Tuesday, 5 June 2018

RaaRaa-11 - RathaHaDasa

Thousands of years back...

In the Kingdom of Masaka...

There was a King named "Brushaka". He was a very good Brushabha/Bull rider and so his name was Brushaka. Along with taking care of the whole kingdom, he has the personal interest to take care of the cattle. The kingdom was very famous for milk and rice production. As the paddy husk and straws are good for cattle, so there was no problem for feeding the cattle.

The king used to take some extra care of the Bulls. Why so?
It is because Bulls were used in war zone as those were the fastest running animals of that time in the kingdom of Masaka.

In Masaka, there was a village called as "Haatika". "Haati" means Elephant. There were numerous elephants in that village. Many villagers knew how to train the elephants. They used have elephant race as an annual festival funded by the seafaring businessmen when returned from south-east world after long years of business.

But the King Brushaka did not like the elephant as they used eat the paddy and there was shortage in the food for the cattle, specifically the Bulls.

Time passes...

One day, the war bell rang.
The neighbouring kingdom attacked. The king got ready with his weapon, his army and the Bulls.
The was a fierce fight the Brushaka and so the Kingdom won the battle.

The next day, the people of the village Haatika riding elephant come nearing the entry gate of the Masaka Gada/Garh/Fort and welcome the King by spraying water by the elephants. There the village people requested Brushaka to attend the annual elephant race which was supposed to happen in the next week. The King agrees to it.

Now the annual festival scene. The King reached the festival spot. The elephant race started and one one rider and her elephant became the winner. As part of the award ceremony, the King gifted a golden shield to her. While having a chat, the girl asked "Raja, How was the speed of the elephants?". The king sarcastically laughed and told "Lesser than my Bulls". The girl was somewhat disheartened and replied "Ok, You will one day need these elephants. Please wait for the time."

Time passed and the war bell rang again. This time, the war was with the King "Krurashya" of neighbouring Kingdom "Bayavi".
The king got ready with his weapon, his army and the Bulls. But there was a change in the enemy army. They used a new animal called horse which were very fast runners whereas the the bulls were not that much fast. The war started and the enemy stated winning the first day of battle. There was major loss to Masaka army. King Brushaka somehow managed the war.

The entry of the new fastest animal horse really made Brushaka shocked. During night time, when there was no war, the King suddenly thought of the village girl who told "Ok, You will one day need these elephants. Please wait for the time.". The King immediately ordered his messenger to call the girl. The girl reached the spot. The king greeted her and asked her name and the girl replied "Haatinaami". Then the girl asked why the King called her. Brushaka told the story of the new fastest animal called horse. Haatinaami took some time and told something to Brushaka was very much happy with that.

Next day in the war zone...
There were around twenty bull riders in the front including the King Brushaka.
Behind them, all the army were standing.
Behind them, 11 soldiers were holding big size flags. Imagine an inverted
rectangular-U-shaped frame and a big cloth/flag hanging from it, just like a window curtain of the size of a one-storey building...
There were some people playing some music instruments which created sounds like the different roaring sound "snorts, barks, grunts, trumpets, cries" etc.    

Now both sides signal to start the battle.
King Brushaka and his fellow bull-riders rode at a faster pace. The foot soldiers slowly ran behind them as per the plan.
From the opposite side, King Krurashya and his fellowmen rode the horses at a much faster rate.

Before the bull-riders and horse-riders face each other, the bull-riders including the King Brushaka suddenly got divided, half of them started running to left and half towards the right. The foot-soldiers also did the same. Enemy king Krurashya was surprised with this.

Then suddenly, the 11 soldier from Brushaka, remove the flags, and the picture became clear. There were 10 elephants standing behind the big flags and the some people were playing music instrument with the same sounds of elephants so that the enemy gets confused and could not guess about the presence of elephants.

Now the elephants started running at a faster pace with the chief elephant rider "Haatinaami".
The road was clear. The elephants started crushing the enemy soldiers. To each elephant, there was a chariot attached. A soldier was on the chariot holding spears. Whoever were able to cross/pass through the elephants, they were getting killed by them. Many of the enemy soldiers were killed like that.

Then King Brushaka and Haatinaami fought did a fierce fight against King Krurashya and his army, Krurashya got killed and Masaka kingdom won the battle.

After the war, King Brushaka apologized to Haatinaami for his ignorance about the elephants. Then both got married and Haatinaami became the queen and ruled the Masaka kingdom along with King Brushaka. 

Then the King ordered the construction of a big scale statue of 10 elephants and 10 chariots attached to it and named it as "RathaHaDasa" meaning "Ratha(Chariot) Haati(Elephant) Dasa(Ten)".

Thousands of years passed. The remnants are still there. When the people see it now and tell about the name "RathaHaDasa", we find different narratives like 
1) Ratha(Chariot) Haati(Elephant) Daasa(Servant) - King took care of elephants and chariots as a Daasa
2) Ratha(Chariot) Ha(Bisarga-Pronunciation) Dasa(Ten)
3) Some say, it might be Dasa(Ten) Ratha(Chariot)

Many narratives are there but the exact meaning could not be found yet. Time keeps many things hidden for ever and ever...

***Fictional story***

Ashish Kumar Nayak
Ashish Sarangi

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