Author's Note: This is a series of one shots, each connected and building up from the next, on Rangrasiya. I have called it Yesterday and Tomorrow, because this is a whole new idea of story telling, at least for me.
What i'm doing here might seem odd to you, my lovely reader -- but, I have faith you'll give me a chance to tell my story, in a new way! Basically, every update of this series "Yesterday and Tomorrow" is going to be about one common thing--it can be an item like the Red Ghagra, an emotion like, for example, Fear, or even be about a person, like Bindi. This common idea will show up in Paro and Rudra's past (yesterday) and in the future (tomorrow)--and you will get two stories on the same idea, in each one shot. So one story will be set in the past, the next story will show them in a better future, and both stories will share a common theme.
In the YESTERDAY segment, I will show you a glimpse of the past--the past setting is dark and intense, and deals with what I imagine happened to Paro and Rudra, right after the Baraat massacre scene. I am rebooting the story from the day of that Baraat, showing HOW things may have happened in my mind, after Paro is arrested and brought to the BSD. If Rudra was more ruthless, more cold and Jallad-like, if Paro had resisted him more, if she had been given more of a character--how would th story have gone? I am writing what I would have liked to see onscreen, if the CVs had really pushed the envelope with their story-telling.
In the TOMORROW segment, the same "item" or emotion or person comes to the story again, as it might be in the future--after Paro and Rudra have sorted everything out, fallen in love. Their future is bright and joyful, showing our couple after their lives have taken them beyond misunderstandings, beyond their past pain and hatred. The future passages will show a happy snapshot of their life, as it can be, Tomorrow. One theme, showing up as the common thread, tying Paro and Rudr's hellish Yesterday to a heavenly Tomorrow--that is how I am writing my series, Yesterday and Tomorrow!
YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW: PRISONER (PART ONE)
TOMORROW: The vegetable-wala had set up his stall under the only green, spreading tree on the BSD army base. The bright noon sunlight, so fierce everywhere else in the Rajasthani desert, was filtering gently through the green branches. The rays fell in leopard-skin spots across gleaming tomatoes, colorful ker sangri, white daggers of moola, eggplants and piles of emerald, glistening saag. Paro, heading out of the Rations Depot with the week's supply of ata, salt and potatoes-- stopped dead in her tracks.
Picking up the new pink ghagra dancing around her silver anklets, Paro hurried across the compound, narrowly avoiding the jeeps and motor bikes blasting by her. With a gesture of apology to the bewildered constable who carried her bags right behind her, Paro started to eagerly examine the bounty before her, choosing this tomato, rejecting that blemished karela, and carefully selecting the best produce she could find.
Her mind filled with delight as she planned out the feast she would make as soon as she got home, remembering recipes and dishes that she was particularly good at. Her entire childhood had been spent making lajawaab dishes for her family.
But her cooking had never been as appreciated as it was now! Babu-sa had, just last night, dreamily told her about the mixed sabzi his mother used to make when he was a child. And HE of course, would eat as many paneer dishes as she could set before him. Father and son were the same when to came to this, so she found herself needing more rations, and of course, the more she made, the more they demanded. It was hard work! but the rewards...Paro blushed at the trend her thoughts had taken. She firmly told herself to hurry, since HE would soon be home, and hungry for more than just...
Did she have enough ghee in the kitchen for some paneer stuffed paratas? Turning, she told her faithful follower to get some from the Rations store. There! Now else what would she make...? She shopped and hummed to herself, her mind busily planning. There were so many things to think about! So many things!
YESTERDAY: Her stomach was still growling. It had done that for so long, she no longer knew what it was like to feel full. The shards of burnt roti lay listlessly on the steel plate across from her. Weak from hunger, from a kind of emptiness that felt as if it would never again be filled, Paro attempted, once again, to force some food down. Her throat felt raw as if peeled from the inside with acid.
The water glass was dirty, the jug stained with deposits of minerals and algae, but she sipped the muddy liquid gratefully. It helped to dull the ache of hunger inside, even if it did nothing else. Looking down at the stained, torn red cloth, the travesty of clothing that clung in damp patches to her body, Paro shuddered in distaste. Briefly she thought about using the water in her glass to wipe herself clean, to rub off the worst of the dirt and blood that clung to her skin---but would she get water again, if she wasted it now?
Would..HE...stop her water as well, like he had stopped her food? No, she could not chance it. But as for the food that the other prisoners had rejected---and that the duty constable had tried to give her secretly-Not one more morsel could she eat. If she was to die, and her death was to be starvation, so be it. Her senses swam, as she leaned back against the cold brick floor, shivering from weakness and lack of food.
She longed for the heat and brightness of the desert sun outside her empty cell. The iron bars of the window set so far above her allowed nothing but the smallest rays of light to enter the empty, grey stone coffin that was her prison. Wearily, she put her head back, trying to think of something, anything but the hunger clawing at her guts. But there was nothing else to think about in her world. HE had seen to that. Nothing.
PART TWO---SCROLL DOWN!
THE YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW SERIES-ENJOY!
YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW: PRISONER (PART TWO)
TOMORROW: The bandage was badly tied, so Paro hobbled out of the room, holding her foot and trying to stop the cloth from unraveling and causing a mess on the floor. Babu-sa was just outside her bedroom, napping on his cane chair, a newspaper draped over his stomach. Paro tried to be quiet as she reached for the first aid kit on top of the table, but the sound of her anklets betrayed her as usual. Babu-sa soon woke up to see Paro clutching her foot, blood oozing between her fingers, an apologetic smile on her pained face.
Paro started to fear she would have to deal with another patient instead of her own injury, so upset Babu-sa became when he saw her cut. The broken vase in the bedroom, her stepping on the glass shards, the cut that had resulted--all of this made Babu-sa panic. He called loudly to the on-duty constable to fetch help. Paro was made to sit down on the cane chair, and Babu-sa tried to find gauze in the first aid box.
He was just scolding her for her carelessness when the door opened with a bang right behind them both. Like burglars caught during a crime, Paro and Babu-sa stared at each other, dismay and guilt mirroring the same expression on both faces. "Yeh kya hua!!!!!" thundered a voice of wrath, as Rudra stormed into the room, burning, angry eyes taking in the scene before him.
The sight of the blood on Paro's foot was the final straw. Pounding over to the embarrassed girl sitting on his father's chair, Rudra snarled orders at his father, contradicting his own directions. Babu-sa was yelled at for not watching over Paro and for not calling his son immediately, then thanked for calling his son immediately, told to call the doctor, and to get the first aid kit, to bring water and sit down and take care of himself all at the same time.
Swept up into Rudra's arms, Paro smiled apologetically at Babu-sa, and was told by Rudra to stop grinning like the fool she was, asked whether it hurt a lot, ordered not to talk and finally kissed on the lips. Paro, scandalized, buried her face into his neck as she was carried into the bedroom.
Rudra dropped her onto the bed, kneeling before the injured foot. His heavy frown focused on the cut, his searching eyes checking his woman for other injuries.
Paro smiled down at him, was roughly told to keep her smiles for someone who wanted them, and then kissed again. Meekly, she submitted to Rudra's blistering scolding, even as his gentle hands applied a soothing balm, wrapped an expertly tied bandage and stroked the poor little foot to comfort the hurt. Finally, once he was absolutely sure she was not going to die from blood loss, Rudra opened the door to allow his hovering Babu-sa into the room.
Babu-sa came in, holding a plate piled high with food. Rudra took the offered thali, and sitting down on the bed, he grimly started feeding Paro. He didn't stop, even when Babu-sa coughed suggestively and left the room. He only glared at Paro through angry, hawkish eyes when she became embarrassed and tried to take the thali, so she gave up, and ate what he gave her.
"Manne kucho nahi hua Major saab, mere haath to bilkul thik hai, kuch bhi nahi hua!" Paro said, playfully offering her palms up for inspection. "Bholenath ko mera taraf se thanks bol dena -tere foot me cut zyada deep nahi hai, accident se bach gaya tu...Thanks bol dena " he whispered gruffly.
(Eng: Paro: "Nothing has happened to my hands, Major Saab! I can use them! I'm fine, here, see for yourself!" Rudra: "Say thank you to your Bholenath on my behalf. The cut on your foot isn't too deep, you got saved from an accident. Say thanks for me")
YESTERDAY: The whip lashed through the air, hissing as it landed on pearly, tender skin. The rawhide edge scraped a weal through Paro's back, creating a ribbon of blood. The man who held the torture device lazily stretched his arm back, ready to land another blow onto the collapsed victim before him.
Paro didn't flinch, didn't move or speak a word. She no longer thought she could do anything other than just lie there, waiting for her torturer to get tired himself. But the unknown BSD officer who was holding that whip would not tire, and if he did, HE would send in another man. Two other officers had already come and gone. More would come, more to act on HIS commands.
She knew this with a sick despair. For hours now, it seemed, the beatings and questions had gone on and on, hammering into her, cutting her mind as surely as this whip cut her back. Sometimes these questions would stop since she would slip into merciful darkness. But then, a mug of dirty water to the face, and it would start, again.
Never-ending. As if she had been born in this hellhole, and would die, someday, right here. The arm raised again, and the whip sang through the air one more time.
The blow landed, as it always had, as it always would, until Bholenath finally decided to turn his attention to his devotee Paro and give her death. She didn't think it was possible, but she prayed, anyways. Perhaps Bholenath could not see her, here, in hell. Maybe HE had managed to take that from her too, maybe he had hidden her from Bholenath himself. If anyone could steal from her even God's mercy, she knew, it would be HIM.
She turned her face to the mirror on the wall above her. Through the mirror, she could feel the burn, HIS eyes that looked through her as if she was a butterfly, and he, a collector trying to pin her down to die. HE stood behind that mirror, watching her torture, savoring her pain, waiting for her to answer his questions, questions to which she had no response to give.
Edited by napstermonster - 2014-03-15T14:05:07Z
From her interrogation, she knew that 15 BSD officers had died in a dawn raid, the party led by people he suspected she was in contact with. Women had died, and children too, and she was the reason, HE had said. "Admit your part in this, tell us that you came into the Army camp to get information for your murdering Thakur, and I will let you die." he had said. The horror she felt as she was taken from the holding cell to this, the far more frightening "chamber" had made her numb.
But at his accusation, she had looked at the stony eyes of the Jallad, and had spat into his face. He had smiled down at her, and left the room. Then the men came, and Bholenath did not. She lifted her palms up in the air, in supplication or for mercy, she didn't know.
It didn't matter. None came. The whip sang.
That was really good! Question? Is this a view from paro's side after she's all chummy with rudra? And a view from her side remembering how it use to be?
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