Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 30

Krishna drove the chariot deeper inside the enemy territory...and for once, the thick arrows around them proved a useful cover to him. His warrior was hurt and hurt badly. Krishna quickly turned as he pulled out the lance from Arjuna's body.
Arjuna gasped as he blearily glanced at Krishna.
'Get up, Partha!' Krishna muttered as he looked at the closing Kaurava army.
Arjuna slowly nodded his head, as he looked around realizing what was happening.
'The aindrastra!' Arjuna muttered even as he struggled to get up on his feet.
Arjuna fixed the arrow on his bow, even before he was fully alert. Arjuna spotted Srutayus almost immediately as he let loose the aindrastra.
The arrow found its mark.....Even before the surprised Srutayus could react, the Aindrastra hit him and his brother, killing the two brilliant warriors on the spot.....


Yudhishtara watched his brother go with the Dark Lord inside Drona's army. The battle between the teacher and his brother was breathtakingly beautiful. Though his brother escaped from Drona, Yudhishtara realized that he could not risk Drona attacking Arjuna again, now that the two Krishnas were deep inside the Vyugha.

Yudhishtara eyed the outer Vyugha and turned to Bheema. 'Take your division! Attack Jalasandha and his men!' Yudhishtara looked at the Vyugha again. 'I am going after Kritivarman's division!'

Bheema hefted his mace and looked at Yudhishtara. 'What about the teacher? Whom are we going to send to fight him?'

Yudhishtara looked at the prince of Panchala, Dhrishtadhyumna, the one who was prophecised to kill Dronacharya, who was his wife – Draupadi's, brother.

'Let Dhrishtadhyumna meet the teacher!' Yudhishtara said turning to the prince of Panchala.

As Arjuna had asked Yuyudhana (Satyaki) to protect Yudhishtara, Satyaki accompanied Yudhishtara's division.

Before the Kauravas could recover from Arjuna's attack, Yudhishtara started his attack. For a brief second it looked like the Pandavas had an upper hand....For a very small second.....

Yudhishtara had not counted on Drona's expertise nor the ferocity with with Drona countered the Pandava attack.

Dhrishtadhyumna and Drona fought arrow for arrow, blade for blade, but then Dhrishtadhyumna did not have the experience of his teacher and neither did he have the knowledge. Without thinking, Dhrishtadhyumna got in too close to the teacher. The teacher now started using a variety of weapons against Dhrishtadhyumna and not just his bow and arrow. And the way the teacher was going, Dhrishtadhyumna did not look like he was going to make it out alive....

Yudhishtara looked almost horrified as Dronacharya was letting arrows fly real fast at Dhrishtadhyumna. Dhrishtadhyumna tried fighting back, but there really was no hope for him. It looked at Dhrishtadhyumna was almost living on borrowed time and that the teacher was going to do the impossible and make the prophecy false.....But then out of nowhere, a warrior came from the Pandava army. Arjuna's student and the only Yadava (besides Krishna, of course) who fought on the side of the Pandavas – Satyaki.
[Before the start of the war, Krishna had promised that the Yadavas would fight on behalf of Duryodhana, whereas he himself would be on the side of the Pandavas. However Satyaki, though he was a Yadava, as he was a student of Arjuna, he was allowed to fight on behalf of his Guru.]
As Drona let the last arrow fly towards Dhrishtadhyumna, almost everyone in the Pandava army had written off Dhrishdhyumna. And that was when Satyaki came. At the last minute as the arrow almost reached Dhrishdhyumna, Satyaki, emerged from Yudhishtara's division and cut off the arrow.
The other warriors also reached Dhrishtadhyumna as Drona dismissed the prince of Panchala and turned his attention to Satyaki.
This fight was brilliant – almost like the one between the Dronacharya and Arjuna. Arjuna had taught Satyaki real well and it showed. Satyaki was able to counter almost everything that Drona did and was able to do it with the same confidence that his teacher had. It is said that in this battle, Satyaki broke Drona's bow, not once, or twice, but sixteen times continuously.....
Drona watched almost dazed at Satyaki from the other side with a smile, as he realized that the warrior before him was really good.

Drona fired the Agneyastra. Screaming, the astra made its way to Satyaki. Without blinking, Satyaki fired the Varunastra.
The sound made by the two weapons were so ferocious that the soldiers who had stopped to watch the fight were sure that the two weapons were powerful enough to end the world....They watched with a horrid fascination as the two arrows met.....
The perfect counter for the Agneyastra was the Varunastra and the two weapons were fired by persons who knew what they were doing. Miraculously, the two weapons canceled out each other, rendering each other useless....

As Drona was about to pull his next arrow, he briefly eyed the sky....It was past noon. For a second, Drona turned and saw his favourite pupil who was storming inside the Vyugha, a single thought burning through Drona's mind...Could his student actually reach Jayadratha before the day was up?.........

After the almost game changing fight by Srutayus and Achyutayus, almost no one was able to stand up to Arjuna.
But then the princes of Avanti – Vinda and Anuvinda gave a brief fight to Arjuna. But then Arjuna did not want to waste too much time on them. Arjuna injured the two brothers very badly without actually killing them. But the two brothers would not give up so easily. Though injured, they followed the two Krishnas deeper inside the Vyugha.
Realizing that the two warriors were so brilliantly synchronized as to cover for each other's mistakes, Arjuna first took out Vinda.....
Anuvinda watched horrified as his brother lay dead before him. Screaming, Anuvinda, pulled out his mace and raced after the two Krishnas. With utter hatred and anger, Anuvinda lashed out with his mace. Anuvinda could have aimed better, or atleast tried to hit the right person. The mace hit Krishna who bore the brunt of the mace attack.
And after that Anuvinda really had no hope. Arjuna did not waste even a single second as all the next six arrows found Anuvinda, with unerring accuracy. Anuvinda met the same end as his brother. Arjuna was now dispatching the Kaurava warriors before him, with disdain, as he plodded deeper inside the Vyugha.
Arjuna resembled a forest fire and burnt everything which came in his path. He actually looked like he was going to finish the war that day. But then Krishna knew that they were having problems, really, big problems....
Arjuna frowned as he felt the horses moving sluggishly. 'Krishna! Why....'
'Partha! The horses!' Krishna said as he looked around.'They are hurt, tired and thirsty! They need some rest!'
Arjuna looked at sun and then at Jayadratha, who was looking a lot closer than he had been a few hours before. Arjuna then looked at Krishna and nodded. 'Stop and tend to the horses, Krishna!'
The Dark Lord almost smiled as he urged the horses to stop, right there in the middle of the battlefield....

1 comment:

  1. wonderful.. but 20 days between posts is a bit too much for people like me.. :-)