Superman In Mahabharata
Superman In Mahabharata
This story was written in 2014, for a B school competition. The task was to put a fictional character in one day of Mahabharata war. The character here is a Superman-like character.
On the outskirts of Hastinapur, on the banks of river Yamuna, there was a cremation ground. There was a modest house, where a couple was living, they were chandalas. They had the charge of all the work related to that cremation ground. They were not allowed to enter into the city and they had to survive on the offerings of the relatives of the dead.
One night when they were sleeping, they heard a big noise which woke them up. They came out and saw that at some distance there was fire coming out from the ground. Gradually the fire subsided, they gathered courage and went to the pit. There they saw that a strange object was lying there in a pit, it was like a huge metal box, but with complex designs all over it. They poured few buckets of water to douse the fire after the smoke settled in, they saw through a small glassed window on the side of the box that there was a child lying in the box. They found a way to open the object and took the child out. It was sleeping but had now woken up and had started crying. They put soil in the pit and buried that object.
They were childless, so they started raising the kid as their own, they named him Kularak. It meant that someone who will improve the situation of the family. As the kid grew up, they noticed that he is strange and he had superhuman strength. There were no other families around, their only visitors were people who came with the dead and occasionally other chandalas from other places. They thought that he might be a rakshasha, but they loved him more than anything else, they had nothing else in their life.
As the years went by, the kid also realized his powers, he was even able to fly. He wanted to be a warrior but he was not even allowed near someone, let alone a teacher. His parents inculcated within him since his childhood to be afraid of other humans more than anything else, and keep his powers hidden. To break the monotony and loneliness, he flew to large distances, located in remote isolated communities and befriended them, rakshasas, giants, yakshas, and so on. He learnt many things from them and he honed his fighting skills by practicing with them and also sometimes fighting in wars alongside them.
After much insisting, when he was a youth, one day, his parents had to tell him about how they came to find him. They also showed him the location where the object he came in was buried. One night, he dug it up, took it to a hut, and explored it. Sensing him, a hologram became active and told him about his origins. He realized that he is not from this world but from some other which was destroyed by the infighting of its habitants.
He noticed that the metal the object was made of was much stronger than any metal he had encountered on earth. After few months, he took the object to his giant friends living in the mountains, they smelted it and made weapons out of it for him, armor, spear, mace and even a metal bow.
He avoided humans, he hated them for practicing birth-based discrimination and tried to be indifferent to them. But now he thought that he should do something to save this world from the same fate as his world.
Ninth day of the battle was going on, Duryodhan’s closest spymaster Amogh was gathering intelligence in Pandava area. Just before the sunset he started for the Kaurva camp, he had to brief Duryodhan on his findings. He took a shortcut through the ravines on the banks of Yamuna, shortly he was surrounded by a group of bandits. He threatened them and told them that he was King’s man, but it was of no avail, they intended to loot and kill him anyway. He remembered gods as he knew that only a miracle can save him now - and a miracle happened. He saw that a strongly built man came there and started fighting the bandits, he was unarmed but he defeated the whole group of armed bandits in a matter of seconds. Amogh was very impressed and asked him if he would like to join Kaurava army. Kularak said that he always wanted to fight in battle, but because he was a chandala, he was not able to get into any army. Amogh thought for a few seconds and then asked him to accompany him.
“Your being chandala doesn’t matter to me, what matters to me is that how many people you can kill in the battle in a day “, Duryodhan asked.
“At least a few thousands,” Kularak replied.” If you give me a chance, o lord, I could even kill all five pandavas alone.”, he further added.
Duryodhan tested him by making him fight with a group of warriors, and then even himself fighting with mace. Duryodhan was highly impressed and he asked him to fight in the battle from tomorrow and focus on killing Pandavas. Kularak did not display his flying power or his full physical prowess, he knew that keeping these secret will be wise, otherwise he might be even considered a rakshasa and there might be attempts to kill him. He had learnt to keep his powers secret from most humans since his childhood. When Duryodhan offered him to get the best weapons from the armory, Kularak politely asked permission to use his own weapons, which Duryodhan gave promptly.
Tenth day of the battle started. Pandavas had a new plan, Krishna was not charioteer of Arjun that day, but it was Shikhandi that day. Because Shikhandi was a woman in previous birth, Bhishma won’t attack her and the plan was that Arjun would kill Bhishma hiding behind Shikhandi and attacking from there.
The battle was raging on, there was chaos, and the air was full of flying arrows and spears. The atmosphere was full of cries and shouts. The ground was full of dead and dying soldiers, horses, elephants and broken chariots. Arjun’s eyes were looking for Bhishma, Shikhandi was skillfully steering the chariot and he was also trying to get deep in the battlefield so that he can spot Bhishma. They both were skillfully avoiding all the attacks on them and were killing Karuva army in huge scores. But, they were not able to spot Bhishma anywhere, because Duryodhan had ordered him to be in the rear part of the battlefield that day and had asked to avoid engaging with any of the pandavas directly.
Suddenly Arjun noticed that Pandava army men surrounding him were being killed by arrows one by one. These arrows were not only killing the army men but they were flinging them many yards away from their spot. It must be some very powerful warrior, Arjun thought. He looked in that direction and saw the warrior, he was standing on his chariot, pointing an arrow towards Arjun. Arjun was not able to recognize the warrior, he looked strange, his armor was even stranger, it was shining and a strange snake-like shape was there on the chest of the armor. It was Kularak.
Arjun took hold of his bow and shot at him, but Kularak was a skillful bowman, he encountered Arjun’s arrows with his own arrows. His arrows were breaking Arjun’s arrows in the air, such was the force of his attacks. Arjun increased the speed of his attacks, he shot a magical arrow which converted into ten arrows and came at Kularak. Kularak was not able to stop all these and a few arrows hit him, but none were able to pierce his armor or even his skin, both were near impenetrable. Noticing this, Arjun shot one magical arrow which was able to pierce even the mountains, but Kularak caught it in the air itself and used it to shoot at Arjun. Arjun avoided the arrow skillfully, but back portion of his chariot was totally torn, now he was exposed to attacks from sides also.
Shikhandi was also shooting arrows at Kularak whenever he was getting a chance. When Arjun got distracted, Kularak took a shot at Shikhandi, though Shikhandi tried to encounter it with his arrows in the air itself, Kularak’s arrow tore his arrow in two pieces and pierced his neck, Shikhandi dropped dead.
Seeing this, Arjun became angry and started shooting arrows fiercely. Kularak avoided a few, a few hit him without harming him, and taking the advantage of Arjun’s rage he took aim of his chest. He used an arrow that was made of the same extraterrestrial metal he got his armor made of and shot it, it pierced Arjun’s armor in the chest and Arjun fell on the ground. For a few minutes his eyes were open and there was incredulity in them, he always thought that he was the chosen one and everything was written in his favor, but it did not seem to be the case. He had weapons which could have killed Kularak easily, but he underestimated him and did not want to waste them. He closed his eyes after a few minutes. Kularak saluted the dead warrior by taking a bow at him, and said a prayer for him.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the battlefield, Bhishma was decimating the Pandava army in huge numbers. Pandava brothers, alive ones, were doing the same to the Kaurava army.
Kularak then asked his charioteer to take the chariot towards Bhima. The news of Arjun’s death was gradually spreading, and the morale of the Pandava army seemed to be coming down. When Kularak spotted Bhima, Kularak challenged Bhima to mace fight. Kularak had heard a lot about Bhima’s prowess, he had heard that Bhima had the strength of a thousand elephants. On his lonely trips, Kularak was able to test his prowess against a few elephants and a few mountain giants only. Kularak had longed for testing his strength against Bhima for a long time. They both got down from their chariots and started fighting. They were fighting like two mountains. Huge sounds were erupting whenever one of them was able to hit another or whenever their maces were clattering. Bhima noticed that his mace was getting dented whenever it hit Kularak’s mace. His mace must be made of some stronger metal, he thought, he should use his all strength while using the mace to encounter the enemy’s strength. The battle was on for an hour but none of them showed any tiredness or willingness to surrender.
Kularak thought of using some brain games. Maybe Bhima had not yet heard of Arjun’s death, he thought. Kularak shouted that he would kill him the same way he had killed Arjun. Bhima had not heard of Arjun’s death yet, it made him sad and miserable. The news made him notice that the Pandava army was retreating. Mad with rage, he attacked Kularak with his full strength. Bhima was now attacking blindly, without any thought about strategy or rules. This was what Kularak wanted, he was smiling inside. He was avoiding Bhima’s attacks skillfully and calmly. He got a chance soon to hit Bhima on his chest. Kularak’s mace was a very heavy mace, he had used his full strength, Bhima’s armor was broken and his chest became nearly bare. Within a few minutes, Kularak got another chance to hit the chest. This was a powerful blow, Bhima’s chest was broken and he was dead within a few seconds. Kularak was also a little wounded and tired, but his wounds were gradually healing automatically. He knew about his powers, so he didn’t worry. He gave a bow to the body of Bhima and prayed for him.
Triumphant, Kularak asked his charioteer to spot some other powerful warrior from Pandava camp and take the chariot towards him. News of Arjun’s death had already spread, and demoralized and sad Pandava army was already retreating, soon news of Bhima’s death also started spreading. Sunset was still an hour away, but the Pandava army had nearly deserted the battlefield. Duryodhan wanted to chase and attack the Pandava camp, but even Bhimsma and Dronacharya asked him not to do that. They were also very sad at Arjun and Bhima’s death and they were not willing to fight more on that day. Duryodhan finally relented. When he saw Kulark coming towards him, Duryodhan ran towards him and hugged him. All the eyes were on Kularak, few envious, few angry but mostly admiring. Two greatest warriors in the Pandava camp dead and all big warriors in Kaurava camp alive along with this new warrior Kularak, the outcome of the war seemed to have been decided.
There was gloom surrounding Pandava camp, everyone was sad and crying. When Krishna heard the news, he rushed to the spot, he was very angry and sad. Arjun was always his favorite. A battle was raging in his mind, should he still remain a spectator, or should he break his own rules and do something. He was even thinking of bringing Arjun and Bhima back to live, on this he was heavily conflicted, as this will be against the rules of creation itself. He was angry at himself for being complacent and not knowing about this new warrior. He could have easily stopped these events from happening.