Vain is the hope in my heart I bear!

About love I do not want to hear

My friend! Who says love is a virtue?

My love made me cry all through.

 O charming lady! The miserable one with eyes teary,

Chandidas says the path of love made her life dreary.

 

The Rajput girl named Saryubai came back empty-hearted after bidding adieu to Sadanand Swami. The departure of the warrior from homeland, whose first sight made her feel blissful once, whom eye adored as the hero of her life since long, with whom her father Janardan wanted to get her married, left her lonely. Meeting Sadanand Swami eased her worries a little, but didn’t erase the loneliness. She found Sadanand a lookalike of her man; sometimes had a doubt whether Raghupati himself came to meet her in disguise of a saint that day. It was shadowy evening when she met the saint with long beard and matted hair. She started rebuking herself for not looking at Sadanand Sami properly, not talking to him for longer – she could perhaps collect more information about Raghupati!

The day passes, then the week, then the month; but the treasure of her heart does not return. The young lady sits beside the window alone under the shade of the night – immersed in her memories of the man she met. Hope from the bottom of her hearts pushes her to the window – she throws a glance at the road pretty often – the man does not come back.

At times she roams alone in the garden; recalls everything that was related to that man – the fort of Toran, the neck-chain, journey to Raigad, the departure of the man. She cannot control her tears sometimes. On some of the lonely nights, she opens her heart to the emptiness around her. Like a river in the rainy season, she lets tears flow down her cheeks. Even in the morning, when the sun colours the sky red with its first rays, the dejected  girl sits motionless on the floor. Saryu is thinning. Her face looks pale; her eyes circled by darkness. The simpleton Janardan cannot read Saryu’s heart, but her condition became the cause of his concern.

Women try to read each other’s hearts passionately. Some of Saryu’s friends are able to read her mind. Some of them tell Janardan lightly that he needs to find a husband for grown up Saryubai. As those words reach Saryu, she tells her friends, “Tell my father that I do not want to marry. I want to look after him.”

Janardan is not ready to listen to her. He starts looking for a groom. It is not difficult to find one for a sober Kshatriya girl raised by a religious Brahmin. Finally he selects one commander of King Jai Singh as his daughter’s suitor. The news makes Saryu shiver. She knows her talking directly to her father may enrage him. She sends another friend to remind him of the promise he had made to another warrior. Saryu’s hand is already given to someone. She had accepted that warrior as her husband. Marrying anyone else would be nothing but transgression from her part.

The massage angers Jansrdandev anyway. He scolds Saryu. He feels sorry for own misbehaviour to the foster daughter, yet finally decides to continue preparing for the wedding ceremony and sends a message to King Jai Singh about the planned wedding celebration in the fort. Saryu too receives the news. She directly comes to her father this time and starts arguing, “Forgive me father! Please stop this. You will lose your daughter forever if you don’t.” Her words brought tears to Janardan’s eyes too.

But who pays attention to a bride’s words? Especially in a society, one has to follow rules set by others. Janardan tries to convince her daughter a lot, both engage themselves in many teary altercations. Finally few days before the scheduled wedding day he calls Saryu to tell, “You unruly woman! Are you trying to taint my honour before others at this old age? Are you trying to defame the graceful family of mine?”

She replies, “Father! Pardon me if I have caused any dishonour to you. But by the grace of God, you will never have to face any disgrace because of me.”

Janardandev is unable to understand the meaning of her words. He will understands it only the next day – when her daughter will not be found anywhere around.