It was at the most unexpected time that the baby came, crying, out of its mother’s womb. The nurse looked her over, and gave her to her mother, who had an expectant look in her eyes. The mother, who was strong, intelligent and brave, turned timid and ever so careful as she touched her daughter. No one could believe that Queen Marissa of Celiapolis- -fierce at battle, a warrior–could take care of a baby. She was too strong, they said, to hold a baby gently. But here she was, crying with happiness as she gazed into the beautiful auburn eyes rimmed with gold and basking in the happiness of studying her firstborn, for the first time in her life.
The king strode in, stopping mid-stride, as his worried frown turned into an expression of awe at looking at his daughter. He flashed a smile at the queen, both their eyes conveying an unknown emotion. His strong, muscled arms picked her up. The princess who started crying as soon as she was removed from her mother’s embrace, ceased to do so as her father gently rocked her about.
His eyes studied her tiny eyes and nose and his eyes widened in amusement as her tiny fingers curled around his big thumb. From his eyes escaped a tiny water drop, and fell on her bald head.
She gurgled in delight at its sensation. She slowly closed her eyes, off to dreamland! King Anthony, after gently placing her where she belonged, turned and walked to the throne room- he had matters to take care of.
He walked into the throne room, his eyes taking in all his subjects and ministers as they rose to greet him. They were all waiting, what would the king say? They looked as his moist eyes crinkled, and as he said, shouted almost, “It’s a girl!” The delight was obvious in his voice. The room erupted in cheers and roars as old women embraced their children and all the royal maids shed a tear or two of happiness. Celiapolis finally had an heir!
What a relief to the queen! The long-awaited for princess had arrived! As she changed and walked back into the room, she paused to look at the new member of the royal household. She took her in her arms, whispering for a blanket and wrapped it around the princess before slowly putting her down in her cradle. Oh! How peaceful she looked as she lay there snuggled up in the velvet blanket, enjoying the wonders of dreamland.
Two months later, the queen had recovered, but the king had not–from the delight of having the princess. Whenever he passed the queen’s room, he would pause and peep in, to look at the prettily wrapped-up infant in her never-ending slumber. She only woke up to eat, drink and then sleep again. After a few days, the king and queen decided to hold a christening ceremony for the princess. Everything was done- the invitations, the food, the guests, the decorations, and the arrangements for the guests. But only one thing was left. They hadn’t decided a name for the princess!
Even after two months of her birth, they couldn’t think of a nice name for her. They wanted to put in one word, what they felt for this little being who had brought colour into their lives. The date had been decided and the invitations had been sent. Even the ministers and servants were worried. But they continued doing their chores, planning, cutting, polishing, scraping and renovating. The date set for the christening was fourteen days later. In so much confusion, the puzzle of the princess’ name was impossible to solve. But what did the princess care about? All day she would sleep in her cradle, and look at the stars that hung from its top and gurgle and kick.
It was the day before the christening. Gifts from far and wide had arrived. The guests had started arriving seven days ago. Everyone was excited. What would the name of the princess be? Cora, Annie, Stephanie, Celia, Cassandra, Aurora, or Elizabeth?
The king and queen didn’t have a dreamless and peaceful sleep. The queen’s dream was that as they walked up the aisle, to announce the princess’ name, they still hadn’t decided it. Even after they reached, they hadn’t an idea of what to name the princess! They were mumbling and talking nonsense, and people’s cheers grew louder as they wished to hear her name.
The day of the christening had finally arrived, the princess’ name still undecided. The king and queen paced around in their chamber, their gaze wandering over the curtains and decorations of gold colour that were specially put up for the christening. The theme was Aurum. Every person that was invited to the christening was to wear gold. Even the king and queen wore gold. They king and queen, their brains working furiously suddenly turned to each other. A knowing smile curled at their lips. They knew what they would name the princess!
The queen gently picked up the princess, and smiled at the pretty picture that she was. On her head rested the tiniest tiara and she wore a frock of intricate detail, also of gold. They walked up the aisle this time in reality, with all their guests looking adoringly at the princess.
As they stepped on the dais and turned, the king smiled at the audience.
“Honoured guests and our beloved citizens of Celiapolis, we welcome you to the christening ceremony of our daughter, princess of Celiapolis. Our day starts with looking at her delighted face as she smiles, and ends with rocking her to sleep,” the king said in his booming voice. “She is, and will be the most important person of our lives, our wealth and our gold. Our daughter, is hereby named AURELIA, the one born to us who is as precious as gold itself! Celiapolis, we present to you, the royal highness, Princess Aurelia!” This was followed by a huge cheer from all ends of the hall, deafening as if it would lift the roof.
Aurelia, who had looked bored till then, suddenly perked up and started laughing, a laugh clear as the water of a stream and happy as a free bird. Princess Aurelia was pleased with her name!
Raga Bhavana is thirteen years old and studies in Grade 7 of Foster Billabong High International School, Hyderabad.