify him. His horses didn’t need much control, it seemed like they understood the slightest nudge he gave them. Again Hiram’s chariot approached from the right and was about to dash against Prithviraj’s chariot, at that very moment Prithviraj slowed down and Hiram raced completely out of the track. It took him ten minutes to get back on the track and back in the race; in the meantime Prithviraj had gained enough ground and crossed over the finish line. Rajkumari gave a sigh of relief. But her mind raced. Why did Prithviraj hold his sword? Could he kill to win this competition? Was it winning that mattered to him or was it the anger against injustice and cheating? In either case she needed to know more about him. How would she? The next competition was that of focus and concentration, skill with bow and arrow.

To be continued...