…that gradually cease.

Showering unto us from the bliss’s brink,

Umpteen drops of the elixir, the drink

To cure the decrepit body and heart,

Came the dusky cloud on heaven’s cart.

 

Tiny Mogras did toss their heads in glee,

And the bound denizens did feel free

From the grabs of sultry summer Sun,

Relishing fruits of wait, till the dawn.

 

For men may come and men may go,

But the life’s nature we ought to know

That, the only constant the Change is,

And mere others are, that gradually cease.

An Altercation

In the midst of silent night,

Inside a pouch of hide,

Erupted an intense fight,

As two egos did collide.

 

“I am new, I am new, and I am new,

I will always have a higher value.

I am all rich men’s choice.”

Claimed one, in an emphatic voice.

 

“Oh, flamboyant one! You,

In spirits paltry and quantum few,

But I am derelict’s voice.”

Retorted the other, bereft rejoice.

 

When the telly buzzed, the next day,

A reporter announced in great dismay,

“The Thousand, from now, is sure invalidated…”

Thus, the Hundred, finally had the contest dominated.

P.S. : Demonetization…

A mere Affirmation…

Damnation was his destiny,

For he dared to pick a vocation,

Precisely contrary to the anticipation

And that was his only felony.

 

A foray of bashing remark,

Pushed him into the dark.

In quietus, solace he found,

Lying on the splendid ground.

A silent figure concealed in shroud,

Reclined amidst the teeming crowd.

 

Once he was a cheerful lad,

Now a paltry cheerful dead.

Indeed, expensive was his supplication,

As he had sought a mere affirmation.

The lone Sentinel: Episode 9: Striding towards the Certitude…

It was a dimly lit, curtained chamber. The interiors harbored a silken divan and numerous canvases, portraying the expectations of the habitué of the place. But then, who would not pick a better choice as the connoisseur, who preferred to adore the tenderness of the shapely body of the ganika – prostitute, Vishakha, quenching his carnal desires with the elixir from her ambrosial lips, rather than admiring the smooth bed, an inanimate. It was a blissful experience for the man, but it was an obligation for Vishakha.

A sentry of the house arriving at the threshold of the chamber, signaled Vishakha to come out.

“My lord, would you please let me go off your formidable arms? I will be back in a moment” asked a subservient Vishakha.

“Why?” retorted the man.

“It seems, it is somewhat urgent, my lord, otherwise, I would not have been called up in the mid. It is against the policy of the house, you know, my lord. I will be back in no time.”

“Okay but be quick” sighed the man and Vishakha was elated at her temporary respite.

*******

“You will have go to the royal palace, it is the new king’s order” said the head mistress in a monotonous voice.

“King or a mere guard, all they need is, their lust pangs gratified. I will go but after I complete my duties here. I will go tomorrow, not today” said Vishakha.

“As you wish.”

*******

The next day, Vikram had called Vijaybhanu, the only person whom he trusted, for a meeting to discuss the future course of action.

“Pundit ji, I have eliminated Bahuruchi and his associates” coldly said the king, to which Vijaybhanu merely responded. So, he continued his monologue, “The state of the army is appalling. We need to forge new weapons, need more recruits, discipline the present men. So much to do, in so little time” stated a perplexed King. Vijaybhanu nodded in agreement and then replied, “But, I have managed to keep intact the competence of our spy network.”

“Yes Pundit ji, that is the only respite. What news they bring? I have some instructions for them.”

“The army of Jalandhar will reach our frontiers in three months. Total of one hundred and twenty thousand men comprise the army. We are outnumbered, effectively, by ratio three to one. They had seen a massive army, eager to plunder the riches of Adirajyam, loot the lives of the denizens of the kingdom. My king, please tell me about the instructions, I will pass it to them.”

“Oh…” sighed the king but continued, “Tell their commander to see me. I have a word for him.”

“As you command, King” said a puzzled pundit.

“There are other state matters that need your attention. Such as…” the pundit stopped, as he saw a guard enter the chamber.

“My King, the ganikaVishakha has arrived and is waiting” informed the sentry.

“Pundit ji, we will discuss all these later. Please excuse me. I need a break, now” Turning away from Vijaybhanu, he ordered, “Send her in.”

*******

The lone Sentinel: Episode 8: Discordance…

Vijaybhanu could not believe his ears.

“What on earth, possessed you to commit such a grave crime? You murdered your own brothers. You are a butcher, a monster. I… I think I made a blunder” said a dumbstruck and exasperated Pundit unable to comprehend the notoriety of the man, he revered.

The new king reflected for a moment, framing his arguments in support of his actions, which seemed rather devious to the upright Pundit.

“My dear Pundit ji, I have always held you in high esteem. Please hear me out before you develop any conclusion about me” said Vikram calmly, pacifying the fuming Vijaybahnu.

After a brief pause, he continued, “You should know that I do not commit an act without a good reason, not without evaluating its consequences. In my opinion, men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge. I have always preferred the latter option; I crush my enemies: needs less effort and less price.”

Vijaybhanu was stunned to hear his logic. He could see an epitome of Acharya Chanakya, the shrewd, yet illustrious teacher, who integrated India in a tumultuous time against external adversities, who installed Chandragupta Maurya as the Emperor of India, who was essayist of one of the supreme treatise ‘Arthashastra’, an economic masterpiece, the lexicon for governing a diverse and vast country with apposite dexterity. Vijaybhanu, though, appreciated Acharya’s effort and intentions but was not very appreciative of his means to achieve the desired results. After contemplating for a moment, he said, “Wrong is wrong, a sin is sin. It cannot and ought not to be justified, lest it will set an immoral precedent.”

“You are now the King and my honor will forbid me to leave the state affairs at this critical juncture; I am bound to serve you. But from now on, you are only my King, no more son-like” said the pundit very unsure about the words, he was uttering as well as his future course of actions. He seemed like a disgraced father who had just lost his innocuous son to the wicked clutches of the Devil, whose son now had become the apostle of debauchery.

“Very well” said Vikram in a reverent tone, masquerading his remorse with an emotionless, brutish impression, “I need the details of men serving our army, our spy network, volume of weaponry we have in our inventory, any records of wars beforehand and of course, any book dealing with strategies of warfare, right away.”

“But King, I am not in charge of that. Our…”

“I want you to collect it for me, immediately” responded the king in an authoritative tone. “By the way, I… umm.. I also need to meet the famous ganika – prostitute of the city” added the king unable to hide his awkwardness that arose from the thought of what Vijaybhanu would think about him.

“Yes, King. I will do the needful” replied the pundit coldly.

The lone Sentinel: Episode 7: A New King…

It was a cold night, a dark night. A veiled intruder entered the royal chamber, with cold steel ‘Churikas’ – daggers. He could neutralize the puny guards with ease. Then, he went straight into the royal chamber, where he could find his targets in peaceful slumber, oblivious of what was going to happen to them. Sliding past to the bedside, he touched his ‘Churikas’ on the collar of slumbering royalties and ‘Slash’!!! Arterial fluid oozed out in arcs, leaving the silken royal bed drenched in wine-colored gore. After the job’s completion, the assassin hurried away. After a few moments, when other guards realized what had happened, the alarm was raised.

Vijaybhanu came scurrying into the chamber of his beloved Prince, to ensure his safety.

“Thank god, my Prince, you are okay” said a panting Pundit.

“Pundit ji arrange my coronation immediately. It should be short and quick.”

“But, my prince, now? Your…” abruptly terminating an amazed Vijaybhanu in the middle Vikram said, “…otherwise the kingdom will be disarrayed. People will be confused and exasperated. Then, you will have hard time dealing with the untoward situation. We cannot afford that at this juncture.”

It seemed quite logical to Pundit and agreeing to it he said, “I will arrange it as soon as possible.”

*******

“Om Rajadhi Rajaya Prashya …. Maha Rajaya Vidmahe”

The mantra – a sacred hymn, was chanted for the Rajyabhishek – coronation of Vikram as the king of Adirajyam by Rajpurohit – the royal priest amidst the gathered ministers and army commander-in-chief, who witnessed the young lad pledging allegiance to the kingdom and swearing to protect the kingdom from the onslaughts of invaders.

“Elders and friends, I have two things to state. First, I would like to be called Vikramaditya, which is a combination of two names that has shaped my destiny.”

“Hail King Vikramaditya! Hail King Vikramaditya!! Hail King Vikramaditya!!!” bellowed the cheerful multitude in unison.

Pacifying them, the King Vikramaditya continued “My innocuous brothers were killed tonight in their sleep. I am deeply hurt and saddened by the episode. This signifies the threat that lurks over our great country in the form of Jalandhar. It is very disheartening that the kingdom had to bear the burden of my Uncle, King Jairaj’s atrocities. But in this exigency, we must muster our strengths and unitedly, we must fight for our motherland. Hail Adirajyam!!!”

Almost all ministers seemed to be in agreement, except Bahuruchi. A gravelly taunting voice from the crowd roared, “I do not accept your supremacy, the one who was crowned unceremoniously, shrouding his vices in the obscurity of the night.”

Vijaybhanu whispered into the ears of Vikram, “This old selfish corrupt idiot is Bahuruchi, a sycophant of King Jairaj, his panderer. He wants this royal throne for himself. You must convince him to fight for our cause, else he may leak our secrets to Jalandhar.”

“My dear minister Bahuruchi, we will discuss your concern tomorrow. For now, I disperse the session, so that everyone understands the state of affairs” said the newly crowned king.

“This minister must be neutralized, as I have neutralized my step brothers” the king said softly to Pundit ji, after the other courtiers had departed.

The lone Sentinel: Episode 6: Metamorphosis…

‘He saw the drop descending down the smooth face, treading the ups and downs, hesitant to fall off. Such charming was its journey. The vigorous movement, but, forced it to depart. The move was to save her dignity. Such brilliance and daring nature and the sight adorable!!! I think, I…’ Sudden commotion brought Vikram back to reality. One of his minions, Makardhwaj, came running to him. “Vikram, our tribe’s gone, everything we hold dear annihilated” he said sobbing. “But, here’s a letter from our chief. He told me to give this to you personally.”

Vikram rolled open the scroll. It read-

“By now you must have known the Truth. Your father and I were friends at Gurukul. I am regretful that I had to hide it from you. The circumstances, then, were not in our favour. But my dear You are the last Rudra. Save your countrymen, save the reason of your existence, Prince Aditya!!!”

Reading this he could not hold himself up. He toppled on the ground, contemplating. The letter bore some more information and he thus, assimilated courage to go through its contents, once more.

“We have escaped to the hills of Kavarilli. We will come to your kingdom from south via Trimbak. But the army that attacked us was the army of notorious Jalandhara. He intends to destroy your Kingdom, wipe off its existence from Earth. Save your land, Oh Prince! Hundred thousand men march towards your kingdom, with only one intent. Save your Land!!!”

Vikram was perplexed. He was introspecting. Analyzing. Contemplating.

‘This is no time to waste in futile brooding. I need to act.’ He thought.

“Call Punditji… I need him here immediately, with all details of our army” he ordered with a vigour signifying his belief that he was no more the person he was.

Soon, an anxious Vijaybhanu came running to the royal chamber. “What is it that bothers you so late in the night, my prince? Why do you need the army details?”

“Punditji, we are going to be attacked by Jalandhara. I need to know the details before we device any military strategy.”

Punditji could not suppress his elation, which was manifested as a hint of smile. He could see a sense of responsibility in his prince’s eyes.

“We are in bad shape and stage, my prince. Because of Jairaj’s atrocities, once a well-organized Adirajyam’s army, now has become ineffective.”

“But still how many men do we have Pundit ji?” enquired the Prince.

“Considering cavalry, sixty thousand men, My prince.”

Just then they were diverted by the noise of altercation in the corridors. Pundit ji knew them.

“My prince, I think the twins got the news about their father’s demise. They will now create ruckus in…”

Cutting him in the middle Vikram said, “Pacify them. Tell them you will avenge their father’s death tomorrow.”

“But my Prince, w…”

“Do as I say, Punditji. Add some dose of opium in their drinks and make them sleep.”

“Yes, My Prince”, he was flabbergasted by his prince’s incomprehensible intentions.