What is Love actually? What are its limitations? From where it starts and where it ends? This small word which attracts almost everybody, does it really have a great meaning? If we ask people to define love, I am sure it will entail a lot of definitions. Neither of them will be right and complete, nor would they be wrong. One thing is sure; every definition would lead us to an element of devotion, piousness and selflessness.
We grew up reading the story of ‘Radha’ who saw God in Krishna. We have also read about Meera, who drank poison for Krishna. We also witnessed the legends of Heer Ranjha, Laila Majnu, Romio Juliette, to name few. One common thing between them, irrespective of time, place and religion, is the selfless and intemporel ‘Love’, which became a milestone and constant source of inspiration from ages.
In month of January, I was in a pub in Ambience mall, Vasant Kunj. I am fond of looking at faces in the warmth of lights of different colors. I was talking to a female attender near the gate of pub in which I was to enter. A girl fully drunk came to the attender with staggering legs. She was carrying a wine glass in one hand and a cigarette in other. She was tall and thin, properly dressed in a guan. She leaned at the shoulder of the attender and hugged her. The attender got embraced and looked at me hesitantly. I smiled to make her a little normal. Turning her head towards me that girl said to attender “You are the only good girl here darling”.
“Ma’am… please control yourself… Come with me” attender said and tried to pull her.
“I am confused, where I have to go?” she said again but this time looking in my eyes.
The attender anyhow dragged her in the pub but her restless eyes were set on me. I entered in the pub and a gentleman come to me and asked “Good evening sir…table for how many?”
As I was to reply, I saw the same girl staggering towards me. Ignoring her, the attender asked “Table for?”
“He is with me and I have a table for two” she said bluntly.
I looked at her with a great suspicion. She smiled and then got back to her table. I followed her with my mind full of doubts. I have seen many girls in this condition before, but this was an unusual case, where the drunken girl was so confident even when she was inebriated. Pointing at the menu card lying on the table, she asked me to order my drink. I ordered my drink. I was not sure, what to do and what to talk. I was sipping my whiskey silently looking around and sometimes at her secretly.
“Do you believe in Love now?” she asked.
I was confused so I did not answer. She took another sip of her drink and then a long puff of cigarette.
“I know… It is very difficult to believe in the thing called love after you have a heart break” she said looking at me.
Now, I was totally shaken. “Does she know me?” The question hit my brain. I looked at her face now more intensely to collect my memory.
“Don’t stress yourself… I have a very bad habit of narrating stories. If you don’t mind can I narrate you a story?” She asked with a soft voice.
“Sure… I love to listen stories” I replied.
“Ok… It is a historical story not very well known”.
“Doesn’t matter, I love all kind of stories” I added.
She gave me a plain look and started to narrate me the story.
Once upon a time there was a very infamous dacoit called ‘Talevar’ in Choraut province. This was the time when India was divided into provinces which don’t exist anymore. Talevar was very cruel and province has witnessed his brutality in the form of several massacres under his conspiracy. That Province was ruled by a Rajput king named ‘Pavak Singh Chauhan’. Choraut province was very popular for its animal fair especially for horse trading.
One night, Talevar and his goons were drinking and discussing their future plans of robbery. One of the goon said “My lord… you have plenty of wealth and extraordinary materials of comfort. If you stop all these acts then also you can feed an entire village for at least twenty years”
Talevar caressed his moustache in pride.
“You possess all unique things of world and people get terrorized just by hearing your name. No dacoit has such a wide spread glory like you” other goon boosted Talevar.
“I don’t agree that our lord has every unique things of world” One of the goon suddenly said.
Every one including Talevar looked at him. He asked that goon to come forward and say once again.
“My lord… I am sorry if I am being obnoxious but I strongly feel that you don’t possess three extraordinary things which will make you immortal forever” he said being tough.
“It is a truth that you possess many unique and extraordinary things of this world but these things are mortal and those can’t make you immortal” he added.
Talevar till that time had lost all his control.
“What are those things? Tell me, I want to know” he shouted at goon.
“My Lord, if you get the three things then I am sure no one on this Earth would be wealthier than you” he replied.
“Tell me about those three things… damn it.” Talevar shouted.
“There is a horse called ‘Bhavar’, a sword called ‘Bhavani and a woman named ‘Bhavya” the goon replied.
“What are special in these three?” asked annoyed Talevar.
“My Lord… Bhavar is the fastest running horse and it can beat even the fastest running leopard in seconds. Bhavani is a divine sword which can create annihilation in seconds; it is believed to be formed from lord Indra annihilating weapon ‘Vajra’. Princess Bhavya is the most beautiful and pious woman on this Earth and it is said that even Gods silently watch her when she sings in praise of lord Krishna” the goon described in detail.
“Undoubtedly these three mentioned things are extraordinarily unique. I was unaware of these facts till now. Tell me where these three things are right now, I will not take a sigh of relief until I declare them mine” Talevar stood up and shouted.
“My Lord… Fortunately all these three are in possession of the king of our neighboring province ‘Jalesar’ so you will not have to wander far for it” he said.
“But my lord… you can get the horse and the sword with your power and courage but it is impossible even to stand close to the princess Bhavya without her consent. So you need to be very careful. She is a Sati” goon added.
“What does that mean? How can a woman be so powerful that I can’t even stand near her? Is that princess married to king of Jaleshar?” Talevar asked.
“My lord… princess Bhavya was extraordinary since her birth. She is the only child of king Ratnesh of ‘Pipra’ province. She has an extraordinary beauty and glow on her face. She is a great devotee of lord Krishna. It is said that she sings only for Krishna and it connects her with him. She prepares the Prasad herself while singing and eyes closed. It is a kind of sweet called Madhusudan Laddu. The most surprising fact is that she makes exactly as many Laddus as the number of people present there in the palace at the time of morning Bhajan, without having any prior account of people present there.” He described.
“The counting never failed. So, the number of Laddu is the check list of people present in palace since she came to Jaleshar as a bride” he added.
“She got married to king of Jaleshar ‘Bhanu Pratap’ ten years ago but she is still an immaculate, as pious as Ganga” he said.
“I can’t believe this. King Bhanu never touched her?” Talevar asked.
“He tried a few times but he could not reach near princess Bhavya”. Princess Bhavya asked him not to touch her as she is the possession of Lord Krishna. He did not listen and was about to lose his life by a lethal wave which came out of princess. He got paralyzed and could be normal only after he begged mercy. Princess gave him a spoon of water, once offered to lord Krishna, and he was cured then and there.” Goon described.
“Ok… fine now I, myself, would like to see what is so special in the princess and if at all she is special she has to be mine.” Talevar said and laughed in disbelief.
Next day Talevar left for Jaleshar. He entered directly in the court of King. Everybody was stunned to see him.
“King Bhanu… I am dacoit Talevar.” he roared.
Everybody including king got scared of his roar. They were looking at each other with mixed feelings.
Showing some courage king asked “What brought you here Talevar?”
“O king… Perhaps you did not forget that once I saved your life when a group of dacoits looted you and were to kill you”
“I hope you have also not forgotten that you had then asked me to ask anything in return for it” he added.
“That time, I thought I have nothing to demand but today you have something which I want to take from you” he said in command.
“What are those things? I have not forgotten my promise. Tell me” King asked.
“You have three special things which make you the richest and luckiest man on this earth and I want all of them” he said.
“I want your horse Bhavar, your sword ‘Bhavani’ and your wife ‘Bhavya’” he said being tough.
“If you don’t want to hand me over these three possessions of yours then fight with me. I am ready to fight for it. You yourself or any of your most powerful warrior can come to fight with me on your behalf” he said.
“Talevar… all these three things even being mine is not at all mine, so I can’t give them to you. If you will have that virtue then only you can take it with you. Many tried before you but they failed” King explained.
“Ok king… I will check my luck” he said.
He left the court of king and searched for sword. He found it in the museum. As he touched it, his hands started burning. He was surprised to find it red hot but he didn’t leave it. He showed the courage of his life time and finally got it in his hand. Then he moved towards the astabal. He looked almost every horse but could not find ‘Bhavar’ as none of the horse was eye catching. Suddenly he heard a few people coming there. He saw the piles of hay and hid himself there.
A few men came with a huge horse. It was very tall and dark in color. Horse was well decorated.
“This horse is the pride of palace but he is very naughty” one among them said.
“I will tie him tightly this time or else he will unlock himself again and roam in palace as if there’s no rule for him” other said.
They came nearby the place where Talevar was hiding. One took a long, thick iron nail and placed it on ground to fix it. Unfortunately he placed the iron nail on the hand of Talevar which lay under the layers of hay. Talevar tried to pull back his hand but could not. The man hammered the nail and it pierced the wrist of Talevar. He felt a great pain but placed his tongue between his upper and lower teeth in order not to cry. The man kept hammering and Talevar kept tolerating it till it got fixed to the ground. Princess Bhavya was worshiping and offering Prasad to lord Krishna. She finished her Bhajan and then asked the female attender to distribute the Prasad.
Everybody got the Prasad but still one laddu was left in the dish. They asked almost everyone whether they got their laddu or not? The attender came to princess and said “we have distributed the laddus and searched for the man who has not yet taken it but it seems there is nobody”
“It is impossible… she closed her eyes and said there is a person who did not get laddu. Better search him again” she ordered wearing a strange feeling on her face.
A massive search started in palace. A few also looked in the astabal. They did not find anyone there but as they were about to leave, one of them saw a stream of blood coming out of a pile of hay. They ran in that direction and removed the piles of hay. They were stunned to see Talevar writhing with pain and a nail totally fixed to ground piercing his wrist. They freed his hand. He touched the horse with his badly injured hand and horse caressed his head with its mouth. He held the rope of the horse and took it in his command.
Soldiers ask him to come along with them as princess is asking for him. They brought him to princess. He was wonderstruck to see the princess. He had never seen a woman so beautiful. She had her own radiance and it seemed as a flame is all around her body. She asked him to introduce himself and his goal of coming. He described everything to princess and asked her to come with him.
“I know, I can’t touch you but if you will not come, then only you will be responsible for the massacre of your own people” he warned.
“I will come with you, perhaps this is the destiny” she said.
She asked him to wait and went to king. She took the permission of king and left the palace with Talevar. They had to cross river ‘Gandak’ to reach Choraut. He made princess sit in a boat and started peddling it while looking at the princess. He was basking the beauty of heaven. In the middle of the river, he became so excited that he wanted to touch the princess but princess warned him of dare consequence. He didn’t listen and touched the princess and suddenly he felt someone is twisting his hand badly. A tide arose in the river, which looked so devastating. His all muscles became numb and weak. It seemed he became paralyzed. For the first time, he saw his death dancing in front of his eyes. He started crying.
“This is the time of repentance Talevar. Recite all your crimes and ask the supreme lord Krishna for his mercy” she said closing her eyes.
At once, Talevar started confessing his all crimes and begged for mercy. As he confessed his last crime, which was touching the princess without her consent, he started feeling relieved. It seemed someone slackened his hold on him. He saw the princess chanting prayers to Krishna. He folded his hands in respect for princess and said “O divine lady… I am a totally changed man after my confession. It seems my soul has bathed in the piousness of your divinity. Forgive me for all my crimes”
“Your tears have washed all of your crimes Talevar. Krishna wants you to dedicate all your life to his devotion” she said with a smile.
“I will certainly do that as now I am also a devotee of lord Krishna but O pious lady, by nature I am a human and still a fragment of selfishness is inside me” he said folding his hand.
“I want my name to be taken with you always. I want to marry you.” He said urging.
“Talevar… our marriage is possible and your name will be taken with me forever but you will not be able to touch me. If you agree, I will marry you someday” princess said.
“I can wait for it my entire life princess. You said that it is possible, which is not less than an acceptance” he said thanking the princess.
They came to Choraut. He made a hut for princess where she could do all her prayers and bhajans. He left all his bad deeds and dedicated himself in service of princess and lord Krishna. People did not still believe that he is the same infamous dacoit ‘Talevar’ for what he was known.
The rival of Talevar, dacoit Sartaaz came many times to that hut to kill him but due to princess power, he could do nothing. One day princess had gone to perform a ‘Yagya’ in neighboring village. This was the time when Sartaaz attacked Talevar again. Talevar tried to convince him that he is now a changed man but he did not listen. He tried to enter the room of Bhavya where she used to worship and then Talevar drew the sword and attacked Sartaaz. Talevar alone fought with Sartaaz and his goons with the magical sword, Bhavani. He got badly injured but killed all of them. He fell on the ground near the gate of princess’s room. He held his breath for whole night and the next day waiting for the princess but could not hold long and he closed his eyes forever.
The next day when princess returned in the evening, she found everything changed. She saw goons lying dead on the ground then she shouted Talever’s name in fear. She at once became lifeless to see Talevar lying dead on the ground near her gate. She cried a lot. She chanted prayers and asked lord Krishna to give him life. After the prayer when princess Bhavya touched Talevar, he opened his eyes.
“You can’t go like this as I have not yet fulfilled my promise to marry you.” she said with tearful eyes.
“You have changed yourself completely for me and it’s my turn to fulfill your wish” she hugged him.
They got married and knelt down for Lord Krishna’s blessings and then never got up. Their soul left their bodies and got mixed with super power. That place became very pious and sacred. There exists a Samandhi for both of them.
“This is a love, which sets milestone. This was a platonic love story Raj.” The girl said being serious and giving me an intense look.
This story was very touchy and made me very emotional. There was a question in my mind, which started tormenting me now.
“You might be thinking why I narrated you this story?” she said laughing before I could say anything.
I was silent. I was expecting answer now very eagerly.
“Have you heard or read about an MMS, which had stirred the nation few months ago?” she asked.
I was blank as there is an MMS scandal almost every day in our country.
“It seems you don’t read newspapers” she laughed again.
“I am that girl, my MMS made gossip recently. I loved a boy more than my life but see what he did to me? He made my MMS and showed it to world.” She said being tearful.
“I am getting married this month so thought I must make myself a bit light, luckily I found you here. I have read your book and liked it. There are still some good girls who believe in love but circumstances make them bad” she said and a few more drops of tears rolled over her cheeks.
She wiped her tears with a tissue paper, shook hands with me and went out of pub but this time with confident steps.