Wednesday, 27 April 2011
My wife Savithri, bade me a goodbye with eyes filled with tears. She knew that a crying woman would bring no good fortune to a man. She knew she had to hold back her emotions and she did it well. She carried our beloved son in her arms. He was sleeping peacefully in her arms. How I wished the peace he had in her arms, could spread to the entire world. With a heavy heart, Savithri performed “arti” and put a “tika” on my forehead. Was I scared? My heart was bleeding. I put on my head gear and strode out. For once my heart seemed heavier than the spear and the shield in my hand. I did not know if I would return.
The chieftain had chosen me as to lead from the front, in the war. I remembered my dad’s words. It rang in my ears like never before. He always said lead the army when you are going to dine at an occasion and take a back seat when you go to a war. We had always laughed at his funny saying. I felt a small smile escaping my lips, only to quickly disappear. I remembered my son, Abhimanyu. His gentle smile flashed before my eyes. Savithri’s helpless tugged at me. Life of a widowed woman was not going to be easy. I did not want to leave her for sure. When the previous war was declared in the kingdom of Panipat, I lost several friends. I remembered my close pal, Ramanna who was a lead man last time and never returned. The plight of Sitamma was dire. This time I wondered if my turn had come. I could not imagine Savithri like Sitamma. Trying to explain the lamentations of those widowed women is an injustice to them. I salute to all those women, who know the probable consequences of a man going to war and yet let them go. Not once but every single time the war is declared. She is more of a patriot than the men who go.
I cursed the King. Why did he want this war? He had all the wealth in the world. He had so many queens and sons and daughters. He had more than anybody could ask for. God had given him everything, but he still wanted to fight this war. Didn’t he know how many lives were at stake? Didn’t he care for our families? After the war would been won, what would he have achieved? Little gold, silver and precious gems added to his treasury. Would this slight increase make any difference to him? May be a few new queens added to his palace. Is there no end to his desire for women? Everybody has a territory defined and why don’t all the kings live happily in their respective territories? Why did they want to invade into the territory of others? Exploit the women of that territory, spoil their lives forever. Make the men their slaves and treat them like dogs. Destroy families. For a minute wouldn’t they think about our kids? What happiness does it give, to see others in pain? Why are humans like this? What is the need for power which destroys the lives of so many? The winning king will have his ego satisfied and after the effect wears off, he would declare a war yet again.
As I trailed along, the trumpet sounded loudly. It was the final call for all the soldiers to assemble before the rolling gates. The sound of the trumpet seemed to clear my clouded senses. The sound reminded me of my life’s purpose to be a true soldier, to save my king, my kingdom. If we win this war, thousands of lives will be saved, regardless of the purpose. A few thousand families will be happy. Turning back and looking at my wife and kid for probably the last time, I ran towards the gate.P.S: I dont know why I wrote this post? The word "Front-runner" from my friend inspired me to write this.