Mee Radhika- Book 3
The Starry Night At Shaniwarwada
"Don't pay attention to Shrimant's mother. Nobody and nothing can harm shrimant. You know how he fought both Sindkheda and Udgir battles. But if you don't do shringar then he'll get angry with you."
Radhikabai remembered that Shrimant Vishwasrao had sent half of the nation's silk sarees, gold jewelery, hair accessories and beauty products to her.
He particularly took interest in her dressing and shringar. His aunt, Parvatibai, wife of Shrimant Sadashivrao knew that.
Parvatibai was the most fashionable of all Peshwa women. Along with being the only one to be trained in warfare and administration. She had the make-up and the defense kit with her. In her spare time, she would practice her defence lessons using her collection of shamshirs, firangis and other talwars. Perhaps, she was the only one who knew how to use the katari.
So, as much as Bhausaheb admired her for her beauty, his heart was pierced by her katari. Still, it could only be nursed back by her love and nothing else.
Many women be them women of honour or courtesans known for their charms admired the exemplary looks and bravado of Sadashivrao. But there was only one woman who held the light that melted his macho but deeply emotional heart. That woman was Parvatibai.
She walked swiftly and gracefully. She cheered for her husband and his passion for a proficient Hindavi Swarajya. Parvatibai focused on supporting her husband's endeavors right, left and center. For that, she would put forward her best diplomatic skills to break the ice.
She had these qualities, since, childhood and that's why both Peshwa Bajirao and Chimaji Appasaheb had made her the first choice for the young Sadashivrao.
Even though, it had not been possible then, Radhabaisaheb and Nanasaheb had fulfilled their wish later. Both of them took pride in their decision as Parvatibai added another gem, Radhikabai to fuel the Swarajya dream.
Now, the night before the entourage left for Panipat, Parvatibai decided to cheer up her niece. Gopikabai's words seemed like an ill-omen to her. So, to add positivity she dressed up Radhikabai. She dressed her up beautifully and fashionably, royally but gracefully.
Putting lali and kajal to her beautiful face she said, "Dear, you look so pretty, when Shrimant sees you he won't be able to take his eyes off you."
Radhikabai blushed looking down. She said, "But he's in a meeting with Mamanji (Bhausaheb) and Tirtharup Nanasaheb."
"When he comes out, I'll call him to see you."
"But, what if Sasubaisaheb finds out? She'll object!"
"On what basis?" asked Parvatibai curiously.
"I don't know. However, she never allows Shrimant to look at me, talk to me or even come near me." said the 13- year-old brown eyed Radhikabai with a sad look.
"Hmm... But does Shrimant follow her orders?" asked Parvatibai.
"No, never! In fact, he told me in front of her, you don't need to listen to anyone here but me. No one can tell you what to do other than me. You are answerable only to me and no one else. " said Radhikabai with a relieved smile.
"So, there you are! I'll call him and ask him if he wants you to wear this same saree tomorrow." Parvatibai said with a broad smile.
"Okay, (Radhikabai blushed) but Sasubaisaheb told me that I shouldn't go near him because that will spol the tirthayatra."
Parvatibai became grim. She understood that this was one of Gopikabai's ploy to keep the two lovers apart. She was worried that Shrimant Vishwasrao was a short- tempered young man. He was very sure of himself and his choices. He worked round-the-clock and understood his responsibilities well. However, in his spare time or during breaks he thought only of Radhika.
At such a time any refusal from her would break him down and unleash his volcanic anger. Therefore, she decided to pull out Radhikabai from the phobia that Gopikabai had instilled in her.
"Dear chakuli, shonuli, you are contradicting yourself. Shrimant has strictly told you that you're answerable only to him then remove other thoughts. Do you want to hurt him? Can you see him hurt?"
Radhikabai's heart filled or rather started overflowing with love for her shrimant. There were big pearl like tears in her eyes.
"No, the last thing in the world that I want to do is to hurt him. I'll always listen to him. He's my swami. I know he loves me very much. He knows what's good for me. I trust him completely."
Parvatibai smiled and hugged Radhikabai . She wiped her tears and called for her favorite servant. She gave her a letter and told her to give it only to Shrimant Vishwasrao. She warned her that if anyone caught her then she should eat the letter.
For around 15 minutes, Radhikabai waited nervously for the servant to come with the news that Shrimant was here. Parvatibai, was also becoming anxious. However, she was not showing it on her face. Finally, Bhausaheb's servant came and he handed over a letter to Parvatibai. Still, there was no news from Shrimant. Parvatibai opened the letter, read and kept it aside. Radhikabai was now visibly nervous. She sat down on her aunt's bed and said, "Kaku, remove these earrings they are hurting me."
Just then a deep strong boyish but manly voice whispered in her ear," But why you want to remove them? They are looking so beautiful on you."
Radhikabai, recognized it was her shrimant and feeling deeply shy she covered her face with her colored hands.
Shrimant Vishwasrao smiled, putting both his hands on her two hands, he pulled them away from her face. Then he sat in front of her and moving his one hand in her face said," You thought that I won't come?"
Radhikabai looked down and nodded in a "yes".
Shrimant smiled and said,"Whenever you'll call me, I'll come!"
|Shrimant Vishwasrao Peshwa Sketch|
" No matter where I'm, I'll be there!"
"But Shrimant, Sasubaisaheb, said that I'm not good for you. She said that my coming near you can harm you. Is that really so? " said the teenager with tears in her eyes.
Shrimant Vishwasrao's face became red. It was not new for Shrimant to learn of Gopikabai's tricks to keep Radhikabai away from him. She never understood him let alone his love. Somehow Gopikabai wanted Shrimant to leave Radhika and get married to Laxmibai, as she called her.
To Shrimant, Laxmibai originally Durgabai Patwardhan was the junior version of his power obsessed control freak mother Gopikabai. While, Radhikabai was his beautiful doll with a loving heart, sharp intellect, fire and passion for Swarajya like his aunt Parvatibai. In his view, his uncle Sadashivrao had become extremely lucky and happy after marrying her.
Along with stunning beauty, fully grown body and golden complexion, Radhikabai had a melodious voice. She took her singing lessons as seriously as her archery and administration lessons. That added more grace to her charms, her babbling sounded like hustling rivers.
Therefore, whenever Shrimant wanted to hear a melodious song, he would ask her to sing.
She was fit as a fiddle, expert in yoga and her every step was perfect like that of an ace dancer's.
Shrimant Vishwasrao had found his world in her and Gopikabai felt threatened. Radhika made her extremely insecure. Everyone was fond of her, Nanasaheb, Bhausaheb and her most favorite son was smitten by her. Even Raghunath Rao was happy with the match, although Vishwasrao never paid attention to him, he still was happy.
She detested the way her handsome to-be Peshwa son looked captivated by the 13- year-old girl. So, for her, Laxmibai was more affordable. Since, if such a match took place, then Shrimant would never have any interest in her. Therefore, Gopikabai would have all the power over him. Unlike Kashibai, she would never have to sacrifice it or surrender it in front of the new Peshwinbai.
However, she didn't understand that her son was an able leader just like he was an able warrior. Hence, he saw through the scheming and caprice of everyone including his mother.
So, when his love, Radhikabai expressed her concern about Gopikabai's reservation about her.; he controlled his anger. Then, he said, "Dear you love me right?"
Radhika nodded in a yes.
"So, how is love poison?" asked the handsome Peshwa prince with a charming smile moving his hand through her lovely long tresses.
Radhikabai looked puzzled. "If it's not poison then how can it harm me?"
"So, you mean that I can stay near you as much as I like?" asked Radhikabai with a shy but enthusiastic smile.
"Yes! Is there any doubt? You know I have allowed you to come anywhere anytime. No one can ever stop you from coming near me. This is your wada, and everyone here has to listen to you. You are mine, Radhika and I'm all yours. It's going to be that way forever. No one can break us apart."
Radhikabai gave him a tight hug. The way she gave him from the age of 8 years, when she fell in love with him.
Shrimant picked her up, wrapped her legs around his strong masculine waist and put her head on his broad muscular shoulder.
Just then, Parvatibai, coughed. "I'm still there in the room."
Shrimant blushed, "Maafi kaku, aamhi hyana ghevun Meghdambari dakhvaila zaato(sorry aunt, I will take her to show Meghdambari). Aamchya, ajobanchya, Ajinkya Shrimant Bajirao Ballal Peshwe hyanchi tasveer dakhvato ani dandavat karto ( To show her my grandfather, the ever victorious great Bajirao Ballal Peshwa's painting and to bow down for his blessings). Tyancha aashirwad asava. Aaj teh aste, tar tyanna Radhika nakkich khup avdli asti (If he would've been alive, he would've definitely loved Radhika very much)!
to be contd...
Read other chapters from Mee Radhika: The Lost Love of Shrimant Vishwasrao Peshwe
1. Radhikabai's Shrimant Vishwasrao Peshwe
2. Gopikabai: The Politician
3. Radhikabai's Shrimant Vishwasrao Peshwe- Part 2
1. The Untold Truth of Panipat 3: Did the Marathas actually lose?
2. Parvatibai Sadashivrao Peshwe: The Misunderstood Peshwa Woman
3. Chimaji Appasaheb Peshwa: The Slayer of the Portuguese Regime Book Chapter 4