We are Rajput of Mewar.
That is my go-to mantra to get Kunwar Sa and Chandan to do anything. But right now, I need it more. Banvir is on his way to the palace. As my heart races, I don the mantra as my armor. I will yield it as a shield and a sword. As I pace up and down the bedchamber, I repeat it in a loop. Today, I am going to do something unthinkable. Today, I will prove true to my dharma, and to my motherland.
I walk up to where my son sleeps peacefully and whisper in his ears, ‘I love you. You are the light of my life, the reason for me to live.’ I choke, my lips tremble and tears threaten to flow but I continue for he needs to know, ‘Today we need to protect the future of Mewar. But you will always live in every being of my fiber, every breath I take as does Mewar, will be indebted to you.’
Suddenly the quiet of the night is shattered by shouts and clang of swords. He is here. He is here for Kunwar Uday Singh, the fourth son of Rana Sanga, the only heir left to the throne of Mewar.
I hastily cover up my son and move away from the bed. Just as I reach the door it is thrown open and Banvir strides in.
‘Where is he?’ he roars.
Mutely, I point to my son, who sleeps in Kunwar’s bed tonight.
Banvir raises his sword.
Ma, I know you think I am too young to understand, but I know something is bothering you. You think I am asleep, but I can hear you pacing up and down. I know you love me, but you would never let me sleep in his bed.
What was it that you had said as you had gently run your fingers through my hair, ‘Today, let me feed you with my own hands and to my heart’s content.’ I was so happy that you chose to feed me and not Kunwar Sa. And even as I ate you kissed my forehead and sang to me not the songs of valor you always do, but songs of love. And I thought to myself that when the sunsets tomorrow, I will ask you to do this again. Sometimes songs of love are better than songs of bravery.
Now as I lie here, I know it is for a reason. How when I raised my hand for you to kiss while I ate, you held it in yours for so long and your eyes shimmered just like Berach in summers. I don’t think I have ever seen you cry. I wanted to ask you, but I also didn’t want you to stop singing.
Now I know or I think…I know.
I hear the door crash open and Banvir roar.
Don’t worry Ma, I won’t cry, and I won’t fail you.
We are Rajput of Mewar.
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