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Did Not Conquer Bharat
|by Subra Narayan|
In c.327 BC, Alexander the Great is approaching Bharat with his huge and tired army after having fought several battles on the Persian peninsula. His weary generals are begging him not to advance any further but head back home to relish the spoils of their conquest. But Alexander is still not satisfied with his victories and wants to keep trudging along to partake of all the wonderful riches that lie in the land ahead, called Bharat. As his horse keeps prodding along in the scorching heat of Gandhara, the sun's rays appear to pierce his eyes and he loses sight of everything momentarily. All of a sudden his horse catapults and as though possessed by a demon, starts galloping at a thunderous speed that neither man nor beast is accustomed to. His army left far, far behind, he crosses valleys at break neck speed and goes right across poppy fields, through swamps and marshes before the horse comes to a grinding halt on a paved road and right in front of an unusually shaped building, the likes of which the great warrior has not come across before. Yet strangely enough it seems to resemble the Oracle at Delphi, where people came from all over Greece and beyond to have their questions about the future answered. Wiping the beads of perspiration from his forehead, and panting, he mounts off the horse and tethers it to a telephone pole and sits down on the sidewalk to regain his bearings.
He takes giant strides across the few steps and enters the building. Once inside, he is totally taken aback by the sights and sounds and he pinches himself to make sure that he is not dreaming. Little does he realize that he is in a time warp and has jettisoned headlong into the 21st century. He is indeed inside the Oracle but yet this is not the same one that he is accustomed to! This Oracle is a call center where a number of people are dressed differently than him and speak in a foreign language into a bizarre looking apparatus. As he wades his way through cubicles and strange looking objects that fill the rooms, he feels that he has died and gone to hell, where the ultimate form of punishment is being meted out to hapless souls. In a state of bewilderment, he does a turnabout and quickly exits the building only to find his faithful horse missing! As he panics and strides about, he almost gets knocked down by an autorickshaw and he grudgingly sidesteps quickly. His helmet intact and his armor in place he randomly wanders around'Quo Vadis! As he takes in the scenes of the concrete jungle in front of him, he feels he is losing his mind unable to believe the sea of humanity that closes in on him. He quickly shuts his eyes hoping to go back to sleep and in a nanosecond, he finds himself in front of what looks like a medieval palace.
As he straddles in to the palace, he is confronted by a rather paunchy, paan chewing, kurta clad politician, called Piloo Madav! The man mistakes him for a runaway stage actor and angrily asks how he got there. Alexander chides the strange looking man and asks him to prostrate before him. Piloo mocks the incoherent Alexander and says he is going to have the buffoon thrown out; when Alexander screams that it is he, Sikander the great warrior and fearless leader who is standing in front of him. To which the kurta clad paan chewing politician retorts, 'Sikander ne Porus se ki thi ladayi, to main kyan karoon'. Piloo claims that he is the modern King of India and Sikander had better leave before he calls the guards. Alexander quickly pulls his sword from his scabbard and takes a swipe at him, but his sword breaks into two as soon as it hits the politician. Piloo calls out to his henchmen, but by the time they arrive on the scene, Alexander by a sleight of hand appears to have vanished into thin air'
In a split second he finds himself in the middle of a film shoot in Bollywood. He is completely mesmerized as a couple dozen men and women gyrate to some loud and distasteful music that he has ever heard in his life! Oh, to be in Greece, and listen to the bards singing those melancholic love songs. Then all of a sudden a charming young couple who could pass for Zeus and Olympias, run around trees which Alexander finds very disgusting. He jumps onto the center stage and knocks down the hero in a swift motion. Commotion erupts and there is total chaos all around, while the hero lies bleeding, rooted firmly to the ground. He gives his helmet a tug and challenges the onlookers to a duel, even as the camera is rolling all the time Alexander then goes on to give a stirring speech that sounds all Greek to the shell shocked artistes who feel that they have just seen the Messiah and are spellbound with his persona. Suddenly the director wakes up as if from a trance and yells, 'Cut, cut'.who is this moron and who let him in?', as he stumbles on to the center stage. As he attempts to push Alexander, smoke fills the air and the great warrior disappears only to find himself back in the 4th century BC. A weary Alexander grimaces as his horse trots back to his army and declares, 'I have had enough for a lifetime. It is time to get back to Greece and bask in the luxuries that Athens has to offer.
And thus it came to pass that Alexander the Great never conquered Bharat!
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10/01/2011 04:01 AM
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