There were around fifty women dancing before him, but he could hardly look at anyone else. When every other woman was evidently trying hard to appease him, the one in pink ghaghra choli seemed too lost in her dance. Only her dance was art, only her expressions were honest.
“Who is that woman, Madri?” he asked to the loyal royal servant who had been serving in the palace since a decade now.
“Gulabi ghaghre me sabse peechhe.”
“We will send for her.” Madri bowed like an obedient servant and left.
The dance went on for hours and there was no one else Raja sa had noticed. His queens sat on the floor below his and he could not have cared any less about them. Or did he even remember them or the world in that moment? The woman in pink was too mesmerising to even blink the eye. Her lean hands and curve of the waist – to touch them and kiss was all that he wanted. He wondered what her mist must be like. He wondered if she had thin lips and big eyes. Her hair, he noticed, fell below her hips. Tied neatly in a thick braid, he wondered how it will feel when he unties the braid and let those strands free, watching them fall on her bare body.
The music and people dissolved around him and he dreamt himself alone watching her dance with no other woman about her. He watched her hands sway and feet tap. He saw her veil fall, showing off her beautiful face and the curves of her breasts. She was looking at him. Biting her lower lips, she was saying something as if calling him close. She was now running her hands on her face and breasts. Her eyes were closed, and she seemed to enjoy herself. She turned, her back facing Raja sa. She was still dancing, and her hands were trying to unhook her choli and it finally fe…
“Raja sa”, Madri’s voice dragged him back to reality. It was harsh, and he was agitated.
“What is it?” he snapped.
“We have found out about this girl, hukum. Her name is Durga. She is one of the kanchanis.” Madri said hesitatingly. Raja sa’s temper confused him.
“Send her to my chambers after the dance”, Raja sa said firmly as if he was setting up a conference with the kings and ministers.
“Ji, Sarkar”, Madri bowed again and left, leaving his majesty alone with his tantalising reverie.
“Durga…ri chhori! Mhare gher chal. Bulawa aayo hai.” A woman called out loudly from somewhere on another end of the mob.
Durga was standing amongst women who she was dancing with not an hour ago. She hardly knew any of them. The palace was huge, and she was surrounded by unknown people. It felt a little lonely but she knew it was a part of the job now. She had given her second performance in front of the royal people. She couldn’t believe she made it even after being so nervous. Her veins were filled with happiness and pride
“Are you deaf, you imbecile?” grated a woman, breathing shallow as if she had been running. “I am shouting your name since last fifteen minutes.” her irritation was evident.
“I am sorry, I could not hear you over the voice of all the woman.” Durga said politely. “Why were you calling me?”
“Chal ab.” she gestured her hand forth and back, asking Durga to follow her.
“But, where are we going?”, Durga was a bit scared. She had no idea who the woman and where was she taking her. When she wasn’t answered, Durga decided to quietly follow the woman. She wasn’t too old, Durga observed, but she looked so. Her voice was sharp as the edge of a blade and her arms had marks as if from a whip.
Does she do this to herself or someone else does this to her? she wondered.
Maybe she got them while cooking.
“That’s it”, the woman turned abruptly. “We have reached”.
It was a big chamber. Durga saw women in beautiful dresses sitting, playing, and laughing. They were all beautiful. Long hair and flawless skin seemed to be a common trait in all.
“Sinduri, get her ready quickly. She is going to serve Raja sa himself.” the woman called out and a girl of about Durga’s age walked towards them.
“Ji, sa.” she said smiling and the woman turned around and left the chamber all at once.
Sinduri escorted Durga to the bathing room. “You are sweating, Durga.” she had told her. “You bath, and I will ready your clothes and jewelry in the meantime.” Sinduri said in her ever-soft tone.
The bathroom smelled like roses and sandalwood. The water was lukewarm and Durga knew it was going to be quite relaxing. She quickly stripped herself off those heavy clothes and slipped into the
“There won’t be any sleeping tonight.” she smiled and closed her eyes, reimagining the silhoutte of Raja sa. “I hope he has dark eyes.”
Sinduri had given her a dark cyan
She saw velvet curtains,
The footsteps were beside her and she could see his feet. He was facing her. His arms looked strong and heavy. Raja
Lacing his hand through her hair, he untied her braid. The long hair embraced her naked waist which he
He saw her standing bear with just the
They were both
The bed felt as if made of feathers as opposed to his rough skin that was above her. Her body hauled under his and she moaned so sweetly that he never wanted to stop. Their lips never parted until the dawn broke, until they finally fell asleep wrapped warmly in an embrace so close that he could feel her naked breasts rub against his chest every time he breathed in.
Asleep, they dreamed of loving each other more until the moon faded behind the blinding light of the sun.