The Epics

"To be Indian, or to simply live in India at any period in her recorded history, is to open oneself to the benign moral influence of two epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Caste, creed, colour do not matter here; what matters is the degree, range and subtlety of exposure, which in turn determines the quality of the affected person's 'Indianness', whatever that very large word means" - Professor Purushottam Lal

Oct 11, 2012

Krishna's Diary: Entry 4

Krishna, King of Mathura - I like the sound of that.
As well I should, since that's what I am now. Really.

In retrospect, it turned out much easier than expected.
A "mad" elephant which was, in fact, so drunk on mahua that it collapsed halfway through an attempt to chase us around the arena.
Two wrestlers - overweight and out of form - beaten with little difficulty.
And so on and on with the crowd roaring approval at each victory

Finally, it was time to roll the dice.
Flushed with victory, assured of the support of the applauding, yelling mob - I challenged Kamsa to single combat !!

A matter of calculation and gamble.
The calculation was simple. Kamsa ruled by fear, not love, and he who rules by fear may never appear weak, especially not before a crowd in a public place.

Even so, he may have feigned outrage, may have refused to fight and had me clapped in irons, and then all would be lost.
That's where the gamble came in.

I gambled on pride - that obdurate "kshatriya pride"  which blinds our entire ruling class, forcing them to put "honour" before expediency, even against the most ridiculous odds.
I gambled and held my breath, glaring at the king with the most arrogant expression I could muster.
A long silence, stretching for eons while my heart hammered in my ears - and Kamsa accepted.

After that it was easy.
Bloated with wine and over-indulgence, severely out of breath, the guy never really had a chance.
I drew it out a bit, playing to the crowd, milking their support and sympathy.
Then a swift sidestep, a quick parry, a thrust to the neck - and Kamsa lay dead in the arena while coins, flowers and articles of clothing showered down from the audience....

So, King of Mathura then ?
Not officially.
If my popularity had soared to the skies with Kamsa's death, I pushed it far into the great beyond by releasing the imprisoned Ugrasena - father of the Kamsa - and crowning him king.

You don't get it, do you ? You and our entire blockheaded kshatriya caste ?
Understand, my friend, that while people may genuflect to him who sits on the throne with crown on head, true power lies with the one who holds the reins behind.
With the added convenience that a rival's sword is almost always aimed at the head with the crown.

So, there we are. From cowherd to de facto king in the space of a day. 
Impressive, eh ?

Now the first problem at hand - establishing a royal lineage for moi.

A minute's thought reveals that all the multifarious kings and nobles dotting our land couldn't possibly have been of royal blood.
But you see, good form demands that one must at least try to link oneself to a line of kings stretching right back to the dawn of Creation.
Plus a royal lineage - genuine or invented - allows you to draw on a network of contacts and alliances.
Extremely convenient in a pinch.

So, yes, a little "blue-ing of the blood" would be very useful indeed. 
I have set the local brahmins to working on the problem.
Trust they can come up with something interesting.

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