The Fort

The Fort

8 mins

Sleep was far away from the eyes of Indumati, she was alone and her heart was shivering with the fear of something malefic happening to her husband Devisingh. Her husband was engaged in the war. She always prayed to the God for her husband. She was engrossed in her thoughts. All of sudden someone from the behind closed her eyes with his hands. Being surprised at this, she asked, “Who is?”

“Tell me who am I?” he replied. Hearing the familiar sound she got more surprised and cried with joy, “You, my beloved, you!! You are here! When will you come?”

“I have just come.” replied Devisingh.

She was happy on his arrival. Devisingh held her in his arms and said, “I can’t bear separation from you and have come to meet you.”

“What would happen if somebody saw you coming here and complained it to the king.” asked Indumati.

“Nobody saw me. Nothing will happen”, replied Devisingh.

They remained silent for a while in each other’s arms.

Devisingh said, “I don’t know whether I would meet you again or not. This meeting would be our last meeting.”

Indumati put her hand on his mouth and said, “Don’t speak ominous. Don’t lose heart. Nothing wrong will happen to you. We will meet again. We will win the war.”

They remain silent for a while. She said, “Don’t stay more here. Return to your duty before sunrise.”

Devisingh looked at her with affection and said, “I will come again soon.” He kissed her on her forehead. “My motherland is calling me.” Saying this he parted with Indumati.

Aasif Khan was a tyrant and fanatic ruler of a large area of India. He did not like Hindu religion. He was very ambitious ruler. He decided to expand his kingdom by conquering the neighbouring hindu rulers. He began his military expedition by invading the neighbouring state Kiratgarh. The ruler of Kiratgarh fought with bravery but he had a small army compared to the army of Aasif khan. Aasif Khan defeated and murdered the ruler of Kiratgarh. He ordered his soldiers to sack Kiratgarh. His army killed thousands of innocent people. He captured hundreds of women and children and made them his slaves. After defeating Kiratgarh he moved to invade another Hindu state Rudrapur. Here, after heavy bloodshed in a battle, he defeated the king Veer singh. After plundering Rudrapur he destroyed maney temples and ordered his soldiers to rape and killed women and children.

The news of Aasif Khan’s cruelty was reaching the Pratapnagar. Hindu people of Pratapnagar were in rage hearing about the Aasif Khan’s cruelty to Hindus. Clouds of war were hovering over the Pratapnagar.

The king of Pratapnagar Raja Narsimha began the preparations of war. He ordered his soldiers to be ready for war. He fortified the walls of the fort. He tightened the security of the fort. The ditch around the fort was widened and filled with the water. One day spies gave the king information about Aasif Khan’s army’s march towards Pratapnagar. The war was about to begin within a few weeks.

The fort of Pratapnagar was situated on the high hills. The path to reach the fort was narrow and steep. From the high wall around the fort one can keep an eye on what was going on down the hills. The fort was one of the toughest forts of India. The walls were so high and strong that even the state of the art canons were not able to break them.

Citizens of the state were coming forward voluntarily to protect the state from the attack of Aasif Khan. Within a few days, a large army of heavily armed soldiers was ready to fight with the enemy.

And the day came when Aasif Khan along with twenty five thousands soldiers reached near the foot of the hill. Soon Aasif Khan’s canons began to pound shell on the high walls of the fort. In response the canons from the fort began firing at the enemy. Observing that his canons were not effective against the walls of the fort, Aasif Khan adopted another strategy of sending his soldiers up the fort to force entry into the fort. Whenever Khan’s soldiers went up the hill, the men of Raja Narsimha, lying in wait in concealed positions killed them on the way. Narsimha organized the guerrilla bands which used to go stealthily down the hills to attack on Aasif khan’s army. Hundreds of soldiers from both the sides were dying every day.

Devisingh was the younger son of a merchant. He was recently married to the Indumati. They were enjoying their honeymoon period. Within a few days after their marriage, the war began. His father tried to keep him from the war. One day a Hindu monk came to their street and gave a speech about the Hindu religion and motivated the youths to come forward and be enlisted in the army to protect the state and Hindu religion against Aasif khan. Being impressed by the speech of the monk, Devisingh decided to enlist in the army. When he told Indumati about his decision, she tried a lot to stop him from enlisting. And when he was selected and was to going to serve the motherland, she wept for hours. She always prayed to the god for his well wish and life.

And soon he became the member of a guerrilla band. As member of a guerrilla band he went down the hill several times to attack the enemy’s camps. Each time he inflicted heavy damage to the enemy.

Aasif Khan was perplexed at the bravery of the Narsimha’s army. He sent an offer to Raja Narsimha that he would stop the war provided that Narsimha along with the people of Pratapnagar accepted the Islam religion. That offer was rejected by the king and his people.

Siege of the fort lasted for several weeks. Nobody was ready to retreat. At last, Aasif Khan requested help from other Muslim states in the name of Islam. Other Muslim states sent their armies to help him. Soon an army of one lakh Islamists surrounded the fort.

“We shall never accept the Islam. Instead of accepting Islam I would like to die”, roared Raja Narsimha.

Thousands of people were gathered in front of the palace of king to listen the king. He was roaring with full confidence like a fearless lion. In spite of being surrounded by enemy and having almost no chance for victory, he was steadfast. He thundered, “Dying bravely is better than living cowardly.

People were listening to him with silent. The atmosphere was grave. “It is matter of pride for us to sacrifice our lives for the sake of the motherland and the religion”, he said loudly. People applauded his speech. “We will fight till last breath.” This was his words to the people.

One day the army of Aasif Khan swarmed to the fort. Fierce battle was fought for the fort. Thousands of soldiers from both the sides died in a single day. There were corpses, blood, fire, smoke, sounds of explosions and crying of injured persons all around inside and outside the fort. Aasif Khan’s some men got success in entering the fort by making a big hole in the wall.

Defeat was inevitable for Narsimha. He was now worrying about the future of the Pratapnagar. Meaning of defeat was destruction and carnage to the people of Pratapnagar. He was not ready to be defeated easily.

And a day came the Aasif Khan along with his army stormed to the fort. Here Raja Narsimha decided to fight decisive battle and storm into the army of Aasif Khan.

When the king was leaving the palace to go to battle field, his wife Queen Padmalaxmi, offered a prayer to him and wished a victory for him. After prayer she watched him going away to battle field with tears in her eyes till he disappeared from her eyes. Although she was quiet from outside, there was a great uproar inside her heart and mind.

That day the land of Pratapnagar was soaked with the blood of thousands of the soldiers from both the sides.

Here in the Palace of king, queen Padmalaxmi, seeing the defeat in war is certain, decided to end her life by self immolation. Those days self immolation was a respectful way to end life for women instead of being captured, being tortured, raped and killed by enemy. The system was prevailed among Hindus and was known as ‘Jauhar’. Jauhar was like a Japanese ritual ‘Harakiri.” The news of ‘Jauhar’ spread rapidly among the people of Pratapnagar. Many women of royal families followed the queen and decided the commit the ‘Jauhar’.

On the one hand the soldiers of the Raja Narsimha were fighting with valour, on the other hand their wives were preparing for the jauhar. Indumati had nothing to do with the jauhar. She had a faith in the God. God shall protect her nation and her husband.

In the battle field, the valour of Raja Narsimha’s army brought a miracle. Aasif Khan’s army had to retreat. Being defeated and badly injured in battle, Aasif Khan ran away from the battle field.

Gaining victory in battle when Narsimha and his soldiers returned the fort, they heard the news of jauhar being done by their women. They rushed to the spot. The scene on the spot was very horrific. A great pyre was burning in a big hole emitting the dark clouds of smoke. There were nothing but the screams and cries were sounding all around. The women were jumping into the hole one by one. Hundreds of women were already burned to death.

Hearing the news of jauhar, Devisingh got shocked and the thought of Indumati came into his mind. Instead of rushing to the spot, he rushed to his home. Reaching home he found Indumati in his room.

He shouted, “Indumati, stop. Look, I have come. We won the war.”

Hearing his voice she jumped with joy and said to him, “I had a faith that you would come and we must win the war.”

He hugged her. There were tears of joy in the eyes of both of them.

Although the people of Pratapnagar had to pay a high cost for victory, they were happy. That was the cost for self respect, freedom and religion.

Rate this content
Log in

More english story from Sumit Kumar arora

Similar english story from Drama