Urmilla came and stood beside the swing, holding one of its chains. Lakshman grunted to show he had noticed her.
"Aryaputra'"she began hesitatingly'. "Can I also not... I mean...can't you..." her voice faltered
Lakshman held up his hand to silence her. "We have been through this once Urmilla. I cannot take you too along with me."
"Please, Arya' do not say so" implored Urmila piteously. "When Sita can accompany her husband why can't I too?"
"What? Is sister Sita also coming along ?"
Lakshman ran his fingers through his hair. "All the more reason, Urmila, you cannot come along. Now I will have to serve both of them. How can I look after you as well?"
"You need not look after me, Arya. I will serve you. I assure you, you will not be put into any trouble because of me."
"No Urmilla. That's my decision and that's final" said Lakshmana firmly.
He paused and continued "Be happy that you will be within the comforts of the palace, and not have to endure the hardships of the forest."
Urmilla was stung to the quick. "Of what use are palatial comforts to me, Lord, when you are not there?" she countered.
"And just in case, Aryaputra, you think that it will be possible for me to enjoy myself in your absence, I hereby pledge that despite living amidst all royal splendor, my life will mirror yours. The fruits and roots that are going to be your food will be mine too. The comforts that are going to be denied to you will have no place in my life too." Urmilla paused, her voice loaded with indignation.