Turn the Page, Turn the Life | A Writer’s Battle for Survival | Help Her Win
Turn the Page, Turn the Life | A Writer’s Battle for Survival | Help Her Win

Sauveer Ketan

Action Comedy


Sauveer Ketan

Action Comedy

The Great Strategist

The Great Strategist

7 mins

Another of my village has been attacked, it was destroyed, everything was looted, and all the villagers were killed. Two of my enemy kingdoms, Achyuta and Abheda, have joined hands and they are systematically attacking my kingdom regularly on two fronts. My army is strong, but it is unable to hold assault on two different fronts.

Abheda has started using armored elephants, which are heavily destructive, even stone walls are no defense against them. My horsemen or archers are unable to stop them. Villages outside the boundaries of my capital are being destroyed one by one. Borders of my kingdom is shrinking, and with that so is my treasury. During this latest assault, my small band of horsemen was quickly decimated by a combined assault of arrows and elephants.

I should not be despondent. I am a great strategist, but against combined assault, I am unable to come up with anything good. One silver lining during this assault was the realization that my spearmen can inflict damage to elephants quickly. There were only two spearmen, but they were able to quickly fell and kill one elephant, while my band of horsemen was proving very ineffective against a single elephant. Spears can avoid armor and find soft spots on the beasts’ bodies, they can penetrate deep also, unlike swords and arrows.

A good idea comes to mind. Sea is only at some distance away from my kingdom. I never thought of exploring it for resources. While a little bit of fishing was done there, I did not give much attention to this great source of resources. I have secretly sent a few fishing boats to explore, I do not know up to what extent my enemies are entrenched within the sea. Even if they are there and they catch my fishing boats, they will be considered to be harmless by my enemies, I hope.

Luckily, there is good news, there are a few islands in the sea. I send some miners, hidden on fishing boats, to start mining there. Enemy has not been able to think about this, it seems, my fishermen/spies do not encounter any enemy presence. Like me, they have also made the mistake of ignoring the sea.

Gradually, I am able to enhance my supplies and hence my defenses and army. Attacks from enemies have slowed gradually, but boundaries of my kingdom have already diminished greatly. I guess that they have been planning to attack my capital on two fronts this time and they are gathering strength for that, something which they have never dared to do till now.

This time I will be the offender, not defender. My army attacks the Achyuta kingdom borders. I have gathered long range cannons, cannons start attacking the wall of their capital from a distance. They are forced to send their army out of their walls. Their archers are the best, but more effective from within the walls. In open ground they can’t stand our cavalry. Our cavalry is very fast, flood of arrows kills many of them quickly, but they keep going. One single horseman can kill multiple archers. Achyuta army is decimated. They retreat to hid within the walls. My cannons are safe, army also usesheavy wooden rams to break walls of the kingdom. Our legions of cannons destroy their castle within a short period once they are within the boundary of Achyuta capital, hence attacking range. My army roams around the kingdom killing anyone in sight. This is how Mehmed the conqueror won Constantinople and ended Eastern Roman empire after its existence for more than a thousand years, by using power of gunpowder and cannons. I feel like Mehmed.

Abheda kingdom attacks my kingdom sensing this attack, they think of doing the same to my kingdom what we did to Achyuta. They have brought legions of elephants. But, this time we are ready. My capital is heavily fortified with multiple stone walls. Our army of spearmen attacks the elephant hoard. They had expected horsemen, our usual troops, which were ineffective against elephants. Our spearmen decimate the beasts quickly. Our horsemen decimate their small cavalry and foot soldiers. Our horsemen were always far more powerful than anything they had, they had gotten upper hand using elephants, for which we, fortunately, found a counter in our spearmen. Their army retreats, beaten badly.

With Achyuta destroyed, only Abheda is left. My treasury is also full because of loot from Achyuta and my adventures in the sea. I will have a huge army and destroy Abheda also soon. I am invincible, I am all-powerful.

I hear a ring. It is my phone. It is Amrendra. Shit! I won’t pick it, he will ask for his money. I don’t pick the phone. But he keeps calling. He had lent me 10 thousand rupees 6 months back. For past 10 days he is hellbent on getting it back. I don’t have the money, in fact I don’t know when I will have it, not for few months at least. Dad scolded me two weeks back only, abused me profusely in flowery language in fact, and said that he would not be sending a single paisa going forward out of budget. We have not talked since.

What can I do, there are expenses in hostel life, I can’t eat shitty food of hostel mess daily, and how can anyone live without booze at least once in a week? I can’t survive on budget set by my dad. He doesn’t understand how hard hostel life is, as he is enjoying home life, sitting and watching TV entire evening and then getting food cooked by mom! Huh!

After 5 rings, there are multiple beeps of WhatsApp messages. I have switched off my “have read” marker in settings, but if I go for reading it, he will see that I am online. If I switch off my data and then read the messages, then if he sends message again, he will understand that I have switched it off deliberately and now only. I don’t know what to do. Better, I will just ignore it.

But, then there is a flood of SMS beeps. These I can read safely, I guess.

You are dead, bastard! You don’t even have guts to pick the phone. If you had asked me to wait for few more days, I would have relented. Now, nothing can save you.

Sumit and Ballu will be reaching your room. I am not coming because I would have showed some mercy considering our now dead friendship. I have asked them to do whatever they want.

Shit! Shit! Sending college bullies, asshole! These assholes already tease and harass me at every possible opportunity. What kind of friend he is, 6 month is not such a long time, only half a year. I was definitely going to return the money sometime.

I will lock my room, run away and hide somewhere. Or, if my neighbors are there, I can ask them to lock me inside my room. I open my room silently, probably they might be nearby. Damn it! I am unable to think clearly because of panic.

My room door is visible from the hostel front-yard, they might be there and see me. I try to get out ducking. My head bangs into something as soon as I get it out of the door. I look up. Shit! Sumit and Ballu are standing there, smiling.

They abuse me and taunt me. While I sit in my chair in fear of being beaten, abusing them profusely in my mind, while they rummage in my room. Luckily, they don’t beat me, but they take my laptop. I will get it back only when I return the money, they say.

Damn it! What the hell I am going to do without laptop. I hate playing games on mobile, I don’t like these small games, they are for little kids. I like big strategic games. Even movies don't look good on mobile. Also, if I delay in getting it, I don’t know what these assholes will do to it by then.

I must gather courage and call dad with some good excuse. It is no time to pay the hostel fee or college fee, he knows that. Maybe I will say that I broke my leg or hand, but then I will be called back to home immediately or he might come here himself. Can’t I get a fake plaster?

No! No! No bullshit ideas. First, I should take deep breaths and put my head in the right place. First, I should enable myself to think clearly, then only I will be able to come up with good excuses. I will take the help of mom also. I will spend some time and make a proper strategy for it. I am a great strategist.

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