Short Stories » Two Brave Women - Vama And Mala
Story about Two Brave Women
Karan Singh was all set to go to the fields. Among the other things he carried with his agricultural tools, were his sword and a gun. A merchant, who always noticed this, could not but help satisfy his curiosity. One day as Karan set out to go the fields, the merchant asked him why he always carried his weapons along with his other agricultural tools.
Karan Singh went to his shop and told him that even if he told him the reason, he might not understand it. Hence, he advised him to concentrate on his shop’s accounts, rather than focusing on matters that did not concern him. He also added that it was mainly because of Dadua, and that the villagers should be prepared when Dadua attacks. Hence, it was wise to always carry the weapons.
The merchant had the least idea who Dadua was, and asked him, “Who is Dadua, and what does he want from us. Are there so many dacoits near our village?”
Karan understood that the merchant was getting apprehensive. It was understandable, because the dacoits always looted the merchants first, because they were also the local moneylenders. In order to pacify the merchant, he sat down and told him the story of Dadua, the famous dacoit.
In those days, might was right and the sword belonged to those who used it with honor. Accordingly, the sword settled all quarrels. The village, where Karan Singh and his brother Ram Singh stayed was called Pachegaon. In addition, not too far from this place was the neighboring village of Vala. A Thakur Sahib, a very powerful man, who had a large army of soldiers, ruled the neighboring village.
The village of Pachegaon mostly consisted of Rajput warriors, who were united and stopped all attacks from the Thakur. Finally, the Thakur realized that he could not beat the Rajputs. Therefore, he turned to the dacoit, Dadua for help. He promised to give one whole village in his territory, if the dacoit could capture the particular village of Pachegaon.
Dadua, with the help of Thakur’s soldiers tried many times to capture the village of Pachegaon, but he was unsuccessful. Each time, there was much bloodshed, but Dadua could not capture the village. He knew that the people were united and the only way he could possibly beat them was to break that unity. Their loyalty to each other was so great, that it was like a fortress against any enemy. Dadua knew that the only way that he could possibly get in was during the time, when the warriors were working in the fields or hunting.
One early winter morning, when the dacoits were all sitting around the fire and smoking their hookahs, a messenger came and told them it was harvest-time at Pachegaon. It was likely that all men at the village would be at the fields, and only the women and children would be at home. They knew that this was the ideal time to attack. Dadua collected a few men and getting on their horse, they rode to the village.
The villagers were always ready to fight the dacoits. Even the women were prepared. A few of them also kept a sword next to their oven, where they made their bread. Even the children played dacoits and soldiers amongst themselves.
By the time, the dacoits reached the village, it was already mid-morning. They looked around and envied the villagers. The fields were rich yellow and ripe for harvest. There was plenty of vegetables and dairy stock around. For a moment, Dadua thought of settling down and becoming a farmer.
Meanwhile, Vama, and Mala, the wives of Karan Singh and his brother Ram Singh were busy cooking the afternoon meal in the kitchen. They were talking to themselves, and suddenly, Vama said to Mala, “I feel very restless today. All the men are in the fields and only the women, children and old men are left in the village. What if the dacoits attack the village today?”
Mala asked Vama not to worry and said, “They will not come, and even if they do, we have our sticks and swords.”
Mala went to the next room, brought out her sword, and pulled it out of the scabbard. She started brandishing it and said, “Who knows, I might need this today.”
When the lunch was ready, then tied it into bundles, and set out for the fields. The men saw the women coming and they stopped working. They gave their bullocks some grass to eat and proceeded to wash themselves in the stream. Then, they all sat under the tree and began to eat.
Suddenly, from far, the women saw in a cloud of dust, horsemen fast approaching. Mala said, “This must be Dadua’s men. He must have got word that the village is unguarded today.”
The men got up, when they realized it was Dadua and his men. Soon, a fierce battle began and in the ensuing battle, Karan Singh was badly wounded. Soon his brother was also shot dead. Both Vama and Mala came to their husband’s side. Karan Singh told them, “You are Rajput women. Don’t allow them to pass this field.”
Vama, Mala and the other Rajput women began throwing stones at the horses. The horses began prancing, when the shower of stones began to hit them. The horses soon threw the riders off balance. The dacoits picked their swords, and ran towards the women, who were ready with their swords.
However hard they tried, the dacoits were unable to beat Vama, Mala, and the other few women. Clearly, the women were outnumbered, but the dacoits were no match for them. They asked Dadua, whether they could shoot them, just like they shot Karan and Ram Singh.
Dadua shouted at them, and said it was even shameful to think that. The fight went on and soon only four of the twelve dacoits were remaining, while Vama and Mala were still fighting hard. They were slightly injured but showed no signs of stopping.
Finally, Dadua decided to leave and return another day, now that the main men were dead. Besides, the other farmers, hearing the sound of guns had also reached the scene. All they saw was these two women, all bloodied, brandishing swords and screaming, “Come back and fight.”
The farmers’ quickly attended to the wounds of the women and pacified them. Then they gave the dead men a hero’s burial, and returned to the village.