Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.
Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.

Sanjana Shankar

Drama Classics Inspirational


Sanjana Shankar

Drama Classics Inspirational

Her Choice

Her Choice

14 mins 303 14 mins 303

Arundhati was getting married. 

A marriage that was not her choice. 

Her father, Kuldeep Yashwant was the Commander-in-Chief of Raja Jaideep’s army. Raja Jaideep always treated Arundhati as his own daughter yet he gave her hand to an unknown person. Arundhati was always a bright and benevolent child, she was the leader of her own pack and fought many battles with Raja Jaideep when she was barely 17 years old. She had all qualities and was beautiful. She always chose a life to her Matrubhoomi over her personal life. Kuldeep Yashwant was always worried about this as those times girls should always devote their lives to their family but Arundhati would never do so. When the girls grew long hair, Arundhati would cut it short. When the girls got dressed up for festivals and weddings, she would put on her armor and grab her sword to go for war. When the girls would stay at home for families, she would leave her’s and practice her moves.

She was trained in all skills from fencing to mace fighting. She had the power and all the important skills to perform. But, today was different. She was decked up with ornaments made of pure gold. She wore a bright red dress with a veil around her head. Her eyes were magical with a tinge of kajal, her hand was decorated with Mehendi of beautiful designs. She was all set for starting a household life but was she happy?

One month ago, Raja Jaideep received a proposal from the King of Kanakapuri. “Maharaja! Rajwantji sends this letter with all these valuables to seek the hand of your daughter for his son Shashwat” the minister spoke. Raja Jaideep was shocked. He did not want his daughter to be with that cruel person. Raja Shashwat has always had a bad name in the history of their kingdom. He had everything which a lady did not want in a man.

Raja Jaideep then took a decision and decided to give Arundhati’s hand to Shashwat. Kuldeep Yashwant had to obey his orders as he was his overlord.

The time came, Arundhati was married to Shashwat on that very day. Kuldeep was teary-eyed, he did not want to lose his daughter to an unknown person but at the same time, he had to obey the king.

The Farewell ceremony is one of the most important stages in a marriage where the bride leaves her family to lead a new life with her husband. Arundhati was well aware of her future as she learned about Kingdoms and Politics. She knew that Shashwat was a cruel king but still she obeyed her father's words.

Kuldeep was not able to stand there anymore and left the palace before the ceremony happened. Raja Jaideep gave her hand to Shashwat and he took it with a devilish grin on his face.

The wedding ended. Arundhati was lawfully Shashwat’s wife. It was their first night together. Shashwat came near Arundhati who removed a dagger from her dress and placed it near Shashwat’s neck. She knew his filthy intentions, “If you want to stay alive then better stay away from me” she said. “Oh, what will you do if I don’t Shashwat asked her. She slowly slid the dagger on his neck, Shashwat was shocked and freed him from her grip. “Are you a psychopath?” he shouted. “Well, Many people treat me like one so they maintain distance from me. I guess you should do too” She said and glared at him. Shashwat’s neck was bleeding, she tore a cloth from the bedsheet and gave it to him. “I hope you know to wrap it,” she said and left the room.

Shashwat was shocked he did not really think one could do this with him because he did not know who was Arundhati.

Days and months passed by, Arundhati became the most loved one of the palace but for Shashwat she was just a namesake wife. She never stayed with him and rested herself in her own room. All things were peaceful, but there was one thing that still remained incomplete. It was their child. It was six months already and there was no child in Arundhati’s womb. People were waiting for the news but there was none.

Arundhati knew all of this. It's not that she did not want a child but she did not want to carry Shashwat’s child. She will always be present in every session of the court and would always see injustice. Shashwat would always give attention to the rich and not the poor. They were tortured until death.

One day, a farmer came to the court. “Maharaja! This farmer has not yet paid my loan ” the moneylender spoke. Arundhati knew that there was something wrong with this. She sat silently waiting for Shashwat to take the steps. “Rajaji! I would never take a loan from him.” The farmer said. “When did he ask for the loan?” Shashwat spoke. “Sir, umm. Last week?” the moneylender said. Shashwat nodded and said, “The Justice is given to the moneylender” “Wait a minute, Maharaja!” Arundhati spoke in court. “Arundhati, Don’t you see I’m in the middle of something?” Shashwat’s voice boomed in the court. “Maharaja! You are wrong” Arundhati said. The whole court was shocked. How can a Queen say like this? How can she plainly say that the King’s wrong? “What?” Shashwat asked with anger in his voice. “Yes Maharaja!” she said still stuck to her words. “Farmer, can you say the name of the real money lender from whom you really borrowed money?” Arundhati asked the farmer. “Yes! His name was Mahant Kulbhushan and he lives near the palace” the farmer said. “Bring him to the court” Arundhati ordered. Two guards went to fetch the moneylender, meanwhile, Shashwat was boiling with anger. Never did he imagine that woman will interrupt his court by taking the case by herself. The ministers were also angry and did not want a woman to give justice.

Kulbhushan arrived with the required papers. “Greetings Maharaja and Maharani! I am Kulbhushan and I had lent 3000 to the farmer”. Arundhati acknowledged the greetings and asked, “When did the farmer agree to the loan?” “Rani, it was about 1 month ago and I have the paper too.” He said and gave it to Arundhati. She examined them and came to a conclusion. “It is clearly stated in the paper that the farmer inbound to only one loan and that is lent by Kulbhushan” “Maharani how can you come to a conclusion like that” one of the ministers. “It is clear that the moneylender before was lying or else why would someone start sweating in the middle of the winter season?” Arundhati said. “He was stammering, sweating, and fiddling with his fingers which proves he is lying” she continued. “It can also be that he was nervous..” Gangaramji the most elder minister spoke. “why didn’t the farmer felt the same? Mantriji when one is right he is never afraid of anything when one lies he is afraid of all things” Arundhati spoke. “Writer! Record this,” Arundhati said. The writer did not move his hand, “Did you not listen?” she asked the writer. “Raniji, he will write only Maharaja’s words,” Gangaram said. “This is not a request, This is an order from the Queen of Kanakapuri! Justice is served for the farmer and moneylender should work in his fields for 6 months” Arundhati ordered and it was recorded.

Arundhati worked only for the kingdom’s people. Shashwat always remained angry because of her deeds. She went against his will and did all the things which a responsible king should do. The ministers were also angry as they were getting ruled by a woman.

“Maharaja, Arundhati is spiraling out of control….” A minister said. “Yes! She was ruining all of our allies which is a great danger to our kingdom” another minister said. Shashwat remained silent. “See the way she dresses, When women have to wear those clothes which will hide them she is wearing an Anarkali and no veil?” a minister complained. “Maharaja! We have to do something before anything bad happens” Gangaram said. “I am going to banish her from the kingdom” Shashwat spoke. “But maharaja, she is your wife!” Gangaram said. “Not anymore,” Shashwat said and grabbed his sword. “Arundhati won’t live in this palace,” He said and left the palace to find her.

Arundhati was in the training ground and was training a group of girls to the fence, “Arundhati!” Shashwat shouted. She ignored his voice. He went near her and faced her, “Come to the court at once” Arundhati remained calm and nodded.

She was presented before the court and the decision was announced, “Maharani Arundhati is banished from the kingdom, she will return only after she realizes her mistake”. The ministers expected Arundhati to fall at the feet of Shashwat and beg for mercy but all of this did not happen at all. Arundhati silently faced her back to the court and walked away. The people became extremely sad, their Maharani is being banished for no reason but to only pleasure the male’s ego.

“Maharani! I’ll take you to the city of Pataliputra. Royal blood should not roam around in the forest” a horse rider said. Arundhati nodded and sat on the horseback and bade farewell to the kingdom only to play her next move.

The horse rider dropped her off at Pataliputra where people easily recognized her. “Maharani!” People shouted and fell at her feet.

“Please rise up, I am not a Maharani anymore,” she said with politeness in her voice. “Once a Queen, always a Queen,” a citizen said and Arundhati smiled. “Rani, You are here?” a lady asked her. “I am banished from my kingdom” Arundhati answered her. The crowd was shocked. How can a King banish his own wife? She did nothing wrong! And many other thoughts were there in the minds. “Raniji, Let me take you to the palace. Maharaja will be delighted” a farmer said and Arundhati smiled and nodded, “Thank you!”.

The farmer brought Arundhati to the palace where she was presented before the court. “Maharani Arundhati!” the King of Pataliputra, Veer Singh said. “Greetings to you and your kingdom!” Arundhati’s voice boomed the hall. “Maharani, You’re here?” Veer Singh asked. “Rajaji, I am banished from my kingdom,” Arundhati said. The court fell in silence. Veer Singh’s face spoke astonishment, “Banished?” he asked again confirming himself. “Yes, I am banished from my kingdom. Maharana Shashwat passed this and today I am here” Arundhati said and took a deep breath. “Raniji, Please make Pataliputra as your home. You may stay here till the time you feel so” Veer Singh said. “Raja, I have some favors to ask you too” Arundhati continued when she was interrupted by Veer Singh’s wife, Krushna. “Aruna, This will go on and on.. Come on, Let me take you to the Ladies chamber and after a while, you can ask Rajaji” and held her hand. Arundhati smiled gently and nodded, “yes yes! Make sure there is no mistake while taking care. Arundhatiji, we will meet later” Veer Singh said and Arundhati walked away with Krushna.

“Maharaja. Is it right if we kept Arundhati here in the palace?” a minister asked. “Why Mantriji, What's wrong?” Veer Singh questioned back. “Maharana, She was banished before and who knows what she will do here later” the minister answered him. “Mantriji, She is banished by Shashwat who is not even respected and is not worth too. I felt really bad when she was getting married to him and today she is banished, it is the least I can do to comfort her” Veer Singh said. The court resumed its sessions.

The lovely piece of the evening fell across Pataliputra. The court closed its sessions. Arundhati was sitting on the verandah looking over the flow of the Ganges river. “Raniji, you were asking about some favors in the court..” Veer Singh said. “Yes Maharaja, Have a seat,” Arundhati said and offered a seat to him. Veer Singh sat down and Arundhati spoke, “I would like to take over the administration of Kanakapuri”. Veer Singh was shocked. The lady taking care of a Kingdom was never written in the history of any empire! “Rani, Kanakapuri?” he asked again. Arundhati nodded, “Rani, You are given the royal status already… Why will you want the administration?” Veer Singh asked her. “Rajaji, One does not want the royal status. I want to do something for my kingdom. Even when I was there in Keshavpur I was working for the people there… Raja Jaideep wanted me to get married to Maharana Shashwat because he wanted me to spread the message of love and care… All these days in Kanakapuri made me realize that the world is full of injustice and I want to change it. First from Kanakapuri.” She said with firmness in her voice. Veer Singh listened to her with patience and thought her dedication towards her matrubhoomi is undeniably strong.. She considered her life unworthy when compared to her Matrubhoomi. She thought of Raja Jaideep’s selfish deed as an act of generosity. He ultimately gave in and said, “Rani, whatever you want we will do so… I give Kanakapuri’s administration to your hands, but how will you convince Raja Shashwat?” “I would like to wage a war” Arundhati gave her decision.

Meanwhile, at Kanakapuri, Shashwat got married to another princess. The acts of injustice and unhappiness of the citizens continued to prevail there. People longed for Arundhati and cursed Shashwat to banish her. Shashwat was least bothered of this, he spent half of his days in his harem in the company of women and wine. The ministers were tensed as he did not look after his kingdom they too longed for Arundhati’s arrival and realized their folly.

It had already been 2 weeks since Arundhati arrived at Pataliputra and today was the day when she would return to Kanakapuri rising her reign there.

The Army of Pataliputra followed Arundhati as she leads them.

The peace of the evening scattered all around their tents, they were really close to Kanakapuri’s fortress.

"Raniji, When will we strike Kanakapuri?" Veer Singh asked her. "Wait for the right time," Arundhati said. She was determined to get Kanakapuri at her hands. 

It was early in the morning when Shashwat heard a commotion outside, "who is it?" He asked the guards, "Maharaja, it's the invading army! Please grab your sword and come to the top" he said. Shashwat immediately grabbed his sword and wore his armor and went to the top. The servants arranged for the binoculars for a proper view. He peeped in the binoculars and saw Arundhati riding on a horse coming towards the palace. He smiled, "I knew it, she could not even resist the ill-treatment of the people out there that's why she is coming back to me," he said. The ministers were shocked, Never did Arundhati did like this to him. Was she afraid of the future? Were the acts done by her previously just fake? Slowly Shashwat zoomed the binoculars when he noticed that Arundhati was carrying a sword. He stared at that for a while, when Arundhati flipped her sword and the whole army of Pataliputra accompanied by Veer Singh appeared in front of his eyes. The other spectators were also shocked, Gangaram smiled and said, "It's time for the justice to come back to Kanakapuri".

Arundhati stood there with the army, "Rajaji, Now it is the time to strike!" she said. Veer Singh nodded and shouted, "Aakraman!" Shashwat released his troops and the Battle began.

Arundhati fought bravely against the enemy. She killed many soldiers and skillfully played her moves. 

Meanwhile, at the Palace, Gangaramji gathered all the ministers and some troops and said, "We made a mistake before by banishing Arundhati from this palace. God gave us this opportunity to amend it. On behalf of the Court of Kanakapuri. We will all fight to establish Arundhati's success in this battle!" All the people shouted, "Yes Sir!"

The ministers and the troops went riding to Arundhati's side. Gangaram and other ministers fell at her feet, "we made our goddess leave our nation. Raniji, Please forgive us! And let us be with you in this battle" they said. "Rise up Ministers, It's never too late to fight for justice.." she said. 

The battle resulted in the loss of many lives from both sides. Shashwat reached his limit and was tired. His body full of cuts and his clothes were stained with blood his armor was broken and was too tired to play his next move. Now, Arundhati and Shashwat were faced to face. Arundhati was strong while Shashwat was tired. Arundhati took a sword and swayed it creating a huge cut in Shashwat's body.

Shashwat shouted in pain but he did not give up he got up with his sword and swayed it only to bring Arundhati closer to him. She smirked and placed the sword on his neck, "I think you forgot our wedding night..." she said. "Why will I? I know that you are back to me" he said and brought her more closer to him. "You wish, I gave a warning that night if you wanted to stay alive then you had to stay away from me... I guess you don't want to live anymore" she said and slid the sword through his neck causing him to shout his last cry. He died.

The injustice which swallowed the region of Kanakapuri finally died. The whole atmosphere was full of cries, "Jai ho Maharani Arundhati ki!" "Victory to the Queen!" and many more. Veer Singh was very happy and said, "Rani, Kanakapuri is yours!" Arundhati smiled and said, "Rajaji, Kanakapuri is not mine... I am lawfully her servant".

Within weeks, Arundhati was crowned as the Queen of Kanakapuri. The very first Queen who took the place of the King in the history of their empire. Kings and Queens arrived to congratulate her and bless her with success one of them being Jaideep. "Arundhati! I am so proud of you!" he said patting her back. "Dada, it's all just a beginning," she said and smiled.

For us, She set an example that the power of women cannot be shunned from the world. For the people, she is their Goddess. For Kuldeep, she was his brave daughter.

But for Arundhati being a Queen was Kanakapuri's Choice.

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