Mohenjo-Daro, a town of simplicity and beauty. The “Anurag! I have fulﬁlled your request! What do you think?”
village was envied by outsiders and life seemed almost He proclaimed.
impeccable under the rule of I, King Anurag. But I myself I stepped to the edge of the bath and looked in. In the
was suffering on the inside. crystal clear water I could see a reﬂection. It was a pained
I was at the age of sixteen when he came to rule. Three face that had not always been this way. I looked away quickly.
successful years have passed. But to him those years have been “Well, I have to see how it is.”
failures. He was still unmarried. Nandan, my closest friend “Very well. The stairs are over there,” he pointed to them.
would always try to comfort him. I walked over to the stairs and took my shirt off. I slowly
“Anurag, do not worry. One day your time will come. Just walked down each step feeling the warm water soothe my
wait. I promise you that.” skin. Relieving the stress built up for all those years of
“But when Nandan! When!” struggling to ﬁnd a wife. I sat down on one of the ledges on
“Jald, soon.” the side of the pool.
As the days dragged on, I lost hope slowly. The stress “Raakin, come join me will you?”
building up inside him reached its limits. So early one “Yes, sir. Coming.” He scrambled over to the stairs took his
morning Anurag called to his guards. shirt off to reveal his protruding rib cage and slowly walked
“Raakin, come please.” down the stairs like I had. I immediately saw the warmth of
“Yes, sir. What do you call for?” the water lighten his mood. He suddenly looked more relaxed
“May you alert Faghyar, the builder. Tell him... I would then I’ve ever seen him. He sat on the opposite side from me
like a bath on the west side of the village.” and stared at the crystal clear water. It seemed to amuse him.
“Very well sir. Anything else you may need?” “It’s lovely, Faghyar. Don’t you think Raakin?” I said
“Nay, Raakin. Now go. Tell him it’s urgent. Hurry!” I looking up at Faghyar.
added quickly. “Yes! I mean yes, sir.” Raakin said sounding startled.
With that Raakin was out of the door in the blink of an “Thank you Faghyar. You can go.”He smiled, nodded, and
eye. I knew I could always count on him, for anything. Even if left without another word. I stayed in the bath for another
I was sad and called to him he would tell me a joke and make twenty minutes. Then I got out because my skin was starting
me laugh. to prune.
A week later Raakin came to my room with good news. “Raakin?”
“Sir! Your bath! It has been completed!” He screeched. “Yes sir?”
“Very well! Would you care to come see with me?” “Would you like to come with me?” He started to get up
“But sir, I have...” but i added, “you can stay if you like.” He sat back down.
“Nay, forget that. Come, come!” “Thank you, sir.”
Raakin and I walked to the bath together. When we I walked back to my room and fell asleep. I woke up the
arrived Faghyar was standing in front of the perfectly next morning to ﬁnd Raakin walking in my room with tea.
proportioned bath with a ear to ear grin. I greeted him with a “Sorry to disturb, sir. Here is your tea.”
kiss on both cheeks. “Thank you, Raakin.” He started to walk out as I called
after him, “you dont have to call me sir, you know.” “Our fathers are friends. Very good friends at that. So we
“But sir...” He tried to assert. came to be like cousins if you ask me.”
“Raakin, I have known you since we were born. Our “Oh, how long have you known her for?”
fathers were like brothers. Our mothers sisters. We Raakin, are “Since I was three. So that would be sixteen years, I
like brothers too.” suppose. Why so curious Anurag?”
Raakin smiled, “thank you Anurag.” “Oh no reason.”
Later that day, I walked down to the bath. I saw a few men “I think you like her!” Nandan said loudly and the whole
and women using it and smiled at the progress it had made. As bath silenced as my face turned bright red. I looked over at
I walked down the steps, I recognized a few faces. Nandan was Rupali to see her face as well bright red. She could hear our
one of them. I noticed him sitting with a beautiful young lady. conversation the whole time.
He waved me over. “Sorry,” I exclaimed to the people my face still ﬂushed. I
“Anurag! Come! Here, sit.” Nandan said as I walked over turned to Nandan and gave him an evil glare.
trudging through the water. “This is Rupali. She is new to the “Sorry!” He mouthed.
village.” We both walked slowly through the water back to Rupali.
“Swaagat, welcome.” I said not looking her in the eyes. By then my face had cooled.
When I did manage to look up I saw her smiling sweetly. “I apologize for that, Rupali,” I said looking into her eyes. I
“She wanted to know who you were. She’s heard so much noticed that they were green with specks of brown. The
about you in her old village,” Nandan added. prettiest eyes I have ever seen.
“Ah, I see,” I said confused whether they were good or bad She laughed a little at this and said, “It’s ﬁne.”
things. Nandan suddenly blurted out, “Anurag! Rupali! I am so
“They were good things,” She added as if reading my sorry! I must leave! I forgot, Raakin wanted me to help him.
mind. Anurag, I will see you tomorrow. Okay?”
“Oh!” I said surprised. “Nandan, may I speak to you?” “Okay.” Rupali and I said simuntaneously.
“Sure, Rupali just wait a moment, okay?” Rupali and I stayed in the bath till the last person left. We
“Mhm. I’ll be here.” She said shyly. talked about our parents. Our friends. Our lives. When it was
I walked Nandan a few feet away from Rupali and sat down almost too dark to see I walked her home. She lived on the
on the ledge. We started talking in low whispers. opposite side of village. I didn’t mind. We talked the whole
“Anurag! Look at me!” Nandan whispered ﬁrst. way there and never ran out of things to say. When we
“Oh, sorry.” I said I shook myself awake. “Nandan, how do reached her house there was the soft glow of a candle in the
you know Rupali?” I said in a hushed tone glancing over at window, shining softly on her sun kissed cheeks.
her. I saw her catch my eye and quickly looked back and “Goodnight, Rupali.” I said quietly not to disturb
“Rupali? Isn’t she beautiful?” “Goodnight, Anurag.” She said in her soft voice with a
“Yes, yes. Now where did you meet her?” smile.
“Wait, Rupali!” I quickly added before she shut the
“Raakin! Raakin!” I yelled looking every where for
him. He wasnt in the kitchen so i went to the back court
“Would you like to join me for dinner tomorrow
yard. “Raakin!” I yelled again as I saw him sitting on a
She smiled sweetly, “I would love to.” She shut the
“Yes? Anurag? What is it?”
door and the candle went out. I smiled and walked home
“I have a date tonight!” I tried to say without smiling
alone in the pitch black. Not scared at all. I was in love.
but I couldn’t stop myself.
The next morning I woke up right as Raakin shut the
Raakin’s eyes lit up. “Anurag! Tell me everything!”
door behind himself. I drank the tea on my bed side table
“Yes, yes i will! But ﬁrst you must start preparing a
and remembered last night. I wanted to tell someone
right now. But who?
“Come, to the kitchen. Tell me there.”
Two hours went by and it was almost noon. I heard
The next few hours went by faster than I thought. I
Raakin in the kitchen cleaning up breakfast and making
visited the bath as usual and came home to get ready.
lunch. I could smell the rice cooking. I decided to go for a
When I was ﬁnally glad with my outﬁt, I went downstairs
walk till the food was ready.
to ﬁnd Raakin.
“Anurag!” I heard from behind me. I turned around
“You look so grown up.”
and saw Nandan running up to me. “Anurag! I’ve been
“Thank you, Raakin.” Then I heard a knock on the
meaning to ﬁnd you! Last night! Tell me. Tell me
door. Butterﬂies started to ﬂutter in my stomach. I
answered it and saw her face. She was wearing a beautiful
A smile grew across my face as i found a bench and we
long dress. She was stunning.
sat down. I explained to him everything we talked about
“Please, come in,” I said trying to sound as polite as I
and how i walked her home.
could. She stepped inside and her eyes widened.
“You mean tonight? Rupali is coming over for dinner
“Wow! This is magniﬁcent.” She said shockingly, I
smiled curtly and blushed. “Anurag?”
“Yes, Nandan! Tonight! Can you believe it?”
“Yes, Rupali?” I answered leading her to the court
“Oh my! You need to tell Raakin to start preparing
yard where Raakin had set up dinner.
With that I was on my feet and heading back home at
a quick pace. I walked in the door and ran to the kitchen.
“Thank you for inviting me.” She smiled and linked our ﬁngers. I blushed again and nodded.
Dinner was over as soon as it had started. I asked if she wanted me to walk her home again. She agreed. We
walked all the way to her house hand in hand.
“Thank you again, Anurag.” She said looking at her feet. I smiled. When she looked up I kissed her. I could see
her blush from the candle light.
“Goodnight, Rupali.” She stepped inside, smiled and shut the door. The candle blew out and I walked home
alone again. Not scared by anything because this time I knew absolutely that I was in love.
For the next few weeks, I would have dinner with Rupali three sometimes ﬁve times a week. After many long nights
of thinking I made up my mind. I am going to propose to Rupali.
The next morning I woke up to the smell of tea at the side of my bed. I drank it in record time and rushed
down stairs to the kitchen. I hugged Raakin.
“May I ask, what is this for?” Raakin asked confused.
“I’m going to marry Rupali!” Me and Raakin celebrated. We called Nandan and told him the news. He
exploded with joy and called everyone he knew.
That night I went on a walk. It was before dinner time so I went to the bath. I saw Rupali and was overjoyed.
This was my moment. I went up to her and we had out normal conversations then i decided to ask.
“Rupali? Can I ask you something?”
“Anything Anurag. What is it?”
“Rupali...” I took a deep breath and paused. “Will you marry me?”
“Anurag! Yes! Of course!”
The next few months went by to fast to recall. Our wedding was today and I was sure I had found the right
person. We had a traditional Mohenjo-Daro wedding.
First I came in and was sat on a mat under a coloful tent covered in many colored lights and draperies. Next
Rupali came in and sat across from me. We said our vows and chanted many hymns and prayers. Then we had our
reception. It lasts all night long. Family Friends. Everybody was invited near and far. Finally the King of Mohenjo-
Daro, the hopeless romantic King was married at last.
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