Wednesday, 9 December 2015



Khushi walked around the hall that was being decorated. She and Joel took a short ride to the west of the property to reach the Ball Room.
“I thought it was in the Town Hall!” Khushi exclaimed getting down.
“No Ma’am. This is the place where the Simhas hosted their parties and public appearances.” Joel said. He showed her one of the gates that opened to the road that directly connected with the Long Road, and said, “You see it made sense that the guests just entered from the Western Gate and drove right through. Parking of coaches was easier with the vast open grounds and not to forget the security for Casa Willows! The main residence remained secured and cordoned off irrespective of the get-togethers here.”
“Oh!” Khushi exclaimed and looked around as Joel excused himselves. The workers were at it scrubbing the glass windows which were secured owing to thick fog outside, and polishing the Rosewood furniture and getting the crystals in shape. Khushi wandered to the farther corner of the rectangular ballroom that was typical. Its one end had a big portrait of the Great Annual Valley Ball which Khushi concluded must have been painted in the eighteenth century while the end she was standing at, had a mark on the wall which indicated that there was something hung there. Going by its size which was almost four feet by two, Willow deduced that it must be a similar painting and asked a worker who was busy polishing the wooden floor there.
“Oh! They have taken it for treatment” he said and explained that the portrait was taken for anti aging, and would be hung by the night.
What could it be! Khushi mused. She then walked up the stairs and stood on the landing looking at the magnificent swords crossed and kept in just below the Simha emblem sporting the two lions on a hexagonal plaque. A set of circular wooden steps lay beneath, …may be to clean them! She thought.
She then walked up the set of stairs to the right, as the stairs deviated just at the landing. As she moved up she saw a moment in the corner of her eye and immediately stopped to look above her diagonally. She trotted up the rest of the stairs, gasped as Alberto Rossini came face to face with her exclaiming loudly, “ Por Dios” What have we got here! The lady Simha appears again!”
“Alberto!” Khushi sighed and narrowed her eyes asking,” How come you are here!You had ne scared there for a moment. You know?”
“I need to ask you that K. We met and then after the coffee, you just vanished” he said cautiously.
“Wasn’t it Spanish that you spoke just now?” Khushi asked him suspiciously.
“Yeah! But I told you I am an Italian American. I speak Spanish too” he said and then added, “ You said you were a tourist then how come you are here?”
Khushi was tempted to tell him the truth but thought the better off it and sad,” I came to the ball room…er…who knows I might not get a chance to even enter the compound tomorrow.” She winked at him for the right effect, hoping that Joel would not get back. He said he would come in an hour’s time.
 She then asked him, “… and you?
“Well…I took permission from the government and the Simhas to er…look at the artifacts that would be on display tomorrow. You see tomorrow, there would be a mob and then the food court is there just on to that side…”he showed her the other side of the upper balustrade,  an area that was being prepared to host food stalls, smiling at her.
“And did you?” Khushi asked him. What was he looking for!
“Hmmm Yes and no.” Alberto said looking around.
“Whatever do you mean by that?” Khushi was curious.
What was this Italian to do with the artifacts? He was a storyteller. May be he was looking for some authentic research backing.
“You see Ms.K,” Alberto dragged her to the corner farthest from the workers and whispered,” I am searching for the rest of the transcripts. Plus I want to see the famous sword of Arnav Simha , the emerald studded bread casket of Willow, and also some very historical pieces of interest like Suraj Simha’s diamond studded belt and photos of the lineage and the successors of  Sir Arnav Simha.
Khushi listened to him, and he smiled at the look on her face.
“Hey!Would you like to see Arnav Simha’s sword? He enquired.
She nodded. Here it is he showed a wooden box that had a glass top and nestled inside in purple velvet was a huge sword whose handle was covered in gold polish with the face of the Masani Amman goddess and just below that the two lions that tapered into a long blade. The scabbard nestled by the side was similar but the top center had a gem studded into it or so it seemed, by the huge diamond slot left empty there.
You know something? The mark left is of the missing sapphire, which Arnav Simha lost in the last battle of Cherambadi. The Saphire studded in it went missing after he beheaded the enemy.
“OH!” Khushi tried to imagine the gory scene. She shuddered and he bent forward and said,” There is also the English translation of the transcripts summed up as the eight quartets. How I wish! If I get one chance to look it up!
“Why” Khushi didn’t get him.
“That would give the entire legend and may be who knows… the curse too.” He shrugged.
“You mean its in here?” Khushi’s eyes, widened in anticipation.
“May be” he said pensively.
“Then lets look through…” Khushi said. She had a full hour before Joel happened.
“Atta girl!” he said and they went on to the wooden clothes box of Willows grand daughter. After that, they got to see the emerald studded casket of Willow.
“It was a gift by Arnav Simha to Willow. You see they ate rice down south and she was specially served bread and that too kept in this casket.” Alberto said smugly. “But it is said that the first lady later used it to store important documents and kept it in the kitchen.”
“What?” Khushi could not believe it.
“Yeah! With Willow Feathers Simha you never know” Alberto said rolling his eyes much to Khushi’s amusement.

To be contd/-


manjula naidu said...

Nice update.good work dear.thanks for the quick update dear.eagerly waiting for the next part

sweetygirl28 said...

Ooohhh exciting. . This man seems suspicious. .its always exciting to see old artifacts. .explains the life of how our ancestors lived

uzma tarin said...

Nice update really looking forward for mystery to unfold

jyothirockz said...

What is Alberto upto ? I sense trouble...

smart girl said...

oh no...
m sensing danger....
hope nothing goes wrong....
plzzzz continue soon....
eagerly waiting ....

Paramjeet said...

hey sorry for being late.. interesting update.. what is this Italian doing here? looking forward to see what else Khushi sees from the collection of simha's... loved the update.. :)

subani jayasinghe said...

Mind blowing.. Wonder what's the mystery .. Missing sapphire or the curse?

Aaliya dev raichand said...

hey .......
awesome update,,,,,,,,,,,
and i just don't know why.........
but not trusting this alberto man..........
i find him suspicious,,,,,,,,,,,,
and willow is just unique,,,,,,,,,, :)
loved it,,,,,,,,,
waiting for next

shaliny giri said...

waow story is moving in very intresting path..
waiting for more n more updates ahead....
as always awesomeness...

angeldream 14 said...

y this man is so interested in the story
n wht is he hiding behind his friendly face
is ASR keeping a tab on khushi

naheema shanawaz said...

Is this guy to be trusted? Why did Arnav not tell her everything that is happening in the Valley?