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When the palace stopped...

madhav.vasudevan_at_sg.abb.com
Date: Wed Oct 03 2001 - 00:50:10 PDT

SrI:
Dearest Srivaishnavas,
This is one of the four stories sent to me by Smt Sandhya (our list
member). Her writing filled with beautiful narration with full of anubhavam
touched everyone's heart at home. I would like to share my enjoyment with
you all. All four stories are simply excellent.
With her permission, I am sending the first one as a sample. I will place
them in the files section later this week and announce it for your reading
and enjoyment.
Regards
Namo Narayana
aDiyEn dAsam
==================
When the palace stopped!

Swarnamukhi lifted her head to look out of the palace window - is it time
yet, she wonders. The pale crimson of the morning skies tells her that it
is nearing the time. She places the earring back on the plate, her task of
arranging the Queen's jewelry for that day, incomplete yet. "Thank God, at
least I finished those flowers first today. But Queen Kaikeyi never minds
at all, that I always leave her task incomplete, she is so good to me!" she
thinks, as she hurried towards Queen Kausalya's part of the palace where
Padmini was busily tying small garlands in preparation for the Queen's puja
(prayer) that morning. "Come on, quick hurry up- its almost time" urges
Swarnamukhi. Padmini looks up, leaves those garlands behind with a happy
yet anxious smile saying "There, maybe those two garlands will suffice for
the Queen this morning - you know she is so good, never once says anything
about these incomplete garlands!" They hurry together towards their
destination.

  Gunaseela was busily polishing the King's footwear for that day. He had
already set out the King's royal dresses for the day. "All I have left to
do is to set out His Highness's sword, and the crown and I can rush off" he
thought, still polishing vigorously. He hears Swarnamukhi, Padmini and the
others hurriedly scurrying by and realizes he could be late too if he did
not start right away! "Hopefully, King Dasaratha will excuse me today too.
>From tomorrow, I will finish the sword first!" he thought determinedly as
he sped towards the palace's paakasala(kitchen) to get Vishnuchittha.
Sivadatta as usual, was completely immersed in his recipe preparation -
there was the fruits to be peeled and cut up, the ghee (clarified butter)
to be melted, rice to be cooked Oh! so much to be completed yet, before His
Highness, the Queens and the Princes were ready to eat his preparation. As
he oversees his assistant slowly peeling the mangoes, Gunaseela hurries
along. "Vishnuchittha! late as usual ha! lets go soon, we can always come
back and finish, come on.." he urges hurriedly. Vishnuchittha takes one
look at the milk just beginning to heat up, removes some of the wood from
the fire, to slow it down and rushes off with Gunaseela, his assistant
quickly following him too!

All along the flowered path, there were scores of all the other royal
servants, hurrying along in the same direction, to catch a glimpse, get one
more vision of the most beautiful sight they have ever seen.

The parrots on the tree outside the window were the earliest to wake up (or
was it the flowers?). They chirp around actively waking up all the other
creatures of nature too, urging them that it is time! The deer wander in
slowly towards the window. The lizards open their lazy eyes. The cows and
the royal horses wistfully stand by their barns, hoping they could go too.
Alas, they could not go, today too! The bees hum happily as they buzz above
the flowers outside the window.

The flowers outside the window, knew they were the first ones to wake up
actually (those proud parrots can think whatever they want!) - the yellow
roses, white daisies, and the red roses standing proudly behind the yellow
roses - all of them eagerly waiting.

As the nature and the royal servants gather around the windows with
pleasant anticipation, their little Prince Raama sleeps inside seemingly
oblivious to all the commotion outside. He lay with His feet exposed from
the silk blanket, with traces of dried mud from the river bank yesterday
evening (Mayura, the Princes' chariot driver told them to put on their
footwear, but would they heed when the water was so cool? Now Mayura
remembers this as he beholds those tiny delicate red Feet). The green silk
blanket, seems to be competing with the glowing yellow of His peethambaram
(yellow dress). Those Hands that lay wrapped around the pillow, still had
those red marks near the thumbs from yesterday's archery practice. A couple
of jasmine flowers (from Queen Kaikeyi's hair) lay next to the pillow,
still gently singing the lullaby that Queen Kaikeyi sang last night to the
Prince. Black hair curled in soft curls as the cool morning breeze blew yet
so gently around them. The cheeks had the pale red hew ("just like a girl"
thought Saudamini, the royal court decorator, with a smile) - from a deep
sleep, and there slept the young Prince with eyes locked in by long curling
eyelashes, a light smile on those lips as if remembering yesterday's fun at
the riverside - so small is such a big bed, yet so much the focus of all
attention.

They were so absorbed in beholding the very beautiful scene of the little
Prince Raama sleeping, they hardly noticed the sun creep up slowly behind
them. As the sun's gentle rays fell on the Prince's face, the Lord opened
His lotus like eyes slowly, looked at the roses outside the window and
smiled as if in competition with them! He lay there in bed, gently smiling
at the deer, the parrots, the flowers, the lizards and the bees - as the
entire palace royal servants seemed lost in the scene - the beauty of the
Lord's awakening. Time seemed to stand still, they all seemed to have
forgotten their very existence, enthralled at the sight of the Lord's semi
open, sleep laden eyes! As they beheld the Lord's sweet soft lazy smile,
lotus like eyes - they knew nothing else was ever needed for them for the
rest of their existence!

While all this was happening, elsewhere in the palace at the same time:

Queen Kaikeyi stepped in front of her mirror to wear her jewelry, and
called " Swarnamukhi! can you help me with these clasps?" Swarnamukhi comes
in quickly to the Queen's summons. The Queen says "Really Swarnamukhi, you
are so talented at selecting just the jewelry I wanted to wear today!"

Queen Kausalya pauses before starting her puja to Lord Vishnu. As she
glances at all the garlands and the preparations for her puja, she thinks
"I must give Padmini that ruby necklace as a gift, she does such good work,
just the way I like it."

Gunaseela helps King Dasaratha balance the crown deftly on his head, bows
and stands back to allow the King to head towards Queen Kausalya's room.

Vishnuchittha serves an extra helping of his special preparation to little
Prince Sathrughna, thinking "these little Princes need so much nourishment
as they are growing up so fast - especially Prince Raama there, I hope He
liked my dish today".

=======================================================
I don't think all this really happened at all, but Lord Raama is simply so
beautiful, that even imagination like this seems to become real and life
like for the person imagining Him.

Hope you enjoy reading it!

- C Sandhya



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