CHAPTER 13- FREEDOM .
At the noise, Durga looked up and saw the old woman struggling with a mirror on the wall. She rose to her feet and thought of asking her about why she was trying to move it, but, suddenly, two lines just came to her mind…..
“Jakhan roshmi porilo dorpone, Aadhar katilo sab.
Bhangilo shei Dwar jaa koreche gopon, sab ajana kolorab. “*
So was this the door ?
She looked at the pendant , which now swung on her chest. Sliding her hands behind her neck , she unfastened the necklace and then pulled the chain hard , twisting it twice. The globe clicked open. She unbolted the globe from the circular space on the necklace, and placed it on her palm. It opened like an oyster exposing the pearl that rested in it since years.
There stood the large sapphire of a medium dark blue hue . The old woman glanced at Durga and caught her staring at the stone curiously. She mentioned that it was gifted by the Maharaja of Kashmir to her great grandfather. It is a gem from the mines of Kashmir. Very very valuable.
Durga paused for a moment. The key to something like the raj khazana cannot be something simple. She glanced at the gem, ‘Why was this so important that ranimaa had to hide it in the green box and entrust it’s safe keeping with some people most ordinary ? People, whom no one would ever suspect to have any knowledge about the raj khazana ?’ She kept thinking about how securely the gem was hidden inside the globular pendant with the riddle. And her mind just wouldn’t rest.
Now, she was sure that the gem has some thing to do with the key to the khazana .
Durga asked, “Otai ki shei dwar, jaar pechone royeche gupto khazana?”*
The old woman replied, “Haan . “*
Durga moved forward and offered a helping hand to the old woman to move the heavy glass door a bit. They could see a tiny key hole through the little gap so created. Both of them pushed the door further to make some more space. Durga wondered , if the gem was the key, how could they make such a small keyhole. Then it has to be something else.
Seeing Durga confused, the woman requested if she can see the necklace. Durga hesitated a bit, but then, handed it over to her.
Introducing Charulata, a pretty little girl who used to accompany her mother, a flower seller, to the rajbaari everyday. Hailing from a poor family , they had to go through lots of hardship to survive. Her mother engaged her in the duties of the maid of ranimaa. Later she served as the maid of rainmaa’s daughter. The rajbaari was like home to her, where she has spent most of her life, executing her duties. The passing years took away with them, her youth and then she was left with, experiences and wrinkles. Now, she is an old woman, who kept waiting for the true heir of the raj parivar, to whom she must deliver the raj khazana and finally with the arrival of Durga, her wait was over.
Durga looked exactly like ranimaa. She took no time in recognizing her. The old woman or Charulata, has been a trusted royal servant for years and hence, knew many secrets of the royal family.
She promptly separated the globe from the necklace. The chain was made of gold and had a golden circular space in the middle, where sat the globular pendant. Taking the sapphire out from the globe, she placed it on the naked circular space, it’s narrow tapering edge resting at the bottom and then, she pushed it downwards.
A loud click ! And a series of bright glowing stones came down from a hole on the bottom of the circular space. The stones were fixed to each other and they descended in a line. Now this looked like a complete key. Durga looked closely . Charulata replied, “Eguli Heera . “*
The beauty of the stones was such that Durga could not move her eyes from them. But, now they together with the gem, formed the key to the raj khazana and she was really inquisitive about what was behind the secret door. The key went smoothly into the tiny key hole and the door unlocked. Durga started feeling nervous, she did not know why. On entering through the door, she could see nothing. It was so very dark inside. Charulata did not accompany her, and was waiting outside. Durga thought she should ask for a torch when suddenly she paused and slowly said this line “Jakhan roshmi porilo dorpone, Aadhar katilo sab.”
She looked up. It was afternoon, so there should be some natural light coming in, if there was any opening. To her amazement, she was right. There was a tiny hole made on the ceiling through which a thin ray of light was entering the room at the farthest end. But that was not enough to illuminate the area. Durga couldn’t see anything on her way to the light. She slowly moved forward towards it and placed the key under the thin ray . The ray refracted through the diamonds and dispersed to the nearest mirror, and slowly the entire room got illuminated. Durga was spell bound by the beauty of the room. She looked around and saw a tall post right beside her with a tray on top. She placed the key on the tray. When there was no daylight, a torch will be needed, she thought. There was a holder for a torch on the post too.
Durga looked around. It was a room filled with jewels and robes and books. She picked up a book. It told stories of her ancestors- they were books of history. There were albums with the pictures of her ancestors in them. She felt charmed by the excess of everything around, beautiful robes, jewelry, rare gems, books and then…..and then, her grandma’s sweet smiling face came to her mind. All the wealth disappeared.
Neera, the greatest gift that Durga got from dear life. No wealth or family could give her what Neera could provide. A feeling of coziness and security when she curled into her lap, a feeling of being the most loved person on earth, yes, Neera loved her that much. She longed to be in her grandma’s arms. She felt as if she could hear her grandma’s words, “Dugga maa tui hoili amar sab chaite dami sompotti. Amaar shona , amaar heera, amaar ratno. “* She turned around to face the mirrored wall. She stared at her reflection and Neera’s words echoed repeatedly in her ears.
Where the world runs after treasure, riches and property. One would lie, harm, hurt and kill for them, too. There lives another kind who does not understand the love for riches, who might lie, harm, hurt , kill or die for the ones they love. In the race of getting richer and more successful , friends turn into enemies, the closest relationships fight over a property and get ready to even harm each other. While, there lives another kind, who has no materialistic property to call their own, and yet, no greed or attraction towards the same rules their mind. This is because, they own a treasure most valuable and hard to acquire, that no one can steal from them – the treasure of love. They consider their relationships to be their greatest treasure. Love helps growth, love nurtures kind individuals who, makes the world a better place to live in. Neera belonged to this stranger kind . And this kind is so hard to understand.
Durga kept gazing at the mirror and could see the sparkle around and her reflection which was not as bright. Neera’s words now made her feel the worth of riches- today it’s yours, tomorrow it will be someone else’s. She looked at her reflection – she has found the treasure – the true gem. She started smiling and laughed out loud, a laughter that made her feel alive after long, a laughter that made her free herself from the shackles of lies and deceit, a laughter that gave her FREEDOM….
- Jakhan roshmi porilo dorpone, Aadhar katilo sab. Bhangilo shei Dwar jaa koreche gopon, sab ajana kolorab – When the ray of light fell on the mirror, it brought an end to the darkness. That broke the secret door that has buried unknown screams behind.
- Otai ki shei dwar, jaar pechone royeche gupto khazana? – Is it that door behind which is the secret treasure ?
- Haan – yes.
- Eguli Heera – These are diamonds.
- Dugga maa tui hoili amar sab chaite dami sompotti. Amaar shona , amaar heera, amaar ratno – Durga you are my greatest treasure, the most valuable of all. You are my gold, my diamond, my gem.
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