Joined: 08 April 2014
Joined: 08 April 2014
Update- Part 21
Stunned into the revelation; he smirked before yanking her to him. "Go and get ready for the Jashn, now.."
He was hurt. She was hurt, too. The only difference was he couldn't show it, he couldn't afford to break her heart more than he already had. "I am NOT Going anywhere.." She shouted, her voice loud enough for the guards to hear, as they peeked in, earning a death glare from the Shahenshah of Hindustan.
Incensed, he banged his lips against her, shutting her
up. She let out a cry of angst at his sudden, unwanted touch. Pushing him off
as she hit his chest, she bit on his lips fiercely. He groaned, pulling back,
and as he wiped off his lips, he could easily identify the liquid flowing
through his upper lip.
"I hate you..." She whispered, her soul broken, and before he could apologise, she vanished, storming off to her chambers.
"What have I done?" He thought, mortified, "I... I need to apologize to her, now.." With determination in his eyes, and confidence in his gait, he followed her, silently.
"He's the worst person ever... I hate him.. I hate him.." Once back in the safe confines of her chambers, she broke down. The events had taken a toll on her. Her abdomen bled profusely, minor gashes on her arms and cheeks leaking. But that didn't give her the pain her heart cried for, it was the pain he'd given her.
She'd begun to trust him, willing to understand him, and
then, all of a sudden, he trampled her feelings, for a moment she felt if his
love' was a lie, if it was something he'd made up just to win her over...Who
"Jodha, I was wondering what you will wear tonight-"
"Get out Moti, now!" She snapped, her eyes blood red, and in the darkness that prevailed, she looked murderous as Moti shivered.
"Is everything alright?" She quizzed. Never had she seen her this angry before.
"Get out, will you?" her shoulders were shaking, a terrible headache crowned her forehead as tears threatened to burst.
Sensing her not in a mood to talk, she walked out- she knew better than to go and comfort her when she would rather die than listening to her. What she did knew was, only one person could make her feel better, but she wasn't sure. Maybe some alone time was all her best friend needed now. Yes, she sighed, deciding not to breach her privacy as she went off to do some chores.
Peeking in, his heart shuddered at the sight- she looked worse than she had when she was unconscious back when he was divorcing her, and why shouldn't she? He'd given her a reason to doubt his love for her, and he knew it was devastating for her.
"I'm sorry.." He mouthed, but she didn't listen. She hadn't felt his presence like she normally did. She hadn't jumped into his arms like she would do. She hadn't kissed his cheeks, a symbol of her love. Heck, she hadn't done anything to make him believe she was the same Jodha he'd loved, and he couldn't blame her.
He grabbed her arm softly, turning her to him, letting his forehead rest against hers, but what he received was unexpected, a slap. A tight slap.
Her eyes widened in shock, fear, anger, insult and maybe
a bit guilt too, he thought. "I..I didn't mean to hurt you Jod-"
But he couldn't continue, as the words that would hurt him the most slipped out of her mouth. "I don't know you.."
He looked away; how could he cry in front of her? And before he could say something to calm her, she grabbed his face, her eyes swollen.
"You never loved me, right? It was an attraction for you, just a spark.. Why did you play with me? Why?" She felt herself giving up, tears replacing her words as they ceased to continue.
At that moment, his heart stopped beating.
She was doubting him.
She was doubting his love..
Maybe he should've told her..
Maybe, in a bid to protect her from pain he'd caused more of it to her..
What has he done?
"I..I love you.." His throat protested, his lids shut tightly lest the glimpse of his broken heart reaches her.
"Who are you, a stranger to me?! I always thought that
maybe I should give this marriage a chance, that you love me, that WE.." She
spat, her brown eyes raging. His heart broke at the disgust her voice held as
she said we', and she continued, "that WE deserve a chance.. I was so wrong.."
"Jodha.. Lis..Listen to me.."
"I need not, Shahenshah E Hind, remember some time back you said you'll divorce me? You said that here, in my room.. You broke my heart then, and you've done that again.. People like you can never change.."
"I am sorry.." He cried, but only if she was listening
"But now I don't care. I've grown used to heartbreaks,
and frankly, I'll choose them instead of a fake relationship.."
She called their relationship fake..
He'd lost her trust, forever..
He wouldn't be able to get her back
She would never come to him..
He.. He had lost her.
He'd lost his life...
"I love you Jodha, I always have and I always will.. I am
sorry if it seems to be the other way around to you.. I am sorry that I hid the
reason of my pain from you.. I am sorry if you thought I don't trust us, or
you.. I don't want to hurt you... I can't.."
"Stop playing Shahenshah, please.. I don't care if you are sorry or not, you've lost my respect forever and nothing can change that.."
He stepped back, he'd lost her, forever. Like he wanted, she won't come to him, bugging and angering him with her endless queries about his distress. Heck, she won't come to him for anything at all. He'd succeeded, but he couldn't feel good about it. On the contrary, he felt lost. Broken, and devastated.
"Ruqaiyya loves me.." He whispered, his pain evident from red shot eyes and parched throat; but something within him urged him to continue, to justify his stance. As if that would win her back.
At that, she had to glance up at him. Was that the reason of his beastly behaviour? Is Ruqaiyya behind his stress? "Congratulations Shahenshah, you've finally got someone your level.. My heartiest congratulations to you.." She retorted, and before he could reply, she pointed straight to the door, as if asking him to leave.
"Its enough for the day, I want to sleep now, you may
She'd never hurt him as much as she had today. HE had never hurt her as much as he had done today. They both had crossed their limits, and for once, she wasn't the one who was regretting.
"I am sorry, Jodha.." His hand touched her cheeks, and before she could react to the sudden, unexpected touch, he pulled back. He'd lost all rights to touch her, and something told him to not hurt her now. That she couldn't handle more than what he'd already caused her.
"I don't care, please.." Her eyes shut; she felt a part of her, no, everything in her breaking as she said that, but it was necessary. For him. And for her own sanity.
With a final glance, as if bidding her good-bye, he left her, leaving her all on her own.
That night, she sobbed and cried till her exhausted body fell back on bed, but that wasn't enough. She dreamt of dark brown orbs, strangely familiar to her, glaring at her, following her every step as she ran, straight and fast, to get out of the oblivion, of the darkness..
The celebrations, were called off on the pretext of Shahenshah E Hind being ill. He woke up the next day, groggy and sucked out of the energy till the last drop. The first thing his ears took in were the gossip that'd begun making rounds in his harem.
"I saw Jodha begum crying in her chambers.. Shahenshah was trying to comfort her, and instead of willingly giving in to him, she insulted him!" Gossiped one,
"That's unbelievable! Jodha begum and not obeying shahenshah, didn't she love him?" Gasped the other
"Oh no.. They looked like they had a fight. She slapped him!! Only I know how I controlled myself from slapping that stupid idiot girl.." Seethed the first one, unbeknown to a pair of ears that'd turned due to anger, taking in every word of hers.
"So you had trouble controlling yourself?" He hissed, his fist clenched.
Her breath stuck, she turned, silently hoping the voice she heard didn't belong to the person she guessed. And she was right.
"I...I.. pardon shahenshah.." She let her head hang loose,
but before he could say something, the foolish begum spoke, "But she is right
shahenshah, Jodha begum had insulted you, she deserves punishment for her
unforgivable sin. Slapping one's own husband?! That is a sin Allah would never
forgive her of."
The first one glared at her pal, almost asking her to shut up, but as if she was listening. It was her golden chance to shine, or so she thought, how could she let it slip away?"
"And NOT respecting your husband's privacy, isn't that a sin?" His voice dropped low, dangerous. "Why was she peeking in Jodha begum's chambers when I was there?" His gaze averted to the first begum, her head hung in shame, before returning it back to the young, fiery one.
"That is wrong, no doubt. But Jodha begum has no right to
raise her hand on you. I want her to be punished, it is immoral on a woman's
part to slap her husband."
"Why so? A husband can beat his wife and treat her like trash, and he can get away with it, but a woman can't.. why?" He questioned, his eyes darkened.
She shook her head, confused, before continuing "Because things work that way, one can't change the way of nature.. I will demand for her punishment in the Diwan E Khaas tomorrow." She affirmed, and when he didn't reply, she stormed off, leaving the first begum to bear his wrath on her own.
"You have exactly a day to get this thought out of her head, do it and you'll be free. Fail, and bear the consequences of insulting Malika E Hind and violating Shahenshah E Hind's privacy.." He let go of her arm that he'd gripped, and walked away, a pair of soft brown eyes scrutinizing his move.
He's a beast.. Jodha thought, her heart going out for the woman he'd just insulted. She couldn't make out what he'd told her, but was sensible enough to guess it was a threat- the poor lady looked terrified.
I can't believe I judged him so wrongly... I.. I thought he can change, that he is only misled.. I was so wrong..
I hate you, Shahenshah E Hind
"why can't you understand, Nigar begum? If we take this matter in the court, Shahenshah will have to punish her severely and to save face amongst his subjects, he might divorce her.. That can do us only good!" Naureen, the haughty begum who'd just picked a fight with Shahenshah, tried to explain her side to Nigar, the victim who'd first fallen prey to gossip, and then, to Shahenshah.
"He will NOT punish her at any costs, isn't that obvious?!" Shouted Nigar, "He loves her more than anything.. No one can get away with slapping Shahenshah E Hind, but she did.. doesn't that explain the power she has on shahenshah? Only I will suffer... Forget all this, please.. We are not taking this matter to Diwan E Khaas, we both will be punished.."
"What wrong have we done? Demanding for law to be followed? How can you be stupid enough to think he can frame us? All the ministers in the court, loathe that hindu begum, they are just looking for a chance to get her off the palace..If we give a rise to this incident, the other ministers will force shahenshah to take an action against her. She will be insulted and led out.. what do we want?"
"She is the Malika E Hind.. No one can raise voice against her.." She broke down, scared, the twenty four hours of life she'd got were slipping out like sand, and she couldn't convince her to leave this thought.
"Its worth a try, please.. If you are worried about the accusations he'll throw at you, I've thought about that.."
She paused, ensuring that she was all ears, before continuing "We can say you just happened to pass by and heard the sound of the slap, and that you were discussing it with me only so that we can take action against her.. Its believable.. Our ministers, are foolish.. All they need is a reason to kick her out, they will readily believe this story.. Please.."
"I.. I don't know.. I can't take the risk.." Nigar whispered
"You don't have to, I will do the talking.. all you have to do would just say yes.. please..." Her eyes gleamed, and when she finally nodded, she knew the next person to consult..
Naureen had discussed the matter with Ruqaiya begum, whose suggestions and encouragement have boosted her spirits. The only worry, which she had discussed with neither Ruqaiya begum nor Nigar, was denial- what if Shahenshah refuses to acknowledge that she slapped him? What if Jodha denies, their plan will fall apart.
The only hope, she thought, was Jodha's brutal honesty. And she hoped she could use it to her favour.
Sensing some movement, she turned back, only to find guards changing their places.
In the Angoori Bagh,
Her spirits deterred, she took a stroll in the garden, hoping to relieve some burden off her heart. Wait, did she have one? She doubted.
I.. I slapped him.. The realization sank her heart, no matter how inhuman her husband had been, she knew it was against her morals to raise her hand on her husband, a revered form of God, her mother said.
An apology to the deity, a quiet hour by oneself, a light banter with Moti, and when nothing seemed to calm her down, she chose to walk by the nature, alone, detached.
Glancing over her shoulder, another realization hit her- Nobody was there with her, she was all alone.. In the confines of this luxurious palace, I am all alone.. No one to understand me, to help me.. to listen to me..
Mentally straining her eyes to fight back the tears, she sat on the grass, skimming her fingers through the blades, softness tickling her numb hands. I can't, and I shouldn't apologize to him.. I've done no wrong.. He.. He was.. She couldn't find the heart to replay his actions, the way he'd pierced her skin as his nails dug deep into her arm, her hair roughly pulled by his strong fingers, her back strained... And the way he crushed her lips, insensitive of the pain he caused her, blind to her tears, deaf to her continuous wails. Was this the man she'd fallen in love with? Is this his real face?
She'd never know.
And now, she didn't care.
She hated him, with all her heart, with more intensity than she'd loved him, she hated him..
If only we could remove yesterday from our lives, it would have never caused us pain..
Sometimes, you just want that one person to be beside you, no matter how much you hate him, despise him, you want him, only him, no one else, to gather you in his arms, fit together the pieces he'd shattered you into, you want him to be the smile on your lips, not the tears in your eyes..
That's the way she felt now. She yearned for his touch. She longed for him to wrap his arms around her, soothing her pain, relieving her, kissing away the tears he'd gifted her.
Could she ever hate him?
She wasn't sure.
An hour later, she felt somewhat nearer to normalcy, a bit less unsettled as she got up, sparing no glance to the on goers as they stared at her in wonder.
Her anger subsided, she could feel the hurt she carried around in her heart, and wondered if the same was with him. Was it just the hurt everyone had caused him that he'd taken out on her? Had she, by any chance, become the last straw of his anger?
Was she the one who'd hurt him? But he'd hurt her, too. And she couldn't remember saying anything that she knew she would regret, at least not before he broke all barriers. Her last sane words to him, were her denying to come to the celebrations, a thing she'd done many a times in the past. He'd always laughed it off back then, convincing her by whispering sweet nothings in her ear. What went wrong now?
What was it that hurt him so much that he ended up hurting me..? he.. He said.. She pressurized her grey cells to remember his words, Ruqaiya loves me..
What! Her eyes threw open, her walk abandoned, and the final missing link hit her as it became crystal clear. Was it her love that was plaguing his mind? Forcing him to become the beast he'd been in the past? Had she taken over his senses, again? She thought, horrified.
For now, she would prefer nothing more than running to
him, telling him that she can understand the reason behind his actions, but not
his actions. She'd never forgive him for that. All she had to offer, was
empathy. She wanted to help him, but she couldn't.
Damn! She was torn between herself, and him.
Whom would she choose? And worse, can she choose between her self respect and him? All the times he'd hurt her, broken her flashed right through her mind, did he deserve another chance? His unconditional love followed, piercing through her mind, and for a slightest moment she thought- Yes, he does..
How will she ever choose? She didn't know.
The Next Day,
As much as she hated it, she had to sit with him during the Diwan E Khaas proceedings, a fact she couldn't deny.
Her arrival was announced, and Naureen smirked, mouthing a good bye as she sat at the throne, aware of the person who would come to sit next to her.
Guards proclaimed his arrival, and as the Emperor walked in, everyone, including His Queen stood to wish him. Saluting back, he took his seat beside her, his heart tearing apart at the disgust her face held for him.
He waited, with a strange amusement, for the proceedings to begin as Begum Naureen, her face covered, walked from the curtain to the hall, confident.
Surprised, she watched her with attention as she signalled Nigar to follow her. Silently, she stood beside her.
"We have a complaint against Malika E Hind, Shahenshah.." Naureen stated, passing a glance at Ruqaiya, a move not unnoticed by his queer eyes.
"You may state the reason.." He replied, all of his self control lost as he struggled to not comfort her now, she looked lost, shocked. He wanted to squeeze her hand, tell her that he will be with her no matter what, but he couldn't.
"Begum Nigar had witnessed Malika E Hind raising her hand on His Highness.." She spoke, escaping his glare as Ruqaiya shot her a look.
She broke out into a gasp; the room was filled with
tension as hushed whispers, suppressed gasps and heavy breaths began to roll
around. Did they hear that right?
"I hope you are sure about that, begum Naureen.." He smirked, coolly silencing the tensed people with his hand.
"Yes, Shahenshah.." She wiped off her winning smirk, the
game was surely going to be in her favour today!
"When did begum Nigar witness Malika E Hind slapping me?" He quizzed
"the day before yesterday, at night she happened to pass by her chambers when the sound of a slap caught her attention.." Before she could continue, Jalal cut her off
"At night, you said?"
"Where was she going, exactly?"
"I...I. was going to.. to Nikhat begum's chambers... I wanted to talk to her.." Nigar spoke, diffident.
"But if I remember correctly, yours and Nikhat begum's chambers are in the west, opposite to the Malika E Hind's chamber, which happens to be in east."
Naureen glared at him, averting her gaze to Ruqaiya before he noticed.
Jodha, on the other hand, couldn't get a single thing
through her head. Should she confess her deed? What was Nigar doing near her chambers?
Is it all to frame her? And.. her heart raced as she thought, is he a part of this?
Nigar couldn't reply, and her head hung down as she walked back to the curtain, wholly aware of the death glare she earned from Naureen.
Without waiting for her reply, he continued "I suppose, it was a misunderstanding. I hadn't visited Malika E Hind the day before, and it is impossible for her to slap me when I wasn't even there.." He chuckled a bit, and after a long, painful period, she glanced at him. Shocked. Grateful. And a myriad of emotions she could never understand. Had he wished, he could have punished her for slapping him, for it is clearly a crime. But he didn't. And even though she hated to accept it, she could guess why.
slapped him and I should accept it.. Her conscious mocked, and without thinking,
lest her mind changed, she spoke up, "I did commit the s.." Her voice cracked a
bit, but she continued, "the sin of raising my hand on... Shahenshah E Hind.."
All eyes glued to her; she could make out the shocked looks from her loved ones, taunting ones from her enemies and plain pitiful looks from some. She felt, sad, disheartened, distressed.
Damn, he swore under his breath. Out of all the things he'd think could go wrong, this was certainly not one of them. Why the heck didn't he keep in mind her extraordinary honesty?!
"Jodha begum, there's no need to encourage them. They were lying and they know it, too. You may take your seat." He stated, firmly as he glared at her, ordering her to sit down.
"No, Shahenshah.." She glared back, disgust evident as she uttered shahenshah'. "I'd insulted you, and I wish to be punished for that.."
"You have NEVER slapped me, and I will not punish innocents.."
"But I have.."
"Enough for today, Takliyah.." He ordered, and before long, the court was empty. No one but two distressed souls.
"Why did you open your mouth?" He shouted, grabbing her arm as she dashed against his chest. "Everything was going well. Is it necessary for you to play brutally honest? You could have been in danger.." His eyes welled up, turning away, he hated to cry in front of her. He knew it was painful for her, it was no less for him too.
"You were wrong shahenshah..." She whispered, broken, slipping away from his arms as she ran to her chambers.
"I know, Jodha.. I was wrong, and I want to make it up to you.. in every way possible.." He smiled, but it wasn't a symbol of glee, but a testimony of pain he held within himself, unable to share it with anyone..
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