Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Osmania Biscuit XIV--Battle of Wits


When Lingam performed the maneuver of facing Obul and cleverly running away past him, he did more than a maneuver-- he had won a great battle of wits, which thankfully, neither he knew nor Obul knew. In fact, chroniclers (who seem to be ubiquitous, which should make us think what is in it for them? but then we will not, for now!) think that this technique easily outweighs the last battle of wits (yes! It is a 'battle of wits', literally!) in the famous 'battle of BEML gate'.

What we are missing here is the history behind these battles of wits. Long long ago, there used to be two huge kingdoms-- one was militantly Vaishnavaite, and another was militantly Shaivaite, and they used to battle their guts out for supremacy. It was rumoured that they frequently obained favours from Gods for their militaristic endeavours.

The whole Vaishnavaite kingdom was one very posh, properly planned city called Narayanopolis. It had a beautiful central palace with Golden Spires and sprawling meadows for the King. The people were extremely polite and their taste was exceeded only by their hatred towards their Shaivaite counterparts. The people were highly sentient and hard-working beings and thrived on agriculture and trade. They had a vast, powerful and organised army divided into many regiments. The vaishnavite city also had another Satellite city (literally 'satellite', as you shall see!) named Garudopolis that was susupended in mid-air, and could be used as a huge warship. They also had a powerful air-force named the 'Garudawaffe'.

On the contrary, the Shaivaite kingdom was a large mass of barren waste-land --a paradox with colums of smoke and ash spewing out from one part and snow and grinding ice in another part. It was a rocky and a moutainous region and people mostly lived on hunting and most people, when not hunting were seen meditating on Shiva. Some never stopped meditating and after their death, they added a kind of unseen armour to the Shaiva kingdom that needed many magic weapons to break through. The Shaivas had their own answer to the Garudawaffe-- they had Marutsena.

While Garudawaffe depended on sophistication, efficiency, and precision, Maruts depended only numbers and raw heroics. No wonder, they were much feared. It was partly to thwart any further attacks from Maruts that Vaishnavaites built the Garudopolis. Shaivaites frequently employed women in the army and they had their own regiment called the Bhairavi regiment, and they were notorious for their unrelenting bravery. On the other hand, the Vaishnavaites had a powerful nursing and reconnaisance brigade called the Mohini-Brigade. It was famed to never fail.

Till now, Obul (a name of God Vishnu's Avatara Narasimha) did not know that he was the direct descendant of the lengendary General Oppiliappan-IX (Oppiliappan also means Narasimha. It could be that Oppiliappan is the actual Tamizh form of 'Obulayya'), who single-handedly, with his band of highly motivated fighters, routed an invasion of a huge Shaivaite army consisting of 44th KAla-Bhairava Regiment and the 16th Light-infantry Bhringi Regiment and 24th Rudra Rifles Regiment.

And Lingam, obvioustly as well, did not know that he was a direct descendant of VallinAyagam-III, the prefect of Chidambaram-- who successfully thwarted an attack of 4th, 5th, and 11th VarAha-regiments and even withstood, though at great loss, highly sophisticated and dangerous Sudarshana weapons dropped from Garudopolis. The whole of 6th Marut-Brigade was felled from the skies. The Shaivaites, from then on, never have had a 6th Marut-Brigade in honour of those who found martyrdom on that day. Now, it seems that to save from the onslaught of the Vaishnavaites, some of the Shaivaites in a neutral area got mixed with pastoral and peace minded Yadavs and began calling themselves Yadavs. Same was the case with Vaishnavaites and they mingled themselves with other tribes to find peace.

These wars continued for centuries together, with innumerable battles and skirmishes. As times changed, because of a lot of external factors, the funds for war decreased on Vaishnavaites' side, and not many Shaivaites were intent on ghOra-tapasya, so their shields weakened. So there emerged a new form of tactical warfare called 'Battle of Wits'. The entire warfare consisted of confusing the enemy. The more you end up confusing the enemy, the more crushing is the defeat inflicted upon him. And war-chroniclers, who write down everything, decide who wins. (more often, they are seen taking money from a side and pronounce it victorious!). So, you see, the profession is not without its plus points.

So when Lingam turned around and faced Obul at Janglee ViThoba Temple in Hyderabad, the whole world was watching him, and war-chroniclers were busy scripting each and every minute detail of the incident. By the time Lingam ran away into the galli with a perplexed Obul staring with his gaping mouth, Lingam was already a Shaivaite hero. Chants of 'Hara hara Mahadeva' echoed in the sub-terranean hideouts of the Shaivaite extremist organisations throughout the world. Lingam, without knowing the reason, kept getting many gifts and 'well-done', 'bravo', and 'salute to thou' letters for months. Thankfully, he didnt bother about them one single-bit because they were addressed to a guy named 'VallinAyagam-VII', and he had no idea it was his real name.

And Obul.. poor Obul got busted by the vaishnavaite powers that be. He was hunted by an inexplicable misfortune. He lost money everywhere, his friends deseted him. he was kicked out of his master Erra Satyam's service (in fact, some theorise that the murder of Erra Satyam was an attack to inflict pain on Obul) and was treated as a disgrace. But the powers calmed down eventually and were set to offer Obul a new life and a chance to redeem his honour.

1 comment:

Ragz said...

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