Baby Shivaji was now about a year old.
Drought was severe, folks were deserting their homes and villages were
now looking like ghost towns. Since it was impossible to feed the live
stock, cows, horses, sheep and dogs were wandering in empty, dry,
cracked fields! Villagers were being forced to desert their homes,
villages, in search of water, food. In this atmosphere gold was
worthless, fistful of grain had become wealth! Otherwise good
honorable people were committing unthinkable crimes in order to feed
their families. Streets had become unsafe. Even birds other than
vultures were long gone! Vulture were the only healthy creatures
And to top this all, Shahjahan was
wrecking havoc in the south. Whoever was left in the village was
losing their lives and life savings to the war.
Within two years the whole county side
had run to the ground.
VishwasRao was in charge of the fort.
Doors were kept closed all the time. Nobody was allowed in without
proper identification. Wells within the fort were running dry. Water
Shivaji turned two. His birthday was
celebrated on the fort during the winter. Days, seasons were turning,
winter was over and everybody started looking at the sky in the
anticipation for some rain! They were all praying to the God, hoping
And then one day, there were clouds in
the sky, wind died down, and then there was thunder and lightning.
Shivaji was standing looking at the sky along with others. He asked,
“is it going to rain?”
“Yes my dear, looks like it is going to
As it thundered again, Shivaji hugged
his mother. Jijabai took him inside. The curtain of rain was
advancing; hail was making noise on window panes. Others ran inside
too. Shivaji was trying to catch the raindrops through the open
window. Scent of rain drops on hot ground was filling the atmosphere.
It was raining hard, water started dripping through the roof, but
everybody was so happy that it was raining, nobody paid attention to
Everybody was outside as soon as it
stopped raining. Just one hard rain, but it had changed the whole
scene. There was a rainbow in the sky. Shivaji saw that and said,
“Mother see that!”
“That is a rainbow dear.”
Shivaji tried to repeat that, but
couldn’t. He just smiled shyly.
Seeing that there were good spring
showers, one day Jijabai told Vishwasrao, “I think our troubles are
over, looks like we will have good rain this year.”
“Yes, it does look like it!”
“We had a drought, but is raining now,
why do you still look worried?”
“Madam, it is raining, but there is
nobody left in any villages, who will do the farming?”
“What do you mean who? Whoever is left!”
“Whoever is left is right here in the
“Then let us empty the fort and go down
“You are the leader of this county, if you don’t farm, don’t take care
of your county till villagers
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