Sehwag Tales - Chapter 12

To start from the first chapter : 

The long-run horse whinnied softly as it slowed near a cluster of crumbling ruins swallowed by a mountain. Sehwag and Achanandhi dismounted, wary eyes scanning their unfamiliar surroundings. The temple ruins, shrouded in mystery, piqued Sehwag's curiosity. A small, stagnant pond, more mud than water, offered the only source of hydration for their weary mounts. The horses, oblivious to the danger, lapped up the murky liquid, but Sehwag and Achanandhi knew better. A narrow path, similar to those in the temples in his village, snaked away from the filthy pond, disappearing into the gaping maw of a cave-like structure that formed the heart of the ruins.

"A civilization must have thrived here once," Sehwag murmured, his voice tinged with awe. "What could have caused it to vanish into the forest?"

Achanandhi's voice held a deep weight as he answered his pupil. "The history of Yemangadha stretches far beyond your knowledge, my child. It was a land of vibrant diversity, where cultures flourished in harmony. But when your father's reign ended and Kattiyankar seized the throne, he vowed to eradicate not just your father's memory, but the very history etched in these temples."

Sehwag frowned. "But why? He preaches unity, doesn't he? His followers love him for his inclusiveness with every culture in the country”

Achanandhi's voice crackled with barely contained fury. “It's a deception, Sehwag! A narrative he weaves to appease the Yavanas, his war allies. They helped him steal the throne from your father, and the price for their aid is the desecration of Yemangadha's heritage!”

Sehwag's brow furrowed in genuine confusion. What's wrong with embracing other cultures? He opposed Kattiyankar for his corruption and brutality, not his beliefs. Surely, a kingdom can thrive with different faiths coexisting, that’s what he had believed for a long time. The dead king was not inclusive and that’s why Kattiyankar had to take away his throne. If destroying history was needed to bring unity, so be it. Or is it not? He thought to himself.

Sehwag's brow furrowed, his questions echoing with the naive curiosity of a young man piecing together a fragmented history. "My father was against cultural inclusiveness, wasn't he?" The revelation hung heavy in the air. Somewhere deep in his heart, he craved the belief that his father was a kind man. But blind acceptance held no appeal. Years of unanswered questions gnawed at him. He had every right to be angry. Not knowing his parents, their absence, a gaping hole in his life, were reasons enough.

Sehwag repeated, his voice laced with disbelief, 'My father...against inclusiveness… was he not?'"

Achanandhi, his voice heavy with years of accumulated anger towards Kattiyankar, soothed Sehwag's rising ire. "Listen, child," he began, choosing his words carefully. "Yemangadha has always been a country of diverse cultures. Acceptance, not tolerance, was the cornerstone of our society. Even the most unique traditions thrived here, enriching our land. But that all changed when the Yavanas came from the west. Theirs was a culture built on dominance, a stark contrast to our own values. Their arrogance and brutality forced the rulers of Yemangadha to be wary of their presence.”

The cave entrance yawned before them, a maw shrouded in cool darkness. As Sehwag and Achanandhi stepped inside, a flurry of bats disturbed by their presence erupted from the shadows, their leathery wings whispering against the stone walls.

A single shaft of sunlight pierced the gloom, illuminating a lone idol nestled deep within the cavern. The figure, a man cast in stone, sat in a meditative pose, his eyes eternally closed. An air of tranquillity emanated from his serene visage, almost as if he had transcended the physical realm and become one with the stone itself. Yet, the shattered fragments scattered around his base - broken shoulders, severed arms - served as a stark reminder of the destruction he had not escaped.

Sehwag squinted at the defaced idol. "The features are unrecognizable. Perhaps a deity worshipped by a long-forgotten clan. Maybe even their leader," he mused.

Achanandhi's brow furrowed. "If my memory serves me right, a reclusive people called the Ajvikas inhabited this area before the Second Yemangadha Civil War. I suppose they vanished not long ago."

Sehwag's eyes widened. "Second Civil War? My gurukul teachings spoke only of one, the one between King Kachandha and Kattiyankar." The revelation sent a tremor through him. How much of the truth was deliberately omitted?

"History is a weapon in the hands of the victor," Achanandhi sighed. "Anything that might have kindled pride in King Kachandha's reign was erased, twisted to portray him as weak and fumbling. Brace yourself, Sehwag. There's much you don't know. As your teacher, I should have revealed all this to you, but as a member of Kattiyankar's court, my hands were tied. But fear not, your journey with me will be one of revelation."

The weight of the information threatened to crush Sehwag. The secret of his birth, a constant ache in his heart, now intertwined with a distorted history. He craved solace, a moment to breathe and untangle the knots of confusion tightening around him.

Achanandhi watched Sehwag seek solace in the broken idol, a monument to a forgotten past mirroring the young man's own fragmented sense of identity. He ached to impart more knowledge, to prepare Sehwag for the destiny he believed awaited him – the savior of Yemangadha. Yet, years of observing Sehwag's growth instilled a quiet respect. The boy was handling this deluge of information better than Achanandhi could have hoped. “He need some rest.”

Sehwag closed his eyes, picturing the faces of the king and queen he never knew, their features blurring at the edges. Visions of his worried mother filled his mind, the scent of her cooking a phantom comfort in the damp cave air. With a newfound determination, Sehwag set the stone down and stretched his tired legs.

He slowly opened his eyes to look at the broken idol, a reflection of his own fragmented past staring back at him. Yet, in the idol's stillness, he sensed a quiet strength, a reminder that even without devotees, there remains a power. A whisper escaped his lips, barely audible in the silence. "A God without devotees."


Vigneshwaran, Senior Correspondent of is both a skilled digital content writer and marketer by profession, as well as an avid independent writer driven by his passion. His literary talents extend to crafting beautiful poems and captivating short stories including the Sehwag Tales series. In addition to these creative pursuits, he has also authored a book titled "Halahala," which can be found

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