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Ashvamedham

April 9, 2011

The sacrificial stallion, young in age; strong in temperament; bred in the famous royal stable kept grazing for grass as it randomly roamed the lush country side. It did not mind the legion which kept following it closely night and day. At that moment, they were up in the mountains parlaying with the low lying clouds. It was a bright day, and the summit was not far from where they were waiting. The black Stallion had been selected from a thousand and it was one among the king’s favorites.

The horse had had a dream run for the last year. Where the horse went, the legion followed and took care of it and the horse was treated as royalty. Released in the north eastern part of the kingdom over a year back, the horse initially had wandered to the hot and humid South, then had made its way northwards to Gandhara and finally to Panchala circumventing the Hindu Kush mountains. Not a single person dared to lift a finger to stop the horse or the legion behind it, as they both carried the flag of the Ikshvaku clan. To do so would surely invite the wrath of the most powerful king in the world and no person, sane or insane wanted that.

The captain of the legion, son of Anjana; kept a close watch on the proceedings, because it was a matter of pride for his beloved king. With slightly puffed cheeks and a longish forehead with thick scruffy black hair, he stood on his chariot; his mace resting on his broad shoulders.  His swarthy skin was taut as the bulging muscles looked to burst out and the aquiline nose gave him a royal look. His hands were long and his fingers thick, which worked wonders for his fighting talent with the mace. However, the defining feature on his face was a deep bruise across his jawbone from right to left. Back home in his kingdom, he was said to be his king’s most trusted lieutenant as they had fought multiple wars together, including the famous campaign against the Southern kingdom Lankadweepa.

Another six months and we’ll be home,” he told himself.

The Ashwamedha had been a success until then. Nobody had questioned them as his legion had steamrolled right across the sub-continent. The other kingdoms had done everything they could to be helpful with kings coming over personally to meet them. The Ikshvaku clan had that kind of power.

From a distance, he then spotted two teenagers come over from the summit to where they were resting

Those kids cannot be a threat,” his deputy told him and they had a good laugh over it.

But those kids, dressed in very simple clothes, each heavily armed came over directly to the commander. Their walk was measured and dignified.

The horse is grazing on our guru’s ashram property. Please take it outside,” one of the kids said. This was followed by a ripple of laughter from the legion. They found it incredulous. Two kids ordering the mighty legion!

The kid’s voice was not meek, but not filled with aggression either. There was not a single shred of fear on their faces and the commander found that strange. He also admired the spunk that the 2 kids had shown, but he was not one to take orders from kids.

This divine horse had the right to roam where ever it wants too. Boys, there are bigger things than your Guru’s ashram involved here,” he replied and added as an afterthought, “Leave now, before my mood changes!

The last sentence was thrown in as a casual challenge. He wanted to see how the kids would react.

The boys looked at one another and then very slowly retreated. As soon as they were about 50 yards away, one of the boys casually went over to the horse, whipped out a rope from his waist and muzzled it.

A huge roar could be heard from the legion; and the whole valley resounded with the sound. And then they looked at the captain for his orders.

Ooh, the boys have crossed the line now,” he said to his deputy; “But they are just kids. How can I put them to death?”

He then shouted out loudly for the kids to hear, “I give you kids another chance. Drop the rope, turn around and walk away.”

In response, the two boys merely stood their ground, steadied their bow by raising it to eye level, and got ready for battle.  

With a heavy heart, the commander screamed, “Soldiers attack!” and felt sorry for the kids as the first batch of soldiers ran towards them.

But his sympathy soon turned into astonishment and anger as the advancing phalanx was decimated in quick succession. They all died under the avalanche of raining arrows, which sprung from the boy’s bows.

“Wooah; where did that come from?” he asked himself bewildered!

The captain soon jumped into the fray along with the rest of enraged legion and engaged the boys in combat. But even those seasoned campaigners found it hard! The sky was thick with arrows and spears and his legion just could not get close to the boys. Their shield’s was the only thing which protected them from the boys; from the searching arrows which rained down upon them from all directions. And thus the two boys kept the whole legion at bay, who cowered behind their shields which offered minimal protection. It was almost like the two boys had an inexhaustible supply of arrows with them and one could not spot the quick movement of the hand with the naked eye.

The boys fought like they had been personally blessed by Lord Indra; and it soon became apparent to the commander that the 2 boys were no ordinary soldiers. They were in fact Maharathis.

The captain knew that he had to do something before his entire legion was wiped away and so, throwing caution to the wind, he ran towards the boys with his mace held high. On seeing this, the boys dropped their bows and unsheathed their swords.

Hell bent on crushing them, the captain slashed hard, hoping to catch them both, but the boys merely rolled away. The boys were as good with the sword as they were with the bow. They fought in sync, almost like they could predict each other’s movement and the captain had a hard time maintaining his balance. While his mace was heavy and slow, their swords were light and quicker and even with his superior height, the captain could not subdue the boys. The captain fought for his very life; but finally one of the boys slid under his slashing arc, and held his sword an inch from the captain’s heart!

Checkmate!

The remaining legionnaires were stunned as their great captain had been defeated; humiliated by two boys! And they just stood there in mute silence.

With tears streaking down his cheeks, the captain said very slowly, “Boys, you won. We have been defeated convincingly and will leave this property at once. With your skills, you should join our army and come with us to Ayodhya. I am pretty sure that you boys will perform miracles.

To which, one of the boys replied, “The greatest of mortals lies not in our ability to perform miracles, but in our tenacity to live an ordinary life in the face of unending adversity! We are not leaving this property or this blessed land!”

So, you are not going to release us or the horse?” the captain asked astonished!

To which the other boy merely said, “Nope. Let the king come here personally. Let us first judge if he is worthy enough a king to perform the Ashvamedha!”

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2011 12:49 pm

    Luv and Kush 🙂 Of course!!!
    As usual….brilliant narrated story,….I could visualise every scene, every step!
    OG: haha, danku!

    • April 9, 2011 12:50 pm

      And I love the fact that till the end you have not mentioned their names in the story …. 🙂
      OG: up to the reader if they want to equate them or not!

  2. April 11, 2011 2:33 am

    dude whats with so many mythical stories ?

    i miss the old OG!
    OG: haha! not many readers nowadays, and I dont have anything funny to write as well 😀 that is why!

    • April 12, 2011 4:15 am

      But u do have the sincere ones, right ???? 😉
      OG: haha! yes! 😛 which is why I keep writing “Stuff”

  3. April 12, 2011 4:15 am

    WOW !!! Just loved reading this – Luv and Kush story. 🙂 🙂
    OG: danku danku!

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