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Sita's Sister Paperback – Unabridged, 10 December 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 223 ratings

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About the Author

Kavita Kané is the bestselling author of Karna’s Wife: The Outcast’s Queen. She started her career as a journalist, and is now a full-time novelist. She is a post-graduate in English literature and Mass Communications. She is a mother of two teenage daughters and currently lives in Pune.

From the Publisher

‘Yes, and Sita being such an obedient girl would not break the rule. Why would she hide there when we have been forbidden to go to that wing of the palace?’ Urmila said uneasily knowing she would not hesitate to break any such rule. For Sita, she was ready to earn her father’s wrath.

‘I want to go to father! Let’s tell him we have lost Sita…’ Kirti was going to burst into tears any moment now. ‘Cry baby!’ Mandavi laughed scornfully.

‘No, dear, there’s nothing to be scared of,’ Urmila bent down and gathered her little sister close, giving Mandavi a quelling look. She could hear her youngest cousin’s heart thudding noisily, her slight body trembling against hers. ‘Why don’t you go to Ma and tell her we are here? And bring along uncle too…’ ‘Urmi, we’ll get into trouble…’ Mandavi said warningly. ‘We are already in deep trouble,’ Urmila retorted, her voice hardening, the fear spiralling fast to engulf her. She saw Kirti scrambling away as fast as her short, plump legs permitted her.

‘Let’s go find Sita,’ said Urmila, taking Mandavi’s hand. The two small girls ran up the high steps of the wide, curving stairway in a hurried rush to locate their missing sister. They had to find her soon, Urmila thought furiously, as she peeped into each room and found it dismayingly empty. ‘She’s not here in this room too…!’ Mandavi looked shaken, her face white. Urmila could hear the tears in her voice.

They came to a huge, carved door. It was the door to the room the girls had been warned never to enter: the sacred hall. It was shut, but not locked. The girls stood looking at each other, undecided and wavering. Would Sita be inside? That thought propelled Urmila to push at the door. It did not budge. She pushed it harder, with all her hope, might and urgency. Mandavi pressed on with her slight shoulders. They felt the door move and slowly swing open. The girls rushed in, their eager, scared eyes scanning the long, pillared hall.

‘She can’t be here! How could she have got inside if both of us together couldn’t open that door?’ Mandavi whispered urgently.

‘Let’s leave fast…before we are caught!’ ‘No!’ Urmila’s hand snaked out swiftly to catch hold of Mandavi’s wrist. ‘We have tried every room, every nook, every corner…she must be here. Sita has to be here!’ Urmila said chokingly, the tears welling up in her eyes and throat. ‘Sita! Sitaa!’ She screamed, her voice hoarse with despair. ‘Come out…please! Where are you?’

Her voice echoed distantly bouncing off the high domed ceiling. Her eyes barely noticed that the hall was extraordinarily long, lined with a row of carved chairs on either side, along the column of pillars. Urmila was staring far ahead. At the far end of the room was a throne, perched high over a long flight of steps. At the end of the steps and just in front of the throne was a lowlying long table on which was a huge iron box and peering into it was…Sita! ‘Sita!’ Joy and sheer relief gurgled out as a squeal from Urmila’s throat. She ran towards her sister, wanting to hug her fiercely. But she stopped. The sight before her was too much to behold. Were it not for the solemnity of the occasion, Urmila would have laughed aloud; it seemed that ludicrous. Sita was holding an enormous bow in her hand—it was gigantic, considering Sita’s elfin frame, towering high above her. But she was holding it effortlessly in one hand; peeking inside the massive casket in which the bow must have been previously placed. She was obviously searching for something. ‘I can’t find my play ball,’ cried Sita, looking distressed. ‘It must have fallen in here when I climbed into this box to hide. Oh there! I found it!’ She almost swooped on the ball, which lay in the inner niche of the armoury box, the huge bow in her small hand swaying dangerously. ‘Be careful,’ Urmila shouted instinctively. As an answer, Sita carefully placed the tall bow back into the confines of the strong box with one hand and, skilfully scooped out the ball with the other. Noticing that the table—which was actually an elongated cart—was slightly askew, the meticulous girl that she was, Sita promptly straightened it with a nudge of her knees. ‘How did you do that?’ blurted Mandavi, her eyes shining in wonderment. ‘It looks sooooo heavy…it must weigh a tonne!’ She was gazing at Sita with newfound awe.

Sita shrugged lightly and said, ‘Let’s go…we are getting late. Ma will get worried!’

Suddenly realizing the reason of their presence in the hall, the series of events came rushing back to Urmila and flooded her with trepidation. She was about to retort tartly when her angry words were silenced by the sight of her parents and her uncle at the bottom of the steps. Her heart sank—now for the collective reprimands, she thought in dismay. But the harsh words were not uttered. Instead, all three adults seemed thunderstruck, carrying the same frozen expression on their faces which Mandavi had had a few moments ago. That of sheer awe.

Her father walked slowly up the steps, his eyes filled with a strange expression. It was more than amazement; Urmila could not figure out what, or possibly she did not know the right word to describe that emotion. She saw him folding his hands and bowing his head in…reverence. Her mother and uncle followed suit, folding their hands in veneration as well. But why, Urmila looked puzzled. Why did they have that look they reserved for the deity of Goddess Gouri in their beautiful temple in the garden?

Urmila did not have an answer. But she was more thankful that she had escaped the stern rebuke from her parents. She sighed happily and ran to her sisters.

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Product details

  • Item Weight : 336 g
  • Paperback : 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 8129134845
  • ISBN-13 : 978-8129134844
  • Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.03 x 19.81 cm
  • Publisher : Rupa Publications India; First edition (10 December 2014)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 223 ratings

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