An edited version of the harem story
|Miya’s gleaming raven hair cascaded down her back, complementing her big charcoal eyes and slender face. Two attendants placed her hair up in a tight updo, while another straightened her blue saree to remove the wrinkles. One other attendant was fanning Rajkumari with a gold hand fan accented with white and blue floral prints. As the attendants continued with the preparation of her hair, adding the final hairpins and the royal crown, a slight smile appeared on her lovely face. With care, Miya removed a gold necklace embedded with pearls and diamonds from the large shell encrusted box—the necklace added a flawless touch to her outfit. The jewelry was icy against her warm skin as she placed it around her swan-like neck, she then stood and examined her appearance in the mirror. The Maharaja had summoned her—everything had to be picture-perfect.
“You are looking stunning, Rajkumari,” the attendants said in unison.
“Leave, if you are done,” Miya said, her voice was harsh and full of command. She strolled towards the entrance of the doorway and placed the pearl earrings on.
The attendants bowed and left her chamber.
The moment was drawing closer when she had to present herself in front of her husband—the ruler of Ratnapura. She did a last-minute check of her hair and outfit, seeing that they were neatly in place Miya exited her chambers. The silver bangles around her thin ankles sang with every step she took.
“Rajkumari Miya, it’s been a while since I last saw you.” Rajkumari Saundarya emerged, stepping out of the balcony, and approached Miya.
Miya greeted Rajkumari Saundarya with a big smile. “Rajkumari Saundarya, it’s so nice to see you.”
Rajkumari Saundarya raised her eyebrows. She glanced at Miya from head to toe. “As always you’re glowing, Rajkumari. Are you going somewhere?”
Miya gave a sweet little smile. “Yes. His Majesty has summoned me.” She moved closer towards Rajkumari Saundarya and whispered in her ear, “I think you know well why he called me.” She gave her Saundarya a seductive wink.
Rajkumari Saundarya smirked. “Very well. He has been summoning you for the past three days but you didn’t give him a reply. Maybe you were very busy. He’s very generous to call you again. It seems that he adores you more than me.”
Miya chuckled, then glided her index finger on Rajkumari’s Saundarya arm. “It means that you don’t adore me.”
Rajkumari Saundarya’s face heated at the sudden touch. Her breathing became labored as Miya continued on.
Miya closed the gap between them and lightly kissed her earlobe. She whispered, “It means I didn’t give you enough pleasure and you’re not happy with me.” Miya gently gave Saundarya’s ear a teasing nibble. “The cries when you beg me to give you more, your moans, the lovely face you make. Was it all fake?”
Saundarya gritted her teeth suppressing any noise from exiting her heart-shaped lips.
Miya stepped back and sighed. “I’m sorry.” She sniffed looking down. “I’m not a good lover. I failed to please you.”
Rajkumari Saundarya shook her head. “Y-you are getting it wrong. You know that’s not the case.”
Miya wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “There is no need to explain anything. I’m useless and you don’t have to come to our…”
Miya thought back to the first time she became acquainted with Saundarya. Miya had become the third wife of Maharaja of Ratnapura, the two women instantly became friends after Miya’s arrival to the palace. Upon one of their visits, Saundarya poured her heart out to Miya on why she married Maharaja and becoming wife number two. It had been discovered she was more attracted to women then she was with men. Her family would’ve faced much shame if this scandal was to ever surface. For political reasons, she was forced to marry this tyrant, forced to be something she wasn’t.
While alone one day, Saundarya confessed to Miya how she was unhappy being with Maharaja, and how it didn’t feel right being with him. Under the same breath, she also declared to Miya how she was falling in love with her—since the first day Miya became a wife in the palace.
Before Miya could complete her sentence, Saundarya moved closer to her and captured her lips. The kiss she gave Miya was deep and passionate. Miya was amazed by the warm touch of her lover, but she soon recovered, feeling the familiar soft tender touch on her lips. Her tongue struggled with Saundarya’s, capturing each other’s love for the other.
Saundarya pulled back for a moment, then, she went in to kiss Miya, tugging on her lower lip, she sucked and kissed her hard on her mouth.
Miya pushed Saundarya back, her breath labored—she gasped while catching her breath.
Saundarya stepped back, folding her arms under her chest, giving Miya a hard glare as if she had done something wrong. “Look at you. You can’t handle such a little kiss and you’re trying to please me.” She looked at Miya grimly. “Looks like I have to teach you again.”
“You can’t do that...” Miya rasped.
“Oh, yes, dear. I can do that,” she lightly pinched Miya’s cheek, “your body and mind forgot all the lessons that I gave you. But don’t worry I will make sure that you don’t spit that nonsense again.”
Saundarya continued, “I've chosen you as my lover, not him. You do know I do like what you do to me. Meet me soon at the same place and time. Make sure that you don’t spend any unnecessary time with him. I’d like to hear your voice crying my name tonight. Do you understand?”
Saundarya turned around and peeked at both sides of the corridor. “Hurry up, otherwise my lord's attendants will come again to call you. I’ll be waiting for you this evening.”
She gave a quick peck on Miya’s cheek. Turning her around, Saundarya patted her back and pushed Miya forward.
With a grin, Miya tried to calm her beating heart. She was excited about this evening with her lover. Slowly, she moved towards Maharaja’s chamber. Saundarya remained in the hallway until Miya disappeared from her line of sight.
Miya crossed the corridors carrying with her a thumping heart. Maharaja’s chamber was situated in the north part of the palace. Usually, he used the east part where Miya and his other wives lived. On other times, he ventures over to his north chambers to spend some alone time.
Acknowledging the greetings from guards and the servants, Miya entered the north chambers, her head held to the sky. Unlike the east wing, the north chambers were filled with guards, armory, storerooms, and five big halls where Maharaja consulted with his ministers. All the rooms were lavishly big and decorated with royal crests, expensive fabrics, linen, and extravagant rugs—Maharaja’s chamber included. It seemed simple but if one looked at his room anyone could tell it belonged to Maharaja.
Miya strolled over the steep hallways which led to Maharaja’s chamber. The soldiers guarding the doorway stepped aside and bowed as she approached. Nodding, Miya took a deep breath, pulling the curtain aside, she entered Maharaja’s chamber.
A man with little facial hair, and with a muscular built, held an intimidating demeanor. He was covered with jewels and a silk eggplant robe. He laid on the massive bed filled with silk deep red sheets and an abundance of pillows. His warm hazel-green eyes were full of expectation. Maharaja’s body was relaxed while he sipped wine in a gold-plated goblet; he was swirling with his long fingers.
Miya bowed her head before inching closer towards the bed.
He arched his left brow. “You’re late.”
Miya’s gaze shifted towards the ground. She was aware of what was coming next. She clenched her fists when she heard the familiar creaking sounds coming from the bed.
Maharaja placed his goblet of wine at the corner of the bed. Climbing down from the bed he ambled towards Miya. He stood in front of her. For a moment, he was absorbed in her beauty. He slipped his cold long finger under her chin, forcing Miya to gaze in his eyes.
His voice hardened as he spoke, “Why did you not show up when I called you? Do you know what happens when I get angry? I’m a very calm man but I don’t like the ones who don't follow my orders. There’s only one punishment for them and that is…'' Maharaja brought Miya’s face closer and whispered, “Death.” With his other hand he softly stroked Miya’s hair. “I guess you do know how the punishment is being executed. Worry not, you will not be given that. As long as you keep me happy, you don’t have to worry about anything. My duty is to protect my lovely wife, isn’t it?” he roared with laughter.
“I don’t fear death,” Miya muttered.
Maharaja smirked at her. “That’s what everyone says, but when in reality death is an inch apart from your face. Then, you come to know how much you love your dear life more than anything else.”
Miya stared straight in the eyes of Maharaja, as if she was penetrating his soul. “That’s not the case with us, you do know that, don’t you? All the women that live here and serve you are also willing to die for you. All of them worship you and can do anything for you. Have you forgotten that day? When you were battling with the kings of other kingdoms. How the ladies prayed for you day and night or how they all treated you and your injured soldiers.”
She smirked. “The sun will rise from the west if you can remember all that. You just worry about your own pleasures and desires. My dear husband only cares about how to become the most powerful king but you neglect your duties to look after your people. You know how to show-off but you don’t see the pain and sorrow of those who work hard to pay your taxes. I'm not afraid to say that you, my lord, are not worthy to remain as Maharaja. You don’t deserve to be worshipped or get respect. You’re just thinking of yourself. Did you forget that when the time will come you have to give details of your every deed to the god? And then there, you will be treated accordingly. There will not be any mercy…”
“Be quiet.” Maharaja ordered. Outside the wind howled. The curtains in the room fluttered around from the wind. Light music from outside filled the chamber, which was soothing her nerves.
He placed his cold finger on Miya’s lips. “You have done enough talking. To be with you, is my one and only wish. Four years have passed, Miya. Till now, I didn't get to make you mine. Why is that? I-I haven’t met with anyone else because of you. Saundarya, Cauvery, and others were trying their best to make me happy. I didn’t budge. Why don’t we continue this later?” he caressed Miya’s cheek.
Miya glanced at her side. On the side of the wooden table, where a few glass items sat. The items were of many shapes and sizes. Some were round, some were cylindrical in shape while others were statues of the king and the palace of Ratnapura. Many of them were gifts from other kingdoms. All the glass items held high value to them. Miya headed towards the table and retrieved a couple of them. From the door of Maharaja’s chamber to the side of his bed, she threw the glass onto the ground, building a path with the shards of cut-glass.
Perplexed, Maharaja snapped his head in Miya’s direction. “What are you doing?”
Miya kept quiet, she continued breaking the glass onto the ceramic tile floor. After destroying the glass, Miya observed the path, then turned her gaze towards her husband. Her eyes glowed with enjoyment when seeing his hard glare burning through her.
Taking a deep breath, Miya dipped her left toe in the path of glass. One large piece of the broken glass sliced her toe open, causing her unbearable pain. Miya winced at the discomfort the glass bringing, but she continued her painful journey on the path she’d created. She bit down on her lower lip as more pain shot from her feet up her legs. Miya saw the blood spraying out as she maneuvered more over the broken glass. With the pads of her feet now sore, carved from the glass, and bloody, Miya turned to face Maharaja. His face was ashen with a look of bewilderment mixed with terror.
She spoke in a silky voice, “I’ll fulfill all your wishes and desires today. Before I do that. I want you to complete one wish of mine. I know my beloved husband can do anything for his lovely wife. I want you to just do what I had done just now and then I’ll fulfill yours.”
“Ha-have you gone mad? I’m not going to this stupid thing.” He said in a harsh, raw voice. In a matter of moments, Maharaja stormed out of his chambers.
Miya chuckled while watching him rush out of the room. Grinning, she dropped on the bed and let out a hearty laugh. Outside, the wind was blowing much faster, the shrieking from the breeze caused her grin to broaden—it was as if nature was pleased with Miya’s achievement. She remained on the bed until she was certain Maharaja wasn’t returning any time soon. Miya then rose from the bed and exited out of her husband’s chambers—full of content.
Miya returned to her chambers, she grabbed a black and fuzzy blanket from the sofa, and wrapped it around her shoulders. She pushed the mirror aside—the same mirror where she prepares herself for the day. A cool breeze brushed passed her cheek as she came upon a dark and small passage behind the mirror. Miya entered the passage, taking the Mashal torch which was hanging in the corner of the wall. The passage was calm, muted by the opulent rugs and dense walls. The only sound in the passage, was Miya’s footsteps. The breeze from outside increased as Miya emerged out behind the palace. Her feet planted on the cold ground, she stood, raising her head to sniff the cool evening air. Her gaze fell towards the forest and a lake. No one came here, as the forest was home to many dangerous things which made it convenient for Miya.
Passing the big trees, she reached her favorite spot. The area was so beautiful that it could be placed next to heaven. Soft green grass, the big banyan tree which was more than a thousand years old, and the lake with its crystal clear water, could soothe anyone’s anger or sadness. Miya found it peaceful whenever she came here and meditated under the banyan tree whenever she could get away. The silent view eases her mind within moments. Taking the fresh air in, Miya sat near her favorite area, and closed her eyes to clear her mind.
“You’re at the wrong place, Miya.” a deep voice near a whisper said. “Did you forget that you were supposed to be with Rajkumari Saundarya?” a small boy with his lips twisted in a cynical smile hopped out from the trees.
Miya’s face lit up. “You came.”
“I know you need me and my help.” The boy was dressed in rags and has tattered brown short hair. His small blue eyes were gazing towards Miya. He settled himself near her and placed both of her legs in his lap. From his rectangular jute bag he took out a handful of leaves with turmeric and treated Miya’s slashed feet.
“Ouch!” Miya cried when the boy took out a piece of jagged glass from the bottom of her feet. “That hurts.”
“Who said you to do something as careless as that. Not once but you walked twice on the glass. You didn’t even bother to treat yourself. That’s not the way to do things, Miya. If you behave like this, then don’t expect me to give you the ingredients, and I’ll tell Guruji all about it.” Ram said with a stern face. “Guruji knows everything about it and he’s upset with you.”
“What?” Miya cried.
“Don’t act like you don’t know. I’m not going to help you this time. That’s your problem, don't try to bother me with that.”
“Ahh...it was important to me. I don’t have any other way to get out of there. If today I haven’t gone there he would have sent guards behind me to see why I wasn’t coming for the past three days. All our hard work and planning will be ruined. All the vidyas, and Shastras that I have studied, the indriyas that I have awakened, was to take revenge for how Maharaja shattered my life.” A lone tear streamed down her cheek, Miya swiped it away with the back of her hand.
She continued, “He didn’t even show mercy to the children, the elderly, and the women. He turns them to slaves, to be used as his pleasures. He killed my people, my life, my dreams, everything because he wanted to have more power and resources. He’s not human, Ram. He is a demon.” More tears streamed down her cheek as she choked back her sobs.
Miya resumed, “Do you think I wanted to walk on these pieces? I can die to achieve the goal of my life. Women always pray to God for the better health and long life for their husbands. I pray to God to give me the strength to kill my husband. When the time is near I would relish the day seeing his dead body. That’ll be a great day, Ram.” She breathed out with relief and smiled through her tears. Sheer pain rushed through her body—it had no effect on Miya. Narrowing her eyes, she balled her hands into fists, when a memory from when Maharaja invaded her kingdom emerged.
“Alright…I know. Now, don't threaten me. Guruji is not at all pissed with you. He knows how you handle things- with resolve and carelessness.” Ram paused from treating Miya’s feet, and pulled out a small packet that was wrapped with leaves, handing it over to Miya. “Here, I guess this is the thing you wanted to achieve your goal, don’t you think?”
Miya yanked the packet from Ram, opened it up, and peered inside it. A brown powdery substance settled at the bottom of the packet. She proceeded to empty the powder in the palm of her hand when Ram prevented her from doing so.
“Don’t touch it! You will die within seconds if it touches any part of your body.”
Her eyes widened. “Do you think it will work how I wanted?”
“Yes, it will. Don’t worry about it. The minute he consumes it, he will feel intense pain in his whole body. It will make him hollow from inside and in a few minutes… The End.” Ram placed Miya’s feet back on the ground. “Look, your feet are treated now.”
Miya smiled. “You did a good job, Ram. Your work is over. I just have to find a way to give this to him. As soon as it enters his body, I will come here to meet you and then we will go back to Guruji’s Ashram. ”
“What about Saundarya, Miya? Will you take her with you?” Ram asked, his voice was soft but alarming.
Miya shook her head. “It will only cause her trouble. Moreover, after the incident, everyone will know I have done it. I know she will hate me but it’s fine by me, as long as she’s well and happy. I don’t want anything. I have spent all these years in the palace, not to find love but to accomplish my mission. I will not hurt any innocent but I’m not going to spare any culprit.”
Miya and Ram stood up and embraced each other.
Miya lowered her voice, “Take care, Ram. We’ll meet soon.”
With quick steps, Miya left the forest and returned back to the palace. She entered her room and moved the mirror back in its place. So many emotions flooded her heart. She headed to the balcony and looked out at the dark sky, it was filled with masses of stars that shone brightly in the night. The cold breeze blew across her body, the frigid air slapped Miya across the cheek. She closed her eyes and embraced the cold with the palm of her hand.
Miya sighed and settled her gaze at one tiny bright star. “I'm sorry I have to do this... it’s revenge for your untimely death. I know I’ll cause a lot of chaos after that and Vikram and Saundarya will probably hate me. I have already lost the ones I love…mom, you, my friends, Vikram, our kingdom…all of you…everything is shattered and destroyed. These past years were hell for me and then Saundarya came as a light in my life. I do not have the strength to lose her. Tomorrow will be the final day, the end of pain and suffering. The end of the one who not only destroyed our kingdom but destroyed his also. I need your blessings. Without it I wouldn’t be able to come this far. No matter what happens I will achieve my goal. I love you all….” Miya choked back her sobs and wiped the burning tears from her eyes.
She looked out silently at the dark sky one last time prior to her visiting Saundarya’s chambers.
After cleaning herself, Miya placed on a light pink saree with a golden border around the bottom. Pink happened to be Saundarya’s favorite color. For the final touch, Miya placed on a simple pair of earrings and a thin silver necklace, which complimented her fair skin well.
Miya headed towards a secret compartment, a small chamber in the west palace. The room was on the top floor. Hardly anyone entered here as there were rumors at night of a dead woman who sang sad and lonely songs about her lost family. Guards and servants were terrified of this area. Some had even seen the woman who roamed around the top floor of the west palace. The west palace wasn’t as luxurious as the rest of the palace, but it was perfect for Miya and Saundarya. They had chosen it as their meeting spot, thanks to the ridiculous rumors that were floating around.
Miya reached the doors of the chamber, she knocked at the door twice—a signal letting Saundarya know she’d arrived. She opened the door slowly and entered the room; without wasting another moment, Miya closed the door behind her. The room was the same size as Miya’s chamber. It was big, had large windows where a cool breeze could freely enter in and out of the room. Miya always searched the room before doing anything else; this particular time was no different from any other night.
“You’re late,” Saundarya said softly, her eyes narrowing.
Miya’s gaze fell on Saundarya, who was lying on a big bed with linen sheets and large pillows. She wore a blue see-through saree that Miya could see in the dim light, with her soft rich brown hair cascaded down to her waist. Her eyes widen as she took in Saundarya’s beauty.
“Are you planning to stand there all night?” Saundarya’s voice rang with command, bringing Miya back to her senses.
Miya shook her head.
“What are you waiting for? Come here, near me.” Saundarya said, snapping her fingers.
As if she was hypnotized, Miya moved closer towards Saundarya.
She bowed her head. “How can I serve you, my Rajkumari?”
Twirling a strand of her hair, Saundarya replied, “Remove them.”
“Huh.” Miya gave Saundarya a perplexed look.
“Your clothes. They will get in my way.”
With haste, Miya did as she was told and removed her clothes.
With a glint of wonder in her eyes, Saundarya looked on as Miya undressed in front of her. A devilish smile crept on her lovely face as she laid eyes on her lover’s beautiful body. “That’s better.
Saundarya pulled Miya close, taking hold of her hand in hers as her mouth covered Miya’s lips hungrily. Lowering her head, Saundarya dipped her tongue in Miya’s belly button.
Miya gasped at Saundarya’s slick warm touch. Locking in her arms, Saundarya commenced to giving little kisses on Miya’s chest. In between the kisses, her hands explored the hollows of Miya’s back. Miya’s heart fluttered at the spot she touched. She closed her eyes and let out a moan.
Saundarya halted her kisses and gazed in Miya’s eyes. “What? You can’t even handle this much. Look at yourself…I have done nothing and you’re already trembling. You’re so vulnerable.” She smirked. “I can’t wait to hear more of those lovely sounds.”
Saundarya placed her hand on Miya’s waist and pulled her closer, causing Miya to wobble and the two to fall onto the bed. Miya’s naked body covered Saundarya’s, she pinned her lover’s wrist with her hands over her head, and kissed her softly on her cheek.
Miya whispered, “You’re right. I really can't wait to hear more of your moans.” She gave several kisses on Saundarya’s collar bone, causing her to shiver.
Saundarya grinned and put her hand on Miya’s waist, bringing her closer. “Oh, really. Well, let’s see.” She tugged on Miya's lower lip.
The window shutters banged around loudly. Miya woke from a groggy haze, hearing the sounds of clutter and clatter. She rubbed her eyes while focusing on where she was. Miya looked around and found that she was not in her chambers. The ceiling was familiar but the designs and color were not what she was used to. Her gaze fell on Saundarya’s soft brown hair that was lying on her chest. Her hair tickled her, but it made her feel terrific. Miya smiled as last night’s events floated in her head. She was a different person whenever she was with Saundarya. She experienced a much more natural love than she ever had. Purer than being with the Maharaja.
Slowly, Miya put aside Saundarya’s hair. She wanted to pat and stroke Saundarya’s hair for some time but the wind was blowing at a fast pace that could wake her. Without making a sound, Miya climbed down the bed. She covered herself with the shawl that was strung across the bed. She glanced back over to Saundarya to make sure she was still deep in slumber. She looked so pretty, Miya thought. Miya chuckled to herself, it was going to be hell when she wakes—Saundarva enjoyed talking whenever they are together.
Miya hopped out of the bed and headed to an open window. She was proceeding to close it when her gaze fell to the sky. It was still dark, tiny stars twinkled in the night, while the half crescent moon shed a gleaming light below. She also noticed the morning glory peering between the sky. Miya placed a strand of hair behind her ear. The sun was rising in the distance—it was an amazing special effect to see the coming of light and the fading of darkness.
Miya let out a loud gasp as she laid eyes on what was transpiring before her. She brought her hands together and closed her eyes.
She whispered, “Dear, Lord. Thank you for being so kind and for giving me the chance to witness one of your beautiful creations. Thank you for giving me another day. Kindly keep showering your blessings on every living being, keep them safe and healthy.”
Miya slowly opened her eyes and looked around the palace. On the Northside, she could see the guards marching around and patrolling the grounds. It reminded her of Guruji. How he and Ram had given her support when her kingdom was destroyed by the king of Ratanpura—her husband. Guruji was the light in her dark life. He stood with her at every step, made her his disciple, and taught everything to her and Ram. They were the only ones with her when her parents and Vikram died. He was the one who had given her powers to see through the walls, at a distance that normal people could not see.
Apart from the guards, there were servants who were doing their daily tasks. Miya scanned her surroundings one last time. All seemed good near Maharaja’s chamber. She caught two soldiers from the previous night who were snoring. These two had proved helpful many times. Whenever she and Saundarya needed to escape to be together, these two guards incompetence made it easy for them to do so. The wind picked up, it was going to be a cold morning. Miya wrapped her arms around her as she shivered. She took a step back and closed the large shutters on the window. She moved over towards the bed and sat beside Saundarya. Miya kissed her forehead and gently caressed her head.
Miya said, “This will be the last time that we spend the night together. After today, I won’t be able to see you. Thank you.” Miya’s vision blurred from the hot tears. “You are pretty, smart, kind, lovable, and a great queen. Citizens here need rulers like you. You can be reckless and sometimes act like a child. But that’s who you are. You have shown me a different side of you. And I…”
Miya looked down and continued, “I’m not the one who you think I am. The love I have for you is not fake. I love you from my heart and it’s deep and pure. You have done so much for me. You always make me so happy. I hope even if a little I made you feel like you made me feel when we are together, then I think my life is worthy to be lived. I will always love you. I hope in the next life when we meet again, we don’t have to hide our love like this. Our love—the blissful love which we have for each other, we’d be able to tell the world and show it. I don’t have any regrets if I die. I love you deeply. You’re my world, my life. I’m going to give you the sacred thread which will protect you from all evil.”
Miya tied a red cotton thread around Saundarya's wrist. She placed her hand on Saundarya’s forehead. Closing her eyes, she chanted a few mantras under her breath.
“Now you’ll be safe. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be careless in everything you do. Take care of yourself, dear.” Miya gave a little kiss on Saundarya's lips, she then leapt off the bed to dress before departing the chambers.
Miya hurried back to her chambers, she thought to call the attendants in to help, but that will take up too much of her time. This time, it’s better you do it yourself, she thought. Miya stopped pacing the room and shut the door to dress, she was running out of time.
She prepared herself in her royal garment, grabbed the packet she received from Ram, and hid it so no one would see it. Taking a deep breath Miya opened the door and stepped towards the kitchen. While outside, she noticed the servants were working with much diligence. The rest of the royal house were still asleep as the sun was slowly showering his blessings on the grounds. The course of the wind was still rough and wild but the shining rays of the sun had faded the effect she’d experienced earlier. Savoring the scenery, Miya rushed towards the kitchen. She took large steps with a calm expression on her face so no one would suspect a thing from her.
One bad habit of the people of the palace, they tend to interrupt one another constantly. Miya could never become used to anyone inquiring about where she was going, what she was doing, or what she has done—all of these intrusions irritated her so much that she wanted to slap the ones who were questioning her right in the face. Alas, she was unable to do so, as Guruji had strictly ordered her not to do anything reckless.
Entering the kitchen, Miya found a few maids who were preparing milk, sweets, and other stuff for breakfast. As Miya moved further in the kitchen all the servants turned around and bowed to her.
Miya nodded and waved her hand, signaling them all to exit the kitchen. With haste, she roamed and explored the area until all were out of sight. She went further in the kitchen where the milk was boiling in a large pot. Miya took some of the boiled milk in another small pot. In the milk pot, she added nuts, a pinch of turmeric, and the brown powder from the packet. Miya stirred the pot after a few minutes of boiling the milk. She then poured it in two glasses. The milk was hot with white steam tumbling up from the glasses. She carefully kept the glasses on the big round gold plate for serving. Miya rushed to the back of the kitchen to a large rack and hid the packet inside one of the boxes of spices.
Out of breath, she wiped the sweat from her brow, and left the kitchen carrying the tray in her hands.
The milk had a deep yellow color with some white substance in each of them. With a glint of hope, Miya glanced at the two glasses, which held the promise of success for her plans.
“Rajkumari Miya…” a sweet voice filled Miya’s ear.
Kiara was standing in front of her. A cunning smile spread across Kiara’s face. She glanced at Miya and her eyes landed on Miya’s feet which were treated last night by Ram.
Kiara smirked. “Good morning, Rajkumari. How are your feet now?” she played with the bangles on her arm so she could show Miya the love bites from Maharaja. “I thought to meet you and get to know about your health. But his highness summoned me. You know how to please him and like you, I don’t know different means to say no to him. He was really very upset after you left. It took me a while to cheer him up but it was all worth it…” Kiara showed the marks at different parts of her body, neck, collarbone.
Miya slowly sighed and started walking from the other side.
But Kiara stopped her path. “Ah, Rajkumari Miya, I'd like to say thank you.”
Miya arched an eyebrow. “Why?”
Kiara beamed. “For not spending time with my lord. For the past few days, I was struggling to attract my lord’s attention. It’s been a while since I have last seen his face. It’s so hard to please him. Because whenever he is sad or upset, he always chooses to disregard his other 400 wives. There are many who have never seen my lord’s face or never spend time with him more than once. I'm one of those lucky Rajkumaries who get to see and spend time with my lord.”
“I’m going.” Miya took a step forward.
Kiara interrupted her, “Rajkumari, I'm not done yet. There’s one more thing I need to say to you…keep up the good work. I mean I know you like to keep my lord on pins and needles. You like to say no to him and keep him waiting, keep doing that because of you we can spend some more time with him. Apart from you, he had spent those three days with Rajkumari Saundarya. I was shattered when I found it out. Now, I’m alive again. Thank you so much.” Kiara moved to hug her.
“Ah, be careful.” Miya shot her glance at the glasses she was carrying.
“Sorry.” Kiara rubbed her nose. “What’s this, Rajkumari?” Kiara picked up a glass from the tray. “Turmeric milk.” Kiara tried to take a sip from the glass but Miya took the glass back and put it back on the tray.
“Don’t drink it!” Miya warned.
“Because it’s for a ritual not for you. If you tried to drink it you’ll get lots of acne on your pretty face and I don’t want my sweet Kiara’s face to get ruined. It’s for old people not for young and beautiful, my dear.” Miya said.
“Is that so?”
Miya nodded. “But if you want to try it...” Miya pushed the tray towards Kiara, “then go ahead and see for yourself. I’m not going to stop you.”
Kiara shook her head vigorously as she took a step back. “N-no, I'm fine. You carry on. I have to bring breakfast to Maharaja. Bye.” Kiara turned around and quickly departed.
Miya took a sigh of relief. She quietly whispered, “Thank you, God, if she had taken this drink then I wouldn’t be able to save her. This is only for my lord and no one else.”
Calming her beating heart from crashing against her rib cage, Miya meandered over to Maharaja’s chambers. As she crossed the steep hallway, Miya was impeded by the guards who were assigned to Maharaja’s chamber.
“Pardon us Rajkumari.” The guards bowed their heads and one of them opened his mouth. “Your highness has ordered us not to allow you to enter. He said for you to go back to your chambers as all your efforts will be wasted.”
Miya glared at the guards. “Oh, really. You will try to stop me?”
The guards lowered their heads.
The other guard responded, “Forgive us, Rajkumari. We have no intention of not following your orders. Please excuse us, but we are bound by Maharaja's orders, and if we don’t follow the orders given by him. We’ll be punished.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Miya said, reassuring them. “You’ll not be punished. Just do as I say. One of you go to Rajkumari Saundarya and tell her that I sent you. She’ll guide you. The other one, make sure that no one enters here until I come out. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Rajkumari.” Both of them said in unison and left their post to fulfill their duties.
Miya entered Maharaja’s chamber. The room was quiet and in the corner, Maharaja was polishing his sword. She put the tray onto the side table and moved towards him.
Miya paused in her tracks from the sternness of Maharaja’s command.
“Who told you to come here? Those stupid guards only know how to eat and fart.”
Miya opened her mouth to speak, “Ah-huh…”
“Don’t you dare say a word. Go away before my sword loses control and removes your head from your body.”
“Cut my head. Who stopped you from doing that? You are Maharaja, the owner of this palace. No one would dare to not follow your orders. I have to make my heart strong to fulfill my aim. A mission to apologize for my behavior and doing. I committed a grave sin last night. I had asked you to do something that no one can think of telling you to do in their dreams.” Miya sighed for a moment. She glanced at her husband whose attention was now at Miya’s words as he had paused from wiping his sword.
Miya sniffed. “I don’t know what happened to me last night. I should have never done that. It doesn’t suit a Maharaja like you to do this pity thing. God will never forgive me for what I have done. Though, I can try to ask for forgiveness from my lord who is in front of me.”
Miya dropped to her knees with her head bowed. “I know there is no forgiveness for me. It is for you to decide what’s the best punishment for me. I only want to tell you that I’m ready for any punishment and as an apology, I’d like to present myself—my body to you. It’s yours, my lord. You can do anything as you wish.”
“Quiet…” Maharaja interrupted Miya. “You have said enough. It’s unusual for you to speak like that.” Maharaja turned around and glared at Miya. “It’s odd to see such a strong woman can bow her head like that.”
“That’s because I have realized my wrongdoing.”
Maharaja laughed, nodding his head. “Now, do you understand what happens when you step outside your boundaries? You’ve forgotten your boundaries for some time. I was disappointed with your reckless behavior.” Maharaja took a deep breath. He continued, “No worries. You’ll be punished for your deeds. What punishment will it be? I’ll decide later. For now, why don’t you make up for some of those behaviors? Maybe your punishment will be lightened.”
“I’m ready. As you say, I'll do anything.” Miya agreed.
“Very well. I know you’re a smart woman. The only problem is that you had deviated from your path. Everything will be fine now. Get up and show me how you can make up to me.”
Miya stood to her feet in front of Maharaja. Her head remained on the ground as she responded, “Before I proceed. I need your permission to give you something.”
Maharaja put his hand forward as if in agreement. Miya walked over to the table and picked up the tray she was carrying from the kitchen. She went towards Maharaja who was sitting on the edge of the bed shaking his legs playfully.
“What’s that?” Maharaja furrowed his brow.
“It’s a drink that I have prepared for you. In other words, it’s an apology drink made with haldi, milk, saffron, elaichi, meve... It will help you to relax and also boost up your energy.” Miya gave him a wink.
Flustered, Maharaja took up the glass and glared at Miya. “Alright, there’s no need for it. I’m only drinking to calm myself down. Don’t take it the other way.”
Miya shrugged. “I didn't, you’re the only one who is talking.”
Maharaja finished the drink in one gulp and put the glass on the tray. He made a sour face. “Take it away. I’m not going to drink another.”
Miya asked, “Did you not like it?”
“It’s horrible. Throw it away.”
With a slight smile on her face, Miya exited the chamber. As she left out, a smirk appeared on her face. She muttered, “One is more than enough for you.”
Miya chuckled and went out of the hall. Suddenly an image struck in her mind which made her pause. Miya turned around and headed back to Maharaja’s chamber. She moved in closer and peered inside to the sounds of Maharaja struggling to breathe. His face had turned yellow and pale. His body was crumbling like paper. Loose muscles and wrinkled skin replaced his once well-toned muscular body. Miya stood over Maharaja beaming, as she watched his body transform into a hideous mess.
Maharaja was struggling to speak, but his voice was inaudible. His breath became laboured as his life drew to an end. As Maharaja's condition continued to worsen, Miya decided it was best to return to her chambers and wait to receive the good news.
Miya hurried out of her dying husband’s chambers. Upon her trip back to her room, she glanced at the tray she was carrying. One full glass of the milk was left. It would be a shame if this fell into the wrong hands. She decided to get rid of it. Entering her room, Miya threw the remaining turmeric milk in the plants, and ordered the servant to return the tray back in the kitchen.
Miya sighed and flopped on the bed. “Whoa, that was a good start,”
She wiped the sweat from her forehead which dampened her hair, and closed her eyes. Miya was about to fall into a deep slumber, when the attendant’s voice disturbed her.
“What happened?” Miya asked, her eyes remaining shut.
“I apologize to disturb you, Rajkumari,” the attendant was bowing deeply. “B-but we…” she sniffled loudly.
Miya opened her eyes and glared at the attendant who was sobbing out of control.
“Stop crying and open up your mouth,” Miya ordered.
The attendant continued wailing and rubbing her nose. She wiped her eyes while speaking, “Uhh, you don’t know what’s happening? There's a lot of chaos, everyone’s so tense. The whole palace is upside down. Everything’s ruined...” The attendant resumed her crying.
Miya’s chamber was at the corner of the East Wing of the palace, away from all the commotion and fuss. She was not surprised if she hadn't heard anything. Miya sat down. “Just tell me straight, what’s the matter?”
Before the attendant could utter a word. A small troop of soldiers entered Miya’s room blocking the entrance. They pointed their spears at her.
An icy shiver ran down Miya’s back. With a calm expression, she asked, “What’s the meaning of this?”
“It’s Queen Cauvery’s order. We are here to arrest you and bring you as a prisoner in front of her.” the soldier said.
Miya climbed down from the bed. “Don’t come any closer.”
“Heh, look who’s speaking, the murderer.”
The attendants and guards dropped to their knees, with the exception of Miya, who frowned when coming face to face with Cauvery.
“Who are you calling a murderer?” Miya squinted.
Cauvery smiled. “You’re so innocent, my dear.” She pointed at the soldiers. “All of these are just here to take you. See how important you are.”
Cauvery turned her gaze towards the soldiers. “You silly logs, have you decided to remain like this for the rest of your lives? Move your legs and capture Miya. I swear to God. I’m going to give her 1000 times more pain than what she had given me.”
Cauvery interrupted Miya, “Don’t you dare, open your mouth in front of me. I know what you have done.”
Two soldiers captured Miya and tied her with chains.
“I have done nothing wrong,” Miya whispered.
Cauvery laughed loudly. “I'm sure you didn’t know what you have done, my dear. You sweet innocent girl. How can you do anything?” She whirled on her heels and waved with her hand to follow her.
Reluctantly, Miya followed Cauvery. Even though she was tied, Miya's face showed no sign of fear. Soon, they reached Maharaja’s chambers. It was crowded outside with the servants, attendants, more guards and Maharaja’s other wives. Terror shown on their faces as they whispered among themselves.
As Miya passed them, they all took a step behind and bowed their heads, while trembling in their shoes. Moving further in the hall, two bodies laid on the ground, beaten to near death. They were the guards of Maharaja’s chamber. Tears rolled down Miya’s cheek.
Cauvery turned to face Miya and walked towards her.
“Oh, our little girl is crying,” Cauvery said with a sinister grin. She slowly wiped the tears from Miya’s face. “See, these two didn’t follow the orders. As per Maharaja’s rules if someone refused or didn't follow the orders, then there is the only punishment for that person, and that is death. I guess you know about this, don’t you, dear?”
Miya glared at Cauvery. “The punishment can only be given by Maharaja. Who are you to give punishments to anyone? You’re the one who is not following his orders.”
Cauvery smirked. “The murderer is talking about the rules. I wouldn’t preach about the rules if I were in your place?”
“I still don’t know what you are talking about,” Miya uttered.
Cauvery gave a light pat on Miya's shoulder and turned around to resume her trek down the corridor.
As they approached Maharaja’s room, the air around them became tense and dry. Miya’s heart rattled in her ribcage. She knew what was coming next at no cost, she will bow her head...at least not in front of Cauvery.
A multitude of guards stood in the steep hallway that led to Maharaja's chamber. The guards bowed in front of Cauvery, but when Miya passed through them, they stood still. Few of the guards had slight smiles on their faces. Miya could hear the sounds of beating chests, crying, and wailing. The commotion was giving her a massive headache.
The soldiers behind Miya pushed her onto the floor. She was shocked by the harsh treatment. She crept her head up slow to see Kiara, Saundarya, and Rajmata in the room staring their cold eyes at her. Miya’s eyes soon were diverted over to Maharaja's dead body, which was nothing more than his skeleton wearing his royal jewels and clothes.
“Do you see the bones in front of you? That was our king this morning and now only his bones are left. You have killed our protector!” Cauvery shouted.
“Miya...” Saundarya spoke.
Cauvery interrupted, “No, dear sister. She will kill you too. Don’t talk to her.”
“But...” Saundarya tried to argue.
Cauvery shook her head. “You can’t. I’ve already shown you the proof. She will just make you dirty and filthy like her. Bhagwan knows what she does in the middle of the night roaming in the palace like an intruder. I’ve seen it myself and tried to ask her but she brushed me off.”
She moved closer towards Miya. She took the sword from one of the guards and pointed it at Miya. “It will be better if I finish her off now. I don’t want any more impure creatures like her.”
“Wait!” Rajmata stood to her feet and she gave a hard glare at Miya. Her soft kind face was showing more wrinkles than it used to. Her eyes had lost their shine. She struggled to speak to Miya, instead settled her gaze on Cauvery.
“We will execute her tonight in front of the public. She had eaten my son. Killing her off like this will do no good.”
Cauvery gave a grin and nodded. “Leave it to me, Rajmata. I’ll do all the preparations and you’ll be happy to know her death will be devastating as you wanted for your son’s murderer.”
Rajmata blinked and gestured to take Miya away from her sight. The soldiers threw a blindfold around Miya’s eyes, placed a gag in her mouth, and hauled her away.
“Uh...” Miya tried to open her mouth to speak but all that came out was some little muffled noises. She was unable to open her eyes; all she saw was darkness and blackness all around her. Miya grappled her hands and legs but was unable to move as she wished. The clinking of chains tied around her hands and legs were cold to the touch. Miya did all she could to think of a way out, until, in a matter of seconds, she heard her name being called.
“Miya…” the voice rang in her head.
Relief washed over Miya’s body. In a haste, she answered back in her mind.
“Thank God, Miya. You answered. I was calling you since forever. Where are you?” Ram’s voice broke, it was filled with worry.
“They captured me, Ram.” Miya said, her voice cracking as she spoke.
“What, why, how did it happen?”
“I was so tired after finishing up the work and I fell asleep. Now, they are going to kill me in front of all the people.”
Ram sighed. “You can’t control yourself for a little while? It’s already evening. They are going to punish you anytime soon.” Ram paused for a moment, then he continued, “Guruji will kill me when he finds out about this. I’m coming to take you with me.”
“Just stay where you are. I’ll be there on my own.”
“No way!” Ram shouted.
“Don’t shout!” Miya shouted back.
“Sorry, but not sorry.”
“Shut up, you can’t risk your life because of me. I’ll come there, as I promised.” Miya held her breath when footsteps from the guards approached her cell. “Someone is coming here. I’ll talk to you later.”
“I think what Rajkumari Miya has done is all for our good.” A hoarse voice echoed in the room.
“What do you think?” the man asked his companion.
After a few moments of silence, the other person spoke up. His voice was shrill and high-pitched. “I guess you are right, Maharaja was very cruel. Actually, I didn’t like the way he treated us. Maybe he deserved this.”
“Uh-huh, but I pity Rajkumari. She will get a very cruel death. She should have ran away and not meddled herself in this affair.”
“Rajkumari might be angry with him and she just did it on a whim. Remember last night, how her feet were bleeding, everyone was talking about that. He might have beaten Rajkumari or treated her poorly. That’s why she killed him.”
“Who knows what might have happened with those two. Anyway, we just have to do our duty. Take Rajkumari out on the platform. Lots of people have already gathered there.”
“You’re right.” the man said agreeing with his partner.
The guards freed Miya from the chains. With great effort, both of them pulled her down from the poles from where she was hanging. Miya was still tied and blindfolded as she couldn't see or speak. The guards were pulling her with the ropes that were tied around her body.
Outside, the palace was filled with cheers. The guard removed the blindfold from Miya’s eyes. She squinted to adjust her eyes around to observe her surroundings. She stood in the middle of the crowd with Cauvery on her left who held a grin on her face.
The courtyard was filled with men, women, and children. In another area, Rajmata and the rest of the royal party sat tight-lipped, as they watched the event happening in front of them. Cauvery moved towards Miya and glanced at her for some time. She sighed and moved her attention towards the crowd.
Pointing at Miya, she said, “Here’s the culprit who has killed your beloved king. I was so shocked when I found out that my little sister will kill our dear husband. She has just made all of us orphans. What sin we have committed that she snatched our God from us? I don’t really know.”
“Traitor! Traitor! We want justice! Kill her?” the crowd shouted loudly. Some threw stones at Miya. One of the stones hit her head, blood fell from her wound and trailed down her face.
Cauvery raised her hand to silence them. “You’ll get justice. Be patient. We are going to give her what she deserves and much more than that. Can you see this in front of you?”
Cauvery pointed to the hanging rope which was flowing with the wind. “Cover her head with the cloth.”
The servant who stood nearby brought a large black cloth. He moved forward to wrap the cloth around Miya’s face.
Cauvery raised her hand to stop the servant, “Wait! Not like this. She’s still wearing royal clothes and murders are not worthy to even touch them. Remove them. NOW.”
Miya gulped hard. She looked around and her gaze stopped at Saundarya’s.
Saundarya returned a look at Miya, then quickly turned her head away.
The guards tore the clothes from Miya’s body exposing her nakedness in front of the whole kingdom. The cold air caused her to shiver, it was hard for Miya to even breathe.
The men in the crowd raked their eyes boldly over at Miya. Some were whistling and cheering.
Cauvery beamed when there was not a piece of cloth left to cover Miya. “Mmm, that looks good. I’ve another gift for you, my dear.”
The maid who once served, Miya brought two hot iron rods. She bowed and handed the rods over to Cauvery.
Cauvery took the rods and went over to Miya. Without a word, Cauvery pushed the two rods into Miya’s eye.
Miya jolted back and cried in pain, but the guards tightly held her arms, she was unable to move from their grip. An intense pain was burning through her eyes. Cauvery moved back and removed the rods. Miya’s eyes were searing in pain and burnt shut —she couldn't see a thing.
“Hang her,” Cauvery commanded. “But don’t remove the stool until her whole body meets with her two friends.” She took several steps back.
The cloth was wrapped around Miya’s face as she was forced to stand on the stool. The rope was hung around her; there was a snug pull causing Miya to gag.
Miya squirmed at the touch of cold hands moving around her breasts and the hot iron rod was incinerating her thighs. She wanted to shout and fight but she couldn’t do a thing. The pain rushed on the spots where she was being touched. Again and again, she was molested by strange hands and tortured with the rod under her thigh, on her breasts, neck, and other parts of her body.
The process continued until all her parts of the body were touched with filthy hands and singed from the rod. Miya’s body ached with excruciating pain; she doesn't know how long it continued. Thinking about Guruji, she broke out of her trance when she heard Cauvery’s voice.
“My dear, I hope you enjoyed your gifts. Happy journey to heaven. I advise you to say sorry to your husband when you meet him there. Good luck!”
Rajmata quietly said, “Kill her.”
A second later, the stool was removed and Miya’s naked body hung swinging in the air.
In the lands of Ratnapura, a few miles away from the palace. A boy of middle height and a thin figure was pacing on the green lands.
In the palace where the cheering, shouting, and celebration were going on after Miya was killed, the boy on the other side was worriedly wearing his legs out over Miya.
Ram stopped. He gritted his teeth and looked back at his Guruji who was in the Dhyana Mudra sitting near the big banyan tree. Ram wanted to ask about Miya again from Guruji but he was scared that Guruji would become mad at him. Ram clenched his fists. He was angry with himself. If he had studied thoroughly, he would have helped his friend long ago. Because of his carelessness, he was walking here like a fool. More than that, he should have understood that it’s not easy to run away alone when the palace is filled with only enemies. It was his fault that he left Miya in between that Rakshas. If only he wouldn’t have listened to Miya, there might have been a different fate for her.
“Don’t blame anything on fate.”
“How can you remain so calm, Guruji? Those savages had killed your favorite student.”
Ram’s blood was boiling.
“That was supposed to happen, Ram. It was the destiny that Miya had to face no matter what.”
“What? Losing your eyes and respect in front of thousands and...this type of death...who deserves this type of death. Not even your enemies deserve that. She was a woman, Guruji.”
“You can’t change anyone's fate, Ram. Look, there.” Guruji pointed out towards the farm. From there, an eight-year-old girl was running as fast as her little legs could carry her, towards Guruji’s ashram.
“Did something happen, Guruji?”
Guruji shook his head. He took his kamandal in his hands, he stood to his feet, and walked towards Ram. The little girl came closer towards them. She bent down and touched Guruji's feet.
“Ayushman bhava!” Guruji said in a gentle voice.
The girl waved at Ram and he waved back.
Surprised, Ram looked at Guruji. “That’s not true, isn’t it?”
“Your eyes are not fooling you.”
“Who do you expect?” the girl glared at Ram.
“Oh, Miya... I’m so happy you’re back.” Ram hugged Miya tightly.
Miya beamed with a smile. “I was only away for a few hours.”
Ram glanced Miya up and down. “Hmm, I can see that. But how did this happen because I know Miya can’t do this on her own?”
“I did that, the body is of someone else but the soul is of Miya. Now, she can start a new life with a new aim and a new name.”
Miya nodded with a smile. “A goal to take revenge from my murderers.”
“Again with revenge. Do you want to spend all your lives taking revenge? This cycle will not stop, Miya. Every day, you will find someone to take revenge. Focus on your energy. I haven’t given you this body to take revenge. You’ve already taken one for your kingdom and family. Now, is the time to use what I have taught you to bring happiness to this world. Remove suffering, help those who need help, and make full use of this human body. You can do great things all you have to do is forget whatever happened to you. If you do that, I’m sure you will enjoy your life.”
Miya took a deep breath and nodded. “You’re right. I’ll try to forget everything that happened and follow your advice, Guruji. Bless me, Guruji so I can walk without any other thought on your path.” Miya touched Guruji’s feet again.
Guruji put out his hand and smiled. “May God give you the strength to make better use of your human life.”