There is nothing to fear
After Shreenathji’s visit we left for Haldighati without any breakfast. The place where the famous Battle of Haldighati took place – Maharana Pratap and Man Singh. We went through the tribal roads and the driver kept on warning us that it is risky to stop here. The road was zig zag and we entered the mountains as the driver pointed the place where the battle was fought.
We went to see the museum. There was a school trip from Udaipur on an educational visit. There was a big kid bullying the small kid and another small kid trying to please the big kid. I remembered the good old school days when one gets bullied by bigger kids, we hate being teased by them but as we grow and look back we think it was fun, unless an acquainted kid is facing the same. We enter the museum and there is a replica of the entire battle-field of Haldighati. The local guides tell the story with great pride about the battle that was lost by Maharana Pratap. The striking thing was a trunk like an elephant’s on Maharana Pratap’s horse Chetak and though I was surprised I did not ask what it signified. I figured it out later at Maharana Pratap’s Smarak in Udaipur.The local guides hold their heads high as they describe the way Chetak jumped to save Maharana Pratap. The story goes thus: Maharana Pratap was in a fight with Akbar’s army lead by Man Singh. He warned Man Singh that what he was being a traitor and not to do so. But they fought and the battle lasted for one day killing more than 1800 soldiers. They say that so much blood was shed that the color of the sand changed and that is noticed even today. That battle ground is now famous as rakht-talai. Chetak climbed over an elephant to kill its rider but it got hurt in its feet. It galloped 5 Kms to save his King and even jumped a long stream before breathing his last. I always thought of Chetak as a symbol of bravery, fight, love, loyality and teaches us to fight untill our last breath. Death ain’t voluntary, afterall.
They show us a 5 to 10 minutes film on Maharana Pratap and the Battle of Haldighati and then a sound and light show for the same. When you leave the place you are overwhelmed by the facts you just realized. You wonder how Maharana spent his days in exile, re-capturing his territories. What courage! What loyality!What battle! these people had to boast of.
I remember the great Shakespearean words:
Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.