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Thread: Chaturmukha (a Rajini Rewritten Trilogy)

  1. #261
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    There are many faiths, but the spirit is one ó in me, and in you, and in him. So that if everyone believes himself, all will be united; everyone be himself and all will be as one.
    - Leo Tolstoy (From Resurrection (1899), the last novel of Tolstoy).

    Beyond the Ordinary

    "Future will recollect the three who fought three hundred inside the spectacular Vyuha", Sultan narrated the incidents of the day's battle to Nobleman, "And the rescue team entered right into the mouth of fire and picked them up. Day Zero Eight is an illustration of valliance and miracle joining hands."

    A flicker of smile cracked around the corner of Nobleman's dry lips.

    "Arrangements are being made to cremate the only son of Yesodha Putran who died in the battle along with the Ashta Gajha, who were instrumental in breaking an unboreable Vyuha."

    Sadness filled the awake eye of Nobleman.

    Ayus entered Karmegha pulling huge carts. Even though it was a sad task, the Ayus were glad to pull the carts without any chains attached to them or whipped to force them to do an activity. They felt free and wished to shower their respects to those who had shown them the path of freedom.

    After collecting the bodies of eight elephants and their riders, Ayus transported Ashta Gajah to the campsite where a grand podium was raised to cremate the casualties of war. Nakulan's body rested on the centre of the podium, surrounded by the eight elephants and the riders.

    Vadhana addressed the army of Empires United, "Nakulan, the youngest governor and a sharp strategist of our military has given his life because of what he believed. He believed in you. He believed in us. He believed in himself. Without a weapon, he bravely entered the battlefield holding a flag. And he saved us all from the venomous military formation deployed by the enemy general. He shed his blood to protect us from death. He is our Hero. He is a Star. It just takes one single star to pierce an universe of darkness. Nakulan arises to demolish the darkness that has engulfed us. We take an oath at the foundation of this war memorial that we will garland our saviours, who had let go their life for the sake of saving the warrior beside, with victory."

    There was silence when Yesodha Putran carried a torch in his hand and walked among the battalions assembled before the podium. He was accompanied by the commanders of Empires United. When they reach the podium, the commanders dropped to their knees and held their heads and swords pointed to the ground. The Battalion from Heaven bowed in silence when Yesodha Putran dropped the troch on the podium.

    Fire started to spread circularly, igniting the Ashta Gajha one after the other before reaching Nakulan. The black smoke raised high in the air and joined with the darkness above. Rana walked to Yesodha Putran and aided him to walk back to the pavillion.

    Vettaiyan stood by his window watching the nine cremations performed at the opposite camp. It reminded him of the funerals he had arranged for his nine brothers. A shiver ran down his spine. He walked uncomfortably to his desk. Slowly he started to pound his fist on the table. The thuds vibrated around the ears of The General. Aye, Naga and One Eye, the last of The Generalís captains, stood beside the closed door with their heads facing the floor.

    "A man with your experience can never be at mercy with a failure", Vettaiyan addressed The General. "I would rather count you when you are dead rather than depend on you when you are alive. I am ashamed of you as I believe in you no more. Doubt is a seed of distrust, My General."

    Vettaiyan walked unsteadily as if he was about to fall. Myil was controlling him, and The General knew not to defend himself when the Emperor was under the influence Myil.

    The three captains paved way for their Emperor when he reached the doors.

    The Emperor looked straight at Naga and whispered, "Pigs. He called you pigs."

    Naga could not put a word to the shame he felt inside.

    "On my return, this war should be over. Leave the twins to me and bring the head of the Queen. If you fail, don't bother to visit me again. Bury yourselves elsewhere, as the battlefield is for the brave."

    The Emperor furiously kicked the door open and disappeared into the corridor. At the juncture he was met by Vaithiyar and together they walked down several stairs to reach the King's stable. Vettaiyan stood holding the neck of his horse while Vaithiayar covered him with a black blanket. Throwing the blanket across his face, Vettaiyan mounted his horse. The hounds from hell jogged inside the stable. The footsteps of the horse mingled with the howl of the hounds.

    Shamu lent his ears attentively to the barks of dogs. He turned towards the dimly lit path when he heard a high-pitched sound. He saw a lad whistling, while hopping towards the heap of food. The lad sat down and started to check the food items lying on the ground. Maveeran moved out of his hiding spot. His sudden movement startled the kid. He got up and stared at Maveeran with fear glowing in his eyes. He quickly turned and ran away without looking back over his shoulder. Maveeran could not understand why the kid was so scared to see him.

    "A huge man in the Emperor's military uniform jumps before a kid who had come in search of food and expects him to glitter with smiles !", Littleman spoke ironically. "By the by where did you guys get the uniform ?"

    Shamu explained briefly the plan, the escape and the fire at Fort Ayan, while they followed the running kid.

    "Do not be afraid", Maveeran tried to assure the bunch of salves.

    "Have you come to take us to The Maze ?", one of the frightened woman asked.

    "The Maze exists no more. We have destroyed it", Littleman informed.

    "Believe in us, we are here to take you away from this miserable place", Maveeran reassured.

    "We are not born to be free", one of slaves spoke up, "Itís difficult to explain ..."

    Before the man could finish what he was saying, Shamu hopped on one leg and announced, "The legend is true. I am Dharma. And the time has come to leave this rathole."

    The salves bowed before Shamu. Littleman raised his head and passed a weird look at Shamu. He received a wink from the Prince of Shambala.

    Shamu and Maveeran executed a similar strategy to rescue the slaves of Vettaiyan Palace. They grouped the aged and children and kept them hidden safely in the basement. They took the men and woman motivated to fight along with them. With their assistance, they discovered several dens and liberated every single lost and abandoned souls trapped under the feet of the Emperor.

    The army of Dharma steadily grew in number and strength.

    ... to be continued ...
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  3. #262
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    Chaturmukha Part 3 - mRdayopaliptaM

    Chapter Six - The Master, The Monkey and The Monster

    Day Zero Nine - The Four Face (part 1/2)

    "We think too much and feel too little" - Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator)

    Victims of the System

    Vadhana Devi watched the giant army of the Emperor assembled on Karmegha. She could not hide her fear and shock to witness the massive military force in front of her. The foot soldiers were equipped with sophisticated weaponry - sharp broad blades, wide shields, armours covering head to toe, long bows and sharpened arrows. The animal cavalry sported superficial protection that shined over the horizon. The elephants were dressed to resemble a monster. Four tusks protruded on either side of the trunks and the legs carried huge rings embedded with sharp spikes. The chariots driven by single, double and quadruple horses looked like blazing high speed machines. The siege weapons of all types and sizes accompanied by indefinite ammunitions set their scary eyes over the campsite.

    The calmness surrounding the greatest army on the face of the earth was chilling.

    "Finally, his army is standing in front of us", Yesodha Putran informed Vadhana Devi. "The moment has arrived. He has decided to end the war."

    "Are we capable of facing such a great force? I feel like a worm invaded by ants!", Vadhana registered her concern. "I am lost, Wisest of All. I sense that we still have time to stop this war. Empires United stands as a dwarf before the Emperor's army."

    "It’s my head they want, I shall lay it before them myself," Vadhana Devi announced sincerely.

    "Fear of failure halts progress. It stops success behaving as a significant danger to betterment of others", Yesodha Putran assured the Queen who found the situation undesirable. "Have faith in our commanders. Allow the wings of hope to carry your burden. It’s not the head count that matters but how strong each one is made of. Collective we advance."

    Vadhana Devi let out a heavy breathe when she saw Rana walking before the Battalion from Heaven. Rana looked at the puzzled faces of the soldiers. He understood how much the warriors were trying to stop themselves from falling into the pit of fright.

    Rana installed faith:

    My soldiers, we are outnumbered.

    But that only means the foe is scared to come at us fairly. They are worthless than the dirt beneath our toenail.

    Remember this - Their number does not bring fear. We'll just have to kill them quicker, that's all.

    Remember this - Every one of you is better than they. Take the uncertainty from your heart and place it as courage on your sword. United, we are greater warriors than them all and we fear no man living or dead.

    Remember this - The coward dies a thousand times, a brave only once. And you will not notice Death when he comes for you.

    And remember this - Don't hesitate to fall back. No, that is not cowardice, not at all. It is prudence, the handmaiden of victory. Show them your back to reclaim their chests.

    My loyal warriors, as the True Men at War, we are going into battle to slaughter the enemy. Beware! The enemy will be merciless. And you show them No Mercy!

    We are not just a group of brave soldiers going to war. We are not just a camp of warriors grabbing our swords. WE ARE AN EMPIRE. And when we return, this battleground should be heaped with heads of the enemy. We push the wheels of garbage and collect all the dirt that once stormed in front of us. With all the dirt wiped out, this world will glitter under the shine of Freedom.

    This day is all that is left in this war. God does not exist. He will not save you this day. Belief does not exist. It will not keep you alive this day.

    My soldiers, The Future exists. And today we lay the path on this battlefield for the future to walk truly, freely and we liberate our fate from the clutches of evil.

    My soldiers, Strength and honour to you all!

    The Battalion from heaven cheered. The soldiers drummed their amours and shields in unison creating a vibration that kicked away fear. Under the rhythmic beats, Sena walked calmly before the warrior units. His right hand was supported by an arm sling and was suspended from his neck. Slow chants started to raise and the entire Battalion from Heaven roared - All Hail The Emperor.

    The unhurried chants gained momentum and turned into a massive choral - All Hail The Emperor.

    Vadhana Devi stood watching the soldiers choose their future leader. Rana walked proudly beside Sena. Yesodha Putran looked at the singing soldiers brimming with hope in their eyes. Kalai, Kacha and Kali joined with the warriors and celebrated their new emperor. Kanakavalli followed Sena who walked in silence. The freed slaves danced with their hands raised high above their head and moving together in tiny circles. Ayus growled loudly.

    Prince Shamu and Maveeran hidden inside Vettiayan Palace heard the song for the new Emperor. So did The General and his men.

    Sultan whispered into Nobleman's ears, "The People’s Emperor has been chosen unanimously."

    Sena halted and raised his head. His eyes were sore and he looked tired. The chants started to drop down steadily and silence ushered itself on the battlefield. Even the war animals became quiet.

    Rana whispered softly to Sena, "Speak."

    "I can't", Sena replied.

    "You must. It's our only Hope."

    Sena looked around him and then, spoke softly:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - remove the social class system that is determined by birth. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

    Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

    The very nature of inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. My voice shall reach millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

    To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

    Soldiers, don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel. Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate. Only the unloved hate, the unloved and the unnatural.

    Soldiers, don’t fight for slavery. Fight for liberty.

    In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: "The Kingdom of God is within man" - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men. In you. You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness. You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

    Let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie. They do not fulfil that promise. They never will.

    Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.

    Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

    Silence lingered long after Sena finished his discourse. He stood before the Battalion from Heaven while his words still echoed inside their ears. Slowly the silence was broken by the sounds of metal meeting metal, when the entire military of Empires United along with their commanded bowed before Rana and Sena.

    Sena, along with brother, walked through the thick walls of soldiers who were laying their weapons to their chest when the Brothers of Faith and Hope, walked among them. Sena mounted the platform. He stopped in front of Vadhana Devi. A single stream of tear flowed down her left eye. Her lips shivered when she forced them to smile. Sena fixed his eyes on her. He turned his left hand making his thumb face the ground and he gently placed it on her stomach.

    "I promise you Victory", Sena confirmed.

    The voices of the warriors erupted pushing the sun up into the sky.

    ... to be continued ...

    Author's Note:

    Speak ... It's our only Hope / I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor ...

    Taken from the Final speech in the film The Great Dictator (1940); Chaplin’s first film with dialogue. (My homage to my Master Chaplin).
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