Jungli Billi aur uska Halkat
Manyata sighed in content as the fresh breeze worked wonders on her steely nerves. Birds chirped around her as she gazed at the beautiful palace standing in all it's glory,with sunrays peeking in through the windows. She looked around carressing a leave with gentle hands, it was peaceful here, and she liked that. For a moment her heart wished she was like the birds with wings that would give her free flight. She would be away from the shackles of the world, from the burden of being a royal. She frowned at her course of thoughts and immediately corrected herself. You are Muniya, not a Royal, not a Princess.
'Wrong you are Manyata, Princess Manyata' said a voice inside her. She desperately tried to shrug it off, time and again she had tried to prove it to them as to how different she was. Even if she had the blood of a royal running in her, she could never be one. She would not be one, that was it. She took a deep breath and swayed her legs a little as fresh breeze tickled her skin, making her smile. She shrugged off all her concerns and caressed the leaves once again.
UdayVeer sighed in relief as he spotted Princess Manyata from the window of her room, she was sitting at a tree branch in the lawn area. A smile graced his arrogant face as he witnessed her smiling self, here the entire palace was in search of her and she sat at the tree branch enjoying the weather.
Uday sent one of the servants with the good news of having found Manyata with the assurance that he would take care of her, he didn't want DS to worry any further.
Manyata's smile died as she spotted UdayVeer making his way towards her with his arrogant smirk intact.
'Princess Manyata sab apke liye bohut pareshan ho gaye the' he said in a serious tone. Even he had been worried, but he would never admit it to anyone let alone Manyata.
'Yeh achha hai!' Manyata retorted 'Pehle dil dukhao, phir pareshan hoke aur dil dukhao, Haan nahin tou'
'Princess come down first' Uday requested.
'Mujhey yahan achha lag raha hai, tu ja yahan se'
Uday sighed and kept his shoes, wallet and other expensive belongings by the trunk of the tree, while Manyata observed him with confusion written all over her face.
Uday smirked at her and started climbing his way up, Manyata huffed in annoyance at his intrusion into her not so peaceful moment anymore.
'Jungli Billi ke ghar main Rajkumar UdayVeer ka swagat hai' said Uday with a wide grin as he settled next to her.
'Jungli Billi! sahi hai tu bhi to kutte ki tarah sungta hua aa gaya mujhey pareshan karne'
Uday shifted closer to her with a grin which surprised Manyata, she shifted away and glared at him pointedly 'Door reh Halkat!' Uday's grin widened as he shifted closer, and before Manyata knew she had lost her balance. She closed her eyes preparing herself for the fall, instead of the hard ground she felt herself dangling in mid-air with a warm steely grip around her wrist, she opened her eyes to meet Uday's concerned gaze as he held her by the hand. He nodded asking her to climb back on. Manyata sighed in relief as she wrapped her arm around his neck for support and settled back at the tree branch next to him. Once she gained her balance she immediately let go of him, surprised at the fluttering butterflies in her stomach.
'Rajkumari Manyata' Uday began in a serious tone 'Aap theek to hain?'
She nodded despite herself. She was not fine, no she was miserable. She felt miserable- For having hurt Mataji, her entire family for who she was, Unnati by not accepting her gifts, Akash for not being able to come when his mother needed to see her the most. His ailing mother's last wish.
As Manyata drowned in her own misery, Uday didn't miss the emotional turmoil his princess was going through. 'Aapka dil kisne dukhaya Princess?' he asked deeply concerned.
Manyata sighed, why? why? why? Why him bhagwan? The last person she wanted to talk about everything was him.
'Hume pata hai' he replied his arrogance back in form on not getting an answer. He was surprised at himself for softening towards her. He wasn't welcomed here, and he UdayVeer wasn't one to force himself on others. He went back to being his arrogant self as he replied in a cold tone ready to leave 'Hum apki help karte lekin ab-'
Manyata perked up at his words, he was leaving she could sense it. For some reason she didn't want him to leave. She knew he wouldn't help her, but he had truly lend a consoling hand towards her, atleast he had asked why she was upset and she knew that if Uday left, she would have no one to talk to about the situation 'Main Mataji ko pareshan nahin karna chahte thi' she confessed sincerely placing her hand on top of his to stop him from leaving 'Unhonne mana kiya kamre se nikalne keliye, maine saza maanli, ek baar bhi nahin nikli kal se, lekin ab woh mujhe Akash ki ma se bhi milne nahin de rahi, dam ghut raha tha mera isliye bahar aagayi'
Uday nodded well aware that Manyata had wanted to meet Akash's ailing mother to which DS had refused, that explained the sudden excursion from her room to this tree.
'Shayad apko pata nahin hai princess, lekin Rajmata ne Akash ke ghar main doctor aur ek nurse ko bheja hai, unhen apki khushi ki itni qadr hai'
Manyata was shocked at learning this from Uday, she felt overwhelmed at Mataji's warm gesture and concern.
'Mujhey unse maafi mangni chahiye' Manyata sighed feeling bad, once again wondering how miserable she had been to everyone. 'Main..Main Akash ko janti hoon, agar uski Ma ko kuch hogaya, unki aakhri ichha-'
'Princess hum apko Akash ki Ma se milne le chalenge, lekin apko humse ek vaada karna hoga'
Manyata held her breath as she wondered what Uday had just said, she looked at him to make sure he had actually said that rather than her imagining it all.
'Tu le jayega?Mujhey? Akash ke yahan?' she asked in disbelief.
Uday nodded 'Par apko humse ek vaada karna hoga'
'Kya?' Manyata asked hanging onto his every word, she badly wanted to see Akash's mother, she wanted Akash to be able to fulfill his mother's last wish else she knew he would regret it all his life.
'Unse milne ke baad, aap RajMata aur is ghar ko apna lengey, Princess Manyata naam ko accept karengey'
Manyata frowned as she mused over his words. 'Mataji naraz nahin hongi tujhse?' she asked surprising him.
'Unhen pata chalega to' Uday winked in response.
Manyata gaped at him, Was she going to do this? she wondered to herself. It was important for her to meet Akash's mother, but Mataji's happiness was equally important to her.
'Tu lejayega mujhey' Manyata said aloud once again in deep wonder.
Uday smiled and climbed down the tree, holding out his hand to her. 'Chale Princess?' he asked.
Manyata stared at his hand and then back at him, trusting him she nodded in affirmative and climbed down the tree herself. Uday chuckled inwardly as he took his hand back, no she didn't need any help, not in this regard atleast and he loved that about her.
The drive to Akash's place had been annoying for Uday, Manyata hadn't remain quiet even for once, wondering aloud about Mataji finding out about their excursion and it's repercussions or how was Akash's ailing mother was coping up. For both Uday didn't give a damn, an easy lie would get him out from any sticky spot, he was well-versed with all kind of situations.
He sneered as he stopped his car infront of Akash's so-called house, Manyata had rushed out as soon as the car had come to a halt. Uday was in second thoughts regarding getting Manyata here, all of a sudden he didn't want her to be here, didn't want to fulfill his promise, drag her back to the Palace and shun Akash away from their lives. In his concern for Manyata's happiness he had forgotten what he was doing. He was taking his to-be-wife to her Lover's house. What the Hell!
He followed her inside, and tried to work on his nerves as Akash cried out her name in a soft caress, Muniya they both stepped towards each other but Akash stopped abruptly and so did Manyata leaving a wide gap between them, distance both of them were afraid to travel.
'Princess Manyata' Akash murmured stepping back bowing slightly. Uday smirked at Akash's actions, all concern left him as he stepped next to Manyata. Akash as he had already guessed was a loser. He would never be able to manage the guts to fight the Royals and claim what he called his love.
'Main Maji se milne aayi hoon' Manyata replied seething in anger as Akash referred to her as Princess Manyata, she turned away from him rushing towards the ailing lady's sickbed.
Uday stared at Akash who didn't have the guts to even look up. He turned his attention to Manyata and cringed at her closeness with the old lady.
'Princess Manyata, she is sick, hum nahin chahte ki aap bimar ho jaye' he voiced his concern.
'Kuch nahin hoga mujhey' Manyata replied as she turned her attention back to what the lady was saying. As he gathered the old lady's words anger stabbed through him.
Akash ka Khayal rakhna, woh tujhse pyaar karta hai, use mat chhod.
Uday glared at Akash who stood flushed in embarassment. He clenched his fists trying to control his temper as he shifted not knowing what could he do. Manyata may even refuse to go back with him, would he really have to force her back to the Palace?
Manyata surprised Uday as she turned towards the doctor assigned, ignoring the old lady's words. 'Yeh theek to ho jaengi na?' she asked with concern evident in her voice.
'Hamari koshish yahi hai Rajkumari Manyata' the doctor replied kindly.
'Princess hume ghar chalna chahiye' UdayVeer suggested, knowing well they couldn't stay out for long, or else their absence would be felt back at the Palace.
Manyata nodded in response as she bid the old lady goodbye and turned away from the sickbed facing Akash.
'Doctor aur nurse Mataji ne bheje hain, yeh Ma ka khayal rakhengey'
'Dhanyavaad' Akash murmured 'Lekin iski zaroorat nahin thi'
Manyata sensed anger in his words, she grabbed his arm and pulled him alongside, Uday followed once again surprised at her actions. He shook his head trying to figure out this girl, she surprised him - Everytime!
Once outside Manyata glanced at Uday and then back at Akash.
'Is baat ka jawaab kaise doon? Bata' she demanded unleashing her fury at him. 'Muniya ki tarah do haath laga ke ya Rajkumari Manyata banke hukum deke?'
Akash glanced at her helplessly and then gave a furtive glance towards UdayVeer, expressing his helplessness to her.
'Main hi pagal hoon jo sabko pareshan kar rahi hoon mahal main, tum logon ne to Munya ko maar hi dala. Agar tum logon ke liye main Rajkumari hoon, to woh log jo mujhey apna maante hain, unse main kyun ladun? Itne saal mera intezaar kiya, mujhey, muniya ko jhela. Lekin tum log, itne saal mere saath rehkar bhi kuch hi din main mujhey paraya kar diya'
'Manyata chale yahaan se' Uday muttered annoyed as angry tears streamed down her face.
Akash sighed as he witnessed Uday and Manyata drive past the lane. It was only right to let Muniya free so that she could embrace her life as Princess Manyata, the only thing that would hold her back would be her friends and him, as she herself had admitted, when they had let her go, whom was she supposed to hold on for? It was only right. And anyways he had witnessed Uday's concern for Manyata. Bringing her here, asking her to distance herself from his ailing mother, Akash knew that UdayVeer could take care of Manyata's happiness, her wishes, her dreams much better than him.
The drive back to the Palace was a silent one between Manyata and UdayVeer. As the car came to a halt, Manyata glanced at Uday and waited for him to say something, when he didn't she decided to speak up first.
'Dhanyavaad' she said softly.
'Princess apko humse kiya hua vaada to yaad hoga' Uday said as he fixed his gaze at the main entrance.
Manyata went rigid in her place as she glanced at her hands. She had been thinking about it all the way back.
Uday got off the car heaving a sigh as he stepped towards her side swinging open the door for his Princess.
She nervously glanced at him, and carefully stepped out. 'Hume yaad hai' she murmured seeking approval of her words and mannerism.
Uday smiled and bowed towards her slightly as he whispered in her ears. 'Princess Manyata naam ko accept karne ka vaada, yeh kutta kameena apni Jungli billi ko khona nahin chahta'
Manyata's eyes filled with wonder as she grinned wide. As Uday smirked back at her she felt her face growing warm as tears stung her eyes. She blinked them away laughing softly as Uday continued to flash his stupid signature smirk. 'Halkat!' she said shaking her head, 'Jungli billi' teased Uday as the two of them stepped inside the RajMahal. An elated and content RajMata having witnessed her gems getting along so well closed the window to her room and turned away with joy dripping from her face as she rushed to greet her grand-daughter Princess Manyata.
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