1500 years ago, a brave soldier in northern India was known to have achieved an extraordinary feat that no one had ever done. Legend says that he was the sole reason behind winning one of the greatest battles ever fought on the face of this planet. He was only 4 years old when the king’s soldiers took his father away for being abusive towards his mother. That day, this little heart developed immense respect for the soldiers for saving his loving mother from daily violence. He consoled his weeping mother and said, “Don’t worry mother. I will become a soldier soon and take good care of you forever.”
Growing up, he would often pick up almost everything that even slightly resembled a sword and swing it all over with his tiny little arms. He would make sure to visit the city market every single day to catch a glimpse of the patrolling soldiers. At nights, he would dream of serving the honorable king in his army. Such was his fascination for them. His favorite childhood game was to simulate a war with his friends. He always wished that he could play that game for real when he joined the army.
At 16, he left home to join the army and convince the king to help his ailing mother. Little did he know that he would soon be on the front lines of one of the most gruesome and unforgiving wars that were to take place in the history of mankind. “Soldiers! Draw your swords!! Charge!!” The battle went on for years! He started off as a rookie soldier in the lower ranks and quickly climbed. He was a natural leader. A brave one. His fellow soldiers instantly followed his commands with blind belief. He led by example. His brilliant war strategies gathered compelling victories and stories of his valor soon reached the king.
The king then assigned him on a covert mission to escort the knights and chariots deep into the enemy territory. To help buy more time for the covert operation, the king drew a major distraction on the battlefield by diverting the rest of his army along with elephant warriors to capture the enemy queen. It was a suicide mission on purpose. The covert operation had its share of heavy losses in multiple enemy traps and ambushes. With little to no supplies to rely on, his brothers in arms kept dying one after the other.
“Take my rations. I can’t go any further. I trust in you” a fallen knight’s last words kept resonating in his ears. With the last chariot destroyed, he was the last man standing. He took it upon himself to assassinate the enemy king and go back to meet his loving mother. He hiked mountains, swam rivers, and killed enemy soldiers to make his way into the castle. No soldier ever treaded that deep into the enemy lines. As soon as he stepped into the king’s vicinity, lightning struck the castle. It carried a powerful flash that left everyone blinded for the next 30 seconds. Nature blessed the soldier with superhuman strength and intelligence, making him the most powerful of all the warriors. He was rewarded for his sheer determination to fulfill the promise he made to his mother. Nothing could stop this transformed beast.
Tears rolled down his cheeks as he realized that he was minutes away from assassinating the enemy king. A chance to avenge his fallen brothers in arms. A chance to end the war and stop what seemed like an eternal macabre. A perfect cure for all his sufferings and sorrows. Fulfillment in this game of life. He slashed all the king’s guards in a single swing of his mighty sword. Looked right into the king’s eyes and pulled his dagger to deliver the final blow. Right when he was about to push the dagger into the king’s heart, his hand froze! He was slowly turning into wood! The king too! It left him confused and restless.
He looked up, in a helpless attempt, to seek an answer from mother nature. “Is that a checkmate?? Ah! Well played! Let’s have dinner, I am too tir……” The things he heard triggered a grave dilemma in his heart, questioning the very existence of his life, “Have I been playing a game that was already playing me?” Everyone finished turning into wood.