Story 1- Rani

As I peered through the white and gold windows, I wondered. I wondered about the life I lead. A life filled with extravagance, jewels and fame. A life of a queen. Monotonous. Not liberal. The warm weather was a blessing from the cold I have been through in London. The enjoyed the humidity making my skin slightly oily and the soft blaze of the sun tickling my skin. The rare sweep of the wind here and then, swaying my hair and the slight comfort I am rewarded with the chill breezy it offers, forcing a slight shiver from me. The weather was beautiful and serene. If only it was like this always.

I was crowned Her Highness Raj Kumari Ayana Singh Rathod, eight months ago. Unexpectedly. My father, King Taran Singh Rathod, succumbed to the wounds of a broken and weak heart. In a span of one month, I lost my mother too. Our kingdom, my kingdom lost their leaders. Leaders who were examples for their motivation and bedtime stories for their children. And now, a 24 year old, innocent and nervous princess was their queen.

I was an only child. My father always said, “you fulfilled every happiness and wish of mine, so why should I have another child?” At that moment, I would feel important and proud of myself. I still remember the day he died. I came back from London after a business trip and we planned to have dinner together. I wanted to tell him some important news. But when I arrived, I wasn’t welcomed with laughter, flowers or celebration. But rather with the cries of the public, the sorrow of my mother and the harsh revelation that I was going to lose the man who held my hand at every step.

It all happened too fast. The day after my father died, we held the funeral and the memorial service. The very same evening, I was crowned the Queen. Three days after, I started my royal duties. I was told to forget about my life in London. My life as a fashion designer and to lead a country. I was educated but you are never taught things like how to make executive decisions for your country and be a good a queen. Before I could even learn to swim, I was thrown into a deep and bottomless sea.

I had the power to lead an army. The power to make an impact. The power to influence. And so, as my first choice as queen, I decided to open enrichment centers for women across the country. I made sure, the first impression I gave to my people was solid. The women of my country were talented and intelligent. But ignored. These enrichment centers provided jobs for women in agriculture, media, textiles and education. I gave them a chance to build their identity and set examples for the rest of the world. My first move was enough to establish my capabilities as a queen. I had no one to stop me then.

But now, it is different. I thought a good queen should fix everyone’s problems. But how  , if I can barely fix my own? I am on six different types of medication for anxiety and depression. I am an emotional recluse. The pressure of making sure I don’t lead my country into a dark hole and still being the light at the end of the tunnel for my country, was too much for me to bear. I visited seven doctors from all over the world, and each consultation ended with  “You are lonely and you should get married”. Can’t I be left alone? Am I disabled from functioning normally because my one true love is not a human. But my feminist brain is saying that. Somewhere deep inside, my heart craves for a companion. For a partner who can stand by me like my father did. A companion who could rule the county with love and affection. Not, greed or desire.

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