News was spreading about new houses being built, wells being dug. And
soon construction workers, carpenters started coming in looking for
work and then started making their own houses there.
In time Shivaji’s both Pune and Khed houses were done. Pune house was
grander, richer than that one of Khed. It has two meeting places, one
for general public, and one for private/inner circle use. There was a
separate wing for ladies use. There was a large beautiful kitchen and
a large storage room. And there was a beautiful and peaceful room for
all the deities.
Apart from this there was enough room for both cows and horses.
Dadoji named this house ‘Lal Mahal’. Right alongside the house was the
Shri Ganesha Temple.
After Shivaji and Jijabai moved into Lal Mahal, one day Dadoji
gathered all important people, farmers, tenants together. All these
people had left Pune in fear of Moguls. Dadoji invited them to come
back and occupy their homes again. But they were still scared, one
Patil said, “Pant you say come back, but how many times can we start
anew and lose everything all over again? And with whose backing?”
Shivaji who was sitting close by and listening asked, “didn’t we start
“you have people and power behind you sir”
“I have never known a Maratha who was afraid of starting over again”,
“Do we like how things are right now? We too want to come back home.
We are just scared.”
After everybody was gone Dadoji was still in deep thought. Four days
passed. And then Dadoji invited same people to Lal Mahal. They were
met by musicians playing a happy, energetic tune. Inside, Jijabai was
worshiping a gold hoe, which was specially made to order. Then it was
religiously lifted and brought out. Dadoji and Shivaji accompanied the
hoe. Shivaji was dressed like a miniature kind. He had a small sword
hanging to his waist and a shield on his back. Everybody was staring
at Shivaji with amusement and respect. As everybody was chanting ‘Har
Har Mahadev’, hoe was put to the ground and with Shivaji’s little
hands soil of old deserted Pune was being turned upside down.
Then one day Dadoji went to Jijabai and said, “ with your permission I
would like to take Shivaji to Shivapur.”
“we have decided to have a mango orchard there. I would like to start
that with his hands. We received the seedlings late last night, so I
couldn’t tell you.”
“it’s not like you tell me everything any way!”
“why do you say that?”
“you didn’t tell me my husband has taken a new wife.” Jijabai said
with a smile.
“who told you about it?”
“Laxmibai had told me a while ago. I also know that they have a new
“I must have forgotten.” Dadoji murmured and left!
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