Anandamath (Dawn over India)/Part 3/Chapter 3

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Like a light-footed doe in the jungle Shanti disappeared from view. And in a little while Captain Thomas heard a woman's voice sing:

'My Lord, my Lord,
Who can stem the turbulent tide of youth?'

And from somewhere else in the woods sang out that melodious instrument called the sarangi. It was rendering the same song. In a moment a male voice took up the melody:

'My Lord, my Lord,
Who can stem the turbulent tide of youth?'

Then the three strains sang in unison, and Shanti walked as she sang:

'My Lord, my Lord,
Who can stem the turbulent tide of youth? The tide is on
And my new boat sails joyous;
The captain is at the helm,
My Lord, my Lord, Let me brush aside
These embankments of sand
And reach the land of my hearts desire.
The tide is on the swelling stream My Lord, my Lord,
Who can stem the turbulent tide of youth?'

The human voices stopped singing and the sarangi sang alone:

'My Lord, my Lord,
The tide is on the swelling stream
Who can stem the tide on the swelling stream?'

Shanti slowly entered the very heart of the jungle. No one from outside might ever see what lay inside this wilderness of darkness — a little cottage hidden by the branches and the foliage of the trees, the roof made of leaves. Twigs of trees served as strings. The floor was of wood covered with earth. Shanti opened the door of creepers, and entered the cottage. Jiban was playing the sarangi there.

'You come here after such a long time, Shanti?' Jiban said. 'Is it high tide in the river again?'

'Dead pools are never affected with the rising tide in the rivers, you know,' Shanti said as she laughed.

Jiban was disappointed at the reply, and said: 'Look here, Shanti, for the sin of breaking my vow but once, I have to pay with my life. That penalty must be paid. It is only at your request that I have not yet paid it. But a fierce battle cannot be long delayed. On that battlefield I must pay the penalty. I have to die — and I must die then. The day of my death is here! But —.'

'I am your wife by faith,' Shanti interrupted. 'It is my religious duty to help you in the performance of your duties. You have accepted a rigorous religion. I left home only to help you in the path of your duty. I am roaming in these jungles so that you and I together may serve Mother India to the best of our ability. I want to fortify you in the discharge of your duties as a Child. As a wife in the faith, how can I stand in the way of your higher duties? Marriage is for this life as well as for the next. Let us imagine that the earthly part of the marriage was not meant to be ours. Our marriage is only for the life beyond death. We shall thus reap a double harvest for our unflinching loyalty to our duties. But why speak of the supreme atonement? What sin have you committed? You promised not to live with a woman. And you have not done that Then why do you talk of penalty, and of death, my most beloved? You are my teacher. How can I teach you the way of the dharma? You are a hero and how can I teach you the duties of a hero?'

'Shanti, you have just taught me a great lesson,' Jiban said with tears in his eyes. 'And yet, our marriage in this life has not been in vain either. You love me and I love you. Can anyone expect anything higher than that from a marriage on earth? So sing Bande Mataram, and forget all sorrows in the supreme joy of that song.' Fervently they both sang together.