Kingdom by the Keeravani

By Arunlekha Sengupta All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Adventure

Chapter 1

Two princess ran in play and jest. Young and old, they sprinted across greens in a mist. It was their first morning out of the palace in a long time and they ran like demons, galloping in sometimes straight lines and sometimes in a zig-zag path on fresh wet grass. They ran on as if freshly sprung from their gilded cage. Their homes were palaces, high-beamed and jewel-encrusted. The two girls ran and sang breathlessly amidst the trees which were heavy with early-morning rains and pregnant with new, green things. They ran like they were addicted to running.

Suddenly they stop. The older princess, dark and tall, turns to her sister and hums a lilting, lifting tune. The young one stares at her, arrested by the upbeat but melancholic song. It is quick and fast-paced but slows you to a halt.

“What is this tune, Princess?” She asks her sister.

“It is me. Running through the mist.”

The Princess was in love with a musician and since in the palaces, music was just a way to pass the time, something to admire and hum, but not love and never marry, she would soon be running away with her lover. He made music for her and of her. He wrote songs about her eyes and her hair, created tunes for the way she looked right after she had woken up, a tune for after she had run a mile. He sang ballads for her skin after a swim, for her breathless beauty after sex.

The two sisters stood at the edge of the cliff. The older princess looked out at the sea, where the river Keeravani meandered and then gushed at the sea. The two waters were of different hues. They met with a gush and surge. ‘Just like us.’ She thought, remembering her mellifluous lover. He was calm like the grey sea, strong and deep with his arms open to meet the unbridled river princess.

That rainy morning the princesses stood at the edge of the cliff. Today they stood still together, hand and hand, impalpably aware that things would change after this day. Today the sisters stood with their bodies pressed together, trying to stay warm and impress the other with their love. This love would never end in this life but this would be the end of its physical expression.

Today they stood still in love and concern, overwhelmed by its impending doom.

Tomorrow there will be hordes of guards chasing the young lovers up and down the river bank. There will be rain and a swelling Keeravani. Tomorrow the queen would cry and fume. Their father, the king would order the guardsmen, stony faced and still. Tomorrow a dilapidated boat filled with two embodiments of fresh young love would make its way to the sea. The king’s coastguard would chase the two flowers into the water.

But that would be tomorrow. Today, the sisters held onto each other and hummed together a new song.

“What is this tune princess?” The younger one asked her sister.

“It is me. Me as a waterfall.”

The two sisters who were never going to see each other in their lives after that day, hugged each other and laughed. The sound rang through the forest greens, making the birds cry and flowers laugh. Below, the Keeravani bubbled on heedless of the human lives around it.

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