From the corner of my eyes, I noticed her feeling uncomfortable. I was quaking too. She broke the silence.
"Have you heard the history of this temple, Aryan?"
"I preferred reading it." I said.
"I'm confused whether the myth is true."
"Don't you believe in your own King?" She needed answers.
"More than anyone. But people love to make a fuss." I said, as a girl waved her hand at us. Ajay was gone. Bastards will always be bastards.
"What if the Myth is true?" She was furious now.
The Balaji Temple, as myths said, had a hidden passage to a distant fortress, most probably Raigad and that it was dug by Shivaji . However I hardly believed it. The temple was constructed after Shivaji passed away.
"Avanti, I would leave that myth rathar undiscussed. Concerning the coin, elaborate for Heaven's Sake. Where did you get it?"
"This same temple." She replied quickly.
"Yes, the myth is true and the proof is in front of you."
Was it a rhyme?
Reading my mind, she started again.
"Yes Aryan, though it is rumoured there's a secret passage, it ain't completely a truth. However, the little time I was in, I can say it's a chamber. And it is just beneath us."
I looked into her eyes, yes she told no falsehoods. Bedazzled, not by the mascara that embroidered her calm eyes, but the sight of her walking underground, beneath the place we were seating, I jumped in astonishment.
"HUH? Avanti, do you even know what have you sought! The secret passage! One of those that remain forbidden in the forts of Maharashtra! What did the chamber contain? And how did you know the entrance? Where it is? How did you get in?"
"Calm down. There's enough time"
She said as she raised her hand. I followed her index finger. There, where Ajay and his girlfriend had been seating a few moments before, was a slit in the grand structure, a small gap to contain Ajay and Neha at once- heart by heart.
*"Are you sure? Is this the entrance?"
We stood parallel to the rear wall of the edifice, our eyes squinting at the slit. It was decored with cobwebs. Just beside the fissure was a three feet tall opening from which the worshippers departed in order to do the Pradaksheena around the temple. An old man gave me a wry look from the bars, as his wife kneeled to escape.
I'd been in that fissure before. A tough regimen as I remember.
How the hell did this girl tackled the feat?
I imagined Arya, wrapped in Bat droppings. It wasn't a great sight to imagine as I recalled her beautiful array at our School Annual Gathering, four years ago.
"It was dark inside. I stumbled upon the stairs which were many. Horrified as the room smelled of blood with each step I took, I had this Hon that came beneath my heels."
"Did you climb down all the stairs?" I was curious.
Arya's courage was breathtaking. I'd never knew she was so brave. However, regarding the times she complained against me as I eve-teased, she wasn't vulnerable too.
"But how did you enter from here?" I asked, apparently myself. The roughtwalls had no trace of any door. Arya quickly produced a paper from her pockets and handed over to me.
"Let's see how you incur it".
I began to read. With every letter I read, adrenaline rushed in my veins, while the great gong of the temple sent sparkles down my skin.
"Glory of thy fortitude fadeth away
As every stream that 'ntwine her,
Naive too to splash against the dust..
Esteem but those whose ardor,
Strive to laud His finesse,
He who's reverred the first."