The King of Malanda was in a fix. The Mughals had conquered the neighbouring kingdom of Nalcore, leaving Malanda more vulnerable. On its south was the Indian Ocean, where they needed strong naval security. Those islands could also be used by the Mughals as a base for war. On its right, was the beautiful kingdom of Shithila. They were gentle people, and the two kingdoms had lived in peaceful co-existence, so far.
The King was in a meeting with his security adviser. Both appeared to be in a pensive mood.
“Your Highness! I have heard that the King of Shithila is looking for a suitable groom for his daughter, Rajnandini. We could consider asking for her hand for our Crown Prince Aryaveer. The bond will create an ally for us, cementing our security against the Mughals.”
And so, began the journey of Prince Aryaveer to Shithila, to meet Princess Rajnandini.
He was led to an elegant room just outside Rani Mahal, where he would be setting eyes for the first time on his future wife. A beautiful lady, dressed in a pale pink outfit and pearls entered with a tray in hand. She placed the tray on the table, and bowed gracefully. He was completely taken in by the bewitching beauty, and captivating simplicity of the lady. He was further treated to her melodious voice,
“Hope this sherbet is good enough to quench your thirst. The Princess will soon arrive.”
It was the first jolt. Then, who is she?
Princess Rajnandini arrived, dressed in a purple and gold outfit, with a bevy of maids accompanying her, and was seated after the initial pleasantries were exchanged. She was a fine-looking princess, but Aryaveer could not get over the vision in pink, who was seated on his right. He muttered a few words bashfully, to start a conversation.
“This sherbet is awesome”.
“It is made from the finest rose petals, sandal and kewda in the royal garden. My lady-in-waiting, Mridula specializes in preparing this”, the Princess said pointing at Mridula on her left.
So, her name was Mridula. It meant ‘soft, tender and delicate’.
Watching his shy demeanor for a minute, the Princess continued,
“I cannot do without Mridula’s company. She will accompany me as part of the entourage, wherever I go after marriage.”
The Prince’s face instantly beamed up with a smile. Rajnandini shyly thought, he was warming up towards her.
Inspired by Teresa at mindlovemiserymenagerie