Story number 6 of the Seven Deadly Sins series. I know I have dragged them too much. But then good stories do not come just like that, do they? 🙂
Plus I’m also delivering on a promise that I’ll start writing love stories again. This story could just be the beginning. Enjoy!
Kitte Jau re Piya… kaise pau re… tohe pau re…
They could have been the last words of Sampada, she was found unconscious by the pool with her left palm (and wrist) dipped in the shallow side meant for kids to play. Lot of blood had oozed out of that wrist, probably slashed with a broken glass piece from the chandelier that fell off in her room some time ago. Her maid Jharna Bai had been shouting Laado Sa… Laado Sa from out side Sampada’s chamber, trying to prevent her from doing the unthinkable, but in vain. She had been following the princess close on her heals since Pratap left earlier that night. And now, she was looking for guards who could break into the room.
Sampada was the only daughter of His Excellency Rajveer Singh Randhawa, the erstwhile Maharaja of Rohtak and now the crown prince of Nagaur in Rajasthan. Rajveer’s family ruled over Rohtak for ages. However a political unrest followed by opportunistic behavior from the British meant the Randhawas had to leave their kingdom for elsewhere. A conspiracy leaves young Rajveer’s father and mother dead. However the price survives along with his grand father HH Maharana Tej Singh as they seek asylum at Udaipur with Tej Singh’s friend HH Maharaja Ummed Singh. After independence, the Randhawas are able to reclaim their dynasty and win back the lost glory. However Rajveer decides to stay back in Udaipur and is later made the crown prince of Nagaur. Having grown up with Ummed Singh’s children, he finally goes on to marry his daughter Suhasini. In a year’s time, they give birth to a lovely daughter and name her princess Sampada.
While her parents continued to shuffle between Udaipur, Rohtak and Nagaur, Sampada largely grew up at the magnificent palace at Udaipur. Her father had specially redeveloped a section of the Ummed Bhavan so that Sampada could enjoy any and every luxury any one could ever imagine. She had the best teachers flown in from various parts of the country flown in so that she and her other near or distant siblings could study well. She grew up in the custody of her parents and Jharna Bai, the maid who would fondly call her Laado Sa. But finally the young age and restlessness got better of her and she forced her parents to send her to Delhi for higher studies. That is where she met Pratap.
Pratap Thakur was a lanky lad who came from Bhopal to study literature at Delhi University. Not only that he was a good looking guy, he was also an extraordinary poet. He would often recite the dohas of Tulsidas and Mira describing the love between Radha and Shri Krishna. And then he would end up adding impromptu lines at the end of it to impress all. His carefree attitude and subtle life style impressed Sampada. She would often try to lure him by wearing extravagant clothes, flaunting her jewelry or trying to reads the best poets out in front of every one, making sure was listening. While Pratap appreciated her, he often stayed away from the glitz and fanfare Sampada would come with. He often refused to the dinner invitations and seldom attended the parties that Sampada threw, much to her agony. She found his behavior very disdainful and often would get angry on it. But she found herself at the receiving end as almost every time Pratap responded with a smile to each of her complaints. Though he eventually did accept Sampada’s friendship, he continued to remain aloof.
Main Baanvariyaa Sudh Budh Bhooli, Mujhko Laagi Teri Lagan. Tere Dvaare Saanjh Sakhaa Re, Teraa Naam Jape Meraa Man. Jo Hai Meraa Sab Hai Teraa, Tujhpe Hai Ye Jeevan Arpan. In Charnon Mein Phool Chadaane Aayee Teri… Arre Laado Sa? Ke baat hai? Aaj bhajan sun rahe ho?
… asked Jharna Bai, who was going through her routine Krishna-Radha bhajans. She often sang them in the morning outside the courtyard as Sampada didn’t like to hear them. However 2 years with Pratap had changed her perception a bit. She started taking keen interest in poetry. But every time she tried to win over Pratap by doing what he liked, he ignored her with equal aplomb. As a princess, she was used to being pampered and worshiped. Every time Pratap ignored or refused her, it hit a hard blow on her pride. She swallowed it with a pinch of salt. All those people close to Sampada knew it was very unlike her… and that it would explode one day.
“I dont agree Jharna Bai. Why should sacrifice my life and dignity for some one I love? I will not surrender… I’m the princess, he is a peasant. He should surrender, not me.”
“From where I see Laado Sa… you are a peasant in love, he is the prince charming. And possibly he doesn’t love you.”
“Bai!!! How dare you… ” and Sampada flung a flower vase towards Jharna Bai, who barely avoided it. “… not for long now. You will see. I will ask for his services today and he cant refuse it… he will not!”
But Sampada was proved to be wrong. The next day she went to college with pairs of good clothes some male ornaments and a proposal. She thought she will talk to Pratap and offer him every thing so that he starts loving her. But when she reached college, she couldn’t find him. On inquiry she found out that he was last seen with Gayatri, one of their classmates and going towards the library. After spending some more time locating him, she found him behind the library on the lawn. But what she saw enraged her to a never before height.
“Pratap!!! I had come here to ask you for marriage and what do I see? How dare you…” she shouted as she threw the satin bag towards the two sitting in each other’s embrace. The expensive clothes and ornaments got spread all over the lawn. Gayatri immediately sprang to her feet and moved back in order to evade from further onslaught.
“Sampada… please understand. I love Gayatri. I was always aware of your advances. But I have remained away. I thought you would have understood by now. Please understand, I can’t …”
“Arrrrghhh…” and Sampada ran away out of sight of hapless Pratap.
That night Sampada threw her anger on every thing she could lay her hands on. An ordinary guy refusing her proposal to marry her was too much for her pride to digest. Two years of her struggle with the man she loved had yielded to nothing. Although she cried her guts out that night, she understood that love and devotion was leading her no where. When her anger subsided, she called two of her father’s trusted servants and chalked out a plan. Exactly three weeks after the Gayatri incident had happened, Pratap was standing in front of her as her bride groom.
The wedding of Sampada and Pratap was the grandest affair Delhi had seen in ages. Chefs, Singers, designers were flown in from choicest of places to impress whoever was invited or chose to gate crash. The entire Delhi University had been invited. Each of Pratap’s relatives were chauffeured from wherever they wished to come and were personally by Rajveer and Suhasini. In the glamour, which glittered so much, every one forgot notice two things. One, Gayatri had abruptly left the college and no one knew where she went and two, Pratap didn’t smile at all. His displeasure and discomfort was marked again when he chose to sleep in the courtyard of the Ummed Bhavan Palace in Udaipur on their first night together, leaving Sampada to writhe in anger and agony on an empty bed.
In the following months, Pratap tried to behave like the crown prince as much as possible. But he could not. The charm in his personality had dried up along with the poetry. And he continued to sleep in the courtyard without any one else noticing. Behind Sampada’s back, he tried to find out where Gayatri went. He left messages with many trusted aides in a hope that some day Gayatri might find him and get back to him. As long as his luck ran out, it became the battle between his patience and Sampada’s pride. Often, both came out bruised and battered. Finally, one day he received a letter from Gayatri.
Sampada had paid 50,000 gold coins and gifted 10 acres of land to Gayatri’s father, a debt ridden farmer. In return, she asked him to take his daughter as away from Pratap as possible. Gayatri resisted the move when she came to know about it. She urged her father to return the money and not compromise her love. In response, Sampada sent her guards to Gayatri’s house. They insulted them, molested Gayatri and threatened to rape her and kill her if she refused or protested. Gayatri was also told that Pratap was offered lot of money and a chance to become a crown prince. Any fool would refuse it. Gayatri believed them until she received repeated messages from Pratap and finally wrote him a letter.
“Pratap… I dont believe this. You want to leave all these princely luxuries to go and marry a daughter of a begger?”
“I want to go back to person I love… not a person like you who thinks every thing can be bought.”
“Pratap… I love you. I really do. How can you say that? What is wrong in doing any thing to get your love back?”
“No Sampada…yeh tumhara ahenkaar hai, pyaar nahi.” and he started walking out of the palace.
“Pratap… no! How dare you leave me like that? You have no right. I’m the princess, no one talks to me like that. But you did and I tolerated you. Is it not love? Are you listening to me… PRATAP!”
“How dare I leave you? Let me correct… you only tried to own me. You never won my heart. So all you are losing is a physical possession. I’m sure it doesn’t matter to a crown princess. Does it?” and he walked out of the chamber.
“Pratap… wait” as Sampada ran towards him, her leg got entangled in the rope tied to the chandelier. In a split second the rope was untied and the chandelier came crashing down on the floor… so did Sampada. She laid there for few hours, weeping and motionless before getting up and letting a loud cry out. In the background one could here Jharna Bai calling Laado Sa…
Ab to Sajan mohe… paar laga do! Apne piya ki main… ho gayi bagariya…
sang Sampada as she got up and picked up a broken piece of glass.She went out to the pool in her chamber, and said Kitte Jau re Piya… kaise pau re… tohe pau re… slashed her left wrist and collapsed on the bank.