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ALL THE NAMES & PLACES ARE FICTITIOUS (if any resemblance to persons & places is purely coincidental). Any royal titles, MEDICAL PROCEDURES, MEDICAL TERMS, MILITARY PROCEDURES, MILITARY TERMS, Punjabi terms, architectural terms, IT terms & programs, office hierachy, wedding rituals, etc. are from my imagination hence THEY ARE NOT TRUE. PLEASE DON'T BASH ME !!!!!
ALL THE PHOTOGRAPHS DOWNLOADED DO NOT BELONG TO ME BUT BELONG TO THE ORIGINAL UPLOADER. I HAVE JUST USED THEM AS THEY GO WITH MY STORY! PLEASE DON'T BASH ME !!!
Location: RANI MAHAL, VALLABHGARH
Once inside Rani Mahal, Maan stealthily approached from hiding place to a place from where sounds were coming of a metallic item rubbing against another metallic item! Maan went very stealthily towards the sounds so he is not caught by women gaurds! Once he reached the arena he found Geet doing sword fighting with a person. Both Geet and her rival's face was covered. After half an hour of practice the duo stopped. Next Geet took a rifle and aimed at the target present there.
Initially she missed target but slowly under her tutor's skillful guidance, she was able to aim nearing the bull's eye. By now Geet was looking tired and she was also sweating a lot! Before Maan could go foward and ask about her health, her tutor removed mask from her face and motioned someone and they came and helped Geet with removing her practice outfit. Geet still had her inner dress on only she had removed her heavy upper jumper which was used for to prevent any vital injuries during her practice. The tutor also uncovered his face and removed his jumper to reveal a middle aged handsome man.
Just then Lata, the maid came running and said,"Rajkumari-sa chote raj kunwar aur rajkumariyon ka jaagane ka samay ho gaya hai." (Princess, its time for babies to wake up.)
"Aap chaliye, hum snaan(bath) karke aate hain. Yadhpi woh humare aane se pehle jaag gaye toh Mami-sa athava Bhabhi-sa ko batta dijiyega!" (You go. I'm coming after bath. Incase they wake up before my returning please inform my aunt or sister-in-law.) Then looking at her instructor said, "Guruji hummei talwaarbaazi aur bandook chalane ka abhiyaas (practice) karne ka samay nahi milta. Aur jab hum kuch samay nikaalkar abhiyas karte hain to sheeghr hi kalanth hone lagte hain! Hum kya karen?" (Guruji,I don't get time to practice sword fighting or rifle shooting. Besides if I do take out little time, I get tired very easily. What do I do?)
"Aap niraash naa hoye Rajkumari, kyunki aap abhi bhi ek jaccha hai, thakaan hona swabhavik hai. Iss kaaran aap paustik bhojan kariye. Daal, channa, paneer evam maas agar aap maasahari hain toh khaiye. Sabse mahtripoorn hai taaze phal aur mewa adhik khaiye! Aur aapko abhi talwaarbaazi karte aur bandook chalate huye kewal teen maah hue hai toh thoda adhik parishram karne ki avashiyakta hai. Kintu teen maah ke hisaab se aapka aakraman prabhavshaali hai! Aap chintith naa hoye Rajkumari apne aapko kuch samay aur dijiye! Abb hum prasthan karte hain. Hum kal praatah kaal padharenge!"(Don't be disappointed Princess you are still a nursing mother hence getting tired soon is natural. I will advice you to have nutritious foods. Include more of Daal, channa, paneer and meat, if you are non-vegetarian. Also include lot of fresh fruits and dry fruits in your diet! You have been only training for only three months. On the yard stick of three months your performance is very good. Don't worry! I will now leave and come tomorrow early morning.)
Geet was hesitating but Gulabo her personal maid said, "Guruji, kal Rajkumari-sa ka Karva-chauth ka upvaas hai!" (Guruji, Princess has Karva-chauth fast tomorrow!)
"Arre aap ne hummei soochit kyun nahi kiya? Theek hai hum agle saptah padharenge!" (Why didn't you tell me? Fine I'll come next week.) Geet touched her teacher's feet and he blessed,"Yashashvi bhav!" (Be successful!)
Geet got up early morning around 3am and took bath and freshened up. She went to the kitchen and found the servants gathered there some talking, some gossiping and some still half asleep. Seeing Geet they immediately straightened. "Gani Khamma Rajkumari-sa!" (Salutations Princess!) Servants said and Geet started giving order "Bhola kaka, kya aap swach hain? Arthaat apne snaan kar liya hai?" (Bhola are you frsh? I mean have you bathed?)
"Ji Hukum!" (Yes Ma'am!)
"Toh aap rasoi dhoiye, bhog bannega!" (Please start washing the kitchen immediately, as I've to make food for God!)
"Kintu Hukum, Rasoi ke Maharaj abhi tak nahi padhaare!" (But Ma'am the Royal chef has not arrived?)
"Koi samasya nahi. Bhog hum banna prarambh karte kyunki suryeudhay (sunrise) se poorv bhog aur karva-chauth ka bhojan bann jaana chahiye!" (No problem. I'll start making food for God and Karva-chauth meal as it has to be made before sunrise.)
With Geet giving orders, the servants started working and by the time Rajmata, Maharani, Chitralekha and Padmini came to kitchen, three-fourth of the delicacies were made. Geet was so busy in making the delicacies that she didn't see when Rajmata, Maharani, Chitralekha and Padmini had come. Her concentration broke when Dadimaa tapped her on her shoulder. "Beta, aapko karva-chauth ki bahut badhai. Yeh lijiye aapki "sargai"." (My child, Happy Karva-chauth. Here is your 'sargai'!) Geet took sargai and touched Dadimaa's feet!
"Yeh sargai kya hota hai, Dadimaa?" (What is Sargai, Dadimaa?)
"Padmini beta, hum Punjabiyon mei yeh pratha chalti aa rahi hai. Ek saas apni bahu ke liye pyaar aur aashirwad sahit kuch khaane ki cheezein,shringaar samagri, saree, zaver ityadi bhejti hai karva-chauth ke ek din pehle. Pichle duo saal se Geet humare paas hi thee to sargai bhejne ki zarurat nahi hui. Aur iss saal bhi hum iske paas hain toh socha khud le aayen." (Padmini, we have a custom in Punjab, that a day before Karva-chauth a mother-in-law sends for her daughter-in-law lots of love and blessings along with food delicacies, cosmetics, saree, jewellery and other marital symbols. As last two years Geet was with me I didn't need to send but gave it to her personally. Today also we are together so I thought to come and give personally!)
"Dadimaa, iss sargai mai hota kya hai?" (Dadimaa what does this 'Sargai' consist of?)
"Iss mein beta khaane ke liye peni(a sweet made of milk and semolina), das (10) methi mattis (sweet dry poori like delicacy) aur das (10) puas (sweet pancake like delicacy) hote hain. Taaza khaane mei paranthe, siwaiyain (vermicilli keer) yaa jisse hum "sargai" khehte hai, mewa, aloo ki sabzi, poori, mithai ityadi.
Saath mei shringaar ki vastuein jaisse mehendi, kaanch ki chudiyaan, Mangalsutra, Tika, Nath, bindi, sindoor, lipstick, rouge, kajal, eye-liner, mascara etc. apni hasiyat ke hisaab se saree aur zevar bhi saas apni bahu ko deti hain!"
(It consists of peni(a sweet made of milk and semolina), 10 methi mattis (sweet dry poori like delicacy) and 10 puas (sweet pancake like delicacy). Fresh food includes paranthe, siwaiyain (vermicilli keer) or "sargai" khehte hai, dry-fruits, potato vegetable, poori, sweets etc. with it make up items i.e. mehendi, glass bangles, Mangalsutra, Tika, Nose ring, bindi, sindoor, lipstick, rouge, kajal, eye-liner, mascara etc. According to in-laws status, mother-in-law also gives saree and piece of jewellery to her daughter-in-law.)
"Kintu, Vallabhgarh mei toh jabse hum jaagte tabse hum nirjal vraat rakhte hain?" (But in Vallabhgarh once we wake up we are on fast without even water.)
"Rajkumari-sa, Bharat ke jiss bhi pradesh mei naariyaan karva-chauth ka vraat rakhti, har pradesh ke apni reeti-riwaaz hain. Abb chaliye bhog aur bhojan mei Gudiya ki madatt karte hain."(Princess, in India, which ever state has karva-chauth festival has its own set of customs and rituals! Now let help Gudiya in making food for God and Karva-chauth meal!)
With three women pitching in instead of one, the food was cooked quickly. Savitri Deviji took Geet with her and went to pooja room to arrange for morning pooja before sargai. Then Savitri Devi made Geet dress in sari and jewellery. Savitri Devi then instructed Geet about how to do morning pooja before having sargai. Savitri Devi also fed Geet siwaiyan with lots of love by her own hands bringing tears in eyes of all women present.
Geet hugged Savitri Devi and got extremely emotional. "Nahi beta, aise shubh din rote nahi!" (No child, don't cry on this auspicious day!)
"Dadimaa, pichle kuch dino se Maa ki bahut yaad aa rahi hai!" (Dadimaa, I'm missing my mother for past few days!) Geet said with tears in her eyes.
Just then Maan, Brij, Veer, Yash along with half asleep Vicky walked in. As it was six o'clock, Maan, Brij, Veer and Yash were ready for their morning workout and Vicky came smelling delicious food. "Bhabhi, what's for breakfast?"
"Vicky, I thought you were fasting for Meera?"
"Bhai-sa, Vicky bhaiya se vraat nahi hota hai!" (Bhai-sa, Vicky can't keep fast!)
"Abe bhukkad, brush toh kar le khaane se pahele. Gym toh tu aane se raha!" (Oh glutton at least brush your teeth before eating, as I know you are not going to come with us to Gym.) Maan teased Vicky.
"Maan bhai aap apni style se body bannaiye aur mai apni style se!" (Maan Bhai you make your body in your style and I will make my body in my style!) Vicky said licking his lips at thought of delicious food making everyone laugh, lightening the emotional atmosphere.
Geet went and came back carrying a thali with food,"Lijiye Vicky bhaiya, aap mann bhar kar khaana khaiye, khaane ka bhog lag chuka hai." (Here Vicky bhaiye, have food to your heart's content as it has already been offered to God!)
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P.S. Description of "sargai" is on the basis of information on google. If my Punjabi friends feel its wrong, I apologise in advance.