41. A Ride

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 Rajamatha was back in her chamber's, slowly removing the heavy golden ornaments and placing them in a heavily carved wooden box.

Her brain and heart were clustered at the moment with deep thoughts of Chitra. She had tried, she tried to get Chitra to spill out whatever was eating her brain, she tried to console Chitra for the pain she was facing but all her attempts were futile.

She understands how emotional the pain of a mother be, she is a mother of two children no one knows the pain better than her. Troublesome pregnancies run in this family, when she was pregnant with Nandhini she almost lost her life because of the complications, but fortunately she got two beautiful and healthy kids.

Something more than pain was gripping Chitra from receiving her husband's help and that something resembles resentment and bitterness, but why? Arjuna was also facing the same loss and same pain, then why couldn't she take him in?

Having someone to share your pain can always heal the deepest of deepest wounds, the process can be a little slow at a time but nothing a touch of love can't not heal.

Rajamatha Padmaja, prayed to the gods before she slept on the bed thinking that she will get hold of the reason for her son's drift in marriage. 

* * *

"Are you leaving?" Sridhar's soft voice was almost like a whisper as he stood near the entrance clutching the long curtains.

The long oil lamp poles near the entrance have a clear view of his red and teary eyes which instantly made Chitra's heart twist in emotions, his chubby cheeks were pink from the night's cool wind.

She waved her hand motioning him to come to her and when he did she pressed her warm palms to his cheeks trying to warm him up.

"Why aren't you sleeping? It's almost midnight?" Chitra pulled out a thick rug from her almirah and covered him in it.

Sridhar's eyes remained glued to the floor trying to hide his tears as he bought up his little hand and whipped his flushed pink nose.

"I will be back in a wink! You can-" Her words came to a halt as Sridhar opened his eyes wide and blinked forcefully strong.

Chitra threw her head backwards laughing awed by his adorableness, she kneeled to his level and pinched his cheeks, "We will return soon, till then you can stay with aunt Apsara-"

"Nah!" Sridhar shook his head, "She won't play or tell me any stories! Last time when I asked to play with me she pinched me so hard!" He lifted his cotton night kurtha showing her his wound.

Chitra's eyes peeled open and she could see a faint blue mark on his side stomach, her fingers ran on his wound, "Does it still hurt?" She asked in a worried tone.

Why would Apsara do this to her own nephew? He was her only family left after Aditya being sent to the prison, it is such a shameful act to hurt an innocent kid and that too a parent less kid like Sridhar? Anger filled in her brain, Chitra was being friendly to her but that doesn't give her any right to do this to a kid! 

"No." He shook his head letting go of his kurtha.

"Fine, Till then stay with Princess Nandhini okay? And also I will get some gifts for you when I come back, what do you want?" The playful tone in her voice cheered the little boy as he tapped his chin thinking about what he would like to have.

"Ha! I want a sword!" His eyes twinkled bright like a beautiful as he replied and his response surprised Chitra why will a barely five year old want a sword?

"A Sword? We have many at our training grounds-"

Sridhar facepalmed himself making a loud sound, "I am not stupid Chitra, the sword was so heavy that I feel down! And Mandhara kept laughing at me!" His bubbly cheeks turned red as he completed his sentence.

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