Runaway Bride

a poem by Rita Joyce Singh, India

Jaichand’s tempestuous temper was bane,
Now this recalcitrant girl, gone insane,
Held him ransom to his arch enemy,
That man she loved, he could not bear to see.

Sadly, so sneaking, budding, this romance,
Felt the king who would not budge his stance,
Strong willed this jinx, and beauty was her lot,
Made the king squirm, if kings could squirm in thought.

No true daughter of his would wedded be,
To that battle wreaking man called Prithvi,
Strangely, was Jaichand, king of Kanauj,
Daggers drawn with cousin king Prithviraj.

Folks say she and Prithvi had never met,
Yet had heard and eyed of each a portrait,
Her beauty so enamoured him to rave,
She loved him for his exploits so brave.

Many battles old, Prithvi had annexed,
Great shared domains that left Jaichand too vexed,
Jaichand summoned his Vazir to come forth,
To send invites to all nobles far North.

Princess Samyukta was warned of that day,
When, king in duty would give her away.
The ceremony would be ‘Swayamwar’,
She would garland a prince befitting her.

Jaichand got made a clay doorman to spite,
In post as lowly not to miss her sight,
The perfect look alike of Prithviraj,
To stand, as servant to king of Kanauj.

Oh! That day she glowed, stuff of romance,
And walked past all princes gawking askance,
Chin up, straight, garlanded Prithvi’s statue
Disdaining, her father in public view.

Apoplectic !! The king, fumbled and flew,
While Prithviraj from behind, his statue,
Sprang forth himself and swept her in his arms,
And on his horse, leapt , forerunning alarms.

Dashed Prithvi and princess to Delhi,
Brave man, dodging posse willy-nilly,
Good head start, his good horse in this case,
Thwarting all Kanauj’s posse in their chase,

How Prithvi carried the princess off,
Scandal scoffed, mocked, raised many hats to doff,
Uninvited groom, laughing story goes,
Bolted bride back home, under Jaichand’s nose.

And runaway bride, played a willing hand,
Thus, their fame fanned, across the sea and land,
Folklore, nay, all the world, loves a lover,
More so one king hid behind clay cover.

Note: Indian History 12th Century.
King Prithviraj Chauhan of Chauhana Clan – the last daring Hindu Rajput king of India till Mughal rule began. He consolidated and united a large Rajput Clan to fend off invaders.
He ruled fom twin kingdoms of Delhi and Ajmer. King Jaichand his older Cousin brother and King of Kanauj and Samyukta(sanjogita) his very beautiful, headstrong daughter.
Swayamwar : a ceremony followed by Nobles and Kings where the girl( Swayam meaning self, war meaning husband)self- chooses her husband by putting the garland on him from among many other noble suitors in the aisle.
Prithviraj was an unsurpassable archer..and strategist...captured by Mohd. Ghori in the battle of Tarain II and blinded..He later,still shot and killed Ghori pinpointing sound. He was put to death thereafter. Samyukta’s life history has an equally sad ending.
The wedding fiasco and escape is a disputed fact, whether it was preplanned between Prithviraj and Samyukta.. History records maintain she was surprised herself.

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