‘When Maldev brought Hambeer to the court where his father and his father’s father had ruled their kingdom from, one cannot begin to describe what was going through Hambeer’s mind. He felt as though all the brave men of the past stood around the empty throne of Chittore at the other end of that vast room, watching him. They stood wordless, in their armour of gold and drawn swords. All the Rajputs who had come with Hambeer looked at the throne as one. The golden umbrella above the empty throne flashed by the light of torches before disappearing into the darkness again and again. As soon as the five hundred had stood up after paying their respects to the throne, the darkness seemed to dissolve and Kamalkumari appeared with her handmaidens and placed a garland of lotus flowers around Hambeer’s neck. It was as if the deity of Chittore had been languishing in the empty palace all alone; today the true heir came and rescued her from a curse.
Rajkahini, Abanindranath Tagore
Illustration, Subrata Gangopadhyay