Niram and Mariko stands under a huge tree to wait for the rain to stop. Mariko notices a cow stealing a bite of a fruit and informs the stall owner. Niram stops Mariko saying cows are sacred beings, and he offers to buy a sweet apple. He takes a bite and gives it to Mariko.
Mariko remembers what happened yesterday. Niram took his plane and they flew to this town and stayed in his acquaintance’s mansion. Mariko realizes they come far enough that people don’t recognize him.
Niram advices Mariko to watch out above. She looks up and notices monkeys taking shelter from the rain like them. Mariko screams. Niram says, “If you don’t fear them, they don’t do anything to you.” A panicking Mariko asks Niram why he brought her here. Niram tells Mariko to have a date with him and to forget about the depressing days they had recently. Because Mariko makes a face, Niram stutters, “Yeah, we wish we can, but… Still, I wanted you to know. I got upset and raised my voice hard for it, but I seriously don’t want to sacrifice your feelings or your self for my goal. That will only make me empty…” Mariko looks up to apologize to Niram, who kisses her head.
Niram notices the rain is getting weaker. He tells Mariko about the tree that they are taking sheltered from. It is called bodhi tree, which is the tree of Budha. Mariko says, “Achieving enlightenment is far away… [Niram kisses Mariko’s cheek.] This smell. This taste. Seems like they are a lot stronger than the palace.
Mariko witnesses the fruit stall’s owner holding down a young boy and yelling, “You, little beggar thief!” Mariko is about to stop the owner, but Niram stops her. Mariko screams that the boy is only a child and asks why Niram is stopping her. Niram sighs and offers to pay the fruit that the boy took. The owner refuses, “You’re trying to cover up for this dalit? You’re Indian too, right?!” Mariko asks Niram to translate and notices two government officials arriving. They advice Mariko and Niram, who they call a tourist and her guide, to quit spoiling dalits since they will get carried away. Mariko asks about dalits, but Niram holds her back and tells them that he is going to explain that to her. However, he cannot back down regarding that child since his important guest is asking Niram to help him.
They are in the police station. Officers report to their captain that they can’t handle a case that involves a foreigner and the guide doesn’t seem like a normal civilian. The captain is annoyed because he’s in the middle of playing chess with a Vice-Head, who suggests Niram to play with him instead. If Niram wins, they will let go of that boy. Niram adds a condition, “If I win, 1st square 1 grain of rice, 2nd square 2 grains of rice, 3rd square 4, 4th square 8… and so on and so forth. There are 64 squares here on this board, therefore, I ask you to give him the rice worth of 64 squares like how I just calculated, understand?” The captain worries for the Vice-Head, who tells him not to worry since he once won the chess championship in England and that amount of rice is nothing.
Vice-Head lost. Before walking out with Mariko, Niram reminds him of the promise. Vice-Head angrily screams, “Who that man!?” His subordinate tells him that they got curious and made an accountant calculated the amount of rice, which totals up to more than 18,000 trillion.
Mariko is happy to see the child got released. She is about to approach him, but Niram stops her. The bruised boy glares at Mariko saying she ruined his plan. The boy angrily shouts, “Even if I get caught stealing, they’ll free me anyway. If I take a few punches, they’ll stop when they’re bored. They don’t even remember dalits’ faces! But now that you stepped on their pride, they’re gonna come after me till I die!” Pointing his finger, he screams, “Go to hell!” Niram grabs the boy’s hand and ask if he has a name. The boy answers, “Ani.” Niram continues to say, “Ani, my name is Niram, the man who’s going to change your destiny. Come to the palace located in Varowdara.” Niram lets go of his hand and the boy quickly runs away.
Niram explains, “Dalit means an outcast, who doesn’t have a status. For the people in this country, they are not humans. They will be treated the same as animals. [The boy runs to his mother’s embrace.] That’s all I can do for him. For now, that is.” Mariko shreds a tear and hugs Niram. She says Niram is good at hiding surprises and being a stuck-up. It makes her remembered the old him when they first met. Niram is thinking to denounce the use of harem. Padma already has two children. Until they grow up, Niram is going to temporary fill in the king’s position. Niram says, “I’m not going to make any children. Instead, I’m going to officially state Padma’s son to become the next king after me. All I need is you.” Mariko asks, “So? What do you mean by that? You already proposed to me so many times.” Niram continues, “Mariko, I won’t be able to tell the citizens that you’re my official wife.” He asks where Mariko was planing to go yesterday. Mariko remembers her talk with Fukiko about going back to Japan. Niram asks, “Am I too late? Mariko, don’t go anywhere.” Tenderly looking at Niram, Mariko reaches her hand to his face and gives him a kiss on his cheek. “Is this why you took me out this far? So I won’t go anywhere? You know, I remembered the reason I came to India was simple. I love you, Niram…”
To be continued (Click here for the next chapter)
Wow! What a beautiful thought from Mariko!!!!! Hum.. I think Niram is a bit selfish here.
But is it fair for her to be his unofficial wife? I guess that doesn’t matter as long as you’re in love?!
His “All I need is you” line just reminds me of the song Love is All You Need from the Beatles (lmao!) Romantic but cheesy as heck~~~ (Fyi, I’m actually playing this song while typing. hahaha)
There are 3 more chapters to go. We are almost there, y’all!!! Stay tuned~