Monday, October 1, 2012

Revenge and Revenge – Both sides of the same coin!

 Can a leopard change his spots? A definitive “No” is what everyone who knows the meaning behind the proverb would say. A leopard, a majestic beast, with its black spots is identified by these markings which makes each of them unique. This is their characteristic trait and nothing would change their natural instincts.

Why am I talking about leopards and their spots today? To draw a parallel to the one man who is the personification of innate traits without any change.  As a viewer, I have always felt that Jagya would never change. The deep set character streaks of a selfish man would never allow him to accept his faults and move forward. They will always seek to play the blame game. Jagya who tried to redeem himself with Anandi, in his infinite wisdom has decided to blame the one woman whom he had crucified and hurt throughout his sorry life. With none being her fault, once again she plays the starring role as the vindictive one.

I never truly believed that a man could change his deeper instincts and I am glad that I was right! After trying to seek forgiveness from Anandi and receiving none, Jagya has once again shrouded himself with the darker traits that define his character. Rather than analyzing his faults, all he sees is that Anandi is happy and his family supports her. His thought process is disjointed such that he has finally come to the conclusion that Anandi is to be blamed for all his misfortunes. He has conveniently forgotten the past, were it was at his hands that the lines of fate were drawn for the death of all his relationships.

Jagat has decided that Anandi is the one who is responsible for the elders in his family not giving him a pardon. It is also not acceptable to him that she has moved ahead in life. This is quiet strange when he was the one who quintessentially told her to throw away the shackles of the past like him and move on when he was happy with Gauri.

How can someone forgive a person who had shattered the beautiful and quaint dreams of a girl who worshipped him? No one can expect forgiveness just by asking for it. This seems to have not registered in Jagat’s mind. You ask and receive forgiveness by showing the people you have hurt that you have changed. But then this is Jagya! He wants a pardon and when he does not receive it he decides to take revenge.

His mode of revenge is to drive a wedge between the fledgling relationship of Shiv and Anadi. Anandi has just slowly started to confide in Shiv. Her emotional wounds are so deep that she finally breaks down in front of Shiv and tells him that she can never forgive Jagya for the emotional wringer he has put her through. I am so happy that she never forgave him. She is not a Mahatma after all. She is a human being with deep emotions that have gone through untold turmoil and sadness. In fact, it is downright difficult for normal human beings to forgive even half of what she has gone through.

A selfish liar can go to any lengths to get his revenge but how far he will go is yet to be seen. In all this, once again he is using the love of Dadisa for his own selfish purposes. Will it be Dadisa or will it be Bhairov who will bring about the final change in Jagat Or is it again left up to Anandi to change him!

Her commendable actions of letting her nayya sasural know about her past and specifically about her first husband is definitely a brave and admirable thing. Her character trait and her innate goodness will never allow her to hide the fact that Jagya is in town. This is the Anandi that I admire! 

As a viewer, I am not sure if I can relate to Anandi if she takes up the baton to change Jagya yet again. She tried and failed on many occasions. She gave him every chance to change himself on so many levels but failed miserably. What Anandi should have realized by now is that “Leopards do not change their spots”. 
Written by: Shreeya Gupta

The week that went by!!

Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon: Last week we finally saw the wedding of Arnav and Khushi, even after finding out the truth about Garima Arnav decided to marry Khushi and forget about the past. Now that’s some bravery Arnav. On top of the wedding; another good news for the fans is that the evil Dadi is finally gone from the show, she will no longer be a thorn in Arnav and Khushi’s relationship. But there’s one person who can still come between Arshi and that’s of course none other than Shyam. Let’s see what controversy he creates now. To find out more about your favorite show keep watching Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon at 8:00pm Monday to Friday only on Star Plus.

Madhubala Ek Ishq Ek Junoon: Last week we saw the bold side of Madhubala, as she refused to take the money to get rid of RK offered to her by Dipali the wife of RK’s step brother. Madhu has pledged to arrange the money herself and to transform RK into a completely different person. We wish Madhu all the best on that and now let’s see what happens in the RK mansion during the Ganpati festival. To find out more keep watching Madhubala Ek Ishq Ek Junoon at 8:30pm Monday to Friday only on aapka Colors.

Diya Aur Baati Hum: All is well in Pushkar thanks to Sandhya as she solved the terrorist problem. Everyone is happy with her victory except t for bhabho as she wants a Laxmi in the house and not a Durga. News is that soon everyone’s going to find out about Sandhya’s IPS dream, Suraj as a supportive husband he is will of course support Sandhya but will Bhabho accept this? To find out more keep watching Diya Aur Baati Hum 9:00pm Monday to Friday only on Star Plus.

Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hain: Fun filled week in EHMMBH, at the beginning of the week we saw a romantic date of Virat and Maanvi and then later on we saw how the ladies of the house hosted a before marriage party for Maanvi. And of course the boys couldn’t resist but crash the party. Very cute scenes happening in the show but tension builds up as Jeevika’s giving hints on what she is planning to do as her punishment for aborting her baby. To find out what her plan is keep watching Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hain 8:30pm Monday to Friday only on Star Plus.

Written by: Jiya Khurana

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Jane's Corner: The Jewel of the Maharajah's Eye (Chapter 14)

So this is it as they say the last chapter. If you have enjoyed do let me know. Love to read your comments!

Chapter 14

The palace was a lonely soulless place he thought as he wandered from room to room without Persephone. Amar Singh and Choti Raani had packed up and left to live in the Delhi apartments. Samir noticed that they had taken whatever valuables they could with them including a lot of the furniture but he couldn’t work up enough anger to bother about getting it back.

Even Bahadhur Singh was not there to break the silence, telling him on the phone that he had gone off to see a relative in the UK who needed him. Bahadhur Singh had tried to persuade him to contact Persephone again, pleading with him to at least call her, but he had assured him that Persephone would be better off without him.

“She will find someone Bahadhur Singh and be happier with him then me in the long term.” he had told him firmly. Bahadhur Singh had rung off with a sigh and Samir had resigned himself to trying to live without her.

Samir threw himself back into his work with gusto, flying to New York, but his restlessness led him back to India and his mother's apartments. It seemed that Persephone had somehow managed to leave her presence behind everywhere. He could see her smiling at him and looking at him with those blue-violet eyes that undid him at every turn. Every time he looked at his mothers portrait he could see Persephone in her. He would get Bahadhur Singh to give her his mothers sapphire jewels on his behalf, he could get them couriered to him in the UK. That way Bahadhur Singh could tell him first hand how she was. It had been just over two months now and a moment had not passed when she had not crowded his thoughts. No woman had affected him this way ever, but then he had never fallen in love before either, keeping himself at a distance in each and every relationship, always keeping a part of himself back and moving on just as soon as it looked likely that the situation was getting serious.

Persephone had come in and turned that all on its head. Somehow managed to see past all of that and get to the real him. How had she managed to do that? He examined it from every angle, there was no falseness in her at all, what she gave of herself was everything. She had given him her love, her happiness and her body. She embraced life with a smile, her excitement in every small thing brought pleasure to all that met her. Everyone succumbed to the spell that was Persephone, as her name said she was the bringer of spring in his life.

In return he had given her nothing but pain. His half-brother had tried to rape her, his uncle and aunt had tried to kill them both and worst of all he had selfishly taken such a precious gift from her for which he would never forgive himself. She was better off without him, perhaps she would have found someone else by now or will in the future that would bring her the happiness she deserved, but why did that thought hurt so much? He couldn’t even bear to think about someone else with his Persephone. Her in another man's arms, someone else claiming those sweet lips in a kiss, another man making love to her. Damn! Why did it hurt so much when he knew that it would be for the best.

He stared at the slide show on his laptop for the thousandth time losing himself in her memories.

Professor Gupta looked out of his window at the Oxford college spires. His eyes were moist with tears. Bahadhur Singh had just left, it was almost morning. He stared at the new dawn, his thoughts all jumbled. Persephone had fallen in love with a Maharajah, not only that but a billionaire and renowned businessman worldwide. According to Bahadhur Singh he was deeply in love with her too but because of his complicated past he had not admitted it to her.

Bahadhur Singh had told him, that Samir would make his daughter happy, and he had a plan that would make him realise that just as there could be no one else but Persephone in his life now for Persephone too there could be no other. He had agreed to go along with Bahadhur Singh's plan but if Persephone she found out, he knew she would react badly. Acting wasn’t his forte and  he was sure Perse would catch him out straight away. He didn’t want to hurt her any more then she was hurting already but on the other hand Bahadhur Singh had managed to convince him that his plan would work like a dream.

“Johnson I need to hire an actor, a very good looking handsome young man, can you arrange for some candidates by tomorrow? We will need him for approximately half a day to a day.” Bahadhur Singh said to Johnson, his dark eyes twinkling. Thank god Prof. Gupta had agreed to go along with his plan. Samir in his eyes was being as stubborn as a bull. He was pining away in India and Persephone was the same here. Why couldn’t Samir see that Persephone would only be happy with him. Bahadhur Singh smiled to himself, let's test Samir's theory that he would be fine seeing Persephone settle with another man.

Johnson was good as his word. By the next afternoon he had managed to source three candidates according to Bahadhur Singh's specifications. Prof. Gupta, Bahadhur Singh and Johnson  interviewed them and chose a very good polished young man to play the lead role in Bahadhur Singh's plan. After spending a whole afternoon making sure that the young man knew his lines and what his role was supposed to be, it was time for Prof Gupta to action his part of the plan.

“Call her now.” Bahadhur Singh urged.

Prof. Gupta paled, this was worse then any international conference he had addressed, Perse was sharp as a knife she was sure to catch him lying to her.

“It will be fine Vikram.” Bahadhur Singh said, excited to get his plan off the ground.

He picked up the phone and dialled her number she answered in a couple of rings, rushing straight in he said, “Perse darling I have had a friend of mine contact me from my old days in London. It seems his nephew is doing some research into Greek classics and he asked me if he could stay with me for a few days, he is coming tomorrow evening, could you pick him up for me and take him out to dinner? Err I have meetings with the board for the whole day and they usually run so late as you know.”

Perse frowned into the phone. “Which friend is that dad? From London? Not Uncle James's nephew? He is the only one I remember being interested in classics, and that's because he had a crush on me!”

“Err no it's not someone you know, his name is David. I will let you know the actual time and place when its fixed.”

She didn’t feel like going out at all but her dad had already committed so she said. “OK no problem dad I will look after him.”

Prof. Gupta put the phone down with a sigh of relief at having done his bit. Now it was Bahadhur Singh's turn to call Samir and play his part.

Bahadhur Singh dialled and waited. “Thank Goodness you called!” came Samir's concerned voice down the line. “I was getting worried, why didn’t you answer your phone?”

“Samir beta!” Bahadhur Singh said feebly into the phone, then coughed horribly.

“You’re ill! Where are you?” Samir's heart pounded. Bahadhur Singh never addressed him as Samir unless he was not himself.

“I am in the UK, I was visiting Oxford, I came to see an old friend of mine but I had a minor heart attack yesterday.” Bahadhur Singh crossed his fingers behind his back and carried on, “I just phoned to say that the doctors are not going to let me fly for a few days in case it happens again..Samir...” and he again coughed horribly down the line.

“Give me your address I will be there by tomorrow. You are not to travel anywhere alone, you hear me. I am coming!”

Bahadhur Singh put the phone down with a huge grin on his face. He knew Samir would be packing his bag right now and be on his way in a couple of hours.

“Johnson now we have to book somewhere to eat near my hotel for that evening, Vikram you make sure Persephone is there with David.”

“David you know what to do. Act very enamoured with madam, if I know his highness it will not take much to bring him to his senses.”

Bahadhur Singh sat back in his seat with a determined look in his eyes. His plan would work, it had to, he couldn’t bear to let down his Raani Saheeba again. He would bring Persephone back to Samir. He would bring them together so they realised that they could only be happy with each other.

Samir arrived by late next afternoon at the hotel Bahadhur Singh was staying at, Bahadhur Singh lay in bed pretending to be ill.

“I am feeling much better today Sir, I am so sorry to make you come all the way here.” he said trying not to show how excited he was at seeing him.

Samir glared at him. “You should have called me first, the moment you were feeling ill. Have the doctors visited you today? What's the doctor's name? Let me call a specialist from London!”

Bahadhur Singh groaned, fidgeting in bed with embarrassment at having to play ill when he felt as fit as a fiddle.

“Err yes I was checked out thoroughly this morning and in-fact I was told that I should get up and about this evening, errr go and get some fresh air.” Bahadhur Singh said trying to sound convincing.

“Really? I thought after a heart attack you should get plenty of rest.” Samir questioned, raising a dark brow.

“Oh yes, but it was a very small one. And … I ..I feel fine. Sir why don’t you settle into your rooms while I have a shower and get ready. Err then we can get some fresh air like the doctor advised.”

Samir looked at Bahadhur Singh suspiciously what was he up to?

Persephone looked at her watch again. The London train was late. She got up and walked up and down the platform unable to shake off the feeling that something was about to happen. Several men glanced her way, she made an arresting picture in a pretty floral flowing day dress.

Her phone rang, she looked at the display it was her father.

“Dad, Hi! I am at the platform the train is running late.”

“Persephone, I have booked a table for you at the new Italian place on the High street. Its called Zaza. Its booked under your name, why don’t you take David there and I am hoping to join you after my meetings finish.”

Her dad had booked a table? Persephone frowned. He never booked anything, always just turning up and hoping that they would have a table, invariably with his luck they always did. Something was going on here and she wasn’t sure what. She just hoped her dad had not decided to set her up with someone, recently he had been talking about moving on. Protectively she placed a hand on her abdomen, she had yet to tell him about the baby.

She was about to ask him, when she heard the train approaching, so she said, “OK fine, see you later dad.” the train chugged into the platform and a few people got out, she approached a man who matched the description her father had given him.


“Yes that's me and you must be Persephone.” Smiling he extended a hand. Perse shook hands with him. He seemed a nice enough young man. They chatted as she drove him into Oxford.

Johnson rang Bahadhur Singh to tell him that they were on their way. “Thank you Johnson.” Bahadhur Singh said terminating the call, he had to get Samir to the restaurant before she got there, so it didn’t look too suspicious.

“Sir I am ready to go, I will meet you downstairs in the lobby.” he said using the hotel line.

Freshly showered, Samir combed his hair and buttoned up his shirt. Bahadhur Singh was definitely up to something. He had given him the run around on many questions when he had asked with regards to why he was in Oxford of all places. So near to where Persephone lived and worked, but Bahadhur Singh  had assured him that he was here to meet a friend of his from his school days, nothing at all to do with madam. Tomorrow he was going to get a doctor to look at him and if he pronounced Bahadhur Singh fit enough, he would fly him out of here and back home before they ran into Persephone.

They walked down the High street, Bahadhur Singh smiled and said he felt much better, upon seeing an Italian restaurant he persuaded Samir to go and have dinner there.

“The receptionist was telling me that this is a very nice place to eat, I am famished, let's go and try this.” They walked in and Bahadhur Singh requested a table in a corner, once agreed he practically ran forward to secure the chair which faced the wall, making sure Samir sat looking out onto the other tables.

Samir looked at him quizzically, but Bahadhur Singh hid behind a menu pretending to study it with great interest. They ordered and waited for the food to arrive. Bahadhur Singh asking about what had happened to Raghav, Choti Raani and Amar Singh whilst he had been away.

Samir told him that Raghav was in custody and his trial would be coming up in a few weeks time. Choti Raani and Amar Singh had moved to Delhi and were living there now. He was just about to launch into what his plans for the palace were, when his heart nearly stopped. Persephone walked in with a man. From their corner table he could see her clearly without being spotted himself.

It all slotted into place, he looked at Bahadhur Singh, his eyes dark and accusing. He wanted to rage at him but on the other hand seeing Persephone was like seeing an oasis for a man stranded so long in a desert. She looked very pale making her red hair look brighter. Her normally sparkling blue eyes had a wan quiet look about them now.  He watched as the man put a hand on her waist to escort her into the seat that the waitress had showed them. His fingers curled into fists to stop himself from calling out.

Perse smiled at David for the umpteenth time, hoping that her dad would turn up quickly. David was a nice enough young man but he did have a tendency to be too touchy feely. He kept touching her hair and putting his hands on her arm. Now, she was sure her dad was trying to set her up with him.

“Err what did my father tell you about me?” She asked straight to the point.

David seemed startled by that question, a frown marked his handsome face. “Err nothing much, just that you are also a specialist in classics, and you write books. Did I say something wrong?” he reached out and closed his hands over hers. It was Persephone's turn to look startled. She hastily withdrew her hands out from under his and sipped her water thirstily. Perhaps she was wrong about her father trying to set her up. Perhaps David was just being friendly. She smiled wanly at him again, looking at her watch. A curious prickly feeling that she was being watched came over her, but then she felt like that a lot lately, so she dismissed it. She peered around the restaurant but couldn’t spot anyone she knew. Samir was not going to suddenly appear. Why couldn’t she  get that into her head, she told herself firmly.

Samir sat stiffly watching them his eyes blazing with fury. Why did he keep touching her when she was clearly shrinking away from him. Was Persephone in a bad relationship? Was he bullying her? All sorts of angry thoughts crowded his mind.

Bahadhur Singh watched the emotions run across Samir's face. It was just as he had thought, when Samir actually saw the reality of what he had been saying he would not be able to stand seeing madam with anyone else. At that precise moment Samir looked into his eyes and Bahadhur Singh knew he had realised the truth for himself. Samir's emotion filled eyes told him. Bahadhur Singh nodded acknowledging the fact, a smile broke out his lips, he had been right to go to these lengths to make him understand.

The starters arrived, the waiter placed the garlic bread in front of Persephone. Immediately the strong smell hit her senses and a wave of queasiness hit her hard. She reached for the cold water again downing it in one gulp.

“Are you OK?” David asked his eyes full of concern. He reached out and gently touched her cheek. Her eyes filled. She couldn’t stand anyone else touching her like that. Pain filled her heart.

“Err I am fine.” she rose, excusing herself before she burst into tears in front of this stranger,  walking forwards looking for the ladies room.

She felt his presence before she saw him, turning she looked into the corner and there he was. Looking so utterly handsome in a casual light blue shirt and dark jeans. She blinked her eyes to try and clear her head. She was hallucinating again, but when she reopened them he was still there. She watched him slowly rise and come towards her. His eyes were filled with raw emotion, an emotion she saw that made him hold his body so stiffly. He looked thinner, his face had a grey strained look about it. She reached out with her hand to see if he really was there and not a figment of her imagination.

“Samir!” His name came to her lips like a prayer. Her fingers reached up as if to wipe away the deep lines of strain on his face.

“Persephone.” his voice was deep and so sweet to her ears. Then there was blackness as she fainted away into his arms.

“Persephone! Persephone!” Shocked to the core he caught her up in his arms. David came towards her reaching out to help.

“Don’t even think about it!” His tone like a whip, he stopped the younger man in his tracks. Bahadhur Singh winked at David to tell him his job was done whilst Samir lifted Persephone tenderly into his arms and strode out of the restaurant towards his hotel.

Bahadhur Singh paid quickly and walked out into the evening air after Samir. Looking up he prayed to the gods that these two would sort themselves out and he could go about arranging a wedding, fishing out his mobile he called Vikram to tell him the good news.

People in the lobby stared at him but Samir was not concerned with anything but the woman in his arms. She slowly opened her eyes and stared up at him.

“Samir! What are you doing here?”

“Shh!” He said entering his suite and walking to the bedroom. He laid her gently on the bed, picking up the phone from the bedside.

Persephone, leaned forward and cut the call. “Samir I don’t need a doctor.” she said reading his thoughts.

“You are so incredibly stubborn!” He said giving her a dark glare.

For the first time in months Persephone smiled and said, “Look who's talking. What are you doing here?” Hope filled her heart, maybe he had changed his mind and come for her.

“I came because Bahadhur Singh orchestrated a plan to make sure that I came to Oxford and met up with you.” He declared truthfully.

Bahadhur Singh? Perse wondered how he had managed to set up her going to that restaurant and then realised that her dad had to be involved as well.

“Dad!” She gasped. He has been behaving strangely for the last two days. The hope died in her heart, so he hadn’t come to find her at all of his own accord. She swung her legs over the bed ready to slip off. She had to leave quickly, seeing him would just add to the constant pain in her heart.

“Where do you think you are going?” He questioned pulling up a chair next to the bed and settling himself in it right in front of her. “You are to stay in bed until I am satisfied that you are not going to faint on me again.”

“Look Samir, it's clear that you were brought here under false pretences. I am sorry but by the sound of things my father must have been involved as well, I apologise on his behalf. I should go now.” She said staring directly into his eyes. A big mistake. His eyes were incredibly dark with emotion. His face taut with strain.

Then she remembered the baby. Should she tell him about the baby, but he would only feel obliged to make arrangements for the welfare of the baby. She could provide for it herself she didn’t need his money. It was clear that he hadn’t intended to see her again from what he just said.

“Bahadhur Singh was only........” Samir started choosing his words carefully.

“And my father, I think he had to be involved too. Perse interrupted softly. “But don’t blame them, they were only doing what they thought was right.”

“Persephone I am not blaming anyone.” he said with a sigh, wishing she would not look as if she was about to take flight any moment.

“We caught Raghav, he will be on trial for his crimes in a few weeks.” Samir told her watching her face closely. She was so close he could hear her every breath, her was breathing so shallow as if she were trying to keep control of herself and slowly losing the battle.

“That's good. I am glad.” she replied looking into his eyes again and then looking away quickly. She was glad that Samir had caught him, at least he could be at peace with himself now. She should tell him about the baby. He really had a right to know, her conscience told her.

“Choti Raani and Amar Singh have gone off to live in Delhi.” He said.

A puzzled look came over her pale face. “Why? I thought they loved the palace?”

“It's a long story Persephone, suffice to say that they wont be missing the lifestyle of the palace, enjoying the same in Delhi, but I no longer wanted them there in my home.”

Now her eyes became pools of deep violet, “but....but I thought you hated living there?”

“After you came and stayed there with me, that all changed. You made that place a home for me Persephone.” He gripped the handles of the chair he was sitting on so hard, stopping himself from reaching out for her, until she really understood what he was trying to get to.

“Oh!” she didn’t know what to say, her hands fidgeted in her lap. 'That's nice' seemed awkward.

“After you left I chased Raghav all over the far east until we caught him finally a couple of weeks ago. I thought I would feel fantastic that I caught him and justice would be done for you and so many others but all I felt was emptiness. I tried to throw myself back into work, but each time I kept being pulled back to the palace and my mother's apartments. When I was there I felt your presence everywhere, I felt you were there with me Persephone.”

Huge tears spilled over from her eyes and ran down her face, his face was filled with so much pain.

“I grew up seeing my mother suffer so much. She loved my father but he never loved her, she tried to change him for the better and he killed her for it. My uncle and aunt never did a thing to stop him when they could have. I vowed that I would never allow myself to fall in love, I would never allow myself to get into a position where someone would have such a hold over me. My father, my uncle, Raghav my half-brother they are all terrible men, I feared that when it came to love I would be the same. I would end up hurting any woman who fell in love with me. I kept telling myself that you are better off without me, I would be happy to see you settled with someone else but the truth is that I can't. I wanted to kill that man sitting next to you, when he was touching you, I wanted to tear him limb from limb! I would have realised that eventually but I think Bahadhur Singh became impatient with my stupidity and arranged all this.”

Now she understood why he had pushed her away. She put a hand out and touched his face. “Samir I don’t have any regrets about loving you, I always will.” She tried to stand up and leave but he stopped her.

“What I am trying to say is I love you Persephone and I want to be with you until the day I die, if you will have me? You told me when you left that when I laid the ghosts of past you will be waiting is that still true?” his eyes implored her, his voice was tight with strain.

Persephone nodded a yes, unable to speak as the tears of happiness choked her.

Finally he let go of all that tension, a huge sigh escaped him. Reaching out he picked her up and settled her on his lap no longer holding back.

“Persephone!” His lips covered her in a soul searing kiss that seemed to go on and on. Her arms wound themselves around his shoulders and her fingers threaded themselves into his thick dark hair.

“Samir!” she gasped when he finally let her up, his lips raining kisses over her face.

He crushed her to him, “Persephone, god! How could I have been so stupid. I could never be happy without you.”

“Or I you!” She replied softly, a smile played on her lips. “I would have had to find you soon anyway Samir.”

His lips closed over hers again as if couldn’t hold himself in check.

“Hmmm.. You missed me that much?” He teased. His dark brown eyes smiled down at her, his hands were already causing havoc where ever they touched.

“I would have had to let you know that someone else would miss you too if you didn’t reappear in our lives.” she said softly.

“Someone else? Who?” He asked a very puzzled frown on his face.

She took his hand and placed it gently over her tummy. Her eyes full of tears and happiness.

For a moment he didn’t understand and then suddenly it dawned on him what she was trying to say.  “But!” Then at her blush.”But... I used..!”

“Accidents do happen even to Maharajah's !” Persephone replied teasing him.

“A baby! Persephone, what if I am a terrible father, like mine?” Horrors from his childhood suddenly crowded his mind feeding the doubts in his mind.

“Samir you are nothing like any of them. You will be a fantastic father. I know it.”

“How can you be so sure?” He asked at her absolute blind faith in him, his dark eyes filled with love for her.

“I would have never fallen in love with you otherwise.” Perse told him confidently as she reached up to tug his head down to hers kissing him reverently.

“Persephone, I will spend the rest of our lives loving you and making sure I live up to your faith in me. Marry me and make me the happiest man alive?”

Perse nodded as tears flowed once again, robbing her of speech.

He reached across from the chair and fumbled in his briefcase bringing out a velvet jewellery case. Flicking it open, he dazzled her with his mother's sapphires. “This set didn’t have a ring so I had one made for you, it didn’t seem fitting to give you this without a ring, perhaps my heart was already telling me that you would be wearing it.” With that he slipped it onto her finger.

“The jewel of the Maharajah's eye.” Persephone whispered gasping at the beautiful ring on her finger.

“You are the jewel of this Maharajah's eye no other.” he said as his lips closed over's her again.

It was much later when they phoned Bahadhur Singh and Dr Gupta to let them know that their plan was a definite success and to start preparing for a wedding.


© Jane Meme Copyright 27.02.2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jane's Corner: The Jewel of the Maharajah's Eye (Chapter 13)

Hello folks I hope you are enjoying Samir and Persephone's story? Do comment and let me know what you like and what you don't! Love to read them.

Chapter 13

2 Months Later.

Amar Singh sat in the dark. The moonlight flooding in from the window illuminated his dark worried features. Ghosts of the past spoke through walls in the eerie darkness, their anguished voices merging with the cold breeze that flowed through the corridors, casting a distinct chill in the atmosphere. He welcomed their eerie whispers; he had grown accustomed to those voices a long time ago. People like him who conspired behind closed doors had no other choice but to befriend them.

“It was close this time. Samir's team had nearly closed in on him. I am tired of all this constant worrying!” Choti Raani declared walking in to the room, her heels making a loud clacking sound in the quietness, she rubbed her arms in an effort to warm up her body, but no amount of heat warmed her up.

“Why are you sitting in the dark?” She questioned an annoyed look crossed her perfectly made up face. She flicked on the switch and flooding the room with light.

Amar Singh muttered a curse, shielding his tired eyes from the bright light. “Leave me alone! All you do is moan all day. I am the one who is keeping Samir and his men of our track and Raghav's.”

“Why are you even bothering with Raghav? What has that boy ever done for you?” Her eyes spitting venom furiously, she asked him. “All he does is bring us more trouble. I think we should strike a deal with Samir. It is our only option.”

“What kind of deal?” Amar Singh asked his interest piqued, it was the first time she had made a decent suggestion.

“A deal where we get what we want and he gets who he wants. Amar Singh, I do not want to spend the rest of my years scrimping and saving and living like this. I want to be able to do what I want. I think Samir can afford it anyway so where's the harm in striking a deal.”

Amar Singh looked at his wife clad in a designer sari, wearing copious amounts of gold jewellery and wafting of Dior and wondered when she had ever scrimped and saved? Although, he too was getting tired of this chase. He wanted to be able to live in peace not having to think of the next scam to run. Perhaps this was one of her better ideas, he thought.

“I would be willing to do a deal.” said Samir quietly from the door.

Startled, both Choti Raani and Amar Singh stared at him. They hadn’t heard him approach. Samir stood just inside the door. His eyes scanned the opulent room. His eyes strayed to the window from where his mothers apartments could be seen. Bitterness filled his heart, that it had come to this. For the last two months he had tried every avenue to get to Raghav but without success.

They faced each other neither wanting to be the first to lay out their cards. Choti Raani who had never understood the game of poker broke first. Naming what she thought was  an exorbitant amount she said, “If you pay up Samir we will give you the whereabouts of Raghav.”

Amar Singh sighed deeply, his eyes closing with irritation, she could never keep her mouth shut when it was important! She had now set the bar too low. Samir's eyes hadn’t so much as flickered.

Samir looked his uncle, it seemed the last 2 months had also taken its toll on him. His normally stiff and upright posture had slackened, he was stooping a lot more, the lines on his face were cut deeper with worry now. He no longer had that fire in his eyes that Samir had seen when he had come to the palace two months ago. His uncle now looked defeated and tired.

Amar Singh looked up at Samir his eyes hard and bitter, that it had come to this begging for money from him was not what he had planned to do. By rights his brother should have left him everything after all, he had spent his life taking second best in the hope that one day all this would be his, only to be back stabbed by him at the last moment when he had signed it all to Samir.

“Five million dollars a year and the property in Delhi and Mumbai.” He demanded, unconsciously holding his breath, Samir he knew didn’t have to give them a single rupee.

Samir coolly watched Choti Raani's face, she looked awestruck by Amar Singh's demand. This was the woman who had watched his mother die and not helped. This was the man who had defrauded him over so many years, did he really want to support them? They had stolen from him and the people of this land, but his need to bring Raghav to justice for Persephone's sake overrode his revulsion at having to take this action.

“Half that and the flat in Delhi. No more. You will move out of here by the end of the month.” Samir quietly replied his tone firm.

Releasing the deep breath he had been holding Amar Singh nodded. It was more then he had hoped for, after what they had done to Samir, and his mother.  A exclamation of delight escaped Choti Raani. Only Samir looked sad.

“And that only if you give me the correct whereabouts of Raghav, I am in no mood to play chase anymore.” Samir warned them both in no uncertain terms.

Amar Singh picked up a pen and scribbled an address offering it to Samir. Their eyes met, Samir took the piece of paper, Bahadhur Singh appeared behind him as if by magic, without even glancing at the paper Samir handed it to him and with a last look at both of them he walked out.

Two months, one day, six hours and twenty-three minutes she counted as her glance fell on the clock next to her bed. Persephone lay still, watching the rain striking against the window panes. Not a single word from him. She turned facing the window, remembering that moonlit night when they had become one. His dark love filled eyes looking deeply into hers, she had not known where she had ended and he had begun.

The dancing pitter-patter of the rain on the glass didn’t cheer her up as it usually did, these days nothing much did. She had stopped looking for him in the street, at corners, in the supermarket and on campus. The hope she had held in her heart was fading as the days wore on. The loud peel of the telephone startled her and she got up too quickly. A sudden attack of nausea struck her from out of nowhere, abandoning any thoughts of picking up the phone, she ran to the bathroom just in time to throw up violently. Why had she agreed to going out with the final year students last night? Perhaps the curry she ate hadn’t been too good, she thought.

Groaning, she washed her face and brushed her teeth, looking at the stranger in the mirror. A stranger who looked washed out and ill. It seemed so long ago that she had been in India. The memories washed over her in waves. She watched the woman in the mirror cry a tear, hastily wiping it away as she heard a key in the door.

Dad. Her father who had buried himself in his college and his work since her mother died had taken one look at her since she came back and become her total support. She had cried on his shoulder, knowing he understood the pain of loving someone and losing them. He had asked no questions his dark brown eyes full of pain as he saw how devastated she was.

“Perse! Where are you? You are going to be late!” He said walking into her flat his arms full of groceries.

Perse appeared from her bedroom in her pyjamas, taking one look at the bags she groaned. “Dad stop bringing so much food there is only one of me!”

He smiled at her and shook his head in that typical Indian way, Persephone's heart nearly broke, it was such a sweet smile full of fatherly love. “And that 'one of you' is fading away fast! I have brought fresh rolls, lets eat before you go in, you are hardly eating anything now a days.” he told her.

“I am fine.” she said helping him to put the groceries away and fishing out some rolls. She broke  one open and took out the butter from the fridge, putting the percolator on for the coffee.

Her father sat down at the small dining table, and watched his daughter competently sort out breakfast for them both. The coffee done, she placed plates, rolls, and cups at the table settling down to eat but as soon as her father poured the coffee the smell hit her making her queasy again.

“Perse! What’s the matter you look terrible!” He exclaimed, seeing her face go so pale.

“Dad I think the curry I had last night with the final year students didn’t agree with me. I will be fine soon.” she said popping a bit of dry bread roll into her mouth in an effort to stem the rising bile.

“I think you should see a doctor. You haven’t been yourself since you came back.” Concern filled his eyes, he looked at her pale face, so much like her mothers. He had not asked her the details but he knew she would tell him in her own good time. Whoever it was she had fallen in love with had to be an exceptional man he thought, it was a shame that it had not worked out. He would dearly love to see her find a partner as wonderful as he had.

Maybe she should see a doctor Persephone thought. Maybe she had caught something in India and not realised. She would make an appointment later today she decided. They finished their breakfast and went onto campus together each going towards their respective classes, arranging to meet up in the evening.

She still had some time left so she went off to the doctor's surgery on the campus to arrange an appointment, as luck would have it her doctor fitted her in straight away.

She gave her a thorough check up and then asked her something that shocked Persephone.

“Could you be pregnant?”

The test was positive. A baby! Samir's baby! Why had it not occurred to her before? Although   Samir had been responsible enough to use protection, accidents happened all the time. She walked out of the surgery looking very pale, another wave of nausea struck her and she leaned against a wall.

“Are you all right?” A man's concerned voice asked Persephone. She studied him, very tall, looked extremely fit, dressed well with dark shades and an earpiece. He looked like a policeman or bodyguard she thought.

“Err..! am fine. Just needed a moment.” she said recovering, she straightened up and thanked him for his concern as the nausea eased.

He nodded and disappeared just as suddenly as he had appeared.

Odd. Perse thought. “Very odd!”

The thought quickly flew from her mind as she just digested the news the doctor had confirmed for her. She was having a baby! Samir's baby! Hope lit in her heart once again, they had created a life, that beautiful, exquisite night through their love. Tears fell freely down her cheeks and for the first time in months she smiled at she thought of a dark haired, dark eyed baby who looked just like Samir.

Later that day.............

“Mr Singh this is Johnson reporting from the team in Oxford.”

“Is everything all right with Ms Persephone?” Bahadhur Singh asked his heart pounding. Samir was away in Mumbai following up the address that Amar Singh had given him.

“Well..I am not sure, that's why I rang you sir. The Maharajah told me to call you if he was unreachable.” Johnson said.

“What is it?” Bahadhur Singh asked fearful that Raghav had managed to reach her. “Is she in danger?”

“Not as such,” Johnson said, “but she has been looking quite ill and she nearly passed out this morning.”

Bahadhur Singh's face filled with concern. “I will be there by tomorrow evening Johnson. Is there any way we can find out what illness she has?

Johnson replied, “Indeed Sir, enquiries will be made discreetly.”

Bahadhur Singh said, “Please keep a close eye on her.”

Samir crouched low behind a wall. The last two months of his life had been spent chasing leads about Raghav from India to Hong Kong to Singapore and back to India. Whenever he got close it seemed that Raghav somehow managed to slip through his fingers. This time however with the aid of the address supplied by his uncle, his security men had finally found Raghav hiding in a bungalow in a suburb of Mumbai.

He had spent the last two months in hell, thinking about Persephone, dreaming about her in his arms, of her smile, of making love to her, but his need to find Raghav and bring him to justice was first and foremost. Every time he closed his eyes he could see that image of Persephone lying on that bed terrified and so still. He could not rest until Raghav was caught.

“Sir he will be along soon, we have verified and we are ninety-nine percent sure its him.” Davis the head of security team who had been on Raghav's tail these last few months advised him. Samir did not move a muscle, he had waited two months for this moment he was not going anywhere.

Almost half an hour later a car arrived, it went up and down the road circling the block first. The team were well hidden. It seemed that Raghav was making sure that no one was about before he went into the bungalow. Finally it drove and entered through the gate.

Davis signalled his men to surround the place. They fell in with his orders quietly slipping into place. This time there would be no escape.

“Sir, it is best if you let us go in first, you could be in danger if he has a firearm or knife.” David said to Samir.

“Davis there is no way I am not going in, I don’t care if he has a bloody tank. Now lets go and get this over with I have been waiting two months for this!”

They slipped in quietly over the wall and through the gardens closing the net around Raghav.
Samir looked through the patio doors, he spied a man walking about but as his back was to him he couldn’t confirm that it was Raghav. They waited, the man turned and Samir's jaw tightened. Raghav! Samir nodded to Davis confirming the ID.

Then it all happened really fast, Davis quietly picked the patio lock as Raghav moved around the sitting room drink in hand. Then he signalled his men to move in. Samir opened the doors casually and strolled in his eyes blazing with anger.

“Raghav, you have led me a fine chase all over the far east, but it was only a matter of time until I caught up with you.”

Raghav turned his face filled with terror. Dressed in black from head to toe Samir looked like an avenging angel.

“S...Samir! Whhaat? I didn’t do anything! Really you have to believe me!” His face was pale and his hands started shaking so much he dropped the glass of whiskey from his hand it crashed to the floor shattering into a thousand pieces.

“It wasn’t for the want of trying.” Samir replied his voice harsh. “If I had not been in time you would have done the same to Persephone as you have done to so many women, but no longer. This is where it all ends Raghav. If I had my way I would happily empty this into you head.” Samir said showing Raghav his pistol. “But that would not bring justice to all those other women you violated and all those people you hurt. You are going away for a very long time.”

Raghav's face turned ugly as he realised the game was finally up. He launched himself at Samir to be caught and held by two of Davis's team. He struggled, swearing and spewing out abusive language.

“I hate you, Samir, you with your proper manners and English ways. You had everything handed to you, I had to fight, connive and steal to get what I wanted. Father never loved me, he didn’t even love my mother for long, I sucked up to the old man but in the end he left everything to you! You don’t even belong here!”

“You know Raghav I feel sorry for you, you are pathetic, I remember my mother always stood up for you, but time and time again you chose the wrong path. It nobody's fault but yours that its come to this, you could have always chosen the right thing to do instead you wanted things fast and easy. Take him away Davis I never want to set eyes on him again.”

As they led him away, Samir stood for a long moment, his thirst for revenge finally quenched. He knew Persephone would never have wanted him to dirty his hands with Raghav's blood. Getting justice for her and so many other women would be the right thing to do. Wearily he walked out into the night. Now that his single minded goal had been achieved, he knew the days and the nights would seem even longer and empty without Persephone.

Bahadhur Singh sat with Johnson in a dark car, watching Persephone and her father walk back from the campus from a safe distance. She did look worn out and very pale. Almost as if the sunshine had seeped out of her, the same as it had from Samir. Now Bahadhur Singh knew why though and a huge smile lit his face. It was time he brought them together.

They watched as her father went inside to drop Persephone to her flat, emerging after a few minutes  to walk towards his. Bahadhur Singh slipped quietly out of the car and walked up to him.

“Professor Gupta, my name is Bahadhur Singh, can I please have some of your valuable time? Perhaps we could go to your flat?”

Startled Gupta looked at Bahadhur Singh, seeing a handsome elderly Sikh man.

“Its about Ms Persephone and what happened in India.

Would he be able to tell him about his daughter and the man she had left behind?

“Of-course. Please come with me err.... Bahadhur Singh.” Dr Gupta replied eager to do anything to make his daughter happy again.

© Jane Meme Copyright 27.02.2012