A few months later.
The royal palace at Ayodhya.
The rays of the late afternoon sun streamed through the windows into the room where Lakshman was seated on a swing, swinging furiously. He looked out at the sun. Brother Rama had informed him that they would leave in the last prahar of the afternoon, well before sunset.
Anytime now, thought Lakshman. He had already divested himself of all his ornaments and wondered idly whether brother Rama would insist on them wearing clothes of bark. Prince to pauper in no time, thought Lakshmana wryly.
He wondered why brother Rama had not yet returned. Rama had gone to surrender the Royal Seal to Arya Sumant . Since there were apprehensions that some sections of the society may rise in revolt, Rama had also gone to meet the army chiefs to ensure that the security arrangements were in place. Typical of brother Rama to worry about the kingdom even when it was no longer his, thought Lakshmana.
He could hear, at a distance, the citizens protesting in the front of the main gates of the palace. News of the king's sudden decision to send Rama into exile and crown Bharata instead had sent shockwaves through the city.