Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Manish_Sharma
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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Manish_Sharma » 16 May 2014 04:10

Frederic wrote:"The sabres have been unsheathed! The ringing cry of the trumpets are keening the charge! Once more into the breach comrades! The last lines of the Sultanate Palace Guard are forming up on the Raisina Hills! Aim for the flag and no prisoners!" -Unknown Soldier


Wah! Shriman aapne ek bhoola hua geet yaad dilaa diya:



Singha ji aage badho,
BRF tumhare saath hai !!!

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Vikas » 16 May 2014 18:33

Singha: Are you getting ready for the 10K run in Undies? Pls publish next installment of your story before you hit the road...Puppy pls !!

Singha has disappeared like frown on Rahul's face. Where is he ?
Before this fever of seeing Saffron flag flying high on Raisina hill comes down and The mass of bewildered,dazed but drunk with victory posters come in search of you, I implore you to publish the story :)

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Atri » 16 May 2014 18:44

Image

Image

Check these two images..

This will tell you what I have always been saying here for years.. RSS is Marathas 2.0..

I am glad that they ahve finally breached the Oudh and Bihar.. I will not consider this as "liberation" until BJP wins two consequtive terms in the states that will be present in Ganga valley.. But this is nevertheless an important breakthrough..

@Singha ji please to study the Maratha expansion when you write the prequel to your story.. :) these two maps will give you clarity..

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 17 May 2014 07:52

I feel like RaGa facing final exam after a night of partying in a spain nightclub.

but will attempt something later today.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby svenkat » 17 May 2014 08:03

like RaGa facing final exam after a night of partying in a spain nightclub.


epic.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby fanne » 17 May 2014 08:11

Singha sir, the sultanate hasnot been sacked yet? why wait? and please do justice so maybe life will follow the fiction. DONT GIVE LIFELINE TO ADHARMA.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Gus » 17 May 2014 08:24

VikasRaina wrote:Singha: Are you getting ready for the 10K run in Undies? Pls publish next installment of your story before you hit the road...Puppy pls !!


heh singha, you are not weaseling out of this one that easy :twisted:

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Frederic » 17 May 2014 11:06

Dhananjay wrote:
Frederic wrote:"The sabres have been unsheathed! The ringing cry of the trumpets are keening the charge! Once more into the breach comrades! The last lines of the Sultanate Palace Guard are forming up on the Raisina Hills! Aim for the flag and no prisoners!" -Unknown Soldier


Wah! Shriman aapne ek bhoola hua geet yaad dilaa diya:



Thank you sirjee. Wakt ki pukar thi!. Kuch maine likh liya.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 17 May 2014 21:00

Part 12 - Twilight of the Imperium

Dawn. Judgement Day

Pandemonium and wailing erupted in the queen's camp , interrupting rudely the muezzins call to prayer. the Queen mother is missing! She is missing! where is she! maids and servants who came to the inner sanctum of the camp to resume their daily duties found the place deserted and signs of hasty departure evident.

fearing the worst, Ghazi khan who was the nearest senior commander rode like the wind first to the Prince's camp to find him still sleeping, he left behind a strong guard, and went with the rest to queen mother's camp to investigate the matter. By then, few more senior nobles and the Wazir had hastily run down from their own camps, in a blind panic.

Riders were sent in all directions to pick up track and to check on diggy khan who was supposed to be the close personal royal guard but ever since his clash with Faizal had kept his distance and licked his wounds.

the truth soon became evident. The Queen mother, most of the royal treasury which by then was a mobile collection of treasure chests on wagons pulled by horses, diggy khan and his 500 elite close protection royal detail seemed to have departed separately sometime in the night , but miles later all these three tracks converged into one heading in a direction north of rohtak, heading along the sparsely populated area in northern rajputana on its border with the land of five rivers...

Among the closing jaws of the trap with multiple columns coming out of Rajputana, the Punjab army of the The Uprising and the main gate closed by the army of the alliance, this westward vector was the sole remaining route of escape to the west still not blocked, and would not be blocked for another few days at the current rate of advance.

Faizal finally came up, grim but fully in battle dress and cut the wailing short. he caught the Wazir and said the queen mother had cleared abandoned her realm and each man had to make a decision now, whether to surrender immediately, desert individually or try and fight their way out of the trap together.

Caught off balance and out of his domain, the Wazir was evasive but cunningly sought to transfer the burden by appointing Faizal as the new commander in chief and asking for fresh orders!

after a quick consultation, Faizal decided the best chance of survival for the remnants of the army would be if the horse cavalry would mobilize into three divisions under himself, ghazi khan and gulab khan , march north to the panipath field and do enough damage to the Punjabi Misls who were as yet not cohesive like a veteran field army. if a path could be opened, the rest of the foot army, nobles, camp followers could head north, under rear and flank protection of surviving cavalry, cross the punjab rivers, cross the Indus at attock and make for the khyber pass with all speed, the alliance was unlikely to give chase beyond khyber as that area was infested with warlike tribes and difficult terrain. It was left unsaid that Khyber was still a months march to the west and how many could be expected to survive a active chase by the horsemen of the punjab , the rajputs and marathas looking for revenge.

the foot army was to hold on to the heights of the delhi ride.

nobody was left to make any defence to the west against the rajput spearheads...the only hope was to break the punjabi ranks and move out before the rajputs could overtake and engulf the entire ridge area. that was the best that could be done.

breakfast was quickly had, a quick prayer said and leaving the wailing and crying sychophants and nobles milling around gathering their clothes and jewels, the fighting units formed and went to their task.

before he left Faizal spoke to Ghazi alone for five minutes. Soon the remaining 15000 cavalry divided into three units with Faizal , Ghazi and Gulab khan each at the head of one had formed up and started cantering to the north to Panipat.

---

7 am

Saravanan Manickam was crouched in the foliage eyeing the fortifications along the ridge when a messenger on the run brought news of the sultanate cavalry streaming out to the north to give battle, while the infantry units continued to remain within the fortifications. flash order from the general accompanied the message with a request to expedite the final operation on priority basis.

Manickam crawled back to a clearing which afforded him cover from watchers on the ridge, picked up a handful of dust and released it...the grains drifted toward the ridge as they fell. He raised his eyes to his waiting squad - The wind is toward the west which is what we want . go to your posts and commence the plan!

for half an hour it was quiet again as men silently crawled through trails in the scrub to pre-selected positions .... then one by one white pillars of smoke started rising skyward from the foot of the ridges as carefully covered caches of dry hay and wood were set on fire and then spread among the nearby scrubs to start a general forest fire over a line three kos long. The recent rains had made the vegetation a bit soggy, and hence there was less of immediate fire but vast amounts of acrid smoke that formed a wall and started drifting in a bank up the ridge to the lines of sultanate infantry and archers trying vainly to maintain situational awareness.

another half hour and the entire delhi ridge was invisible behind the white smoke as the westward wind pushed it up and over the top ridgeline. coughing men held their throats and crawled out of their trenches to relatively clear air behind the ridge....leaving the forward lines undermanned and blind.

The general on Raisina hill observed this all through his spyglass, occasionally sending fresh orders to his shock army now manouvering out of cover into the open under the cover of smoke screen. once in a while he trained his telescope to the west, watching for any cloud of dust raised by hooves.

what was coming unexpected out of the south west after a forced march at night from Alwar was a column of 15000 horse Rajput cavalry led personally by the young Rana Ajai Singh of Mewar himself, who had chosen to wear the personal armour of one of his illustrious forbears handed down over the lineage. After resting for two hours prior to dawn to water the horses and don body armour, they took the smoke going over the ridge as their signal to commence operations and forming multiple battle lines rounded the end of the delhi ridge from the west and increased tempo of their charge directly into soft rear camp and support areas of the sultanate fortifications.

like a line of fast moving black ghosts the riders line abreast commenced its final meeting with the rear support elements, camp followers and deserters from the ridge now milling around and shattered the positions like elephants going through a wheatfield, swords flashed right and left as the cavalry maintained its charge through the camps and hacked right and left at anything on foot. Unable to absorb the blow and halt the attack, surprise turned to panic in a few minutes as thousands of people started running helter skelter to the west , toward the flat bushlands of kapashera village and dhaula kuan where another column of cavalry had curved around on a westerly route and now closed the loop again, commencing a deadly entrapment in a pocket several kos in diameter and shrinking rapidly as the horsemen viciously hacked left and right and drove their mounts forward back toward the ridge. it ceased to be a battle and descended into a massacre.

---

9 AM. east of the ridge

Manickam had one last thing to do, a set of 16 siege ballistas had been carefully concentrated and moved into position fronting the lowest part of the ridgeline which was a gap in the hilly fortifications. On his order these started to lob heavy handis full of explosive charges up the slope and behind the line on a narrow field of fire. He only had limited explosives for the core of the charge, but had improvised the outer shrapnel by using small pieces of broken rock instead of metal pieces. after a day of hair raising experiments where he nearly got himself killed multiple times, he found the shattered rock pieces inflicted as much damage as the metal pieces the textbooks prescribed using.

The General felt the massive explosions reverberate through the air up the raisina hill to his command position...one quick order and two arrows flaming a thick smoke trail arced up again signaling the division of 5000 shock infantry that moved into position behind the ballistas to commence their march. These men were outfitted with specially long and heavy shields which were inspired by those used in ancient greece. in Turtle formation of 200 men each, the sides and top were covered by the raised shields as they moved carefully up the ridge taking the occasional showers of arrows and muskets from the increasingly desperate defenders. progressively they hacked and speared their way up to the ridgeline before discarding the turtle formation and running downhill with war cries into the continuing melee between the rajput horsemen and the sultanate's broken infantry.

special red scarves were worn on the neck by each man, a friend or foe system that had been worked out the night Gen Karekar met the Rajputana emissaries as the two armies had not fought together earlier and lacked the common drills between foot and mounted troops.

The rajput horsemen could easily identify the line of red scarves charging down and moved off to the west to complete the massacre, leaving the sacking and burning of the camps and mopping up directly behind the ridgeline to the generals shock division and other units following behind them who now ran right and left along the ridgeline overwhelming weak positions and throwing explosive charges at strong positions.

In two hours the Delhi ridge was firmly in the hands of the alliance infantry, with moderate losses and 4000 est sultanate fatalities and 13000 prisoners by a rough estimate that arrived at the General's post. he sent a message of greetings and congratulations to Ajai Singh and reminded his commanders to treat the prisoners honourably and provide food, water and medical aid to the extent possible after taking care of alliance casualties.

A special task force under a senior commander crossed into the newly captured series of camps to capture and interrogate nobles and find the whereabouts of the prince and the queen mother.

---

Afternoon. Panipat

The sun had crossed over its zenith and the winds wafted across the ripening wheat fields as the two colossal forces marched to their destined meeting.

on the Punjab side, 20000 cavalry had been committed to the first echelon of the battle, and during the night a mix of musketeers and archers around 15000 had managed to cross the Yamuna and join them at the edge of the battle area...lack of shipping meant no more could be brought into play for the decisive engagement. Bahadur Singh was pleased to note these were not second line alliance troops but battle hardened veterans of many a intense battle which the general had specially kept aside from the delhi battle..good, they would not break and run under pressure as immature infantry units often do when charged by heavy cavalry.

in the remaining hours, feverish planning and work took place to shape the battlefield to their advantage for they had reached there first, and the sultanate cavalry was expected to come out and give battle only after a day or two. Scouts brought news after dawn that something big had happened back at the ridge and all three divisions of heavy cavalry were riding north to give battle. Bahadur guessed as to the intent and adjusted his plans and fortifications again.

At 3pm the flags of the two armies finally came to within visual distance and the sultanate army paused for an hour to reform and deploy into their battle formation. Faizal as the senior commander had Ghazi and Gulab ride up for the war council together.

So friends, the hour of judgement has arrived, we are facing a force that is atleast three times bigger than us in horses and additionally thousands of infantry, with more coming in support. on paper we do not stand a chance , but in reality these misls are more guerilla units than field army caliber formations, they lack discipline and large unit training, they lack the experience of working under a unified commander, their body armour is nonexistent while we have excellent steel armour and weapons. our horses are somewhat larger and fresher as we had less to march. our horses being pure breed arabic are also faster on the charge than these local marwar and kathiawar breeds.
moreover we are the elite and the faithful, having fought for years together. Mashallah we shall break their back in a hour of fighting if we hold our nerve and scatter their army! if we can shatter their morale and punch a hole, the rest of our kinsmen can move through our lines on foot tomorrow and we make Attock and then the Khyber to relatively safety and finally home. Allah ho Akbar, let us teach these insolent dark-skinned kafir rabble a lesson in ghursawari and how weapons are used.

Ghazi khan silently nodded in agreement and said nothing. Gulab khan got all charged up and withdrawing his sword and pointing it skyward uttered a series of war cries and prayers which his 5000 man division of hardened Ghazi's eagerly echoed back.

without further ado, Faizal made his final decision...Gulab I am looking to you to smash a hole in the center and keep them occupied, fight hard and spare none...Ghazi you will take your men right and reach a flanking position, I will take my division left and reach a similar position....once the enemy is heavily tied down in the center, wait for my red smoke arrow, and together we shall fall upon them from the side, roll them up and cramp them into the center and cut them like fruit from a pomegranate tree.

next half hour the two flanking divisions disappeared to the sides under cover and the central division under Gulab khan formed into parallel rows of horsemen bearing lances and swords and increased their pace from trot, to a canter and finally to a gallop as they charged up a slight incline to the waiting rows of enemy horsemen.

Bahadur Singh's scouts off to the sides had already detected the potential outflankers and conveyed this news back immediately. four of the cavalry misls waiting in reserve behind the initial lot of 20,000 were tasked to stand ready to intervene and head off any such attack.

little by little the gap closed to a mile , then half a mile.... and he could clearly see the individuals in the lines of Gulab khans horsemen as he waited and waited before giving the order people were tensed up and waiting for .... for the Khalsa ! har har mahadev ! remember what they did to your families and friend! charge!

20,000 horses in close formation came to life and uncoiled off the top of the ridge and a tall flag was waved to signal the commencement of the charge.....seemingly in slow motion and soundlessly the two lines of cavalry covered the gap between them until they merged in a shattering meeting engagement of swords, lances, horses and ideologies. Dust, blood, war cries, the clang of metal on metal as the lines of horsemen attacked and Bahadur's men as per the plan passed through the sultanate horsemen and kept going a while instead of immediatelly stopping and indulging in mounted close combat. bodies of fallen warriors and horses lay here and there within the zone where the lines of cavalry had intersected.

the sikhs has four times the number of horses and Bahadur arranged his frontage to match Gulab's and leave a little more to the sides. roughly 4 times the number of pointed spears and slashing swords ran into the lines of charging sultanate cavalry, arranged in alternating rows of spearmen and swordmen.

carried forward by the momentum of their charge, the sultanate cavalry of 5000 minus those fallen crested the top of the ridgeline and drove forward, intending to reorg and turn back after a kilometer for the next charge.....this was when things started to go badly wrong....there were a spider network of freshly dug and narrow but deep trenches dug on the reverse slope of the ridge where horses in full gallop tripped into and fell head over heels , there were sharp bamboo spikes at the bottom of some of them. even worse, there were archers and musketeers hiding in this network who would emerge for a few moments and loose off shots at passing man and animal before ducking down again. they were too low to be attacked by swords from the mounted horsemen and too distributed for any general center of mass to be attacked. left with no option the horsemen had to run the gauntlet through this network before vaulting over the end and coming to firmer ground again.

of the 5000 who had started the charge, 500 had fallen in the meeting of cavalry and 500 more fell in this trench trap......

Gulab khan, florid faced with rage and exertion turned his cavalry to the left to outflank the trap and promptly came upon a line of impenetrable bamboo stake obstacled buried solidly into the earth to deter his horses, with archers standing behind and inside these frameworks showering arrows at his confused formation. he did a U-turn and tried the right flank to be similarly blocked. he finally tried dead center and could see two more sikh misls blocking his escape route.

swearing curses on the kafirs he turned again and led his men past the gauntlet of the trench traps again , losing a 1000 more men in all this before emerging with 3000 to face the roughly 19500 of bahadur shah's horse who had reformed into a crescent shape and were anticipating his return.

the contest became more unequal as the crescent closed its embrace on the doomed men and 3000 soon became 300 in a frenzied 30 minutes of melee combat. Gulab Khan stood tall on his horse and looked into the far distance right and left wondering for heavens sake why Faizal and Ghazi were not attacking to save his unit.

But Faizal's promised red smoke arrow was never sighted. his outflanking units never came to help. Gulab finally realized he had been played , like he had played so many people in his long career as a enforcer and a ghazi.

Bahadur Singh guided his horse with his knees as he went looking for Gulab Khan and finally finding him, engaged him in single combat. Gulab was the better skilled and more veteran warrior, but his mood and morale was down, while his opponent was fighting with a burning desire to avenge his Guru and his nephew.....both horses got killed and their swords and shields lay broken...they fought silently with bare hands and bodies....until inevitably Bahadur sensed his opponent weakening, trapped him with one leg and reaching behind him for the dagger with dried blood still caking it, buried it deep into Gulab khan's neck, tearing the cartoid artery.

Gulab's men down to 300 but fought to the death as they expected no mercy due to their past deeds and moreover they were ghazi's sworn to go down fighting or kill the kafir, whichever came first. greater numbers helped the sikhs to gang up and keep their own casualties low.

It was over in another half hour and exhausted men stumbled around, barely able to remount their horses.

Bahadur recovered his breath and rode away to survey the tactical situation...

he found Faizal sitting quietly under a white surrender flag on the next hillock! waiting patiently for gulab's unit to get slaughtered.

negotiations started, and were wrapped up as night fell. neither side had interest in further bloodshed. Faizal was apologetic and asked for mercy for himself and his men, pointing out they had a clear record of no atrocities against the rules of war unlike the just dead Gulab ghazis. Bahadur was generous and soon came up with surrender terms.

the two surviving divisions would lay down their weapons and flags but retain their horses. they would ride to attock and cross the indus. thereafter head to khyber or to quetta depending on where each man headed home. they would be provided food and water at certain points on the journey. four heavily armed Misls would follow half a day behind the retreating formations, carrying the surrendered weapons. these would be handed over at khyber or quetta for the last leg of their journey home. any breach of the treaty would be treated as a violation and no mercy would be shown. these men were asked never to return to Bharata again. Faizal thanked his God both for the mercy and for a slim chance to see his family again.

the two armies camped for the night close to each other and the surrender ceremony and long trot back to the border started the next day. the long line of 10,000 horsemen streamed downcast in single file through a gap in the sikh line opened for the purpose. hostile eyes watched their every move.

The Imperium was over. It had lasted 70 years.

---
Night. Raisina hill

The General was finishing off for the day and about to head back to sleeping quarters when a excited cluster of his special task force dragged The Prince into his tent. he looked dazed, mentally lost and in the middle of a nervous breakdown.

Sir, what shall we do with him?

the general took his time thinking it over, then simply said to give him food and let him sleep and that he would talk to his prisoner the next day.

Midnight. General's villa

Rana Hukum Singh finally led the rahore contingent in from the west and rode up to say his greetings to the leadership, who rose up to greet him. he spoke of his forces catching up and disposing off numerous fleeing nobles who had attempted to use a gap in the lines to the west to escape, north of his line of march. most intriguingly he spoke of a formation of his horse troops coming across a special convoy of wagons presumably treasure or high ranking persons, guarded by heavily armed close detail of 500 cavalry whom they had chased into a marshy area that gave way to a deceptively fast and deep river ..... some of the horses swam across and escaped, some had been brought down by his unit, but all the wagons had sunk and their occupants presmably drowned attempting to cross the river. Since he was on a tight schedule to reach Delhi his men did not investigate this further but did verified all wagons had sunk and no bodies had floated out.

The general did not comment on it, because fate had seemingly taken its own course.

---
Last edited by Singha on 18 May 2014 09:22, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Corrected 'Ghazi Khan' to 'Gulab Khan'

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 17 May 2014 21:10

epilogue will tie loose ends tomorrow and thats it. I am emotionally drained by yesterday.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby SaiK » 17 May 2014 21:23

faizal and manickam is now clarified! .. great writing singha!

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby darshhan » 17 May 2014 23:58

Singha wrote:epilogue will tie loose ends tomorrow and thats it. I am emotionally drained by yesterday.


Singhaji, please ensure that the Prince is decapitated personally by General.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Shanmukh » 18 May 2014 03:22

Very good episode, Singha-saar. But if one may ask - what happened to the Bhagoda and the Krantikari battalions?

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby vishnua » 18 May 2014 03:26

SaiK wrote:faizal and manickam is now clarified! .. great writing singha!


could you elaborate? I could not find parallels in the current now defunked dienasty..

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby RamaY » 18 May 2014 03:43

vishnua wrote:
SaiK wrote:faizal and manickam is now clarified! .. great writing singha!


could you elaborate? I could not find parallels in the current now defunked dienasty..


Zimble only....

Manickam is the darling of secular media ;)
For Faizal - Wait for 6 months and see who migrates to dooobyebye

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby ramana » 18 May 2014 04:19

Singha, I too felt Modi's victory is like Panipat with the good guys winning this time.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Raja Bose » 18 May 2014 08:45

RamaY wrote:Zimble only....

Manickam is the darling of secular media ;)
For Faizal - Wait for 6 months and see who migrates to dooobyebye


Pliss to elaborate further? Is one of them Vadra? :-?

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby RamaY » 18 May 2014 08:50

Raja Bose wrote:
RamaY wrote:Zimble only....

Manickam is the darling of secular media ;)
For Faizal - Wait for 6 months and see who migrates to dooobyebye


Pliss to elaborate further? Is one of them Vadra? :-?


Nahi Saar, Manickam is SDRE side. Eye think he is none other than a very happy (recent) minority who defeated the elephant.
Faizal is TFTA. My fingers are itching to guess.. But knees (brain) doubts...

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby SaiK » 18 May 2014 09:12

Faizal thanked his God both for the mercy and for a slim chance to see his family again.
:mrgreen:

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 18 May 2014 09:15

actually I have said this before - some characters are pulled out of thin air and not the deposed regime. Faizal and Ghazi for example.manickam name is based on a colleague + a former manager to guarantee some inclusiveness from the south as well and to use the metalworking traditions of the Chola and pallava heartland for a dharmic cause.

I will write up the epilogue soon and settle all pending mysteries and accounts.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 18 May 2014 09:16

nageshks wrote:Very good episode, Singha-saar. But if one may ask - what happened to the Bhagoda and the Krantikari battalions?


they are in delhi...that will be handled in the epilogue.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Prem » 18 May 2014 10:00

Used :roll: and still working
French guillotine for sale

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/off-topic/1352954/

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 18 May 2014 22:24

Epilogue

Morning. The Day After

The first order of the day was a long operational review with all commanders to ensure no feral escaped units of the sultanate army were still on the loose. all were declared as accounted for and either destroyed, surrendered, or in the case of Faizal's force already on their way west by mid-morning.

A unit of boatmen and engineers was sent to the sight of the night engagement between the Rathore advance guard and the high value convoy that had disappeared into the river. It was not known at the time, but a week of fruitless salvage operations later they would report no casualties lifted from the sunken wagons. The General close the file and did not press for further enquiries into the matter, it was enough that queen mother was forever off the stage whether in this world or the next. Rumors sometimes wafted she had crossed over safely in the confusion and proceeded to Makkah on a permanent exile. There was no way to verify and no one cared anymore.

General of the palace guard, Diggy khan had vanished with the same convoy. rumors again floated he had also escaped and settled down on the makran coast with a blue-eyed circassian concubine. people card even less to pursue this.

The krantikaris had perished in major numbers during the night battle for chandni chowk and units had melted and blended into the general rabble of deserters west of the ridge after the final attack. A few of them were brought to trial for crimes against humanity, a few were given long prison and hard labour sentences and the rest misguided but otherwise blameless ones were let go with a stern warning.

The whereabouts of the Bhagora nobody could guess. he had vanished with no trace from the world. some speculated that Faizal or Ghazi had taken him down on the way out, but that was a minority theory. In the years thereafter 'sightings' of the elusive man were reported from all points of the compass from being a tarot card reader in rishikesh, salt trader in kashgar, buddish monk in Lhasa, fisherman in Arakan coast, goat trader in oman , gem miner in Sri Lanka..... as usual he had adapted and survived while leaving his followers stranded.

This left the issue of what to do with the Prince. a vocal section were for holding him responsible for collective crimes of the Sultanate as the highest ranking person captured and making an example of him. The General disagreed and pointed out the various Rasputins and the queen mother who formed the real decision making nodes within the beehive. ultimately the force of his arguments won out and the General went to meet him in person.

The prince was sitting in a corner , in the throes of a mental breakdown , picking disconsolately at his food when the General arrived. in a firm voice he admonished the Prince for not speaking up when evil deeds were being planned, for condoning the numerous bad things that had happened. The Prince finally looked up and started talking.

what is is to become of me? I hear everyone wants me punished. you can do that, but I want to record my statement that I never had any real power but was merely used as a mask of acceptability by those who pulled the strings..you know who they were...they are all gone or dead by now....I never even wanted any power but the accident of my birth trapped me in this never ending maze and brought me here. it was never about what I really wanted to be, but what was expected of me. even my mother is gone away now, none are left who care about me.

what did you really want to be ?

I wanted to study herbal medicines and heal people, I wanted to live amidst nature and paint its beauty....all dreams that are forever lost now....

what if I were to say I am going to let you go and do that now? as a second chance at redemption in life?

The Prince could hardly believe his ears and lost for words, The General again repeated it, more slowly this time so it registered. The Prince looked like a condemned man who had just been granted a royal pardon and his glum face finally shone with life again.

and so it was done as the General spoke...The Prince was let go to learn the art of herbal medicines from rishis in haridwar and buddhist monks in hemis ....after completing his education in three years, he settled down in the foothills of the high himalaya at a village called Sankri and started his practice, with some art and fruit farming on the side. freed of the miasmic influence of the various rasputin's in the nobility and the constant demand to be what he was not, he finally found a meaning to his life and in his middle age became a normal and productive human again. He travelled extensively in the hills even upto the highest hamlets near the mountains of swarg rohini and bandarpoonch, healing the sick and selecting special herbs for his medicines. he also married a local woman who cared about him and not his past.

over the next few months ....

the Dhole units were progressively and promptly released into the forests of central bharata from whence they had been recruited. They howled mournfully at parting from their handlers, but answered the call of their wild cousins and disappeared slowly into the mists of the forest. Forests were declared protected and animals were finally safe from the persecution of the roal hunts.

The Gaurs were taken with due care and rest to the forests of the western ghats and a special ceremony was held where villagers fed them cut vegetables and smeared vermillion tilaks on their foreheads. Their leader the enormous beast who had led the charge had fully recovered from his battle scars now and proudly led the column of hundreds of moving mountains of muscle deep into the forests which was their natural range...to be never seen again. As holy beasts they were left alone.

the huge armed forces that had formed from militias and volunteers were progressively disbanded until a smaller full time professional army was left to guard the border.
Manickam took a voluntary discharge and after a short pilgrimage to Kedarnath, made his way with other demobilized soldiers south over the Dakshinapatha through the vindhyas and down the peninsula until three months later, he finally crossed the vaigai and set foot in his hometown again. time had healed old scars, the temple was functional and repaired again, burnt out streets had new houses, children were safe on the streets....he carried on to his old grandma's village to meet his kin, and without delay married a pious and homely girl he had taken a fancy to all those eight years ago, came back with her to his burned out house and built a new one. it had a small shrine to his parents and siblings in one corner of the front yard. He restarted the workshop of his father and soon became a master craftsman in bronze which was his family speciality...madurai was a living city again and a magnet for pilgrims as it was before. he was blessed with twins. he named them Luv and Kush.

After a tiring march to Attock, Afzal and Ghazi with some of their men of eastern persian origin made for the Bolan pass and quetta to cross into afghanistan...the rest went west to the khyber to reach central asia. they had nothing but their personal weapons left, so the warlike afghan tribes as usual ignored the bonds of religion and started sniping and nibbling at the homebound men. hard and intense battles had to be fought , with comrades lost in each one before the remnants could fight their way to kandahar and herat and make their way west across the persian frontier. The khyber group made its way to Jalalabad but no further. it was betrayed and destroyed by the local tribal sardar.

four months after leaving delhi, Afzal led a group of bedraggled men on foot, wearing rags into Yazd their hometown. they had had to barter their weapons and horses at some stage to get their lives spared and continue onward. others not of eastern persia still had hundreds of kos to walk on. he bid goodbye to surviving comrades and made his final way home alone. Ghazi had died a month ago, sacrificing himself against a band of highway bandits to give his friend a chance to escape alive. his wife could not believe he was back, his son did not recognize him. it took a while, but he went into farming and made a new life.

he never picked up a sword for any reason again. he counted every day in this world as a blessing.

ten years passed and his son grew up and moved away, and his wife died of a respiratory illness, Afzal now in late middle age was disconsolate and went back to reading books on philosophy. one day a messenger of the persian shah arrived with a summons and a offer. trade relations and diplomacy with The General's govt in delhi had been restored and a diplomatic staff would be based out of delhi. The head of mission was a delicate post, and it seemed the General had written asking if Afzal was to be found and requesting he be sent if willing. With his family now out of the picture Afzal took it as another call from the lord and headed back to delhi, this time in a royal caravan with official status.
The General greeted him personally on arrival and accepted his credentials. he requested and got the smallest villa in the new diplomatic quarter and spent his time at work, reading books and taking long walks with the General when free among the old ruins of delhi talking about various things in life...

A few years passed and Afzal, now 65 succumbed to the inevitable frailties of age. per his prior request, he was buried in a simple structure in the compound of his villa instead of the body being sent back to his homeland. The General personally led the funeral prayers for the well being of the departed.

and then a few more years passed and the General now old was ready to hand over the prospering nation to his successors , most of them being junior officers who had been understudies during the freedom struggle. they had gained in stature and were ready to take over now...

One day the Prince had just returned to his modest wooden house from gathering herbs in the morning, when he spotted the unmistakable presence of the general sitting on his verandah , drinking tea and talking to his wife. hurrying his footsteps , he dropped the herbs and embraced the old general, old but still firm of posture. they talked for a long time and finally the general revealed the reason why he was here. he said his duty as a ruler was done, and he no longer saw any meaning in continuing to rule when many other able hands , younger hands were there. So he had left delhi permanently and would wander alone in the himalaya seeking new truths until he left his mortal coil.

and so saying he picked up his walking stick and disappeared up the trail into the pine forest, .... briefly he turned around and raised his stick in salutation to bid goodbye...then turned purposefully and vanished into the pine trees....The prince stood on his verandah looking at the distant figure until lost to sight, never to be seen again....wiping off a tear, he turned back to resume his own life.

VikramS
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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby VikramS » 18 May 2014 22:53

Singha:

This needs to be put in a blog for outside the burkah.

It is truly well written and though through...

Add Google Ads and you might as well make some money of it.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 18 May 2014 22:57

ofcourse not. the intent was never to publicize it. only those inside the Order of the Shadow Phoenix can ever appreciate it.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Shaktimaan » 18 May 2014 23:24

Mazaa aa gaya Singha saar. You have a flair for writing with an epic flourish. Looking forward to more of your work.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Sanku » 18 May 2014 23:29

Very well done Singha ji, I had dared not read your work while the elections were going on. I looked it up after the results, and am so glad that I did not see it before. Not good for my nerves you see.
:)

Its good to read your work after such a long time, once more.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby RamaY » 19 May 2014 04:35

Wonderful!

I loved the closure the prince got. True Indic closure.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby SaiK » 19 May 2014 04:48

good imagination there for the general and prince. reminded me of adi sankara reaching himalayas to seek more truth!

keep the story secret! keep it alive though. it will have its value in a way none could have imagined!

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Raja Bose » 19 May 2014 07:01

As they say, simply unputdownable! 8)

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 19 May 2014 11:21

the reason I did not cover the ending with gore and guillotines is because huge reprisals against enemies or civilian population is not the indic way. indics fight war to achieve political end goal and get back to nation building. war for the sake of terrorizing enemies, religious dogma or wiping out culture is very uncommon in our history.

last scene of Platoon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p25bS4VXYq8

I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days as I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul. There are times since, I've felt like the child born of those two fathers. But, be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

---

I will dump this into the nostalgia archive in a couple days.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby merlin » 19 May 2014 15:09

A satisfying end. Many thanks.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby svenkat » 19 May 2014 15:15

Shaktimaan wrote:Mazaa aa gaya Singha saar. You have a flair for writing with an epic flourish.

True.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby darshhan » 19 May 2014 16:00

Singha wrote:the reason I did not cover the ending with gore and guillotines is because huge reprisals against enemies or civilian population is not the indic way. indics fight war to achieve political end goal and get back to nation building. war for the sake of terrorizing enemies, religious dogma or wiping out culture is very uncommon in our history.

---

I will dump this into the nostalgia archive in a couple days.


Singha ji, The most important reason is that you are a Kind man. :)

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Raja Ram » 19 May 2014 16:28

Singha/Guru Dronacharya :) ,

You have a talent for catching the sweep of history with words. My best wishes to you. May you be always blessed!

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby SaiK » 19 May 2014 16:44

darshhan, imo, no. singha is not that kind of kind for the evil force that was thrown out. remember, it is important what the message delivers.. that has some potential aspects of ways of living to be seen for the future.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 19 May 2014 16:55

I hope most of you have read the book and seen the 1978 movie the Deer Hunter. its a good one.
there is a scene where de niro has a deer in his sights,but then fires in the air and lets it go...
war is not just about the business of war itself but about its effects on the men and their communities left behind...
an army in prolonged combat is a collection of such mentally troubled men..each with their own set of demons.
every time Manickam shut his eyes to sleep what would he see? his own burned out house with the charred corpses of his family lying there.
it is a rare general who can successfully align 1000s of such men into a common purpose. thats why generals are not chosen in haste.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jonkduDdc5k
Image

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Tanaji » 19 May 2014 16:59

Good read Singha, enjoyed it.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Sridhar K » 19 May 2014 17:11

Great read Singhaji. Thanks for the beautiful short story. Seriously wish it can be circulated outside for fellow Indics outside BRF considering the relevance of the story of the current past events :) .

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Atri » 19 May 2014 17:18

you are a very kind hearted man, Singha ji.. :-) Please accept my pranaams.

A fantastic end... Especially general undertaking vaanaprastha. Loved the story. Please address my request of writing a prequel about how it all started 70 years ago and in what circumstances the dynasty came to rule India and how rebellion began and spread. I am most interested in knowing your visions.

--------------------

Please do not take this as criticism. This part below the line is completely unrelated to the story, and in response to your last post about hindus not having the past of gore and violence. Please do not link it to my views on your story, which I have made clear above the line and in earlier posts.

We do have history of gore and decimation of subjugated population. Very dharmik examples as well. The latest being the decimation of Rohilkhand by Shindes as revenge of Panipat-3. Although may be not as violent as Ghenghiz Khan, but from dharmik PoV, very gory especially for the Najib's family and RoP infrastructure in general.

The reprisals of Indians against Greeks after Alexander's death are quite gory (civilian greeks and non-combatants too). The process of "Nirvansham" (exterminating the seed) is used by many dharmik warlords against rival clans. History never usually builds up to a make-all-break-all moments. Its culmination of small events which in hindsight are are seen as turning points. In such small events, Indics have displayed plenty of gore and reprisals, etc. While I am history enthusiast, I am most acquainted with history of marathas. the entire expansion of marathas primarily resulted in (although not specifically aimed at) extermination of RoP infrastructure (human included) from the villages as their cavalry rode across subcontinent. later (post 1730s), RoP used to run away (many times permanently) or convert, when news of approaching marathas reached village.

Similar are the accounts of Battle of Rajasthan under Rashtrakutas and Gurjara-Pratiharas (Bappa Rawal) against Arabs (and converts). So is account of Vikramaditya's central-asian "ashwamedha campaign".

Yes, they are not as frequent as they are in Muslim or Christian accounts. Nor do Indians gloat about these deeds (calling them ghazis etc). Most of the kings too wish to be remembered for better things than this. :)


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