The pannans

APARNA

Aparna is staring at the river Bhuvana. The river is flowing calmly. Boatmen lined boats up on the other side of the river. The boatmen are standing next to them. Aparna had a basket in her hand.

“Aparna, aren’t you coming?”

Aparna looks back and sees her friend Devika. She standing with some girls. They all have baskets in their hands. Aparna walked towards Devika and the group of girls standing at a distance from her.

“Where have you been?”.

Aparna asked to Devika.

“These girls always come late”.

Devika straightened her hair and told Aparna who was approaching. Aparna went ahead despite it. Devika started walking with Aparna. The other group of girls walked behind them.

“Even after giving it to the sennis, a lot of fruit remains. We worked hard, and it paid off. “

Happiness was clear on Devika’s face. Devika was correct. They did not get as much fruit as they intended when they last harvested.

The girls behind Aparna are talking about something. But Aparna did not feel like participating in that conversation. Because those girls are talking about men, their own clothes, or profanity. Aparna does not want to hear that at all. She walked shoulder to shoulder with her friend Devika.

Aparna and his group are walking through the jungle. There was thick forest on both sides of the road. Aparna saw a group of men standing a short distance away.

“Isn’t that our Nimiran and his gang? Why are they standing there?”.

Devika said to Aparna.

Nimiran is the one who is harassing Aparna. Aparna rejected his love request. Nimiran has been harassing Aparna ever since. Aparna doesn’t even like to see him.

“Walk fast.”

Devika said to the girls walking in the back.

Aparna and Devika approached Nimiran and the group. Their eyes were on Aparna and Devika’s bodies. Their gaze seemed unbearable to Aparna. Devika Didn’t even look that way. Aparna looked at the girls behind her. They are coming down in fear. Aparna was stopped there, and so was Devika.

“Why did you stop?” Let’s get out of here fast”.

“Let them come too”.

Aparna and Devika waited for the girls to come along. At that moment, Nimiran left the group and came forward. He came close to Aparna and Devika. Nimiran  had charcoal stuck in his hands and body. Nimiran is a factory worker who makes war equipment. Seeing Nimiran, the Devika went backward.

“Is there any change in the answer you gave?”.

Nimiran asked Aparna.

“No change.”

Nimiran’s friends started laughing. Nimiran’s face started getting angry. The girls approached. Seeing the girls, Aparna started walking forward.

“What a slender body. Definitely, I will wait for that body”.

After hearing Nimiran’s words, Aparna turned around, but Devika grabbed Aparna’s hand.

“Leave it Aparna. Those perverts will say anything. Come on, let’s get to work soon”.

Aparna calmed down. She thought her job was important now. Aparna walked fast forward.

Aparna and the group reached their farm. Their farm is in a clearing on one side of the forest. A variety of fruits cling to small trees and vines. It was a big farm. One by one, they went to different parts of the farm. Devika moved a little away from Aparna and started plucking fruits in her basket.  Aparna also put her basket on the ground, she started sticking fruits in the basket.

“What good fruits. What can be done? Most of these fruits are eaten by the sennis”.

Devika said, looking at the red ripe fruit in her hand.

Devika is right. Most of the fruits go to Senni. Senni is an important part of a country. The king and administration are on Senni. the people who live in Senni are considered true citizens of a country. They are known as ‘sennis’. But people like Aparna and Devika, who lives in this dense forest are called ‘pannans’. their place is called ‘pannan’. They are considered ‘cursed ones’. They will work for sennis.

“Aparna, you didn’t finish your work?”

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Aparna heard a familiar voice from behind. She looked back. Then there stands Pandiyan, the son of the commander of the Tabore state. Pandiyan walks slowly towards Aparna with a false smile. Aparna continued her work without paying attention to Pandiyan.

“What, Aparna, why don’t you even smile at me?”.

“I’m doing a job, don’t you see?”

Then Pandiyan said nothing.

“You only talk to Aparna?” Are you silent with us?”.

Devika said to Pandiyan. Aparna was just listening to all this. She said nothing.

“Let me talk to Aparna first. Then I will come to you”.

Aparna’s basket becomes full. Aparna lifted the basket containing her fruits with both hands and placed it on her head.

“My basket is full. I’m going to the river bank”.

Aparna told Devika.

“Is it over so soon?”

Devika said with amazement. Aparna’s response was just a smile.

Aparna started walking towards the river bank with her basket of fruits on her head. Pandiyan started walking behind Aparna.

Aparna and Pandiyan are walking along the forest path. Pandiyan struggled to keep up with the fast-paced Aparna. So Pandiyan walks behind Aparna.

“My dear Aparna, will you walk slowly?”

“I need to get to the riverbank soon.”

Aparna sped up her walk.

“Aparna, let your friends come too”.

Aparna didn’t reply to Pandiyan. she continued walking fast.

Suddenly, Aparna heard someone running behind her. When she looked back, she saw Pandiyan running towards Aparna. Aparna stopped. Then Pandiyan reached near Aparna and stood in front of her.

“Let’s walk together now.”

Pandiyan told Aparna.

Aparna slowed her pace.

“Did you hear, our lord decided his daughter’s marriage?”.

Aparna’s face changed a little.

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“The marriage of the daughter of your lord does not affect us. Even though it’s a wedding, you eat what we grow. Enjoy all your comforts. What are we? People who are cursed”.

Aparna sped up her walk.

“Others will be cursed. But my Aparna is not like that”.

Pandiyan’s eyes ran to Aparna’s body. Aparna saw Pandiyan’s gaze and started walking fast. Aparna knows very well what Pandiyan’s intention is. But what can she do? Pandiyan is the son of an army commander. Aparna had no choice but to endure.

After some distance, Aparna and Pandiyan reached where Nimiran and his group were standing. They are looking at Aparna and Pandiyan. After seeing Pandiyan, everyone fell silent.

“Why are you all standing here? There is no work today?”

Pandiyan asked Nimiran and his group.

“We just going to work, lord.”

Aparna laughed when she heard Nimiran’s words. Nimiran looked at Aparna sharply. Aparna did not mind, she walked with pandiyan to the river bank.

Aparna and Pandiyan reached the river bank. The riverbank was full of people. Boats are filled the riverbank area. They are collecting fruits, vegetables, rice, and wheat from the farmers. Aparna and Pandiyan approached a boat. It was a boat that receive fruits. The boatman was sitting on the boat. When the boatman saw Pandiyan, the boatman just bowed his head.  The boat was filled with full of fruits. Aparna handed over her basket to the boatman who was in the boat. The boatman put the basket of fruit into his boat. Then the farmer handed the basket back to Aparna.

“I am going”.

Aparna told Pandiyan after getting the basket back in her hand.

“So soon?  Stay with me for a while until I leave”.

“I have to help my friends. Or even if the boats are gone, they will not bring fruits”.

After telling Pandiyan, Aparna walked back to the farm with her basket. After walking for a while, Aparna looked back, and she saw Pandiyan looking at her.

Aparna is walking on the way to the farm. She looked around her. Make sure no one is there. Then Aparna deviated from the road and went into the forest on the right. Aparna had to make sure that there was no one around her as she moved into the forest. Aparna continued her journey through small grasses and small trees. After walking some distance, Aparna came in front of a wooden wall. It was a very high wall. Beyond the wall can be heard the voices of men and the sound of swords colliding.

“Were they started training?”

Aparna put the basket on the grass below. Then she took a tall piece of wood lying there and set it straight. The piece of wood was wide enough for one person to stand on. Aparna uses this piece of wood when she comes here. Aparna lifted her legs and stood on the tree. Hold on to the wall to keep from falling. There is a gap in the wall towards Aparna. That’s how Aparna sees the inner views.  The gap is covered with a cloth. She took the cloth and removed it. Then Aparna started looking through that gap with one of her eyes.

On the other side of the wall, Aparna saw soldiers training. Beyond the wall was not the forest. There was only small grass on the floor. It is a training base that trains soldiers for the Tabore army. Young men from senni will be brought in and trained at this military base. After the training, they will go back home. Aparna has repeatedly seen young men coming, training, and going on this training base.

War and war heroes are always Aparna’s favorite things. She didn’t see an actual war with her eyes. She knows war only by stories. She hopes one day she can fight in a war.

Twenty young men are training there. Their weapons were a spear and swords. Aparna can clearly see two people standing near the wall. They are both practicing sword fight. In it, a young man is swinging his sword in the best possible way. The other young man can only resist. Aparna observed both young men’s movements. The young man tried to hold on, but at last, the sword in his hand fell down.

“He swings the sword fastly”.

“Selvan, you’re proving day by day that you’re the best sword fighter.”

Trainer Kandan appeared in front of the two young men. The young men were small when Kandan stood next to them. Kandan was so tall. White hair was spreading on his hair and beard. Kandan approached Selvan and tapped him on the shoulder.

That’s when Aparna feels like something is going on in her body. When she looked, a spider was slowly walking through her body. Aparna immediately grabbed the spider with one hand. But at that moment, Aparna lost her body balance. Aparna clung to the gap in the wall to keep from falling. But with a loud sound, the wooden piece fell to the ground, and so did Aparna.

Aparna slowly got up from the ground. She dusted off in her clothes and body. She heard no sound from the other side of the wall. Aparna looked back at the wall and she was shocked. Selvan stands on top of the wall. He looked at Aparna and smiled. Aparna picked up the basket lying on the ground. Then she started running towards the forest path.

Aparna is running through the forest, holding her basket in her hand.

“Stand there”

Someone shouted behind Aparna. Aparna realizes that Selvan and his gang are behind her. Aparna started running fast with all her might. But the footsteps reached just behind Aparna. Then Aparna saw the forest path. The forest path is just a short distance away. Then, from a distance, Aparna saw Devika and the other girls coming with fruits in their baskets. By then, someone had hit Aparna in the back. Aparna fell down. The basket in her hand was fallen away. Aparna put her hands on the floor and tried to get up. At that moment, someone grabbed Aparna by the hair and pulled her up. When she could not bear the pain, she slowly got up. Aparna saw Devika and the girls standing in front of her. Their faces filled with fear.

“Get out of here”

A soldier came forward and told Devika and the girls. The girls left, and Devika was still looking at Aparna. At that moment, a girl came and grabbed Devika’s arms and forced her to come with her. Devika’s eyes were looking at Aparna untill she vanished in front of Aparna.

  Aparna looked back to see who was holding her hair. At her back, Selvan was standing behind with holding her hair, with a smile.

“Why did you come to the training place?”

Aparna said nothing.

“Did you come to see me?”

Selvan had a fake smile on his face.

“Leave Me”

Aparna tried to escape from Selvan. But Selvan grabbed Aparna by the hair.

“ Didn’t you know that those who live here do not suppose to come to the army camp? If you wanted to sleep with me, we can go somewhere else”.

The other soldiers laughed. At that moment, Aparna folded her arms and slapped Selvan in his face. With a scream, Selvan pulled his hand away from Aparna’s hair. Then he stood with his nose covered. The other soldiers attacked Aparna. The first soldier that approached Aparna, she grabbed the soldier’s neck. Aparna hit the soldier coming from the other side, the soldier fell down. The soldier where Aparna was grabbed at the neck, lost his consciousness. Aparna withdrew her hands, and the soldier fell down. When Aparna looks at Selvan, he is staring at Aparna. His eyes were red. He was bleeding profusely from his nose. Selvan jumped towards Aparna. Selvan approached and Aparna tried to hit Selvan, but selva stopped her and hit Aparna on her face. Aparna fell down. Then Selvan pressed on Aparna’s neck. Aparna gasped for breath. Suddenly, a sound was heard. Selvan withdraws his hands from Aparna’s neck. Then She breathed smoothly. Then Selvan got up and covered his head with both his hands. Aparna saw her mother Veena standing in front of her. Veena dropped the wooden stick in her hand. Veena came closer to Aparna and helped Aparna to get up. At that moment, Selvan started coming towards Aparna and Veena.

“Stop”

When Aparna looks in the sound’s direction, Pandiyan standing there. Devika was behind Pandiyan.

Seeing Pandiyan, Selvan went back from Aparna and Veena.

“Veena, go home with Aparna”.

Pandiyan told Veena. Veena started walking home with Aparna. On the way, Aparna turned and looked at Selvan. That time, Selvan was looking at Aparna angrily.

— New chapter is coming soon —
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