Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Whisper Valley-26

“Khushi?” The voice said…
“Hmmm?” She asked as she heard Arnav’s voice on the other side.
“Nani is still on sedatives and her condition is still not clear!” He sighed.
“Oh! Do you want me to come?...but we were told that her condition would ….er…improve and its almost two hours past the time they gave us…”she said in anguish.
“Yeah! I dunno!...”Arnav’s voice almost whispered this time…
“You don’t worry! I am just coming…”She said in a rush.
“No! Just stay put. I told you I will come but I may have to stay back…is it ok?” He asked hesitantly.
Khushi felt bad for him. Nevertheless, she said,” No! Don’t worry for me. Just take care of her and please let me know if there is anything I could do.”
“Yeah! I shall. You just rest and come in the morning as Amma will be discharged.” His voice was feeble.
“Are you sure? May be I should be there and you can…” she was still talking when he cut her off saying, “A hospital is not the place for a new bride darling! I am sorry…it had to be this way. But I promise you I shall make up for every minute of your waiting for me.”
Khushi felt butterflies fluttering in her tummy at the sexy tinge his voice assumed.
“ I understand. Please don’t be worried on my count” she almost croaked…
“Believe me Khushi its just not worry…I so want to be with you…could give anything to be with you…”his voice trailed.
“But …er…we don’t know each other.” She said a little diffidently…
Was he laying it on too thick? But why would he want to impress her?
She did not have any background like him and she was definitely not rich!
“Don’t we?” His question hung between them as a mystery.
“Do we?” She counter demanded him.
“You ask that to yourself Khushi. You will get the answer. Come tomorrow and from the hospital we shall go to my place. Till then,,,keep thinking about me…” and the phone went dead.
Khushi sighed. It was like playing a game of chess with him. She went two steps forward and four backwards!
As she turned, she noticed a moment in the corridor and trotted to the passage and found it to be empty…She had to call Aman and ask him she thought but as she was turning back, she noticed something unusual at the far end of the corridor…the wall that was spic and span suddenly had something written on it… she walked to it and froze as she found a creepy writing on the wall that said,” STAY AWAY FROM THE VALLEY! DON’T GO BACK!”
She was shocked and broke into cold sweat! It was meant for her.
But who must have written it?
It was not there when she walked in…She read it again and called for the steward. None came and she walked into the room allotted to her, and picked up the intercom to call the staff when a gust of wind blew threw the window making the transcripts to flap dangerously and Khushi immediately replaced the intercom mouth piece on to its mantel, and dived on to the bed to save them from being blown away.
As she sorted them, she could not help but think how similar her life was to that of Willow Feathers. They both were married in haste and that too at the Masaani Amman Temple. They both had an Arnav Simha for a husband. They both were woven into the Valley dynamics without their knowledge and both she and Willow were caught in the web of life, which was not only entangled but also very strange in terms of the twists and turns it entailed.
Khushi got up rang the staff, and asked Aman to come to her room and waited for him.
“Was there someone apart from you here?” She asked the question to a visibly shocked Aman.
“No Ma’am! None. Just me and Susheela tai the cook and Manoj the caretaker” he said and added,”… and none is allowed here. Only I have orders to come up here.”
“Then how come I found these?”She said walking towards the wall and turned to freeze with a gasp.
The light cream coloured wall was absolutely clear. There was nothing written on it.
“What Ma’am? Where?” Aman was asking, but Khushi ran farther and back checking the wall.
“The… warning! It was written right here” she showed him the part of the corridor wall that had the warning written on it and explained .
“Where is it Ma’am?” He asked.
“I…dunno! I just found it here. “She said weakly.
“But there is nothing here” he said looking at her a tad warily.
“But …I…er…” Khushi was clueless.
“Tell you what Ma’am you had a very tough day. I shall ask Susheela tai to make some fresh tea. You please relax. Boss said he will be back only in the morning so chill! I am just down stairs in my room and a phone call away.”Aman said that and walked her to her room and after saying he will order for tea and a snack left leaving Khushi in a dazed state.
What kind of a joke was this? she thought as she closed the door and locked it. She quickly washed her face and then opened the door to let Aman bring in tea and then settled on the bed with her manuscripts sipping on the scalding liquid. Well she had to wait till dawn and what better way was there to pass time than read the intriguing Legend of the Whispering Valley she thought. She started reading again from where she left off…
“Animal slayer? What are you saying!” Arnav Simha was taken aback!
“You used the sword on them… Sire I just can’t…comprehend…” Willow was in tears…
“They are thugs my dear! Why can’t you see that? They are no good to the valley and they are not just misled young men, but those dark souls, who would never see the light of harmony and wisdom.” He tried to explain.
“Killing for survival is not a crime sire!” Willow said with her chin up standing up from where she lay huddled on the bed.
“Yeah! But they are not in an oppressive society. The Valley is a very harmonious place to live in, thanks to my ancestors.” Arnav Simha said smugly.
“But they live in the jungle!” The poor lions  She countered him.
“That’s coz they chose to…”was his retort.
“Jungle is their home my lord” she said in anguish.
“Yeah! But they belong with the society.” Arnav Simha said.
“No they don’t!” She was adamant.
“They do!” He said walking slowly to her…
“They…er…don’t…”she said nervously as he loomed nearer… and added firmly, “They don’t!”
“Oh yes they do!
You cannot… not accept what they are for Governor!” She said firmly.
“Oh! I can say anything I wish as that alone would be the law in the Valley dearest!” He said grimly, hauling her up by her waist and growled,” Are you with them or are you with me?”
“I am yours…sire! Er….but with them!” She said closing her eyes but opening one to sneak in on his expression…
Arnav Simha’s lips twitched at her child like behavior, but at the same time he was a little perturbed that she was in support of the dacoits! That made him jittery.
“Believe me you do not know what you are talking about…and…”he paused…
How can the first lady of the Valley be sympathetic to the cause of Bandits? Was he doing a mistake? Was she sent by them, by any chance? His mind flip-flopped.
“Believe me sir Governor! I know! I know what I am talking about. And till the last breath I would champion the cause of protecting wild animals as I took an oath in the St. Michael’s church under the auspices of Rev. Mother Albania”she said
“Wild what????” He asked frowning…
“Er…Wild…animals…as…in….Lions that you killed?” She said warily…
Arnav Simha laughed then. He stepped back and fell on the small bed and roared as his body shook with the impact of his laughter…
“What?” Willow was taken aback…
“You were taking about the lions?” He asked incredulously..
“Of course sir! Poor beasts!” she said pouting. “Weren’t you justifying your killing of them?” She asked him narrowing her eyes…
Arnav Simha smarted and smiled. He got up and gave her a chaste peck on her cheek and stood away saying, “ How did I forget what a naïve young lady you are!”
Willow was surprised at what he said and asked,” Were we not discussing the lions of the Nallamalai?”
“No my love!” He said. “We were discussing the dacoits in the Valley.”
As it dawned on to her, Willow hoisted herself on to Arnav Simha and said,” Oh I am sorry sir! Please! I was just…Simbu told me about your killing of the Lions and…” She was too embarrassed to speak further.
“Hmmm! Simbu talks too much these days” he said nuzzling her neck, when there was a tap on the door.
As Arnav Simha asked the visitors to step in after settling Willow on the bed, Simbu walked in with a tribal woman who was elderly and she saluted them and stood by.
She was a woman in her late fifties Willow thought, and wore her attire a tad different from the locals as she was a tribal. She had her ears pierced several times and the lobes had huge earrings dangling from them and she wore coloured beads round her neck. She had patterns drawn on her forearms and face too… which made her look very different.
“Tayaravatharku aana neram vanthuvitathuSimbu said.
(Time to get ready Your Highness)
Arnav Simha looked at the Tribal woman and said,
“Kannamma idhu dhan en varungala manaivi aval alangarathuku satru udavi sei ne dhan en thayarin pathiyathukuriya vellaial.”                 
(Kannamma! This is my bride to be… please help her to get ready for our wedding!  You are my moms trusted maid and so I trust you with her.)
Kannamma looked at Willow and smiled and said, “Adharku enna, indha palathakin mahanuku allava kalyanam ivalai mullai nilla kadavulai pola alzangarikiren. Aval iyalpagave migavum alagu.” 
(Why wouldn’t I when my son…the son of this Valley is getting married…
You have given a new life to us all and I shall make her up like the forest goddess herself…She is a real beauty!)
“Aamam aval iyalpagave alagudan.”Arnav said beaming at Willow.
(Indeed she is! She is a beautiful person.)
“Thangal thayar ingu irrundhirundhal migavum mahilzdhirupar”Kannamma said with tear-filled eyes…
(Your mom would have been so happy if she were here right now…)
Arnav looked at Willow and said,” Get ready my dear! I shall meet you soon and ws gone.
The Whisper Valley
“Father!” Willow gasped as she got up from the wooden low stool, she was made to sit on to perform the rituals with Arnav Simha by her side.
“Oh my dear girl!” Captain Williams hugged his daughter and kissed her on her forehead saying,’ I just cant say how anxious I was to see you!”
Father I…I am sorry” willow said in a low voice for which he said,” No my dear! You must be happy that you have found your true love!” He turned to Arnav Simha and said,” I approve of this Sir! And thank you so much for everything that you have done for my darling daughter.”
Arnav Simha smiled and said,” I shall lay down my life but never let her down Captain. That’s my word to you!”
As the wedding came to an end with the bride and groom exchanging the garland of wild flowers as per the tradition and Arnav Simha adorning willow with a necklace of black beads, they walked out amidst cheers by the HBSV commandos who were the only people allowed into the temple compound.
Outside at the temple gate…
“Innum satru neerathil thirumana vaiboogam arambithu vidum neeyum avalum naduvile irru engum naharndhu vidadhey nanum Nandhum matradhai parthu kolvom” Simbu paused…
(The procession will be starting in a few minutes and you will not walk no matter what to the left. You will be to the center and the right…as I and Nandu will be covering you…
“Ekkaranam kondum manamakkal aruge yaraiyum anuga Vida kudathu. Nam kootathil yarum pudhusaga Sera Vida kudadhu nam uyirai panayam vaithavadhu manamakkalai kaka vendum.”
(We need to protect the couple even if we have to lay our lives for them… and beware of the enemy. Don’t let anyone breach the security at any cost. No new comers should be allowed near to the couple…)
“Yarellam en pakkam?”He asked raising her sword.
(Are you with me?”
“Naangal anaivarume ungal pakkam dan!”All the commandos shouted in unison.
(Yes! We are!)

  (To be Contd...,)


uzma tarin said...

So atlast they got married after reading a new chapter my curiosity is increasing as wat is khusi's connection with wv n who real arnav is as he is mystery himself

Lakshmi said...

Anu, excited to read further. Lot of questions op up regarding past and present. You will answer as the story progress . Continue soon:)

Shreesha Ramesh said...

Awesome akka , was waiting for this from long .... Thank you .

manjula naidu said...

So finally arnav simha and willow got married.what about those writings on the wall for khushi?do arnav know about khushi before?lot of update the next part soon dear.good work.nice update.

Radhika Sabnis said...

Amazing chapter di.
Lions and dacoits confusion was super cute....I love arnav simha...he reminds me so much of arnav in mirage......(I'm still have hangover of mirage- the pursuit.)
Are they going to get separate after their marriage????
Waiting for next chapter.

smart girl said...

they got married...
loved the update dear...
eagerly waiting for u to continue...
thanks for mail....

subani jayasinghe said...

Finally they got married ! Wow!!! Wonder what's going to happen next .waiting to see khushi's story too.

Paramjeet said...

This was second of willows after that baby thing.. now the lions.. Arnav have got himself such an interesting wife who will keep him entertained always.. happy finally Arnav Simha married his lowey.. however surprised about what happened with Khushi.. she is confused with Arnav's talks and that writing on the wall.. loved the superb awesome update..

thanks for mail :)

Sunandha said...

Nice Update..
Finally Arnav Simba married His Willow....