The men leeringly comment on kaurvaki and devi. kaurvaki is unable to resist, and then beats them to pulp. they profusely apologise on their knees. she says that she merely taught a lesson, and the punishment still remains. she makes them all do sit ups. devi says that she might not introduce herself, but she should atleast be able to get inside the palace. she says that she has to take the disguise of a princess. Kaurvaki thinks that the idea is good, but how would she look one in these clothes. devi finds a palenquin royale passing by, and asks her to leave it on her. Kaurvaki is boggled while devi is amused.
Inside, the palanquin, a princess steps out, and reprimands the workers to try and walk faster, so that they reach the palace faster. she eyes the palace from afar, which is almost 1.5 kilometers away. she stepos out, a royal princess that she is, with all the mannerisms. she thinks that before she enters the royal palace, she should beautify herself, so that when ashoka casts his glance at her, he is stunned by her beauty, and once she gets married to him, she wouldnt be Princess Anindini, but the Magadh queen. she says that her priest has prophecied that ashoka shall be the royal king. Kaurvaki hears from a distance, and points out how foolish she is to even aspire to be ashoka’s wife. kaurvaki gets jealous, as she starts talking about her beauty that shall bowl ashoka over. they get inside the royal palenquin stealthily, while she is busy beautifying herself. she intentionally pulls the carpet, and the princess falls, stained in mud and dirt. she gets frustrated. they manage to grab hold of the palenquin and the beautiful clothes, that belong to the princess, and compliment her beautiful choice. Kaurvaki says that this is the last option to find out whats in his heart. she says that she has left everything, and if ashoka leaves her, what shall she do. she gets tensed thinking about it
As acharya watches on, the gondna tax takers and taken into custody. sushim goes after them, but ashoka confronts in the middle. they are beaten up. sushin comments on his fast track working. Sushim tells ashoka, that he doesnt think these gondna workers shall open their mouths in front ofhim, out of fear, and his efforts shall be in vain. ashoka says that he silenced him, but now he has a way out, to let them speak up. sushin asks him to be involved in smaller issues, while he goes to enjoy his higher superior powers. ashoka taunts and asks whats the hurry, as his vanity and ego shall come in handy, when he is left with nothing. he says that he too has an important work, and gets inside. sushim stands enraged. ashoka comes in to find them being beaten up barbarously, and orders them to be left. the prisoners are shocked to see him. all look on tensedly and comply. ashoka then introduces himself to the tax workers. they apologise profusely, that they were doing it out of fear for Gondna and his fear. ashoka assures them that they are in the safest place here, and asks them to rememebr to speak the truth, as he hates lies, and if they try to lie the least bit, then he shall give them a new definition of terror and fear to live with. they are petrified.
Later, in front of acharya, ashoka manages to get them to spill the truth out, that these people are very discreet and secretive in their dealing, as one person managing the taxes doesnt know about anyone else’s working strategy, and that a tattoo on the arm is whats their identifying mark. he then explains the entire strategy, as to how they collect the tax and keep it in a closet, and throw it in the river. ashoka asks if this is done against their wishes, then why they never informed the royalty about it. they inform that not only the people are punished but their families too. they ask if he knows what happened to the person who tried to rebel. his entire family was killed, and then he committed suicide himself, swearing that there must be someone who shall punish the gondna one day.
Ashoka is apalled as they narrate the horrific tale to them. he says that if they dont raise their voices now, it shall ruin them all, and this problem needs to be nipped in the bud, and he shall do so. Later, ashoka says that for the benefit of the country and the human mankind, this is his first step towards achieving his goal, and to achieve this, he can go to any lengths. he says that there must be some link to connect to Gondna, and someone must have definitely seen him, the terminating link to Gondna. he begs them to remember harder. they say that they have no clue about it. one of them comments about some Uttar dakshin, two people, whose real identities arent known, sn they might be some link, as they handle the tax collection in these two directions, and that they care often seen to go in the dark forests from where they vanish. They both come out, and ashoka and ahcraya discuss that the complications are getting more entangled. acharya says that there is something more to it. ashoka says that sushim has become more powerful, but not necessarily by wit and brains as entire personality change isnt that easy, and that there is something not clear. acharya says that he has spent so much in exile, and maybe darkness ensures him truth, as sushim leaves in the night. ashoka says that he shall ensure that sushim never leaves alone in the night.
Gondna, in his veil, meets Uttar who discusses how ashoka made all of his servants captive. gondna however remains unperturbed. he says that they were working for long, and that now they shall start for their new servants. Uttar starts to talk about how he shall arrange for new male and female workers. he asks them to start making servants soon, and instill fear in them so much so that they prefer dying rather than open their mouths against gondna. he also points out how important cash flow is for their motive’s success, and they need to be financially superior and after that, with money ruin them totally, but cash flow shouldnt stop, as only that shall ensure their motive being a success, as he doesnt want any hindrance in his ultimate goal. the servant silently complies.
In the middle of the night, someone secretively leaves the palace, gets atop a horse, and drives straight ahead. ashoka stealthily follows him. in the darkness of the forests, he meets someone else, and then he is whisked inside a barn yard. the other person says that since ashoka is so badly involved in the investigation, hence its necessary to take him away from the main matter. he thinks that he needs spies, and he should be given so many to distract, that he is involved in them only. he says that cash flow is extremely essential for their work and that they shall ruin and finish off the magadh financial powers so badly, that its economy tumbles down so that when bindusara is dead, noone can shed a single tear. The person who discreetly and stealthily arrived in the hideout, from the palace, takes off his veil, its revealed that its actually Siamak, who addresses the other veiled person as Gondna. the other person guffaws aloud, as the veil is taken off the other face too, and its revlead that its Bindusara’s greek mother, Raajmata Helena. she says that this is a weird game, that he too is referring to her as Gondna. they both guffaw together. The screen freezes on her evil face.
As ashoka and sushim take their place, bindu professes as to how this swayamvar shall be the most effective and rightly way of choosing suitable wives for his sons,
Ashoka and Sushim, as directed by Dharma. she smiles. then he talks about how the princesses shall make their grand entry hereforth, while they are minutely observed, so that their competitive edge makes them battle it out, for the coveted title of being the wives of the two worthy heirs to the throne. he declares the swayamvar to start. one by one, Mahamatya starts narrating the qualities of the prospective brides, one by one, who make their entrance. He starts off with princesses, having as good qualities, as being the best of singing talent, to the best of dancing, to the best of swimming, and to the best of culinary efficiency.
vit is thoroughly amused, as he enjoys the swayamvar. even anindini, who kaurvaki had stolen clothes from, makes her appearance, and Ashoka immediately seems interested. she produces an apt analogy, as to the person who is away from grief, is Ashoka, and the person full of happiness, is she herself, Anindini, pointing out their perfect match. Then Princess Changa makes an appearance, wherein Mahamatya continues professing about the economic benefits of matches with this princess. Sushim is immediately interested, while the ladies are scrutinised carefully by Dharma. Bindu approves and eyes them all one by one. Finally, princess Kaurvaki makes her entrance with devi, and all eye turn on her, while Ashoka eyes her boggled and tensed. Dharma and vit are surprised to see her. Kaurvaki asks for everyone’s permission to present her introduction. When granted, she says that she is the princess of Kaushali, next to Kalinga. Dharma identifies her as the one who gave food to vit, when he was hungry in the forests. but she is tensed and boggled, as to whats devi doing with her.
Ashoka steps up and says that she is lying, as she isnt a Princess of Kalinga. kaurvaki is happy thinking that he did recognise her. but he stuns her, by adding that she isnt a princess of any place. all are stunned and shocked. THe princesses are baffled, while kaurvaki stands hurt and apalled. Bindu asks ashoka the basis of her appeaaaarance. ashoka asks him to look at her costumes, as they seem either stolen or borrowed. she says that a man is known by the character not by the clothes, as it was told that ashoka thinks like that. Tauntingly, he asks her to quench his thirst, and asks her to tell that if she came from that far, then she couldnt have done it alone, and asks where her companions are. she stands silenced. he thinks that now she shall have to blurt the truth. Just then, one of the princesses speaks up, saying that she apologises for interference, but she knows her, as they have met her earlier from family dinner. Dharma says that truely she is a princess, and she knows her. he wonders if his mother knows her too. she also tells about how she had come home, the day when he was leaving for the competition. he thinks that she has been following him from that long. she thinks that he has no clue what turmoils she has gone through to get to him, and how she left his family too and he has no sympathy left for her, in his heart. dharma speaks highly of her humility, generosity and her humanitarian nature.
kaurvaki thanks her for such a character sketch. she says that she came here, thinking, that those people were invited, who Magadh wants to have relations with. She says that if Ashoka doesnt want her to be here, then it isnt right for her to be here either. she turns around to go and leave. he says that he didnt think she would be so offended. Dharma says that she wont go anywhere, and the person who made a fault in identifying her shall have to apologise to her rightaway. Ashoka is enraged, while Kaurvaki and devi stand tensedly. Dharma tells him that be she a princess or not, this is no way to treat or talk to a lady, and asks him to apologise to her, right now, this very instant. kauravki looks down, while ashoka eyes her tensedly. all wait in anticipation, wherein finally ashoka speaks up, with folded hands, apologises, addressing her as Kaushali’s princess, for not having recognised her. sushim is amused, that atlast someone came, who made ashoka apologise to her. they are then seated, while karuvaki and ashoka are still tensed. Stealthily, Sushim is asked by his mother to focus only on Changa, as she belongs to an influential house, and once there are eco-social relationships, then there shall be no problem in materialising their motives.
Finally, Mahamatya proclaims that all the princesses have been introduced. Dharma asks if the invitation to Kalinga was sent, as she had high hopes of Princess Kaurvaki to arrive. bindu asks mahamatya if any response was received from Kalinga. he denies in negation. Dharma is tensed, wondering where she was, as she should have come, since she has always seen, kaurvaki as her daughter in law, but probably destiny wants something else. bindu extends a warm welcome to everyone, in Patliputra, and asks them to consider it as their own home, with all luxuries andf comforts. he says that there shall be many competitions wherein their qualities shall be adjudged, out of which, two shall get the good luck of being their wives. Anindini thinks that there is noone here to match her talent, and that she just awaits one chance to meet ashoka as she has come to defeat ashoka by her love only. Bindu gets up, and the entire court stands out of respect. after all disperse, kaurvaki thinks that she gave him her heart but never thought that he would break her heart like this. ashoka meanwhile is stopped by acharya, saying that he wishes to discuss something. he eyes kaurvaki strangely and then leaves, while she too is tensed.
Later, Kaurvaki and devi are in the corridor, wherein they meet Dharma. Devi refers to her as kaki, and then immediately rememebrs that she is the queen, and pays formal greetings. but dharma says that she can still call her as Kaaki. Meanwhile, kauravki also pays her respects to dharma. dharma apologises on ashoka’s behalf saying that he never normally talks to wome like that, and hs no clue why he behaved like that. kaurvaki too thinks that he is enjoying humiliating her, but asks dharma not to mind or apologise for him. dharma wonders why does she feel she knows her from before, and has talked to her from before, right here. before they met in the jungle. kaurvaki too remembers their meeting, and thinks that years back, dharma took a promise from her, but she shall not be able to fulfill it alone. The screen freezes on her face.
READ NEXT – Friday Update on Emperor Ashoka