Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby member_28352 » 30 Apr 2014 20:57

More like Faizal Azad.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 01 May 2014 19:02

Part 6 - Mritunjaya - victory over death

Morning was a timing of great tumult and tension in the entire army of the Imperium. By mid morning when the soldiers had taken their breakfast of afghani rotis, channa and mutton or beef stew and started their horse riding and weapon fighting drills in the units behind the immediate frontlines, grim faced messengers of the Queen's guard arrived at the camp of each divisional leader, anyone who had ten thousand men or more under their command and summoned them immediately to the presence of the Queen mother.

everyone knew heads were going to roll for last night and not all who went there would come back alive. but nobody dared disobey such orders, because the punishment would wipe out ten generations of their clan.

so people wrote their last notes to families, sealed and handed over to trusted aides in the event of not coming back and set out at a sedate trot to the royal camp four kos (12 km) behind the Prince's HQ on Raisina hill , at the edge of thick thorn forest that gently grew up the slopes of the delhi ridge.

the day was hot , with no air, flies buzzed around worrying the sweating animals and men, trying to get at the salt in their sweat.

there was one large yellow tent in the middle, one by one they all went inside and seated in two rows ... all bowing low as the Prince and his mother emerged from their private area in the back.

Wazir Ahmed Reza Gilani welcomed everyone and bade everyone partake of a light sherbet and fruit before the serious business of war council began. he was capable and wise man, but politically astute enough to know when to keep quiet and safeguard his own position. he had the ears of the queen, not because he always said what she wanted to hear, but because she trusted him to often give the true picture and not lie out of fear of her displeasure.

shortly he began to give a brief summary of the tactical situation on various fronts....firstly the stalemate on the yamuna waterfront....even the best shir-e-farsi infantry unable to break the stubborn leech like hold of the resistance on the western bank, unconfirmed reports of masses of rebel reinforcements on the march from Awadh, situation reports from the north all the way to Sarhind, discussions on stocks of war supplies like food, pack animals, gunpowder, spare parts for the artillery, the current position of all supply convoys enroute from the makran coast and the khyber, the position of mule and horse stock, locations of fresh herds of horses being moved from central asia and by dhow from arabia to makran and then up the indus on sailing barges to punjab and then on land to delhi, the arrangements for medical treatment of wounded soldiers and animals....every logistical issue was discussed in great detail and imperial firmans written on the spot for dissemination on the command chain.

here and there the queen asked incisive questions and sought clarifications.....she was satisfied with some explanations and made her displeasure known with certain generals faltering under sustained probing questions....mostly she sat stone faced, watching not just the speakers but the reactions of the listening council as well, to detect any signs of weakness or lying. it was whispered in the darker shadows she had great powers of mind reading and reduced brave men to a quivering mess at the mere thought of incurring her wrath.

the Prince said nothing and indulged himself in whimsically playing with a wooden model of a windmill fixed to a steel topi he had gotten the royal armourer to make for him. he had a collection of such unusual mechanical toys to pass the time and gave some to his companions as well.

tension in the room was building up as the discussion turned to recent failures and the attempt to find root causes for that. were there not enough resources, or scout information or lack of planning or just bad luck from God? was God angry with some missing service from the sultanate? a couple of generals got a real dressing down and were demoted on the spot, they were asked to leave. they thanked the stars they were not being executed for failure and slunk away....

talk turned to the disastrous events of last night which brought the tension to a boiling point. the more capable field generals were given no chance to speak by marshal diggy khan who took the offensive, grabbed the stage for a straight 20 mins of diatribe against all his subordinates, insinuated he had been sabotaged due to jealousy and sought severe and salutary punishments for everyone but himself and his durbari coterie for this setback. Faizal khan held his head in his hands , his pulse was twitching and quivering almost out of control . He tried to rebutt the points being made by asking the Wazir for permission to speak but was shouted down by loyalists and durbaris of the opposite party in Prince's party. Another two field commanders who tried to support him were similarly shouted down and public doubts raised on their loyalty to the Qaum.

The prince finally put aside his toys and whispered for a few minutes in the queens ears. Thereafter the queen halted all discussion on the topic, with a note that the royal guard and his command was not to be blamed and listing out the remedial measures to be taken to prevent such incidents in the future. The matter was considered closed by imperial firman and diggy khan given 300 gold ashrafis for his efforts late previous night to organize the situation and plug all gaps in the field.

the final agenda item was what to do about the Krantikari militia or rather what to treat their repeated failures as - a learning curve or sustained incompetence. A lot of senior generals who had never been comfortable with the idea of letting loose a undisciplined rabble under the imperial flag now spoke up strongly and gave their personal preferences. Most volunteered to throw the head Krantikari into the yamuna themselves or push him into a tub of horse dung given the sheer grief he had caused them.
But the matter was silenced by top down directive again and everyone was ordered to sustain the militia with helpings of resources whenever asked.


just as the meeting was winding up, a great commotion was heard outside , sounds of "hang him , drag him behind a horse" rang out.....a general walked out and silenced all this with a stern command and demanded to know what was up.

the crowd of agitated soldiers parted and a old looking stocky man was hauled forward by the scruff of his neck before the general, who was now joined by Faizal khan and fellow commanders, leaving the royal tent with the meeting now over...

he looked to be about 60, stocky, with white hair, a fat belly, wearing a ragged white tunic with a bushy beard and receding white air....

who are you? what are you doing here? dont you know none are allowed near this camp on pain of death?

I deeply apologise sire, my name Veer Das, I am a travelling medicine man and herb seller, my native place is ajmer in the west, but every year I make a trip to the himalaya to pick my stock of herbs and stones and buy tibetan medicines also from traders on the high passes .... all the routes from there to my native place pass through delhi, so I had no option but to intrude into your domain sire...please spare my life...I am a loyal servant of the sultanate ... I have travelled far from the north and have many a kos to go to reach my native place !

give me one reason why we should not cut your head off right now as a spy? the general barked

sire..I have always offered my modest services in medicine for free to your soldiers in ajmer sharif whenever anyone fell sick...especially in summer when old meat tends to rot easily.

really? show me proof?

the old man fished around in his stuffed cotton bag for a while without producing anything while the soldiers and generals grew increasingly impatient...

after a minute the general could stand it no longer...quick quick my man, produce some proof or else prepare to die as a spy!

the old man finally produced a letter signed and stamped with the seal of the head maulvi of ajmer sharif dargah testifying to the character and services of the man and requesting safe passage for Veer Das.

after carefully reading the crumpled letter, the general was finally satisfied and asked the old man if he needed any food or supply for his onward journey. the old man said he already had one donkey to ride on and another two donkeys with his supply bags and just a sheepskin of water would do. it was brought quickly. the tough tall soldiers laughed uproariously at the comical sight of the stocky old man riding the donkey , leading his string of two donkeys and trotting off slowly to the west toward mehrauli gaon.

Faizal khan had watched all this without saying anything for it was not his nature to intimidate or make fun of people weaker than him. finally he bade goodbye to his colleague generals and mounting his massive grey-white arabi horse went at a canter on the same mud trail which the old man had taken twenty minutes ago.

Catching up to the train of donkeys, he slowed to a trot and asked to ride a while with the medicine man. the old man was not so fearful now and bade him welcome for the company and conversation. Faizal asked about medicines for treating trauma wounds and infection and stomach problems because these were always problems for an army in the field. he asked about how to find the safest sources of water and how to detect signs of contamination. all these the medicine man answered convincingly and promptly. they talked for two hours down the dusty trail to Mehrauli. him the fighting general, sitting 2 feet higher on the fine arabi horse, him the wandering mendicant on the weak, short donkey...they made a strange sight.

Finally the minars and villas of mehrauli were within sight and it was time to part ways. Faizal had one final question ... old man, I have been soldier and farmer all my life, I know from hands what a man's profession is....your hands are big and callused, your shoulders broad...these are not the signs of a man who mixes herbs and ties up wounds all the time. what else do you do? or have you been lying all along back there? fear not, speak freely because I will not kill you even if you lied...you have done me no harm and given me good knowledge..I respect that.

the old man sighed in a melancholy way and merely said that he had been a cobbler in his youth before circumstances bade him undertake long travels and become a medicine man.

Faizal looked keenly at the deep set eyes of the old man in the gathering dusk and suddenly noticed a brief change in the character of the eyes....not the diffident look of a commoner looking at a senior general of the realm...but that of a man his equal or perhaps stronger in power. the look was gone quickly and reverted back to the usual diffident look of a commoner before the sword wielding elite he was.

A puzzled and somewhat shaken Faizal quickly took his leave, bade a safe journey and cantered off down a fork in the trail, back toward his own camp..

the old man never varied his pace or cadence and slowly with his three donkeys crossed mehrauli and made off south west toward Ajmer Sharif.

Early the next morning he was challenged and intercepted by a roving cavalry patrol of the alliance after crossing the no mans land. he was again hauled into the local generals tent.

the squad of soldiers outside were stupefied to see him emerge in full general's dress with turban , back now straightened from the diffident stoop to a erect posture and the local general scurrying like a junior officer after him...

the mission to gather intelligence was over, over ruling the objections of his command, The Cobbler , now known as The General had chosen to do it himself. he knew now what was there to be known about the sultanate dispositions in a long trace from the north to the south.

Fetch me a horse, spare horses, messengers, and a escort party , I need to reach Ghaziabad by tomorrow morning we will start at dusk and travel in the night.

and someone bring me some food and show me a place to sleep and wash. please do not serve meat, I do not take meat.

Sir yes sir! the local general barked orders to his squad who ran here and there while the old man thought about his encounter with Faizal khan who he knew by reputation from long before. Somehow he wished their paths would never cross again, not with swords. But he felt their paths might cross for sure....the best always end up fighting with the best...such was the law of war from when the ramayana and mahabharata was written.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby ramana » 01 May 2014 23:29

WOW!!!!

So who is FK modelled after for I see no such nobility in current coterie!!!

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 01 May 2014 23:36

Nobody living for sure. There have been such ppl in congress in the past like original loh purush had to suffer jln and his clique.
i make no claim to mimic any party or current durbar..but certain shades of character and morality are timeless.
that is why Mahabharata and arthashaatra are as relevant to stateceaft today as millenia ago.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Gus » 02 May 2014 02:25

Kalki's Sivagamiyin Sabatham has a chapter where Mahendra Pallavan disguised as a spy goes to the Pulikesi camp. Whether it was historically true or not, it was one heck of a prose...the entire segment where Paranjyoti (latter he becomes an accomplished and revered Saiva adiyar) and Mahendra Pallava (in disguise) travel the deccan plateau...some amazing story telling by kalki who can paint pictures with words.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby ramana » 02 May 2014 02:27

Kalki's Ponin Selvan also has Rajaraja Chola traversing Sri Lanka as Buddhist!

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Gus » 02 May 2014 04:23

I wonder if there's any translation of his works in English. Each chapter has an entire page devoted to the setting with no plot or dialogue. Only after the reader is fully immersed into the setting will the plot move. Truly one of a kind even considering authors of other language.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby ramana » 02 May 2014 04:26

Just google. I have Macmillan edition of PS.

The Macmillan edition is awesome. It must be so much better in Tamil.

Someone wrote SS but its not the same level.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Cosmo_R » 02 May 2014 04:40

Well done Singha. Like it. Great sweep.

A thought: avoid the extended denouement trap that Ashok Banker fell into. Unexpected twists and turns, yes! but fast paced.

The drums: doom doom doom (LOTR the books)

That is equivalent of movie music quickening your pulse.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Saral » 02 May 2014 07:20

I paste the episodes into Word in a nice clean font and read at full width on a 24" screen. 7811 words and counting.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Raja Bose » 03 May 2014 08:08

"the Prince said nothing and indulged himself in whimsically playing with a wooden model of a windmill fixed to a steel topi he had gotten the royal armourer to make for him." :rotfl: Rahul baba's custom made propeller beanie hat?

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 03 May 2014 08:32

only the chosen few are allowed to wear these hats...men and women fated to attain high office...per imperial firman

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/computergear_2269_60799490

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 03 May 2014 09:34

Part 7 - Manickam [will be posted today afternoon ]

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby niran » 03 May 2014 10:22

Singha wrote:Part 7 - Manickam [will be posted today afternoon ]

AoA :D

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby ramana » 03 May 2014 10:23

Wish we had graphic artists to add more masala.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Atri » 03 May 2014 10:44

niran wrote:
Singha wrote:Part 7 - Manickam [will be posted today afternoon ]

AoA :D


HHM.. :D :P

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 03 May 2014 19:34

Part 7 - Manickam

The General made ghaziabad in good time, just ahead of rolling waves of rain that washed over the dusty soil and began to turn trails into streams of mud and the waters of the Yamuna slowly began to rise and reclaim the sandbars and grassland yet again. Monsoon was coming. the hour of decision was at hand.

A quick council with those senior advisers who were on the east bank (many were on the west bank or southern incursion) and a reworked plan evolved to deal with the threat of monsoon and the dangers it posed to the supply situation and manouvering capability of the fielded armies.

It was raining with medium intensity when The General addressed some 50,000 of his finest, the guards shock army kept in reserve to exploit a breakthrough on the bridgehead. standing on a rock under a banyan tree, his voice thundered clearly in the darkness pre-midnight, the gathering of fully armed formations lit in islands by burning torches held high....

brothers and sisters! the hour you have all waited for has come. a day of revenge. a day of just revenge. for all the wrongs and hardships this sultanate has visited upon you and your loved ones....it is a day some of us have waited for ten long years in the wildneress and finally it comes upon us. Let us honour our ancestors, our country and those friends who could not live to see this day...let us break the back of the evil ones...I know some of you have walked across the entire Bharata to be here this day, I salute you and I salute the mothers who birthed such patriots as you!

<loud cheers and howling from the ranks, beating of weapons on shields>

You, all of you know what you have to do. your commanders have already trained and briefed you for the mission. have faith in them, follow them, for they will lead from the front as always. have faith in yourself. do your duty for your country, for Dharma and for your way of life. Go now, and the Gods will be with you!

like a army of fire ants, the ranks moved over the dark landscape to waiting lines of barges and boats on the Yamuna...anything that could float and larger than a bullock cart within a fifty Kos of the place had been sailed or disassembled and carted in for this day.

within the hour, the invasion fleet was in the water, making progress under cover of the rain and the clouds. every man and woman silently saying their prayers and tensing for the situation ahead.

-------

A pair of flaming arrows arced out long over the water from the east bank and all the artillery lined up under cover on the bridgehead erupted with all they had, teams of loaders working and sweating to keep up the firing rate. here and there the odd barrel or breech gave way under sustained fire, killing and injuring their crews, drawing the attention of medical teams but the other crews stoically ignored it and stuck to their task.

The core of the sultanate defence on the bridgehead was a line of fortifications anchored by the Purana Quilla and the Sher Shah fort in the south and the congested heavily settled area around the Lal Quilla infront of Chandni chowk at the northern end. it was about 6km from north to south and further anchored at intermediate places in the line by strongpoints like feroze shah kotla . all had the highest quality of turki and damascus made cannons with somewhat interlocking fields of fire. the tall minarets of mosques and the watchtowers of forts served as spotting posts to locate targets and correct the fall of shot. A line of temporary roads and trenches led back from the gun positions to underground bunkers a half-kos behind with stocks of gunpowder and shells. Some of the cannons were mounted on the walls and firing at negative elevation on ground targets in the west bank and some were inside the strongpoints firing at high elevation on more distant targets like ships and barges bringing in men and supplies to the alliance at night, whenever moonlight was sufficient to spot targets. By day these guns made movement on the river very high risk indeed.

The first fire missions of the alliance heavy cannons that had been painstakingly build up on the west bank was direct line of sight fires on the spotting posts to damage them enough to degrade the quality of fire from the sultanate batteries they were guiding. with no thought to saving any stores, hundreds of shells were fired in a quarter of an hour.

The sultanate commander atop the Lal Quilla noted that something ominous was on, cursed the rain and dark new moon and sent back horse messengers to The Prince's camp informing him that the Alliance could be preparing for a breakthrough attack. Orders came back within the hour to stand his positions and that heavy cavalry units were being mobilized in the rear to plug any gaps that opened up and counter-attack the enemy down to the water's edge.

He grew increasingly more worried as his telescope spotted a low line of barges filled with wood and scrub, trailing thick black smoke emerge from the night close to the west bank, pulled by longboats with oarsmen and sweeping sheets of black smoke over the area where land met the water. His high angle cannons started firing by approximation into the smoke.... the rain served to dampen the fires and increase the smoke content....

with the mud beach now somewhat masked by the rain, the darkness and the thick black smoke, the first line of barges hit solid mud and a few pieces of rather unwieldy wooden equipment were manhandled and pulled by horses up through the embankments to locations near the Lal Quilla and its chain of trenches wrapping around Shahjahanabad with chandi chowk as the eastern apex. The empty barges were quickly pulled out and the lines of infantry barges began to unload , some had been lost to blind hits from enemy artillery but most made it ashore with their occupants glad not to be sitting ducks in the water anymore.

In two hours, the entire invasion force had disgorged their men and materials and now lay idle on the west coast in a mass of abandoned boats and barges.

The last contingent to come ashore was The General himself and his guards contingent of 500 heavy cavalry , both men and horse looking resplendent in gleaming dark blue steel armour and helmets.

-------

Saravanan Manickam crouched in the dark, damp tunnel fifty feet below the ground , sweating in the heat and the dampness. nearby, a couple of his men sat quietly in the dark too, praying to their own gods. presently, he heard the sounds of swift crawling as a messenger boy came with the anticipated orders .... he said one last prayer before grabbing the messenger in the dark ....

Angels of darkness
Angels of darkness
The world is in your hand
But I will fight until the end
The dreams are gone
midnight has come
the darkness is our new kingdom
darkness has fallen in paradise
but we'll be strong
and we will fight
against the creatures of the night


"this is for you my father, and my mother..may you find your peace today..and I will soon be with you"

Sir, orders from our commander, it is time! good luck sir! the messenger boy did a U-turn the moment he finished and vanished like a shot into the dark.

So be it...Manickam carefully uncovered a wooden cup he had kept over a couple of thick burning candles and so did his two assistants. carefully they set light to the ends of a dozen long trails of gunpowder leading off into the blackness farther up the tunnels. The fuses lit and started burning at a moderate rate off into the dark....leaving behind the darkness again.

it was time for Manickam and his men to crawl/run as fast as possible down the dark tunnel , back to safety, back to life and pray they would make it out in time.
It was a long five minutes as they moved on all fours like badgers in the dark. he remembered everything in his life in those five minutes, noting with some satisfaction that he had nothing to live for barring revenge and doing some last good for his country....

He was twentytwo years that day and already a veteran in the demolitions and siege unit of the Alliance, a line of work where life expectancy and tenure were short in the best of times. Life had been good for him eight years ago back in his fathers workshop on the outskirts of the ancient pilgrimage and metalworking city of Madurai , watered by the holy and perennial waters of the vaigai. the deep south of Bharata had been spared for a while the depredations of the sultanate as they focussed on dealing with resistance in the central and northern provinces and completing their rapine and desecration in these upper regions. Hopes that risen that perhaps the deep south might be spared after all?

But a mysterious Rasputin like figure named Khujli Baba had emerged from nowhere in the durbar's inner circle and instigated key figures in power against the temple wealth and relative capacity for cultural resistance in that distant region, and hence the need to crush these dormant seeds of resistance before they could flower into green shoots. Punitive raids had been launched into every rich temple town and mass casualties inflicted. Of particular interest were the rich metal working traditions originating in Thanjavur and their potent capacity to function as weapons makers for the Alliance , under Khujli Baba's instigation, this industry was ravaged and their karikars put to death. Manickam had returned shell-shocked from his grandmothers place in a village further down the delta, a week after the sack and pillage of Madurai and the looting of its iconic temple, to see bodies still on the streets, picked apart by vultures and crows. In a demented state of mind, he slowly walked to the workshop street of his father to find it burned to the ground and charred corpses lying hither and tither. His father, brother, sisters, mother...all vanished from the world, leaving him alone. He saw some other survivors like him walking aimlessly around , trying to comprehend the scale of the devastation and the reason why so many innocents had been slaughtered.

He completed the last rites alone, as best as he could remember from such ceremonies he had seen as a child. he walked for two weeks north, alone on the deserted roads until he reached a bigger town and was put in touch with the leader of a local cell of the resistance, who took him in, and asked him to channel his hurt and anger into the cause of the alliance. within a year he had joined the army and chose the metal working and explosives line in keeping with his early training in the foundry and crafts workshop of his late family.

Parallel to all this, Khujli Baba vanished from the court and none knew what had happened to him or where he had gone, but keen observers noted the emergence of The Krantikari militia and their charismatic leader The Bhagora at nearly the same time though no direct link could ever be proven because Khujli Baba in keeping with his self-claimed "sufi" traditions carried long hair and bushy beard and few had ever met him in person, while the leader of militia was clean shaven.

behind him, the fuse finally reached its intended destination....banks of heavy explosives in wooden barrels stacked systematically in excavated caverns positioned by precise mathematical calculations under one wall of the Lal Quilla and some other chokepoints in the trenchlines that gave way to clearly undefended areas behind.

Under feroz shah kotla and Purana Quilla, similar teams had done similar deeds and now ran away as fast they could into solid cover.

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

A terrible sound rent the dark sky like thunderstorm, followed by more such along the 6km line of fortifications ...... vast sheets of flame and dust shot up out of the ground .... men fell on the earth clutching their chests and ears from the unpleasant vibrations ..... the vast and solid walls of the Lal Quilla seemed unaffected and still standing tall for a moment to the anxious eyes of thousands of people watching from the bridgehead.....men shivered at the thought of failure and prayed once more, husbanding their last reserve of mental fortitude...and then magically, almost silently, the massive walls of the Lal Quilla, Purana Quilla and other strongpoints started caving in on themselves in slow motion, leaving behind rain soaked heaps of rubble and masonry guarding the breaches in the fortifications....

The commanders atop the Lal Quilla and Purana Quilla barked frantic orders to their garrisons as both infantry and artillerymen wielded personal weapons and massed into strong lines behind these breaches to beat back any attacks..peering into the darkness to locate the first signs of the inevitable charge.

from camouflaged firing positions just above the mud embankments, the unwieldy ballista machines now started lobbing their payload , huge handis made of thin cast iron and leather but containing a mix of explosives and greek fire...in long graceful arcs, along pre decided lines they bobbed into the air and started their ballistic descent into the massed ranks of defenders.

Massive explosions and spilling of burning slurry were noted to be satisfactorily causing mayhem in the hasty defence lines before the assault commander swung his sword and two flaming arrows shot out again. with blood curdling war cries, the men and women of the assault units, spears, muskets and swords in hand made at a dead run into the breaches and slammed through the wavering green lines just as the ballista barrage was halted. Behind them lines of Bhil and other archers from the forests of the east kept up steady showers of arrows into the open spaces of the strongpoints to attrit and make difficult any regrouping of the broken defences.

In twenty minutes of hand to hand furious combat, with moderate losses, the attack broke through the initial hard shell strongpoints and spilled over into the connecting trenchlines and secondary strongpoints leading back to the ammunition and logistical bunkers....

the only exception to this general and systematic collapse of the front was chandni chowk region which being thickly covered in abandoned markets and houses afforded a lot of protection for the defenders...a hardy band of around 500 zealots from peshawar backed by another 500 krantikaris....hiding in the narrow lanes and firing out of windows, ambushing isolated Alliance small units in a game of hide and seek, staging hit and run counterattacks and disappearing back into familiar territory of the dark alleys, then threatened to emerge as a holdout and core of a new 'resistance' around which similar hardy bands of survivors could re-organize and delay the ongoing Alliance breakthrough.

Frantic warning messages from blocked units began to be relayed back to the field commanders who stood in a cluster at a secure location near the mud embankment, warning of delays in this sector and potential undermining of the timetable for follow on second echelon rollups scheduled for the next few days.

The General had anticipated this and merely sat astride his marwar horse impassively..a few words were said and groups of men ran back into a collection of dozen barges that had disgorged nothing yet, but lay silently in wait.

the sounds of high pitched howling wafted in the rain and breeze as handlers led groups of leashed Dhole's , eight to a man upto the edge of the battle area and unleashed them into the night, led by their alpha pack leaders and scout elements they vanished into the night, melting away in groups into the dark alleys, as if they were trained for the job which indeed they had been by the General's far sighted advisor on such matters in a mock mini 'city' he had constructed near Meerut for this task a month back.

Five minutes later fearful howls of men and the excited yelps of the hunting packs came to waiting ears of the alliance as enemy troops were smelled, chased up or down and taken apart piece by piece by the Dhole packs, who hadnt fed much for a day and were eager for the hunt. hundreds of people fleeing this canine onslaught spilled out from their hiding holes into the broad central throughfare between the Lal Quilla and the Fatehpuri masjid as the Dhole's cleaned up the abandoned houses and alleys, before standing and howling in hostile clusters at the mouth of the alleys.

"Now comrades now!" The General said and a wedge shaped formation of heavy cavalry with him at the arrowhead , swords and spears unfurled, vaulted over the rubble of the breach and began their straight charge from the Lal Quilla to the end of the road at the fatehpuri masjid......

swords and speartips blazed in the night, like fireflies over a moonlit pond. on and off, on and off....

Five minutes later they sheathed their bloody weapons and guided their panting horses back along the same way....over broken bodies and Dholes starting their nightly feeding session and howling to the heavens.

-------

Back in Raisina hill, The Prince's camp had both received a series of frantic messages calling for reinforcements , and seen from their vantage point the vast explosions all along the frontline. shortly afterwards streams of panic stricken infantry who had deserted and left their positions started to filter back to safer positions in the center.

white smoke came from The Prince's command tent as papers and letters were frantically burned by a rear guard unit , while The Prince escorted by his royal guard and Diggy Khan relocated with chaotic haste to the second defensive line on the delhi ridge, carelessly riding down fleeing men on the trail under the hooves of their armoured horses.

while the prince had exhorted Khan saheb to rush to the aid of the broken lines with his heavy cavalry unit which was the nearest at hand, khan saheb had overruled the idea and suggested his and the units main responsibility was to stand close guard with The Prince and let other units do such mundane work. A messenger or two had been casually sent to Afzal Khans cavalry division to rush to the scene, plug the gap and make sure not to fail in doing so.

An hour of panic stricken retreat later, the royal unit made safe harbour behind the ridge and the lines of waiting cavalry and archers of the western divisions that were now mobilized and ready to attack anything that came out of the now broken first defensive line.

--

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby SaiK » 03 May 2014 19:47

khujli baba disappears! :rotfl:

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Dilbu » 03 May 2014 19:57

But a mysterious Rasputin like figure named Khujli Baba had emerged from nowhere in the durbar's inner circle

:rotfl:

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 03 May 2014 20:28

I will probably write some 5 or max 6 more episodes of this tale and wind it up on May16. I had never intended to write a story, only wrote the first post as a general rant but one thought leads to another thought...so I kept it going.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby SwamyG » 03 May 2014 20:58

Singha wrote:it was very cathartic for me writing up part4. have been thinking about such a scene for a long time now...

It was absolutely great. You have to send this to Alliance Commander.

Your research and understanding of animals is superb. Quite useful in managing teams at aaphice.

ps: Your love for Prince is great :-) Almost like the last Mughals. Good for nothing fellow, forced to do things. A fellow to be forgotten by history.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby SwamyG » 03 May 2014 21:21

Here is my prediction, after 2009 defeat, B.Raman and others talked about BRF as the "right wing website" - they even copiously quoted words of BRFites without giving the credits. After the 2014 victory this "Modern Story" will be talked about by all lurker journalists. Why not move it outside GDF and rub the salt more in the wound?

the best always end up fighting with the best
This should be gold-plated framed and hug on the hallow corridors of BRF.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 03 May 2014 22:04

This story is meant for brf only. So pls do not paste it in part or whole anywhere.
i retain the copyright as it were though not for commercial gain.

part 8 - kushti . Will be posted tomorrow.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Vikas » 03 May 2014 22:46

Singha,
Veer das , Gaziabad, is he modeled on the lines of one Ex-COAS ?

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Kakkaji » 04 May 2014 00:09

Singha wrote:This story is meant for brf only. So pls do not paste it in part or whole anywhere.
i retain the copyright as it were though not for commercial gain.

part 8 - kushti . Will be posted tomorrow.


Singha ji:

Please copyright it properly. It is great story-telling. A best seller if I ever saw one. Don't let it be stolen by the unscruplous.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby KLNMurthy » 04 May 2014 04:34

Singha wrote:I will probably write some 5 or max 6 more episodes of this tale and wind it up on May16. I had never intended to write a story, only wrote the first post as a general rant but one thought leads to another thought...so I kept it going.


Singha my sincere compliments on an inspired and epic story of India's struggle. As I read about all Bharatiyas--auttaraahas, daakshiNaatyaas, vanavaasis, even the dholes and the mahishas coming together to throw out the interloper, I was thinking of the original epic of national liberation, the Ramayana, in which every being, every vanara and bhalluka united under Lord Rama's leadership to fight and re-take Bharatiya freedom won a generation ago in the deva-asura samgramam under Dasaratha's generalship, a freedom that threatened to slip away with Dandakaranya being occupied by the asuras based in Lanka, and the asuras under Tataka, Mareecha and Subahu launching terrorist raids in the Gangetic heartland itself.

What we are witnessing now, both in real life and in your story, is the War of Dandakaranya, which ended in the destruction of Khara and DushaNa. There remains the massing of Bharatiya forces to react to the stealing away of our Sita-Mahalakshmi (our people's wealth, created by their labor), taking the war to the asuric heartland, ending in crushing and subjugation of the asuric enemy in his own home, and to finally bring our Sita-Mahalakshmi home where She belongs.

That will be the end of our aranya-vaas surely.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Saral » 04 May 2014 05:51

Singha-ji.. Consider serializing this in some online mag (Newslaundry?) after May 16

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby SaiK » 04 May 2014 06:00

^don't!!! :) general singha, i'd buy the copyrights. i can engage bollywood. with a good script, balki (english-vinglish) my old dost who has forgotten me since ages as i had no such talents, could energize the silver screen. it could be a reunion of sorts!

that phucker is not responding now-a-dins.. lost in the bollywood world stardom. may be he is scared that i will ask big money

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Saral » 04 May 2014 06:31

SaiK: You will need to negotiate with me.. Duly appointed *agent #1* of Singha-jee. Send proposal in triplicate onlee. Have already activated my Bwood sleeper cells.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby SaiK » 04 May 2014 08:15

DDoS attack is not legal!

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby ankitash » 04 May 2014 13:59

ramana wrote:WOW!!!!

So who is FK modelled after for I see no such nobility in current coterie!!!


MMS ?

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 04 May 2014 15:18

Part 8 - Kushti (wrestling)

the messenger casually dispatched from Raisina hill to mehrauli camp to rouse and get Afzal khan's division into action had gone but a bare few minutes, when he spotted the general himself at the head of a full formation of cavalry, riding north at best speed from the opposite direction. The hard pressed commander of the Lal Quilla garrison, knowing certain realities had taken the far sighted measure of sending another pair of riders directly to mehrauli , apart from following the command protocol of asking raisina camp for help. In doing this, he saved the lives of many of his men that night. These messengers had reached an hour ago, with the result that Afzal had mustered his entire formation and sent them hurtling up the two available roads to the front, with himself leading one column. With no stopping for redundant messaging, they thundered past in the night and rain, the long line of riders taking many minutes from head to tail.

---

During the aftermath of a successful breaking of enemy lines, the attacking formations and routed opposition are both in a stage of disarray. The attacker has taken losses, and his unit cohesion and communication has got disrupted in the melee, artillery is out of position and everyone needs time to mop up, tend to wounded, and reform back as cohesive units. It is this time of disarray which is another of the hinges of battle and the best time to mount a counterattack. or the attacker has to have fresh uncommitted mobile units to pour into the gap and flood deep into the rear. this The General did not have the luxury of.

The General had taken a big risk and thrown everything into the initial assault because monsoon was coming fast and he needed to end this within the next few days and not weeks. and he had few cavalry compared to the horse heavy sultanate. Immediately post the breaking of the sultanate first line, he was presented with several problems in logistics and force employment

1) his artillery had fired off most of the stock and were down to low single digits of stock per battery
2) a lot of the artillery had developed minor problems under sustained use and needed rest and repair
3) the artillery crews were exhausted
4) the ballistas , slow and clumsy as they were, were unsuited to any form of relocation or mobile battle, and their stock of fire bombs had run out almost
5) he had hundreds of wounded men to deal with
6) he had to arrange policing , medical aid and food & water for thousands of prisoners
7) The dhole's were proving difficult to control and their handlers were running around trying to call out and leash them again for transit back across the river
8 ) after hours of hard fought battle his frontline units were tired and running low on stamina and consumables, they needed rest and replacement with second line units to hold ground

which brought him to the biggest issue - transit of men and materials across the river , anything larger than a chair that could float had become part of the invasion fleet and the west bank was a mass of empty boats and barges one atop the other that would need daylight and hours to untangle and sail or tow back across the river to fetch his limited second echelon troops, while relieving and moving back exhausted first line units. The landing area had developed into unexpected chaos due to a miscalculation of turn around times. now he was more or less stuck on the west bank with tired men , only 500 horse cavalry his personal guard and very reduced effective artillery until atleast afternoon of the next day...and it was still only 3 AM.

In the network of trenches leading back to bunkers and command posts, fierce little mop up battles still went on , with gradually the sultanate units disintegrating into fragments and taking flight up numerous bush trails back to raisina camp and then beyond to where reports spoke of buildups occuring on delhi ridge as a second line.

A few zealots barricaded themselves in bunkers and used portholes to lay down secure fire on advancing alliance troops. Manickam and his men were recalled from rest areas and used heavy demolition charges to seal off the tunnel entrances to neutralize these leftovers.

with no free horse units, rain and darkness The General decided he was in not in a position to press a pursuit of the retreating units and instead focussed on just cleaning up and securing leftover materials and weapons upto the end of the first defensive line.

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

In half an hour, the two lines of riders under Afzal khan saw the shapes of fast moving riders in similar number coming down from up north and the two columns merged at the foot of raisina hill, now a mess of burning tents and broken furniture.....Ghazi khan the northern commander, another veteran fighting general, had seen the commotion to the south, correctly deduced the sequence of events and on his own initiative had come south with 7000 horse , leaving behind a light screening force to man the northern perimeter.

without any words needing to be exchanged, for the two generals had fought many a campaign together, the unified column of 15000 heavy cavalry now deployed into battle units and charged at full speed to the east with swords and lances held at the ready .... horses panted and mist blew out of their nostrils as the charge was pressed at best speed.

this heavy maelstrom of steel and muscle thundered into the rear of the ex-sultanate line and shattered like matchsticks the alliance units which were milling around there post-ops trying to rest and recoup back into cohesive defence line. within minutes what seemed like the post victory lull had turned into a nightmare as wedges of horsemen hurdled over the trenches cutting anything moving into mincemeat .... terrified infantry broke and ran for the safety of the fortifications along the riverbank, which however were open at the back and as yet lacked any relocated artillery to help them.

the situation was an inch from a rout and a ignominious run back to the boats, when the arrival of the last of the reserve units from the riverbank both Purbia musketeers and Bhil archers into the ramparts saved the fleeing infantry in the nick of time. With 15000 horsemen running around in dense formation mostly within range of shot and arrow, they did not have to aim carefully, but simply blanketed the area with as much flying projectiles as they could. A couple of ballistas were pressed back into service and managed to lob their fireballs, killing none but scaring away horses ..... with a prayer on his lips and knife in his hand, Manickam ran for his life down the bottom of a trench even as horses leaped and hurdled over it above...

The general held his very limited 500 cavalry in reserve for the final throw of the dice should the need come to it, and did not commit.

After ten minutes it became clear to Afzal and Ghazi there was no broken piece of the alliance line they could shatter to gain the riverfront and increasing large number of first line infantry, having overcome their fear and confusion were now operating as cohesive units again, going after his horses and pouring sniper fire from every crack in the earth.

Sensing they had stopped any alliance rout of the retreating sultanate infantry dead in its tracks, the horsemen wheeled their army around and rode off upto raisina hill, where they rounded up any fleeing foot stragglers, bade them not to panic and led them at a slow walk back to the west...back to the second defence line.

The General thanked his good fortune because he knew how close to breaking point the mad wild charge of the horsemen had brought his line to.

-------

Dawn was breaking in a orange line on the eastern horizon as the huge columns of horsemen led at the head by Afzal Khan and Ghazi Khan completed their journey, passed through the lines and setup camp on the reverse slopes near good wells to feed and rest the tired men and animals. Cooks were nudged awake to prepare food.

Afzal and Ghazi urgently went to locate the Prince, until finally they could find his camp which was in total disarray. servants and baggage trains were helter skelter and it seemed some of the men were on the verge of looting their masters property and deserting, security was non-existent and nobody checked or greeted them. Afzal asked some of his own men to scold this wavering crew into shape and restore some order.

The Prince himself seemed extremely jittery and a bundle of nerves, with no clear plan of action what to do next. He did say he had ordered Diggy khan to rush to the aid of the frontline much before Afzal and Ghazi saved the situation. They believed him. They were glad he was safe and told him to take it easy and not move around. Then they looked at one another and silently rode out to find Diggy khan his personal guard.

It took an hour to find him, because he was nowhere on the second defence line but in a isolated camp he had established for himself and some durbaris a few kos behind the immediate danger. in a forest clearing, with the remains of a sumptuous breakfast still on a carpet, he was doing sword drills with four of his assistants - despite being a desk general, he was known as a very skilled swordsman because he did this daily morning.

Afzal dismounted, while Ghazi remained on his horse. Afzal could not take it any longer and in a black rage ran up to the man and landed a resounding punch on his face sending him flying a few feet with shock on face.

Do you know what your lack of planning and moral fiber has done? it has destroyed a defence line that took months to setup, killed thousands of our finest infantry, reduced the rest to a wandering mob, given the Alliance a permanent foothold in delhi ..and that is not mentioning your ignoring my pleas to guard the southern edge properly which resulted in loss of 7500 precious horses! tell me do trained men and horses grow on trees? are you planning to dig them from a coal mine here? and look at you enjoying your peacock roast and haleem for breakfast if my eyes dont mistake me, while my men, your men, our men were dying like flies! Enough of this ! I will not spare you today!

the downed Khan responded like a wounded cobra and struck with surprise and vicious intent, springing up and charging at Afzal with murder in his eyes. The two men punched, kicked, bit, pulled hair and rolled on the ground each trying to pound the other to a galouti kabab with no rules and no holds barred. turbans, helmets, clothes, shoes all got torn or flew off. the scared retainers not knowing what to do, threw away the plates and weapons they were standing around carrying and ran away into the forest. Gradually Afzal by virtue of greater and harder years in the field gained the upper hand and started to land more telling blows. Ghazi watched impassively and made no move to help the underdog or separate the fight until the downed khan had just about been thrashed to an inch of his life, then getting down, and being a giant of a man pulled Afzal off the job like a bear pulling a leopard off its kill and cooled him down both with words and water from a sheepskin bladder.

without a backward look at the injured khan now trying to crawl to get his weapons for a sneak attack, face bleeding but black as thundercloud and no lack of malice or defiance in the eyes,... the two men rode back to rejoin their units now redeploying along the ridge in mobile reserve positions behind the fortifications.

it was time for emergency war council again. things were now hanging on a fine thread and a hair away from unravelling. both men silently prayed the Queen was still around to control the situation.
---

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 04 May 2014 19:12

Part 10 - Fragrance of the Padma - it will likely come on polling day May 7 :wink:

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Atri » 04 May 2014 19:50

Singha wrote:Part 9 - Fragrance of the Lotus Flower - it will likely come on polling day May 7 :wink:


Oh come on... 3 days.. :|

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 04 May 2014 20:00

as I mentioned only 4 more parts left, and I need to spread it out until may16 which is 12 days away. I need time to dream and bounce around ideas inside my head..sometimes it comes out well planned, sometimes ideas come extempore as one writes...

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby johneeG » 04 May 2014 20:14

Singha Saar,
you seem to be on a roll. Why such a short one? Write atleast 30 episodes, no? With minimum 30 episodes it will be a nice size. :)

(PS: kongis seem to be hoping that pappu's sister will be like the heroine of game of thrones? )

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Manish_Sharma » 04 May 2014 20:50

A little inspiration triggering video for May '16th:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOtt2d2YijY&feature=youtu.be&t=26m19s

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby niran » 05 May 2014 09:55

first Chandani chowk karantikari commander that would be arsetoss hunted and finished by Dholes
now Diggy khan getting a sound beating wah!wah! most gratifyingly marvelous.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Singha » 05 May 2014 10:12

I have an hour to spare, so moving part9 to part10 slot instead. a short one.

Part 9 - The City of Gold

Morning over Delhi, the capital of the Imperium. dark scudding clouds moving fast from the south-west to the north-east. gusts of welcome colder breeze after the hot blazing months of summer. the call of birds newly energized by the water.

A time of discovery. A time of renewal.

intensive search of the carnage around the Chandni chowk area brought up no signs of the Krantikari commander who the general wanted to give a dressing down in person. As usual, like a ghost he had relocated and vanished.

The aftermath of the huge night fight had been cleaned up along the river and the situation had stabilized. Most of the first line units were now camping for rest and food along the river, while the second line units in a solid order had occupied defensive positions 5 km inland to the west. They were heavy with muskets and archers as the artillery was still being repaired in hastily constructed field workshops and mobile foundries to melt and shape iron parts. The barges and boats on the river were being untangled.

Scout units on horse probed deeper and deeper into the abandoned capital without encountering any of the terrifying horse cavalcade of last night. they had been instructed to provide early warning to prevent a repeat of the near-disaster.

By mid-morning it became apparent to the General that the enemy had no armed units east of the delhi ridge fortifications at all and the entire capital had just a few remnants of civilians and deserters trying to slink out , they were mostly detained, interrogated and let go wherever they wanted to depart - east, north or south.

The area around and east of the Raisina hill was the core housing lines and sectors of the Sultanate, a verdant area of rich gardens and tree lined avenues with circular lotus ponds where roads met, geometric precision, hundreds of huge villas and palaces of the ruling elite mostly of the ashraf and some local collaborators as well. thousands of quarters for the servants, carefully screened behind hedges or in common colonies out of sight of the main avenues. It was a world far removed from the harsh realities of life anywhere else in the country. of streets 100 feet wide that were swept three times a day of pebbles so that none may shake the wheels of the horse cabs taking elites about their work. of servants being sent to fetch ice from the himalayas so their masters could enjoy ice cream at grand gracious parties and baccanals that sometimes would begin at dusk and end after two days.

they said a bell used to be rung from the central tower at dawn, so that the pious might answer the call to prayer and the impious get back to their own beds.

all the nobles with family had bolted for points west the moment the Alliance army had become visible on the horizon at ghaziabad.
only the Prince , durbaris and the imperial army had remained to defend the capital. civilians not related to the regime had also taken this cue and fled north to the land of five rivers from shahjahanabad precinct and other settled areas like mehrauli and dhaula kuan. The general had encouraged rumours of imminent attack to get them out of the scene and minimize damage to innocents. homes could always be rebuilt.

The General in person, with a small retinue of officials rode into this wonderland in the afternoon to take a look for himself and verify if the fables he had heard were true.

Signs of hasty departure, disorder and looting were evident all over the place. In certain homes, almirahs and chests had been wedged open by fleeing servants taking whatever they could before decamping. meals lay uneaten in the kitchens and tables. and what meals ! - in a country where people subsisted on rice, lentils, rotis and vegetables, they noted with wry interest the provenance of some of the delicacies lined up in impressive elite kitchens - the markings and seals spoke of dates from arabia, pickled pomegranates from persia, almonds and saffron from kaboul and kandahar, cured meat from central asia, turkish sweets made of jelly and fruit pieces, foods sourced from deepest africa via zanzibar and madagascar, very long grained rice from the indus valley, cheese from some unknown land called denmark per the label and then of particular interest some jars bearing the seal of the distant land called "Rome". The General had never ventured into the sea west of his homeland and had only ever seen a few traders with such produce on the coast. prising open the ceramic lids, he saw a strange heap of yellow food that looked like someone had cut a pipe into small sections .... and in another the same yellow material as a squiggly worm like thing .... "it is called pasta sire" one his more well travelled worldly advisors offered seeing the blank look on the generals face. the General took a few bites of the pasta, chewed on it, grimaced and took it out. "it needs to be boiled and cooked with ingredients and tomato puree sire, not eaten as-is like bhujia" the advisor said hiding a grin. The General made a face and restored the lid.

and so the tour went on in the homes of the elites - personal zoos of peacocks and more exotic animals like cheetahs and tigers and rare birds of paradise purchased from traders in Melaka and Srivijaya, wooden garden sheds made of finest sal from Asom, tons and tons of burmese teak furniture, tree houses for children bigger than commoners houses, ceramics from Germania and Rome, metal work from the land of Magyars and Rus, clocks from another unknown land called switzerland , carpets from Persia ofcourse, the ruling elite of the Imperium had a staggering wealth and breadth of taste for the luxuries of life.

in one private zoo they found a strange animal that none could name. it looked like a camel-deer but smaller and without the dump. it had a pleasant fur on its back and was a personal pet of the noble. a retainer found nearby said it was called a vi-cu-na and his master had brought it on a ship after a long travel. http://www.quantum-conservation.org/EEP/vicuna.gif

thousands of tiger , leopard and bear skins. skins of poor Dholes used as foot mats. heads of stuffed deer and Gaur on the walls. hundreds of ivory tusks from the biggest tuskers, feet cut and stuffed into sitting stools....slaughtered for the pleasure of the Shikar.
Gharial skin boots and bags by the hundred. half the native animals of the land had fallen prey to the elites and their love of shikar.

and marble marble everywhere...it seemed the mines of Makrana were sending their annual output for the pleasure of this tiny elite of a thousand nobles.

in one instance a mid level noble who had somehow missed the evacuation came running out offering his undying fealty and hard work in favour of the General if he could be allowed to retain his estate and wealth. Oh really, so what were your activities for the high office you currently hold? the General's voice was not warm. Sire I was in charge of taking inventory and managing the grains and animals we here obtain in tribute from the hill tribes to the east....I have long experience in that line sire! I see...Long experience in depriving hungry mothers and children of their own food while you feast on roasted peacocks here.....the General reached back and landed him a resounding slap that sent him yelping and crying back into hiding. the voice followed him....be glad I am sparing you today, next time I will not be generous....

looting was forbidden and some low level police units formed from the retainers themselves to guard the township until such time as a civil administration could be taken over.

All this touring made everyone very hungry. They finally found something of their taste in the servant quarters of the vast bungalow of some escaped noble and rounding up a few retainers hiding fearfully in the attic, bade them cook a meal of rice, potato, spinach and dal for the General's inspection party. followed by curd and fresh fruit from the garden.

then spreading themselves out on the persian carpets in the reception area, they all enjoyed a much needed and sound sleep until the call of crickets at dusk woke them again.

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Re: Prelude to Twilight: A Modern Story:Singha

Postby Vikas » 05 May 2014 12:56

"in a country where people subsisted on rice, lentils, rotis and vegetables, they noted with wry interest the provenance of some of the delicacies lined up in impressive elite kitchens "
How true and succinctly captured


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