Thursday, April 06, 2006

THE AGEING WARRIOR 5

This morning he woke up with a dream; the rare and few that his subconscious still bothered him with. He dreamt of a glorious and gory battle against a worthy adversary. The land was lush with fresh grass, the first this spring, and the animals had not yet had a chance to graze here. Over there, where the camps were set up, the grass had become patchy. Some of the horses had taken a bite or two.

Magnificent animals those Arab thoroughbreds, to his right was a dead one. A pike driven through and through the horse’s vital organs sticking out in a sticky pool of blood on a black coat that was still shining in the evening light. Tomorrow the gloss will be gone when the vultures will feast. Isn’t it amazing how vultures profit from a battle? Fast food strewn all over the countryside, a choice of man or animal, of liver or entrails, that will be torn from the bones with sharp beaks and claws, of stomachs that will be filled with the valiant dead.

The Warrior was tired now; the battle cry was sounded just a little after dawn. Now the light was fading. He doesn’t remember how many he had killed today. He had lost count after seven. The adrenaline rushing through his veins, the blood pounding in his ears, the fluid act of wielding the sword combined to orchestrate a perfect dance of death. He was moving to its precise rhythm. The familiar muscular aches and pains had come and gone and come again now.

He was tired now. The man he was sparring with now was an equal swordsman in strength, skill and stamina. He was also visibly younger. That was his advantage. Today was the day, the Warrior knew. He became aware of the gash on his left shoulder. It wasn’t very deep, no; he wasn’t going to die from it. He had survived deeper wounds. The Warrior looked into the eyes of the other. Those eyes spoke of the unspoken code of warriors: fight unto the death. He wasn’t going to give up, so what if the day was nearly over.

The Warrior surrendered. He looked away towards the setting sun and smiled. As the last ray of the sun sank behind the hill the enemy drove the long blade into his heart. The Warrior instinctively knew that this was an honorable death. He could see it in the eyes of the enemy the understanding that this was someone to behead: one clean swift stroke.

It was morning. That was just a dream. Was the honor of warriors to be found only in the realm of dreams?

“What should I do? Where will I find solace? Help me.” The Teacher smiled and said, “There are but two eventualities. The choice is yours. You could teach the art of war to create a batch of new warriors. Or you could engineer a war where you could choose to die honorably.” The Teacher was compassionate; he understood the Warrior’s need to control his own destiny. That is why the Teacher did not tell him of the third but most difficult option: sit down, let it all awash, there is honor in dying peacefully.

“Devi, as I see it…I’ll have to create an army of warriors, that’ll take some training…there are very few men around these days. Then I’ll have to create conditions of war. An epic and glorious conflict where I will die.” “Is there room for a woman in your army?” said the Little Girl, “Will you teach me the way of a Warrior?”

5 comments:

abhay k said...

Hi,
whats up?
good work,
keep it up!
with best wishes!

abhay k said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
satya said...

hi, nice getting back.

is abhay babu, our patron and lord, just going to say that and not actually comment on the written material? its a let down with his abhay speak, I would have expected conceptual debates running amok on our humble blogs.

am so keen on the deleted comment? what was the secret?

xanjukta said...

was abhay's comment the same one twice...so i cleared it out... he's got a story on his blog...check it...it's quite good and imaginative...
check out a link from his blog for Vivek...cool pictures... very gifted i'd say...

aya said...

Hi, wait for my comment for a while. Need to go back to story-1.

I like the title. I wanna be an aging worrier right now though.

see you,
aya