Stories from far and near

The Prince’s Bride

“It’s time, my love,” Aabha was lazily lying on a rounded white satin bed. Inder, was the perfect lover a woman could ask for. It has been couple of months, since they had found each other. Living, up in the clouds was new to her. A fairy tale, like the story that her poor father had narrated, when she was a child. Inder was a large hearted person with a hard loud core. She laid there on the soft shifting bed, stroking his hair, imagining how her life would have played out, if she had stayed, down under.

It was May, and the Sun played havoc on the lives of people, who depended on rains. Raju was a poor farmer, who lived with his beautiful daughter. Her mother died giving birth to her. She was his only refuge in his otherwise lonely and morbid life. He grew Bajra (Millet) in his small farm, passed down from his father. Rain gods have been miserly, for several years. Raju would endure any hardship, to ensure a comfortable life, for his daughter. She was his pride and grew up to be the desire, of every eligible bachelor in the village. “I will give my daughter only to a prince!”, and dismissed every potential suitor. The women folk of the village were worried, that his daughter would die alone unmarried, due to the Ostrich-like attitude of Raju.

Inder opened his eyes and smiled at Aabha. “What’s the rush sweetheart?” he whispered in a base voice, but was so loud, that her brow furrowed in concentration. “The south westerners would be fast approaching any time and would you not like to make the maximum exploits?” she smiled at him wickedly. “You have become more mischievous, and had never imagined you to be such a tiger. I still can visualize the day when the cold northerners of the storm clan were raiding your lands and you stood there unmoved, looking directly into me. I knew you were special, but still imagined you to be docile.” Before he could complete, she jumped at him, “don’t you dare think of controlling me? You cannot live ever without me.” Inder pulled her closer and kissed passionately on her lips, that shut her up. She smiled coyly, looking away from him.

Raju believed in miracles, for that was his only resort now. He spoke to a local prohit (priest) to organize a special ritual to invoke the blessings of the Big God, with hopes that a prince would marry his daughter. His daughter would laugh at him, whenever he mentioned about his plans. But she loved him immensely and would never dismiss his beliefs. The day of the ritual came; the prohit started a large fire and chanted mantras from ancient texts. Raju spent a large sum from his savings for the ritual, much against the wishes of his daughter. The prohit froze, all of a sudden, motionless. Raju was worried, if that was a bad sign. Prohit had a premonition. He warned Raju that destiny was a mixed bag and that he should take happiness along with the pains that followed.

Inder, noticed that the south westerners were arriving faster than usual. The sun had torched the earth for several weeks now, that they were carrying a large measure of the colourless liquid riches, for the nourishment of life below. It was time to keep their promise. Aabha was waiting for this moment for several weeks. The world around them was getting darker. The smooth, cool, white mass made of very small drops of precious liquid, also called water, was becoming grey and dark at a rapid pace. They heard people shouting from below, “Monsoons have come, rains on the way, all praise to the Gods”. People, animals small and big, sang and rejoiced. Inder eagerly waited for the right moment.

The village elders, warned Raju of a storm fast approaching. “Could it be this day?” The prohit had warned him the other day. The prohit had narrated, “it would be the day when the winds would wreck havoc in your fields, don’t lose heart.” Raju waited with bated breath. His daughter felt that something mysterious was about to happen. She was not afraid. The clouds had darkened the sky and shut the sun completely. The villagers were worried. His daughter was suddenly drawn to the middle of his farm, and the clouds were closing in. She could see a dark tall outline approaching her. She was a spirited lady and was holding ground in spite of the winds. A streak of white light descended on her in wiggly lightening streaks. She fainted in fear. The tall dark outline was approaching faster and more definite.

Raju ran towards her fallen daughter, and Inder, pierced through the winds making a thunderous roar. She woke up as Aabha and streaked through the sky with a bolt of light and Inder roared again in thunder. Raju was ecstatic. He was not afraid of losing his Queen of lightening to the Lord of Thunder.

Inder found his Aabha again, to chase, to dance, and to love.

This story is part of the series titled, “Stories from far and near” that includes adaptations from Indian folktales, classical poetry and mythology. Copyright © 2012 Sriram V. Ayer. This story may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.

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