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Shriman Yogi by Mr. Ranjeet Desai - Issue 3 Page 2

When Jijabai and Laxmibai returned to the manor that day, Vishwasrao was standing there with his back towards them. Jijabai smiled and said “poor guy, he was crying with joy!”

“Hum” Vishwasrao said as he turned around. The grave expression on his face made Jijabai stop in her tracks.

“What is the matter Vishwasrao?”

“Not a very good news madam.”

“Tell me”

“Shahaji Raje revolted against the southern Vijapur dynasty. So they sent Murar Jagdev to Pune for revenge. He has burned Pune down without any respect or regard towards life or property. Now he is camped in Pune. Most valuable place for Sahahji.”

“And my husband?”

“He is safe.” Vishwasrao said. But Jijabai could not control her tears and ran out of the room. 

Bad news never travels alone! Jijabai was trying to deal with one shock, and second shocking news came in. Jijabai’s co-sister, Shahaji Raje’s cousin’s wife was kidnapped by Mahabat Khan as she was returning home after a holy bath in river Godawari. With this Jijabai lost her will even to go out for walks. She was enraged and feeling helpless. Everybody was trying to ease her grief. But then one day, everybody became quiet all of a sudden. Everybody started avoiding Jijabai. Nobody would even meet her eye. Jijabai sensed that there was something wrong, but could not put her finger on it.

Finally she called Vishwasrao in and asked him what the matter was. But he kept evading the answer.

“Vishwasrao”

“Yes madam?”

 

“I didn’t come to stay here just because we are family friends. I agreed to stay here because I see you as my younger brother.”

“I am aware of that.”

“Then tell me what you are hiding from me.”

“Nothing madam, did you hear something?”

“No, but I know everybody has been avoiding me”

“You misunderstand madam”

“Be frank with me Vishwasrao. Or I might consider moving out. I have been thru some tough times; I can handle anything you have to tell me.”

“Madam”, Vishwasrao let go his sob, “madam your father – Lakhuji Jadhav – was murdered”

“My father? Murdered? Who did it?”

“Your father had gone to visit the king of Daulatabad with three of your brothers. King refused to receive him. And then before he knew, men came in and murdered all of them. I think it was preplanned.”

Vishwasrao looked at Jijabai, she was leaning against the wall, and her face had turned white. Jijabai was saying, “My father is gone. Pune has been destroyed. People who made the kings as powerful as they are, are getting murdered in open courts. Their servants are kidnapping our women and girls. Vishwasrao, tell me, where is God? Or is he asleep?” Everybody ran to support Jijabai, as they saw that she was collapsing.

 

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