It was the Holi festival (the festival
held in honor of the God of Love) in the month of PhaIgun. They were celebrating
the Ranga- panchami festival in the big hall of Jadhav Rao. Sardar, Darakhdar,
Shiledar, Bargir, Chopdar -many such officers had assembled. Maloji Shiledar,
the son of Babaji Patil of Verul, was also present.The splendor of Lakhuji
Jadhav Rao was well known. At the center was seated Sardar Jadhav Rao.
Around him were seated the invitees according to their ranks. The
celebrations came to a close. Then they began to throw colored water on
another in the spirit of the Holi festival. Just then, Jija, the beautiful
daughter of Jadhav Rao, came out of the house ready to throw colored water,
Shahaji, the little son of Maloji, was sitting in the lap of his father.
Jija at once began to pour the colored water on Shahaji. He also poured
colored water on Jija.
Shahaji was fair and looked like a
handsome prince. Jadhav Raoliked the boy immensely. He drew the boy to
his side with deep affection. He looked at th assembled men and light-heatedly
asked, "Don't Jija and Shahaji make a fine couple?" Everyone nodded his
head saying, "Ah! What a fine couple!"
Maloji was watching all this. His affection
for his son was stimulated.
He said, "Sardars, did you hear what
our Sardar Jadhav Rao said? Henceforth we are related to each other as
parents of the bride and the bridegroom. Jija is my daughter- in- law."
But Jadhav Rao attached much importance to his rank and position. He did
not relish these words. After all he had spoken only in jest. He never
meant that they should become relatives. He said harshly, "My daughter
can never become the daughter-in-law of an ordinaryShiledar." Maloji had
a sense of self-respect. He stood up in great fury on hearing the words
of Jadhav Rao. He declared that Jadhav Rao's words were a challenge to
him and left. And he gave up his post under Jadhav Rao.