ANMOL MOTHI ( THE PRECIOUS PEARL)

Submitted into Contest #55 in response to: Write a story about an old family secret surfacing generations later.... view prompt

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                       THE ANMOL MOTHI (THE PRECIOUS PEARL)

     Jaipur in India!

     For tourists and for the people of burning enthusiasm for historical events and archaeological

     grandeur, the pink city with beautiful and charming palaces and gardens is a heaven that has

     come down to earth.

      But for me, an auto driver, only the streets and the hours matter. For a common man with

      meagre income and no sources to fall back upon, nothing is charming except the currency

      notes I earn every day.  

      I parked the auto near Seesh Mahal and started sipping a hot cup of tea from the Chai Dukaan

      nearby.

      “Bhaiyaa! Auto aayegaa?” A young man of approximately 22 years approached. I nodded my    

       head affirmatively and asked about the place to go. 

      “second street. Badrinath Mandir!” he uttered in a gentle voice.

       He got in and I started the auto.

       He was tall, well-built and handsome. His moustache was thick but well pruned.

      “ Bhaiyaa! What is your name?” he asked me.

      “ Bhairavsingh”

      “ Meraanaam hai Abhimanyu Gaeykwad! I am coming from Mumbai and going to my uncle’s

      house. Have you got any idea about Seesh Mahal?”

      “ Not much saab! I just leave tourists at the entrance. I never went inside. My two

      sons are pestering me to take them to all palaces in Jaipur. I do no get leisure and

      enough money! “

      “ its okay! Money talks and mocks! Don’t worry. Can you accompany me for 

      fifteen days from tomorrow to Seesh Mahal where I want to do some research

     about the life style of the Rajput Royal families. I’ll pay you more than enough.

     Can you do it?”

     I liked the idea.

     Sometimes God opens the flood gates of money to the needy through the fancies of

     rich people.

     I agreed.

                                      ……………

I was accompanying Abhimanyu Gaekwad for the past four days. In the morning 

he observes the Seesh Mahal from all angles through a telescope from the lawns

outside the structure. After nearly two hours, he will select one portion of the

building and go inside. He will watch each and every inch of the walls meticulously.

Nearly after 4 hours he used to mark a square on the portion he has seen in the

L,ayout map of the structure he brought with him.

The next day the same activity will repeat at a different portion.

On the fifth day when he entered the building, I stopped him. He stared at me

And I said “ Saab! seems that you are not making any research work. I think that

you are searching for some object unknown to others. Will you please mind telling

me what are you searching for?”

He contemplated for a moment. 

“Bhairav singh! I trust you. I am sharing a secret so far not told to anybody. I belong

to the Royal family of Rathode. We were the rulers of Marwaar kingdom . Jodhpur

was our capital city. During Mughal rule we lost our kingdom to the Maraathaas.

we lived in exile. In the year 1816, British Governor General Warren Hastings took

over the rule of Jodhpur. He restored my great grand father Bheemsingh Gaekwad

the royal status with the condition that the sharing of tax revenue would be 80:20

the lion’s share conferred to the British. He took a bounty of treasures our family

held secretly for nearly three centuries. On his return journey he stayed at Jaipur

for three days. One of his servants loyal to Rajputs managed to steal the most valuable

pearl from Warren Hastings. When he was fleeing from Jaipur, he was chased by

the British soldiers. He went into Seesh Mahal and hid the pearl somewhere inside.

He wrote a letter to my great grand father informing about the hiding of the pearl

which he termed as “Anmol Mothi (Most precious pearl)” in Seesh Mahal. However

he did not have time to indicate the exact location of the hidden pearl. He was captured

and hanged by the British before the letter reached the hands of my great grand father.

Somehow my great grand father and his successors wanted peace and reconciliation and

did not pursue the matter fearing the draconian attitude of the colonial rule. 

I am an engineering graduate and at present employed in a multinational company

In Mumbai. Nearly six months ago when I was clearing the attic containing old materials

at our Jodhpur house, I suddenly noticed the letter by the loyal citizen of our empire

regarding the Anmol Mothi.

So I am here now searching for the most valuable pearl hidden somewhere in this 

beautiful and gigantic palace.”

Both me and Abhimanyu were immersed in the strange sequences of the journey of a

pearl and the challenging mystery that accompanied the pearl.

“ Well Saab! I like this challenge! It is fascinating! You may trust me! I’ll join you in the search just for the sake of the thrill involved!”

“ That is fine! But remember that if you open your mouth it will open the mouth of a devil called the

risk for our lives! Be very careful!”

I told Abhimanyu that I am aware of the consequences and exercise utmost care.

                                    ---------

 Abhimanyu Gaekwad extended his search operation for five more days but for no avail.

On the 21st day we both were sitting in the lawns of Seesh Mahal. Abhimanyu looked exhausted.

“ Saab! I suggest you something that may fetch a positive result. In your map, you have marked

squares at all places which means that we have searched the entire structure. You know that a

very precious object concealed secretly will not meet the common eye. That means, it would not

have been taken away by somebody else till date. Hence , we stand a chance to get it. You please

go to Mumbai and attend your routine. Come after three months and we will start afresh our search”.

He agreed.

I dropped him at the airport and waited outside to watch the aircraft take off. 

The air craft took off into the blue skies and I started my auto.

Abhimanyu Gaekwad, the heir of the Rathode dynasty of Jodhpur, is travelling to Mumbai with

all hopes to find the Anmolmothi after thre months.

But I know that he will not. Nearly five days ago in the morning when he was searching at the northern

end of a big hall in the second floor, at the eastern end, two feet above the floor, I noticed a marble

brick. When I touched it, it was different. Part of it at the center, it contained a small wooden door.

When I pushed the door strongly, it moved inside and in the small chamber, I found the bright and

beautiful Anmol Mothi! I looked around. There was nobody. Abhimanyu was looking at the other

end. Within seconds, I swallowed the pearl and continued searching.

The next day I managed to bring it out while defecating. I cleaned it .

I did not tell about it to any one in my family.

Have I betrayed Abhimanyu Gaekwad and his royal dynasty?

Am I a cheat and a fraudster?

No! The Anmol mothi has reached the right hands of a heir of the Royal dynasty of the Rathodes of

Jodhpur for sure!

What I did not tell Abhimanyu Gaekwad is that my full name is Bhairavsingh Gaekwad. The unknown

story of our family is prior to an agreement with Warren Hastings . Bhimsingh Gaekwad the great grand father of Abhimanyu was living in exile with his brother Raamcharan Gaekwad who shared

the winters and summers with his brother with all sincerity and faith.

But Once the Kingdom was restored, Bhimsing drove away his brother penniless and started hunting 

him mercilessly. Ramcharan escaped to a remote village near Jaipur. He lived the life of a peasant

and earned his bread from hard work. He never revealed his identity to anybody. He got married.

He had two sons. In the fourth generation, the great grandson of Ramcharan Gaekwad is leading

the life of an autodriver in Jaipur. People call him Bhairavsingh!

The secret of Anmol mothi is over. But I did not want to disappoint my brother Abhimanyu.

I should not enjoy the fruits of this precious pearl when my brother is deprived of it.

I have gone to the backyard of seeshmahal. There was a rose garden.

I dug a pit and kept the box containing the Anmolmothi and covered the pit with mud. Placed a

Giant size stone on the pit.

I prepared a map showing the location of the pearl.

I went to my bank and kept the map in my locker.

The map will remain in my locker well guarded for the next forty or fifty years till my last

breath. My children as legal heirs of the Rathode dynasty will have access to the map after my death and get access to Anmol Mothi in a legitimate way.

I started the auto and travelled towards the Chai Dukaan.

Anmol Mothi the mysterious pearl still remains a secret.

August 19, 2020 07:30

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