Lakshmana jumped out of his skin "That was you? Some nerve you have. Why were you spying on us, that too in our room?
"Your room? May I remind you it was my father's palace." retorted Urmilla ingnantly. "And who was spying? In Ayodhya, it may be called spying, but in Miltila, we call it Athithi Satkar" answered Urmilla self righteously.
"Anyway why are you telling me all this now?" asked Lakshmana
Urmilla's voice softened as she looked down, "Lord, I know that service to your brother is the only aim in your life. Isn't it so?"
Urmilla placed her hand on his shoulder and looked up into his eyes "Let it continue to remain so. I hereby promise you..."
"Wait... Urmilla..." Lakshmana almost shouted in panic. " Wait...wait before you even say the word 'promise' "
Laksmana was breathless as he tried to explain to Urmilla.
"Do not take a pledge so easily, Urmilla . Honoring a pledge is paramount for us Raghuvanshis. We will give up our lives but will not renege from a promise we have given.
"Now that you too are a part of this family...you will also have to uphold the tradition. Think very carefully before you promise anything"
Urmilla continued as if Lakshmana had not even spoken. "I, Urmilla, daughter of King Janaka, promise you, my Lord, that I will not prevent you from doing your duty whenever you want to. I will not exercise my rights as your wife to hold you back from following your dharma. I will unhesitatingly accept every decision of yours."
There was a slight quaver in her voice as she continued, still looking down "And, Lord, if ever the duties of a younger brother beckon you, you will not find Urmilla in your way."
Lakshmana held his breath.
Urmilla knelt down and placing her hands on his feet said "This..Lord... is a Raghuvanshi's promise..."
Lakshmana bent down and lifted her and holding her chin made her look up. Her eyes reflected the strength of her character.
Hugging her close, he whispered "Truly Urmilla, you are a worthy daughter of King Janaka. I am indebted to you eternally"