Update for week ended 1 April 2011
The warriors had a good night’s rest. They awoke early in the morning. The pages had ensured that all the chariots were ready for the battlefield. The wheels were oiled, the bolts tightened, the reins were harnessed tightly, but not too tightly that they hurt the horses. The horse soldiers had their saddles polished with linseed oil to keep the leather supple. The stirrups were buckled well. The horses had been fed early in the morning on a high protein diet of oilseed cake, mixed with gram. They were also hydrated well. The grooms had done a good job in grooming the horses – as their shiny coats glistened in the dawn rays. The warriors filed into the pantry tents – they followed protocol as the generals and officers headed to the main tent in the centre while the lieutenants and foot soldiers went to the peripheral tents. The morning breakfast was simple, but highly nutritious – bananas, wheat cereal, milk, eggs and high calorific sugar – in modern times, this could have been a simple banana muffin followed by a cup of cup of tea or coffee. The warriors ate well, and mounted their respective mounts – chariots, horses, foot soldiers took their positions too. And at the first rays of dawn, the conch was blown and the flag fluttered. All the warriors were wearing the Blue dhoties – the official colours of the Royalty that ruled the Deva kingdom. The battle was against the Green Ogres that lived to the west of the Kingdom. Though there was a natural barrier in the form of the ruthless and hot sandy desert that framed the western borders, it was not unusual for some of the ogres to sneak into the Kingdom. And these ogres would come in small hordes and menacingly destroy little villages and peace in the areas that they visited. The last time such an attack occurred, they actually sailed along the placid winter seas and landed in one of the cities in the dark of the night. That was 2 ½ years ago, and the Deva King was determined to get back at the ogres. (It did not help even with the sole captive ogre who is currently housed in the Ardhara dungeons). So the King sent his finest warriors to the battlefield in their finery and best weapons. The General gave his orders to his finest archers to lead the attack and attack they did. There were some slippery moments when they were nearly attacked by opposition arrows, but the archers managed to survive, with a few minor injuries. When it looked like a tough battle, the heavyset mace carriers, who normally rode atop elephants and could swing and hurl the solid spherical maces over a few hundred kosalas (yards), knocking out at least half a dozen or more soldiers from the opposition in a blow, came in with full force. They managed to create havoc – and to keep their spirits soaring, they jumped up and down like simians when their targets were met. What initially looked like a battle of equals, ended into a one-sided affair with only 29 surviving ogres, who submitted meekly as the Men in Blue returned to their bases victorious. They had a huge spread ahead of them. The celebrations included rice dumplings, unleavened stuffed breads, pastries stuffed with starchy potatoes and cooked in a wok full of fat, and fruits of all colours. The highlight was of course the green fruit drink that was made of crushed berries from a far-away land made famous by a Cook. Those whose livers could take some barley and hops, hopped into the den where large casks of cool brew was being ladled out. The sweating, bruised warriors gathered together in little groups, shouting out hoots of victory, as the chitrakaars (painters) took in the scene and quickly doodled out portraits of victorious men in blue. And some tired weary but vain warriors went to their masseurs to loosen some of those tense muscles.
A battle of sorts was what the D Boyz were also preparing this week. They started off by getting some of their friends from N Street (the friendly neighbours of D Street) to organize an event to commemorate something. After all, this week looked promising as cricket and investments were to take centre stage. So the D Boyz adorned their blue jerseys and tucked into muffins and coffee on a Sunday morning to challenge their stamina by running along a 5 km SeaLink. They ran, some walked and finally replenished their lost energy through energy drinks and calorific food, and cooled their sweaty bodies with beer. They were now ready to take on anything that came to D Street – so initially they boosted the SENSEX and propped it back to lofty heights. Then some other men in blue decimated the green men, and the D BOyz rejoiced further by propping the SENSEX further higher. Until they decided to cool it off and take a breath before the Boyz in Blue meet the Boyz in Darker Blue. All in all, the profits booked by the D Boyz was a good 605 points up on their pet SENSEX taking its tally to 19420.
With the Kingdom jumping with joy as the Green Ogres were felled, the citizenry decided to now look forward to an epic battle almost like the one that the famed author Valmiki penned a few years ago. Not many had read it, though they had heard from their grandmothers about how the King of their times had tried to do the Horse Sacrifice (Ashwamedh), but was foiled by twin hermits living in California. They had tied up the horse on Horse Island in the middle of Big River, and when called by the King to explain their mischief, they sang out the epic that they had learnt by rote (taught by the writer poet, Valmiki). So not so far back in time, there was a battle between the Devas and the Asuras, and the Kingdom residents who were from the Deva Race – now knew that they had another battle to fight against the Asuras from the Dweepa, Island in the South. But they were determined to give their best at Battlefield Rural Forest – this was a patch of green in the otherwise grey district near the Bay by the Beach.
Have a nice weekend and wishing all a very happy new year – Ugadi, Cheti Chaand, Gudi Padwa.