Seedling

22. Poem ‘Nakalgarh Poem’ (False Fort) – of the book KATHA (Legends) written in 1899.

This poem touchingly reflects the heroic character of the Rajputs and yet their various factional ego which was the cause of their downfall at the hands of the Muslim invaders.

“I’ll touch not water”
Thus did the Chitore Rana (*) swear
“Till the Bundi fort
Standing there I can’t abort”.

“Alas! What an oath
Impregnable it is”“ the ministers quoth
“You can venture it
But for ignoble defeat”.
The Rana says, “If so,
My oath will go”.

Chitore and Bundi fort are asunder
But only six miles from one to the other.
The Harabansi tribe there
Dare devil as tigers they are.
Random is their king Hamu’s raid
Of any hazard he is not afraid
All these the Rana heard about“
Evidences now leave him no more doubt.
And it is only six miles away,
So the Rana will no more sway.

Calls all his subservient the minister“
Thus all of them confer“
“Let’s build a false fort to-night
That like Bundi will sight
Let the Rana with his hands own
Hit the fort and see it blown.
Else, just his words to abide
He is heading for suicide!”
So the minister with his aides
The false fort near Chitore lays.

Kumbha a Harabansi, Rana’s vassal
Yet with his bravery tribal
On return from his stag hunt
Shoulders with archery load stunt
Smells foul in the hearsay
Early in the day“
Cries aloud, “Who’s there!
With a false fort dare
Abase the Harabansi Rajput“
I’ll guard the fake castle astute.”

Comes Rana amidst bustle
To smash the clay castle“
“Keep afar Your Highness”“
Uproarious Kumbha says,
” A fake Bundi for a fake fight
Never I’ll endure this slight
To defend that clay mound
To-day I’m duty bound”.
So does Kumbha thunder“
“Your Highness, keep afar!”

On the ground sets his knees
Shoots arrows in whiz
Kumbha alone wards off
Their sly plot to scoff
The Harabansi glory
In full fury.
Rana’s troop slay his head
All round surrounded
Near the gateway
Of the fort for play.

He drops dead,
His blood crimson red
Sanctifies the castle clean
In ablution of all vicious sin.

Note: “Rana” was the title of the King of Rajputana (now Rajasthan) whose capital Chitore was once upon a time

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