What is the fragrance of love?

Once there was a princess of the kingdom of purple-land. She was the fairest, kindest and daintiest of them all. She lived in a crystal palace served by her entourage which consisted of stylists, cooks, personal entertainers, fashion designers, shoe designers, travel advisors, agony aunts, partners-in-crime, punching bags and soul sisters. Her parents were busy running the kingdom and maintaining international relations, and she had no siblings hence she was by herself most of the time.

The three-floored palace consisted of fifteen bedrooms (each with a lavish attached bath), five walk-in closets, ten balconies / porches, a swimming pool filled with rose water, a spa with the best Thai masseuses, a personal theater with deluxe luxury seats to watch movies on a large hi-tech screen, a gymnasium fitted with the best equipment, a garden with the choicest of fruit trees, a personal waterfall around a man-made cave to satiate her love for adventure and a bowling alley on the top floor. The princess’ entourage spent their time taking her from attraction to attraction, keeping her regaled and in splits. Her personal cooks cooked better food than the best fine dining restaurant in town and her personal stylists had earlier styled Pippa Middleton and Jennifer Lawrence.

Amidst this love and care, the princess spent her beautiful idyllic life. She grew up into fine mannered gentle young lady of twenty-One when a calamity struck. On the eve of her twenty-first birthday, the princess was suddenly afflicted by an unknowable, strange malady of the heart. She went into a deep silence and looked so morose that slowly her staff started to worry. Her cook laid out for dinner all the things she most loved: a splendid range of antipasti, five types of pasta, fried ravioli, seven different pizzas including her favorite which had tenders slice of eggplant and a delicious spread of buffet desserts. But nothing could change the princess’ mood. They decided not to worry the king and the queen yet, thinking that the next day’s spectacular birthday party with guests from all over the world will surely cheer her up and then everything will be perfect again.

So, the next day arrived in all its splendor and glamour. The palace was decorated like a Christmas tree. At the entrance, were streamers in the most dazzling display, there were electronic gadgets handed to the guests which told what to expect / what was coming, fireworks lit the sky, dressed up clowns juggled balls around, the music was lilting and the dance floor was the best the people had ever seen. The food was made of ingredients sources from all over the world, there were actors flown in from Hollywood who staged skits on an elevated platform, there were games one side where I-phones / Samsung galaxy tabs / foreign holiday tickets could be won and people were dressed in their finest finery ever. The king and the queen moved around checking if people were comfortable and asking them to taste the exquisite wine from South of France or the delicious cheese from Spain. But at the back of their heads, they kept waiting for the princess to get read and descend into the banquet hall. Her maids had said an hour back that she was getting ready in her second-floor bedroom wanting to be left alone and now the queen especially was beginning to get a bit worried. She finally decided to defy her daughter and go take a look at what was happening.

When she reached the princess’ room, she was not surprised to see her sitting in her house clothes and all the maids sitting around cajoling her to get ready. The queen knew her daughter was headstrong and did not oblige to anyone easily. She walked towards her, “What happened, my dearest sweetheart? Why do you sit here dejected on your birthday – the most awaited day for me and your dad? Is everything quite alright?”

Though the princess was a bit disconcerted at seeing her mother, she responded, “Nothing , mother. I think I will stay here tonight and not join the party.”

A collective gasp went around the room. The queen braced herself, “But why my dearest? It is your birthday and everybody has assembled to honor you.”

“I do not feel like it mother. I just feel like being by myself.”

“Oh, please dear daughter, do not sit like this. I get very worried and sad seeing you in any misery. Do you want me to call the doctor? Is there any concern you want to discuss with you? Is there any trouble at the palace or with any of these wretched helpers of yours?” she looked around angrily.

“No misery, no trouble, no need for any doctor. And as far as all of them are concerned, they are all splendid, they take of me very well. They love me and make sure I am always happy. I just feel a little low.”

“Okay, in that case, we will do whatever you say. I will go down and tell them that you will not be joining. I will make sure they all eat and then get home safely. Meanwhile you please get some rest, I will join you up here shortly.” And with that the queen started walking towards the door.

Well, our princess was pampered silly but she was not a brat. At this moment the gravity of the situation dawned on her and she called out, “Oh mother! I think I will join the party after all. Give me five minutes and I will be down to cut the birthday cake.” And with this she jumped and walked towards her wardrobe and everybody jumped up too trying to get her things organized. The mother was surprised but happy too and she went down.

At the party, the princess was polite but detached. She greeted everybody nicely but seemed far away somewhere in her own world. Her father tried everything to cheer her up but nothing seemed to work. she ate the cake which had been flown in from London for her but in a very binding way.

Then something happened that changed everything. With a wind sweeping the curtains off their feet, the lights glimmering even brighter, the guests suddenly full of joviality and the Gods smiling benevolently on the entire planet, HE walked in. He was the prince of orange-land – a kingdom on a beautiful island in the Caribbean. He came in the most unassuming way, escorted by only one secretary, greeted everyone who suddenly flocked to him and then came up to the princess to very warmly wish her a fantastic birthday.

One look, and the princess was smitten. She kept gazing into his deep blue eyes and he spoke to her about his kingdom, the calm waters, the fresh plantations and the wonderful people. She answered dreamily when he asked her about her daily routine and what she intended to do in the future. An hour passed and they just kept talking, unaware of who was in the background. The king and the queen could see that the dark cloud over their daughter had lifted and were very relieved. They also knew that the prince was one of the kindest, most well-behaved young man around – of course they also thought of him as the most eligible bachelor around too!

Then, the prince of orange-land and the princess of purple-land had a nice relaxed dinner and spent some moments dancing. At around 11:30 PM, the prince felt that what he had been suspecting since the moment he laid his eyes on the princess was true – he was in love with her. Yes, he looked at the princess now, dancing with him arm-in-arm, graceful, beautiful, loving and generous; and he knew that he would like to marry her. So he softly whispered into her ears, “I would like to talk to you about something important. Can we step out into the garden?”

The princess happily agreed and they both under the moonlight. The prince expressed his love in the simplest words. “Dear princess, I think I have fallen in love with you deeply and I would like you to become my wife.” And he looked at her with bated breath.

The princess, though, was totally enamored by the prince and loved every minute of his company was taken aback by this proposal and told him so. “My dear prince, you are the most handsome, well-behaved and kind person I have ever met, and I have to admit I am smitten with you. But marriage is something big, you know with the kind of responsibilities, life changes and everything; and that is something I am not quite yet ready for. I am sorry about it and please do excuse me.” With that she got up and looked away.

The mild mannered prince smiled and said, “I quite understand princess. In fact such a fool I am to propose marriage to you like that. It is quite silly and embarrassing on my behalf. Please accept my apologies and let me bid you farewell.”

The princess turned around, “What? You are leaving?”

“Yes, princess, I do quite feel like getting back to my jet and flying back home.”

“But… but…!”

“Adieu princess!” and he started walking towards his Ferrari.

“Wait!” She ran behind him. “Can I at least come with you to the airport and see you off?”

“Well, I cant see why that is a problem.”

And they both sat in the car and started driving towards the private section of the airport. Meanwhile a car followed them to ferry the princess back once she was done seeing the prince off. The prince and the princess sat together quietly, a bit dejected and sad.

But as time kept passing, something kept happening to both of them. The princess, especially, felt like she was in a vast field filled with lavender. Her senses began to open up and her mood perked up. It was like somebody had treated her to the most gorgeous lavender spa. The beautiful smell of lavender filled up each part of her being and she wanted to sing a song and dance and dance in the rain and play with her dogs and eat her favorite ice-cream and everything else the she loved the most in the world.

And then she knew it. What she loved the most in the world was right there. Next to her. It was the prince. She looked at him and she was even surer now. There he sat, like a Roman God filled with the goodness, romance and wonders of lavender! She beamed and smiled and laughed. He looked at her quizzically. “What happened princess?”

“I will tell you if you answer my question.”

“Of course, anything for you. What is the question?”

“Will you marry me?” 

And needless to say… they lived happily ever after…

p.s. this post is written for the Ambi pur #FRESHNHAPPY experience contest with Indiblogger!
p.p.s. All images courtesy: www.google.com and most of them are from Disney sites


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