Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Whisper Valley-27



27
The Governor of The Whisper Valley led the procession on horseback, preceded by the seven priests of the temple who carried the goddess’s Utsava Vigraham (The special idol for procession) on a palanquin adorned with exotic wild flowers. After him, walked Willow and the HBSV commandos who were dressed like ordinary citizens, while the rest of the crowd was yet to join at the main gate of the Valley- a gate that was built by Arnav Simha’s ancestors proclaiming the territory of the deity to be the forests and inviting her into the Valley.
As they started walking, a coach stopped a short distance away and Lalitha Simha got down with her maid carrying offerings to the goddess. She walked to the priests saluted them and the goddess, and the Governor and joined the procession but stopped short of Willow…gasping loudly!
“…And what do we have here? What is happening here?” She was taken aback by Willow dressed in a traditional attire. Kannamma cleverly draped the silk sari she bought over the long evening gown that Willow’s father fetched in a hurry and adjusted it in a way that appeared like a sari with both her legs covered by the overlapping wings of the sari. She then plaited her hair and tied it into a knot and adorned it with jasmine flowers and put vermilion mark on her forehead, apart from the head set of a bride that she was gifted with, as it was a family heirloom. Willow looked at Lalitha and smiled recollecting what the Governor had said to her when he saw her walking into the sanctum sanctorum in the early hours of the dawn…
“Ahhh! You look like the exotic flower of the Valley itself mydear!” He had said.
“Thank you sir!” She courteousied him…
Kannamma beamed at her proudly while the Governor stepped infront of her and took her hand and said,” Lowey! I promise you. I shall always try my best to be a good husband. However, I want you to give me your word with regards to something.”
“Please order me my lord!” Willow said tightening her hold on his hand.
“Well! Apart from being your man, I am also the Governor of the Valley. Please understand that, in that context you may have to be tolerant of other races and religions and sometimes, me being a Hindu, you might have to respect the traditions of the land. You are free to follow your religion, but you are hereby requested to acknowledge the land and its laws…
“That I do any ways Governor coz the Valley proclaims Free Citizenship and neutrality.” Willow said.
“Yes my dear! But now its uhhh… complicated as it’s a patriarchal society, and the husband’s name takes precedence and his religion. But my only request is be mindful of others and remember from now on every action and word of yours would be taken as the voice of the valley and that of the Governor! I request you to be careful in that concern!” Arnav Simha cautioned her lovingly!
“I shall Governor! I shall never let you or the Valley down my Lord!” Willow said stoically and they had gone ahead and got married…
“You got married?” Lalitha almost shrieked in shocked surprise. “I…just can’t believe this! So…You finally succeeded in doing what you planned to ever since…Trap the Governor into a marriage!” Lalitha Simha’s voice made Willow jerk back to reality as she saw jealousy in the woman’s eyes for her.
“I suggest you talk with respect to the first lady of the valley Lalitha!” Arnav Simha’s voice boomed through making her turn towards him and demand,” How can this happen. She is a Christian and…”
“She is now my wife. Yes she would continue to be a Christian. Any problem?” He countered Lalitha with narrowed eyes…
“Problem? Me? No sir! You will encounter it once you pass that entrance” Lalitah said looking at the huge gate to the Valley. “The people would never accept a white woman as their ruler.”
“You don’t worry on that count. I shall take care of that…” Arnav Simha said smugly.
“How could you? The bandits abducted her! And you got married to such a woman?” Lalitha spat in spite!
“How do you know that?” Arnav’s cold voice sent shivers down Willow’s spine making her to recollect the fact that, Lalitha was there with the dacoits and she had forgotten to inform the Governor about it…Good Lord! She would have to do that at the first opportunity. She thought.
“Er… “Lalitha went pale only for a second but recovered in a jiffy and said,” Everyone knows Goverrnor that the dacoits had taken her a hostage. None would like a defiled woman as the First Lady of the valley.”
“I caution you Lalitha to speak respectfully to her highness! Do not forget that she is the First lady of the valley and you shall be punished as per the law if you abuse her.” Arnav growled as Willow grew tensed up.
“She can never be the First Lady of the Valley.” Lalitha said in a gruff voice.
“Sorry my dear! She is already the First Lady and after this procession, we shall be on a short pleasure trip, and I shall present her to the Valley on the occasion of the Annual Valley Fair!” Arnav quipped and saw Lalitha’s eyes spewing venom at him.
“Well that is very far Governor!” She spat! “First you let her pass the gate and we shall see!Teh local population would spurn her for sure!” She said challenging him openly.
“Are you challenging me?” He asked almost about to get down the horse when Narasimhan forbade him saying,” My Lord you shall not get down the horse till we take the procession round the Valley and comeback! It’s a bad omen!
“We already started on a bad omen that has joined the procession Simbu!”He said looking at Lalitha who snorted and said,” You will see who is a bad omen… me? or your darling new bride! Bloody governess who crept into your life”
“That she is… a darling!” Arnav Simha drawled much to Willow’s exasperation and said, “I want you to leave right now! As in right now!” He reiterated it.
Lalitha was taken aback!
“Me? How…dare you…” She growled…
“Yes I dare! Coz if anyone can dare in this valley, that’s me. Remember how I dared to get you and my brother married? Or have you forgotten it as well?  I had borne enough! Just leave else I will ask my soldiers to chuck you out! I would have banished you from the Valley like your husband, but only because of my child Suraj… I just let you be. But no more! Make arrangements to stay elsewhere if you can’t respect my wife! Now… get lost!” He said making Lalitha to look around and as everyone stared at her she left sobbing in embarrassment and Arnav Simha turned his horse and said,” Let the procession begin!
The procession began and it went round the valley. The people stared curiously at Willow, although out of respect for their Governor they never said anything. Finally when the procession reached the Governor’s residence, Willow was asked to welcome the goddess at the main entrance and when she did that people cheered. The one gesture made Willow popular as people expected her to be prejudiced and when she did not show any such sign and blended into the local flavor, she was accepted. Suraj ran out and clung to Willow, as they bid adieu to the procession as from there, the Governor and the priests would continue and reach the temple, while Willow was to remain at the Casa.
As she walked into the huge hallway, she met a seething Lalitha who dragged Suraj away after glaring at Willow.
Willow was conducted to the Governor’s chamber where she stood watching his portrait as it was all confusing to her and she did not know what lay in store for her.
She was offered a  refreshment and as she relaxed she heard Arnav Simha come back and stood to receive him.
He entered his chamber and smiled at her saying,” Mrs. Simha! How do you do?”
“Very well sir thank you” she blushed and ran to him as he opened his arms to welcome her into his home and life.
“Lowey I am sorry there was no ceremonial welcome for you at the Casa, but believe me you are more than welcome to my heart and my home” he said affectionately.
“That’s all I want my Lord!” She said as he held her to him.
“A sharp rap on the door and Simbu’s voice boomed saying,” My apologies my lord! But something urgent has come up can you step out for a moment!”
Arnav Simha groaned but gave a peck on Willow’s chin, and said,” Just relax my love. I shall be back.” And was gone.
Willow sat down on a settee and as he walked out heard Simbu saying,” the HBSV has news my Lord.”
The door didn’t close completely, and Willow could not help hearing the conversation as Arnav Simha asked him,” What now Simbu?”
“Er… The Thalaiwar has escaped, and lost his henchmen- the major ones and he is seething in revenge. He shall strike anytime.”
“I shall kill him this time Simbu! I give you my word” Arnav Simha hissed in fury.
“True sir! But, this time it wont be a war…they say…” Simbu paused…
“Then?” Arnav’s voice boomed in the passage.
“Er… they are hinting at a …kind of…er… some… plan is being hatched to dethrone you…” Simbu said agitatedly.
“Let them Simbu. Let me see how far the Thalaiwar succeeds…Or do you doubt me?” He was asking Narasimhan.
“No my Lord! I may even not trust my own shadow, but my faith in you and your leadership shall be undeterred till I breathe my last…but…er… now you…have a wife to take care of… “he hesitated…
“I understand Simbu. But I am proud of her. She is a gem of a person and  a loyalist. A lady of highest valour and integrity! She would put herself first in the path of danger if need be… The Valley shall be proud of her!”
Willow’s eyes filled up at her husband’s trust in her. She edged closer to the door as Simbu said, “ The Governing Council has convened an emergency meeting in an hour as they say there is an outrage in the Valley…er… after your wedding …”
“Oh! Let them do it Simbu. I shall be there and we shall fight it out” Arnav Simha said non-challantly and added,” Simbu day after tomorrow’s Ball…er… I want to make it special for her Highness…”
Willow smiled and blushed at his concern for her…

“Sir please tell me what I should do…” Simbu said as they walked away from the door, and Willow did a quick twirl in the room and hugged a cushion on the settee and sighed deeply saying,” Oh! Governor! I too shall make it memorable for you!”

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9 comments:

sweetygirl28 said...

Yay me first.. lalitha has some guts to talk to Arnav like that .. I thought her husband died.. is he the thalaivar? After marriage Arnav too said the same words to khushi isn't it? So similar

Paramjeet said...

Fabulous update.. happy to see Arnav showing lalitha her position and asking her to leave the procession.. lowey is so happy to hear her husband's trust on her.. well things looking quite difficult from here.. but Arnav is strong man and he knows how to rule.. loved the update..

smart girl said...

woww....
very nice and eventful update dear...
glad that arnav stood by willow and showed lalitha her place....
hope there won't be any problems for newly weds...
eagerly waiting for u to continue....

subani jayasinghe said...

The thalaiwar must be lalitha's husband ? Arnav's brother? Wonder what will happen next .. Waiting to see. Update was awesome and luvd it.

Radhika Sabnis said...

Awesome update....I've feeling that something terribly bad is going to happen at tha ball.....if I'm wrong....I'll b very happy....I don't want them to hurt Willow and arnav.....!!

Lakshmi said...

Nice update. Though they are married now, it seems their are amidst lot of enemies around them. Lalitha, dacoits and what more... Hope they overcome all hurdles together. Eagerly Look forward to the Ball now.

jyothirockz said...

Hey Anu,
That was an amazing update... I love this Arnav Simha, daring, decisive, determined warrior. He trust Willow's love for him and loyalty towards the Valley. Willow trust herself with him so much. I wish she will get the opportunity to share what and whom she heard whe she was captured with Arnav in time. I cannot wait to find out the reasons behind what Khushi experianced in the Valley.

shaliny giri said...

daring simha..
finally they got married..
yippeee

angeldream 14 said...

loved it
finally they r married
so she had not told him abt lalitha
curious abt Arnav's brother
n who is that enemy