She felt death crawling over her. She could not twitch or move a finger because she felt no control over her limbs. A cold grip held her tightly, pinning her down whenever she attempted to get up. She felt sedated. Or almost dead, she couldn’t tell. Her head felt heavy, as if it’s filled with water. Her nemesis, the unforgiving demon, ran around her in circles, its claws attempting to lift her off where she laid.

She knew time was running out. Straining her senses she pictured herself…her legs unsteady, her mouth foaming and her hands doing weird back and forth movement. Her tongue out. Worse, she saw her disfigured face, her hair in knots, thick with clotted night. Very soon she would have something inedible thrust in her mouth that she would choke on. She shuddered.

She screamed a silent scream that rose in her throat and disappeared into the roof of her mouth.

The next moment, a flash of light almost blinded her. She saw her skin being ripped away from her body. Shivering in the cold that unabashedly poured in through a window wide open, she saw her skin, the floral mink blanket, on the floor. The demon resolved itself into her mother. “Enough of your sleep Mastani. Go, brush your teeth. Right now,” she ordered.

Mastani, who wanted to snuggle a little longer in the bed, got up, went to the wash basin, brushed her teeth and got ready for school.

This is the story of one Mastani. Bajirao Mastani has a slightly better story.

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