To catch up with part 1, do click here
Rani Padmini of Chittor. The stories of the bravery and sacrifice of these Rajput women are many. The one which we have read about is when Chittor’s imminent fight against Alaaudin Khilji (who it is said wanted to annex Chittor to secure Padmini for himself after seeing her beauty in the mirror) Padmini along with other women in Chittor lit a huge pier and immolated themselves in what is called “Jauhar” in local language. Their intent being that with the women no longer around to be protected the men would fight had with the enemy and that is what happened. Sacrificing own life for the larger interest of the community. Wow. The other story I heard at Udaipur doing the tourist rounds is about how the women cut and gave their long beautiful hair to form bow strings as Chittor was under long siege by Alaaudin Khilji and they could not get supplies from outside. New one. Yet a sacrifice given that Indian women have always loved and cared for their long plaited tresses.
Man Singh – Rana’s General. The story goes that when the Rana was injured at Haldigati, Man Singh asked the Rana to leave the battle field after giving him his Crown / head gear so that the Rana would live another day to continue the struggle for the defense of Mewar. Looking very similar to the Rana in build he was able to deceive the Mughals to chase him taking him to be the Rana while Rana himself could escape. Man Singh was killed at Haldigati. A sacrifice that shows respect for the leader and the love for the community. True Rajput.
Maharana Pratap Singh – Have read a whole chapter about him and the battle at Haldighati. The story says that on Chetak’s death the Rana took a vow not sleep on a bed, not eat from silver vessels till he was able to defeat Akbar. He did that. He sacrificed his normal kingly life, showed a great amount of valor, and was the only Rajput king in those days who refused to accept signing a treaty with Akbar and on his death bed asked his son not to accede to any request of Akbar or other Rajputs who signed treaties with Akbar. There are books written about this and I don’t need to talk more of his sacrifices.
Panna Dhai – Dhai translated is Nanny. Panna Dhai was appointed the nanny of Vikramaditya and Udai Singh. Her own son Chandan was about the same age as Udai Singh. Udai Singh’s maternal uncle Banvir was invited by the nobles of Mewar to be the guardian of Vikramaditya. Banvir wanted to become the king. He assassinated Vikramaditya and was going towards where Udai Singh was. A maid spotted him with his blood stained sword in hand and informed Panna Dhai. Panna Dhai immediately hid Udai Singh in a basket, filled it with fruits and had it smuggled out of the fort. Panna then put Udai Singh’s clothes on the Chandan and put him into Udai Singh’s bed. Banvir killed Chandan taking him to be Udai Singh. Panna it is said had to leave the fort without even being able to mourn the death of her child. She brought up Udai Singh who then went on to build Udaipur and is talked of as one of most able rulers of the Mewar. Sacrificing her own child for the sake of Mewar . What a sacrifice! What a sacrifice!
In front of these sacrifices my own claim of having sacrificed some many things in life paled out. All my claims of sacrifice were so worldly in nature compared to these sacrifices. It is so easy to say that we have sacrificed so much in life and yet when we look back and deal with the reasons for the sacrifice our reasons are so selfish. Out of these sacrifices we have gained personally. We have made sacrifices or what we think are sacrifices to win the hearts of people around us, to get some peace in life, quite often to just satisfy our own ego and at most times because we had little options.
SACRIFICE IS ONLY WHEN IT IS DONE WITH SELF LESS MOTIVES.
SACRIFICE IS WHEN WHAT YOU DO IS FOR THE LARGER BENEFIT OF THE COMMUNITY.
SACRIFICE IS WHEN WHAT YOUR ACT IS MEANT FOR THE INHERENT BETTERMENT OF HUMANITY.
KR’s note: – As I reviewed my long note I realized. What the heck! Same effort in school would have fetched me far higher grades. But all the same the fact that I could recollect so much of this even as the trip started off and could appreciate the stories doing the rounds in Udaipur I bow to my teachers who put up with my pranks and behavior and ensured that I learned something.