Previously on Sagar’s seven here
Vyasa: “The bandits have a small lead but they knew that it wouldn’t take too long for the guards to catch up.”
Sagar: “Boys, it won’t take too long for the guards to catch up.”
Bandit 1 bites fingers.
Sagar: “But don’t worry, I had it all planned out. Shiru should be waiting for us with getaway horses down this road.”
Sure enough good old Shiru was patiently waiting for Sagar and the bandits.
Bandits: “You are the man Shiru!”
The bandits hop onto the horses with the loot and head into the forest as they hear a distant gallop of the guards giving chase.
The guards are hot on the bandits’ trail. The bandits manage to put some distance between the guards and themselves by taking a secret pathway in the hilly terrain. After riding for a considerable amount of time the bandits are exhausted. Night befalls upon them but they keep moving. Finally, out of sheer exhaustion the bandits decide to take refuge in an ashram they come across along the way. They sneak into the ashram, grab clothing from the clothing lines and find an empty room to hide.
The guardsmen give a relentless chase. The squad is lead by a courageous general, two veteran soldiers and two rookies.
Rooky 1: “This is so exciting. We are on a live mission!”
Rooky 2: “Man, I have been collecting souvenirs all along the way. Mom is going to love it.”
The chase leads to an ashram. General reads the name of the ashram. “Mandavya’s Academy” is carved in big bold letters at the entrance.
General: “Okay, I know this guy. He is some kind of yogic mentor. We have to be very careful. This is the grant deadline week. The mentors are a bit psychotic during this time. So what is the first thing you do when you encounter a yogic mentor that you want to take under your custody?”
General quizzes the rookies.
Rookies in chorus: “Take control of the water source.”
General: “Good. At least the academy didn’t send me total nut jobs this year. The vets will scour the ashram for the goons; rookies come with me to the mentor’s cottage. Let’s roll.”
All in chorus: “Sir yes sir!”
The general moves towards the main cottage where the mentor is burning the mid night oil.
General: “Just as I thought, last minute grant application writing.”
Rookie 1: “Why are we arresting the mentor?”
General: “It is not a coincidence that the trail leads into this ashram. I’m afraid he is our prime suspect. Lack of funding has driven many mentors to creative ways of obtaining funding. Now keep your eyes peeled for any sudden movements.”
Rookies are very impressed by the General and follow him towards the cottage. Three heads peep into the mentor’s cottage through a window and see Mandavya scribbling away, even mumbling at times. The general gives the go signal to the rookies and the three of them storm into the cottage and take control of all the water sources before Mandavya can say what.
Mandavya: “What the?”
General: “You are under arrest.”
Mandavya: “What for? What is this nonsense? I have a deadline to make.”
General: “Playing the fool, I see. Not a very original ploy.”
Mandavya (irritated): “I was finally in the writing zone. And now thanks to you morons I’ve lost the chariot of thought.”
Veteran soldiers walk in with Sagar and the two bandits.
Soldiers: “We found the jewels and the thieves.”
General looks at Mandavya with an amused smile.
General: “Let me guess. You have never seen these men before.”
Mandavya: “As a matter of fact I haven’t.”
General: “Ugh! Arrest all of them.”
Mandavya: “This is unacceptable. I won’t stand for it. I have my rights.”
General: “Oh the rights, I forgot. Soldier, read him his rights.”
Soldier 2: “What rights?”
Mandavya is now fuming with anger.
General: “Gentlemen, prepare the horses. We are taking the jewelry back to the palace. Bind the thieves, that includes Mandavya and take them all to the King. Let him decide what he wants to do with them.”
General steps out. The vets bind the bandits and carry the loot to the horses. The rookies are left in charge of Mandavya.
Mandavya: “Alright fine, I will come along and settle this matter with the King. Hopefully he has more sense than your General. I just want a sip of water before I come with you.”
Rookie 1: “NO! No water. You come with us now.”
Mandavya: “No need to over react. All I want is a sip of water.”
Mandavya starts reaching for a water bowl.
Rookie 2: “Watch out. Do something!!”
Rookie 1 panics and gives in to his first instinct. He impales Mandavya with a spear and Mandavya falls to his knees. Blood starts gushing out of his stomach. Rookie 2 smacks Rookie 1 in head.
Rookie 2: “What have you done?!”
Rookie 2 runs to the General.
General: “What now?”
Rookie 2: “There has been an accident. Mandavya fell on the spear.”
General: “Fuck me without ghee.”
At the palace.
King Devapann: “Yes! My General has returned. Tell me, did you catch the scum?”
General: “Yes your majesty.”
King Devapann: “Good. And the jewels?”
General: “We have them.”
King Devapann: “Bravo! You and your men have made me proud again.”
General: “Your majesty the mission did not go as smoothly as we’d hoped.”
King Devapann: “Well, nothing a bag of gold coins can’t fix I’m sure.”
General: “Actually, a yogic mentor was involved in the operation.”
King Devapann: “Wait what?! Please tell me you did not piss him off.”
General: “Um…he was impaled…”
King goes face palm. Courtiers gasp.
General: “…in the stomach…”
General: “…by our soldier.”
King Devapann: “So he is dead.”
General: “Ordinarily, this would be the kind of injury that you succumb to. However, the yogic mentor used his yogic powers to stay alive. He should be here shortly with my soldiers. They are helping him make his way to the court as we speak.”
King Devapann (bites his knuckles): “Somebody punch someone.”
Rookie 2 smacks Rookie 1 on the head and Rookie 1 retorts by punching Rookie 2 in the arm.
General: “Here comes the mentor now.”
Mandavya (in deep pain): “Wa-ter.”
Courtiers: Silent gasps.
Minister: “Somebody get him some wine for his pain.”
Mandavya (gulps some wine and then begins to speak): “I have lived an honest life and yet here I am with my guts spilling out. At first I did not know whom to blame for this unlawful persecution. The soldiers who carried out the act? But they were only obeying their General’s orders. So the General then, but he is only obeying the King who commands him.”
The King gulps.
Mandavya: “But no, I’ll go to the very root of the problem. The problem is systemic. It is the system that needs to be changed. And so I will take it up with Dharma, the one who wrote our laws and constitution.”
King Devapann: “You are so wise.”
Mandavya: “I have a couple of favors to ask.”
King Devapann: “Anything you want.”
Mandavya: “Arrange a ride for me to Dharma’s office and take care of my graduate students.”
King Devapann: “Done and done.”
And so Mandavya was escorted by the General himself. On the way…
General: “You will get it first thing in Dharma’s office.”
Dharma’s office was an old dingy government office building. Mandavya and the General were greeted by the reception official, a thin old bored woman.
General: “Could we get some water please?”
Reception official / R.O.(never taking her head away from the papyrus about Angallywood she was reading): “No water allowed on government premises.”
General (grinning sheepishly): “Sorry Mandavya.”
Mandavya: “I would like to speak with Dharma.”
R. O.: “Please fill out these papyrus and take a token, you’re lucky the wait will be just under two hours today.”
Mandavya: “What? This is an emergency. Can’t you see I have a spear lodged in my stomach?”
R.O. (looks at Mandavya): “You’re right. What was I thinking? You need to fill in the pink papyrus in addition to the ones I provided. Standard non-liability agreement, in case you kick the bucket on our premises. Surprisingly, it’s more common than you’d think.”
Mandavya (appalled): “This is unacceptable…”
General (interrupts Mandavya in the middle of his tirade and takes Mandavya by the shoulder): “Why don’t you take a seat? I’ll handle this.”
Mandavya sits in the waiting room, fuming with anger, sweat dripping on the binding of the spear. One hour later, Mandavya was escorted into Dharma’s office room.
Dharma: “Come in…Mandavya is it? Yes, I have your papyruses.”
Mandavya: “Look at me! I don’t deserve this. I have lived an honest li…”
Dharma: “Let me see. Impaled with spear for crimes of the highest orders. Murders, 39 of them.”
Mandavya: “What are you talking about? You obviously have the wrong papers.”
Dharma (chuckles): “Oh no, I have the right papers. You’ve killed countless bees, mosquitoes and flies when you were four.”
Mandavya: “What? You’re kidding me!”
Dharma: “Oh no, I’m perfectly serious.”
Mandavya: “How can you accuse me of crimes that I did when I was a child?”
Dharma: “Oh, so I should let you off the hook is it? What about the pain and suffering of the bees and the flies and the mosquitoes? The pain was very real.”
Mandavya (losing it): “I’ve had it with your nonsense. You have no idea what it is to live by these idiotic rules you have created. So I see it fit that as a punishment you live by those very idiotic rules.”
Dharma: “Spare me the melodrama. There is no water allowed on these premises. You can do nothing.”
Mandavya pulls out the spear from his stomach; the spear is soaked in blood and sweat.
Mandavya: “Shit just got real.”
Mandavya then shoots the spear in Dharma’s direction and it lodges into Dharma’s head.
Both Dharma and Mandavya collapse on the floor.
Dharma: “Fuck me without ghee.”
After a brief blackout the next thing he knew, Dharma was swimming as fast as he could to beat the million others. The rules of the game were simple, you win you live, you lose you die. In an astonishing feat of swimming, Dharma won.
9 months later, Vichitravirya’s wife Ambalika gave birth to a son. She named him Vidura.
Ganapati: “Woah! The spear action was amazing! Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh.”
Ganapati imitates spears being thrown with his trunk. Vyasa smiles.