Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Whisper Valley-25

25


But…” Whisper went on and Arnav almost pounced on her saying,” For God’s sake will you stop shouting?”
Willow immediately lowered her voice but kept talking…” You see I am a Christian and …”
“Do you love me Lowey?” Arnav Simha asked suddenly taking her into his arms…
“Errr…ofcourse sire…er…I…” She stopped looking at his expression.
“Do you? Say Yes or No?” He asked again…
“Yes sir.” She said smiling at him.
“Well then there is only one religion-that of love. You can think what you want to but I shall do the needful. This valley and its Governing Council go by certain rules, and according to that the religion of the man would be taken into consideration and we can just get quietly married in this temple and be accepted as man and wife. Did you get me? First lets do that! Then we can think of other things.” He decreed.
He then hugged her tight and said,’ Believe me my dear! I never wanted it to be this way, but…well! For me all that matters is your honour and you. I give you my word that you will be free to follow your religion and I shall never coerce you to convert. Every individual of the Valley has a right to practice her religion irrespective of her spouse. Please trust me and lets get married at dawn.”
Willow savoured his feel as she rested her cheek on his chest and closed her eyes as she realized how much she meant to him.
“Say yes my love” he said softly and she gasped,” Yes sir”
Arnav Simha fused his lips to her’s in ecstasy and beamed at her growling ,” So be it! The Whisper Valley would get its First Lady by dawn.”
Then he adjusted his mask much to her surprise, and said, “But before that, I have a small errand to finish. Will you be here my love till I come back? Will you wait for me Lowey?”
Willow smiled at him as tears rolled down her cheeks and said,” Oh! Yes sir! Till my last breath.”
Arnav Simha looked at her for a long time and blew a shrill whistle and the door of the sanctum opened and a burly man dressed as a warrior with his face covered completely by netted gauge entered and Arnav turned to him and said,” I am leaving her to your care Simbu! Now It’s time to punish those who troubled my love”
The man nodded and said,” I shall lay down my life if necessary Master, but will never anyone touch even the tip of her nails”
Arnav Simha turned and said,” Lowey he is my aid-de Narasimhan. You will be safe with him till I am back.
He gave her a quick hug and went out into the dark night.
The Whisper Valley
“What are you saying?” Lalitha yelled at the man who was dressed as the member of house keeping .
“Yes Ma’am! And thirtytwo of them are killed your Highness!” He said gravely!
Lalitha closed her mouth with her palm in a typical gesture of shock.
“How many soldiers were there?” She enquired still sounding dazed…
“A handful and Madame… er… they were no Ordinary soldiers but…er… The HBSV” the man said in a low voice and I have heard that the Supreme Commander himself killed twelve of them!”
Lalitha gasped and asked,” …and the…Thaliawaar?”
“He managed to escape ma’am!” The man replied much to her relief.
“Now that woman there in captivity…”Lalitha was still talking when the man stalled her again and said in a feeble voice,” She went missing ma’am!”
Lalitha pulled out the tray that was on a side table and hissed as it went crashing on to the floor saying, “That bitch! She… I am sure the Supreme Commander of HBSV- the Governor rescued her! I dunno what he sees in that fool of a woman who is a no good …”She abruptly stopped and her voice changed as she said, “Sure get the breakfast served by seven tomorrow for only Suraj as the rest of us would eat only after the Maasani Amman procession…”
“ Amma! Can I attend the procession tomorrow? Suraj asked walking into the hall.
“ No Suraj! That’s not possible and its going to be a huge gathering and…” She was not allowed to speak further…
“Maa but Peiyappa said this time I could attend” Suraj pouted.
Lalitha reached him in two strides and shook him saying,” Your Periyappa won’t decide what you would be doing! Did you get that?”
“NO!” Suraj threw a tantrum right there!
“How dare you talk back like that to me!” Lalitha let her frustration spill on to Suraj …
“I want to attend the procession!” Suraj stamped his legs on the floor and Lalitha bent down by her waist, and keeping her face at level to his hissed,” I said no! Did you here that and now! Off to your room and you will be there tomorrow also! You are grounded.”
“NO! I…want to go…” His voice was lost in the order that Lalitha gave to Manga amma who walked in as she said,” Take him to his room and tomorrow he will have his breakfast in his room and will not be allowed out till I come back from the temple.”
She then turned and left the room leaving a weeping Suraj and a helpless Manga amma.
The Whisper Valley

Willow stared at the man who did not budge an inch since Arnav simha left. He was standing just inside the closed secret entrance and he was just there all through and it was well past midnight…
“Why don’t you just sit sir?” She enquired softly.
He just rotated his eyeballs and said,” Call me Simbu! Madame! That’s how the Master addresses me.”
“Ok! Thank you! But Simbu! Do you think we will be able to get out of this mess?”She asked more to herself than to him…
“We will Ma’am!” He said…
“But what if the dacoits find out that I am missing and come here and kill me… and I don’t think you are quite a match for all of them! With due respect sir” Whisper said with widened eyes and her hands up with their palms facing him in an expression that conveyed she didn’t mean a slight on his prowess as a warrior.
The man took a deep breath and said,” I am sure you heard what I said to the Master! Its over my dead body that they would be taking you away from here!
“Exactly! So what next?” Willow failed to understand the point.
Narasimhan grunted and said,” It shall never happen!”
“What if?”Willow now stood up and asked him.
“NO!” He said continuing to stand still
“How old are u sir…I mean Simbu if I may ask you…” Willow asked…
“Its my 48th year in the service of the Simhas Madame” he said proudly..
“Oh!” Willow was taken aback!
“I was The Master’s father’s trusted lieutenant and was assigned to the Master when he was born and when I was 23 years old…”he said and willow noticed his voice softening when he mentioned Arnav Simha.
“But… well! I am sorry if you think I don’t trust you. But after seeing them I am a little apprehensive as they are not…er… righteous” she paused and asked him, “You know what I mean? They don’t play by the rules Simbu.”
“I do Ma’am! But the master is enough! For all of them”He said stoickly.
Willow smiled at him and said,” I’ve heard there are almost forty of them out there! God Almighty knows how many more are waiting in the jungle.” She shivered at the thought.
Narasimhan turned his head and said,” Once when he was 17. We went for a hunting expedition…”
“Oh!” Willow grew alert instantly. It would always be good to know something about her would be husband…but why was he narrating that to her? She wondered and said “…hmmm?” Nevertheless.
“We pitched a camp by the Cauvery… And the master went for a wash…” Narasimhan paused and looked at her for effect through his veiled mask…
“Oh!...and then?” She prompted him.
“Well… I presume you understand that he wasn’t carrying any weapon other than the small knife he had all the time with him… “Narasimhan went on…
“Ok?” Willow was now engrossed into the story.,..”I followed him as always… I am but his shadow !” He sighed…
“Suddenly I realsied that, here was a pack of lions that surrounded us! They had come to the water hole and found us.”
Willow sat down and said,” Don’t tell me he…”
“Yes ma’am! I took on one, that fled after a fierce fight” he said and said,” But the master took on the rest of the two and killed one. He was just seventeen…
The lion that took on me was hunted down the very next day…”he said…
“Oh! Poor soul! Your Master should not be so vengeful it was an animal and it was natural for it to be so…”Willow expressed her sympathy which made Narasimhan grow angry…
“Do you mean to say that the master was wrong?” He demanded.
“I not only mean but also feel he was wrong there!” Willow spoke in the best school teacher voice she could put on and wagged her index finger also for the effect.
“Are you on his side or on the lion’s?” His next question bowled her over!
“Of course I am on the lions’” Willow’s hackles rose…He cannot kill the animal for what is its right she reasoned.
“But they attacked him…”Narasimhan was zapped at the lady who he thought was the love of his master’s life but supported the lion instead.
“That was their nature Sir Simbu! But hunting animals just for pleasure is barbaric and that is despicable!” Willow stood her ground.
“The master does not spare anyone who troubles his people. He hunted it down as it attacked me…” Narasimhan said his back stiff with disapproval…
“ Well the lion didn’t know that you were your Master’s aide de” Was Willow’s reply…
“Right now Ma’am he must be slaying the man who hit you”Narasimhan said coldly as Willow shivered…
“Please take rest” he shut her off, and Willow realized the master was off limits for Narasimhan and he disapproved of her.
The door opened and Arnav Simha walked in and said,” Make preparations for tomorrow Simbu and we shall be at the forest retreat till then… its secure and Nandu is there, till you come back… so don’t worry for me” and asked willow to follow him…
Willow soon found herself being covered in a dark soldier’s cape and she was taken on horse back to a small dwelling which was heavily guarded and was sparsely furnished but was very cozy. Someone had already started a fire she noticed.
Arnav Simha secured the bolt on the door, and showed her the bed to a corner and said,” Sleep my dear! Tomorrow is going to be a long day for us…”
Willow huddled up on to the bed as she was wary after the day’s events and as she sat on the bed, she remembered Narasimhan’s story. She looked at ArnavSimha who was checking his knife for its sharpness and sat on a hay stack diagonally opposite to her.
“How many times did you use that on them?” She asked suddenly…
Arnav Simha looked up and narrowed his eyes and then the comprehension dawned… she was asking about the vendetta! He smiled and said,” Six…the rest I used my sword!”
Willow gasped loudly and said,” Don’t you think they have a right to live sir?”
Arnav Simha looked at her sharply and said,” Don’t you think my life (You) was important to me?”
“Ofcourse it is…  but they do that for survival…”she said softly…
Awe his woman was so sweet! She was thinking of the enemy in that light despite what they did to her! Arnav smarted but nevertheless said,” NO! The rule of the Jungle holds good”
“But you are not an animal Governor!” She wailed.
“No I am not that’s why I didn’t put them to much trouble. I killed all twelve in one stroke. Didn’t put them through much pain” he gritted his teeth.
“There are more of them? Then what about the jungle?” Willow exclaimed. Narasimhan was either poor in counting or in his memory she deduced.
When he just stared at her fiercely she could not take it anymore and flopped on the bed sobbing Oh God! All of them! You killed them?
Arnav Simha was by her side in a jiffy and he shook her saying,” Nobody touches what’s mine Lowey! They deserve to die!”
“Did you stuff them up and mount them sire?” She asked with her eyes full of tears!
“I wish I could so that none dares to repeat these kind of things” Arnav Simha said coldly…
“But… “she then saw the gold chain hanging by his neck and her eyes noted with horror the nail of a lion ensconced in gold hanging to the Simha dynasty plaque…
“Which one was this? The one who… attacked you or Simbu..?” she asked inching back and away from him…
“What are you talking about Lowey? He asked her as she ran away from him to the corner of the room saying,” Don’t you dare come near me…sir! I can’t stand an animal slayer!”
“What?” Arnav Simha did not know what Willow Feathers was at.
The Whisper Valley

The phone started ringing and Khushi was too engrossed in the manuscripts to notice it ringing and by the time she reached it, it stopped…
There was a tap on the door and the phone rang again… at the very moment making her to groan as she answered it,” Hello?”
There was a click and the phone went dead.
Khushi shrugged and walked to the door and opened it and there was no one outside. Did she imagine it? She wondered and stepped out and looked on to either sides and found the corridor to be empty…
The phone started ringing again…
She ran inside and picked it up saying hello?
And a familiar voice said…

 Guys from now on update every two days...


7 comments:

jyothi parsi said...

WOW... An update after a long long time..
LOVED IT...
Willow Feathers is so kind hearted.May be a bit too much for her own good. Did she then approve of the people who were conspiring against Arnav and were ready to kill her and him as their way of living ? Did she really think any of those men, when given a chance would not have killed Arnav and her at firt opportunity, had their Thalaiwa ordered them ? Does she mean that Arnav should still not kill them because they were only doing their duty ?
I can understand her predicament towards Lions though... she did not have problem when Arnav killed the one that attacked him, but only dis approved chasing and killing the lion that had hurt Narsimhan and fled.

smart girl said...

wowww...
such an amazinggg n interestingg update dear...
worth the wait for...
n
m sooooo happy that u are going to update regularly...
eagerly waiting for u to continue...
thanks for mail !

manjula naidu said...

Wow !!! Arnav simha and willow getting married.loved the update.its been so long since i read whisper valley update.loved arnav simha and willow's love story.glad to know we will be getting updates frequently from now on,thank u dear.good work.

shaliny giri said...

Still waiting every day when their will be that beautiful email showing TWV update—alas

Awesome story! Eagerly waiting for the next update again..

sweetygirl28 said...

Superb update anu.. sorry had some Internet problem.. that's y it took late to read.. Loved A.S story.. like some kings story :):).. and the suspense at the end .. u brought the story to the present finally.. I want to read abt Khushi too ;) update soon :)

Paramjeet said...

So happy to see you updating WV after long.. loved the super awesome update.. Arnav is so confused Willow is angry with him for killing lions that attacked him.. she is really weird.. but love the way Arnav was telling her about her importance for him.. waiting to see what happens next will they get married or killing of lions will be issue now.. and what is happening with Khushi.. do continue soon..


thanks for mail :)

subani jayasinghe said...

Glad to see you .. Update was beautiful. Loved it.