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Somanath: A Tale of Forgotten Time
Author :ziton
© Webnovel

3 Rise and fall

There was the fourth gateway in the south of Somanath Mahalay (mansion). Upon crossing the fourth gateway, there was a residence for devadasis that was surrounded with a strong rampart. Presently there were seven hundred devadasis living in the residence. Some were from Gujarat, whose soft and charming light dark skin, middle height and charming voice involuntarily used to attract the audience towards them. Some were northern, whose arched nose, straight and broad forehead, fair pinkish skin and gentle voice used to represent their personality. Some were from the distant northern mountains, whose flat nose, short height and soft pale skin was easily distinguishable. Some were from the south with dark complexioned, who, with their bright robes and playful eyes used to easily win the hearts of the audience. All were sacrificed to God and used to allure Deva (God) and his devotees with their soulful dances, dalliance and melodious songs. These beauties, from head to toe were the figures of pleasure, adornment and gesture. Many spellbound kings and emperors listening the sound of their ankle – bells, used to stay in mahalay for months or years.

In this residence away from all the other houses, in a lonely place there was a small but beautiful house. There was a bael tree in front of the house. This was Ganga's home.

The youth of Ganga was now over. A dark line was running around her bewitching eyes. On the edges of pink cheeks, one or two lines had been appeared. In the middle of her jet-black curly hair, one or two white hair was shining like a silver wire. Her beautiful teeth were as dazzling as before. But the lush of her lips had decreased a little bit. The idea is, now she was around forty, but still there was a sensual attraction in her voice and demeanor. She was a great artist. In that era, there was no other singer and dancer like her. She was the chief of devadasis.

When Gang Sarvagya became the chief worshiper of Somanath at Mahalay, only after two years one day Ganga with her youth and bewitching beauty (no one knew from where?) suddenly came and began to dance in the court of mahalay(mansion). At that time, she was a 15 years old lass. Slender figure, deep black eyes, short height and snake - like agility. Her first dance had made her famous. Gang Sarvagya was also a young brahmachari (someone who celibates and dose not have sex throughout his life). Skin color like hot -copper, unparallel wisdom, lion-like chest. The talks of his religious austerity and splendor were spread in India. He was a logist of Dashang disciplines, omniscient, brahmachari. It was also said that he had unparallel knowledge of Shastra and Vedas. Who was his teacher – no one had any idea and it is a mystery till now. After becoming the chief worshiper of Dev Somanath, he had become famous all over India as a symbol of God Shiva. But still the former and later tales of both Gang Sarvagya and Ganga taking different forms like a river in the rainy season, began to flow. People had started different kinds of talking. When Ganga with her indolent youth and beaming beauty used to give a performance of her art of dancing in front of the entrance of the adytum, her body postures, blows with her feet, sound of her ankle-bells, melody of her voice all together used to drop thousands of men out of control. The great master Gang Sarvagya in his tiger's skin, sitting still in lotus position without blinking an eye used to watch her dance. The only difference between Dev Somanath's posture and his, was that the jyotirlinga of Dev Somanath remained still after her dance, but Sarvagya, after standing up from there, bowing to Dev Somanath, entering his grotto and locking it from inside used to be engrossed into what practice, is still unknown. And in this way 25 years had passed. As the fire extinguishes, so the rumors about Ganga and Sarvagya had faded own its own with time.


Then sun had set after shining brightly at noon, the bright rays had become pale. A captivating seriousness had developed in the bewitching eyes of Ganga. With those, looking at the girl Ganga asked –

"Can you dance?"

"somewhat"

"Who taught you?"

"King Udayaditya"

"Where did you find him?"

"Father had taken him as a captive in the war"

"So, you are the royal princess of King Chaulukya?"

"I 'm just an offering." The girl's eyes became wet and her voice also trembled a little.

"Are you regretting?"

"No, to be an offering for God is far better than to marry a mortal"

"Then, why are these tears?"

"Casually …" she wiped her tears.

"Let's see your dance."

"Watch it before Dev Somanath"

"So be it. Then dress yourself accordingly."

"That's not necessary. It is fine."

"No, it is not fine. Mahalay has some decorum.""

"then it's okay. As your wish."

"There will be genuine Shaiv Nraty (dance of lord Shiva)."

"Okay, so be it."

"Then come, let me dress you up. There is no delay in Brahma Mahurt (time for worshiping). The bell has started ringing and Sarvagya has reached the adytum."

Chaula did not protest. Ganga dressed her up with her hands. She made many braids of curly hair and interlocked them with the pearl strings. The bodice decorated with gems and pearls was tightened and a thin chuniri was put on her shoulders. A Kashmiri shawl was wrapped around her waist and a beautiful red skirt was put on her. Ornaments made of sapphires were put on in her arms. Finally, a diamond crown was placed on her head. After doing all this, Ganga smiled. But with the smile two teas rolled down on her cheeks.

Chaula asked," Why are these tears?"

"Casually, let's go."'

"No, tell me"

"remembering a thing of past"

"Is it a secret?"

"No, twenty-five years ago exactly at this time, in this same dress, at this same age, another girl had entered the mahalay through this same path with this same purpose, and at this time the great man who is waiting for you, the same great man was waiting for her."

After thinking for a moment, Chaula asked," Who was the great man, Sarvagya?"

"Yes"

"And the girl, was you?"

"Yes"

Chaula did speak anything. Stood there silently. Ganga hugged her and kissed her on her forehead. Chaula hugged her back tightly. They both had become emotional.

Wiping her tears, Ganga said," Let's go."

"Let's go."

Both started to walk.

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