The Colonel and the Princess
Colonel Savage was the commander of the King's Own 9th Gurkha Rifles. He had been a career officer in the British Indian Army for over 20 years. He was a pure Englishman and four generations' of his ancestors including his father had lived in India. This was 1946 and it was a troubled time in India. Colonel Savage, still a bachelor at the age of 41 had not decided what he was going to do. He had been only once to England, the home country and didn't like the dreary place at all and had no desire to go back. His younger brother, wife, and children had decided to go back to England. His father had expired and his mother had decided not to go back home to England but to settle in the hill station at Mussoorie. His mother had told him, "Look, John, I am not leaving India, come what may. After the demise of your dad, India is in my blood. I don't know anyone in England and will stay back here after independence comes. Your brother is going back, what have you decided?"
John Savage had decided nothing. He was wondering whether he would have a place in the new order. The entire country was in ferment and the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi was touring the length and breadth of the country exhorting the people for non-cooperation with the English and force them to leave India. The Indian leader did not believe in violence and was confident that his policy of satyagraha would oust the British from India. He was proved right.
John Savage was sitting in his office when he received a cable from headquarters. The cable was terse and to the point, it stated, 'Communist revolutionaries led by MN Khan are in the state of Rampur and will try and assassinate the Raja there. You will proceed with your Battalion the 9th Gurkha to Rampur immediately for security duties.'
Colonel Savage landed in Rampur, a small state in central India. He made himself comfortable in the Circuit House while the Collector arranged for the stay of his men in the government school. He immediately called on the local Raja Dharam Singh. The Raja met him in his office. He was a little agitated and told the Colonel, " I am glad you have come. Some Congress party workers are sitting on the rail tracks at the railway station. They are led by Pandit Desraj, who is inimical to me. All trains are stopped. I suggest you fire a few bullets and after that, these men will run away."
The Colonel smiled at the Raja and said, "Your highness, I do not take orders from you. My brief is from my headquarters. I do not believe in firing bullets at unarmed people. I will deal with them in my way. I am here to protect you from the Communist revolutionary MN Khan. But my feeling is that Khan is here for some other purpose."
"What is that purpose?."
The Raja was shocked, "I don't know what you are saying but Gandhi is coming here with a mass crowd a week from now, maybe...'
Savage got up to go but the Raja beckoned him to sit down and said," Colonel have a cup of tea before you go and also meet my daughter Rani Rukmani."
A liveried waiter brought tea in silverware and laid out on the side table. Just then the princess entered and Colonel John Savage was clean bowled middle stump. He had had his fair share of love affairs with many women but he could make out that the Princess was something special. He had never seen a more beautiful girl than her. He could make out she was 21 or 22 but her mien and demeanor put her in a class apart. She was extremely fair and slim and the beautiful sari accentuated her curves displaying a lovely midriff. She had large eyes that were deep and Colonel Savage was mesmerized by them. He told his mind, ' come on man, take a grip on yourself, she's a princess and will vanish like the morning breeze.'
Cupid had however struck a blow and Colonel John had fallen in love with her. The princess asked softly, "you know Colonel the agitators have blocked the railway track. Will you use your guns to disperse them?"
"Your highness, I do not fire on unarmed agitators."
"What will you do?"
The Colonel smiled but did not reply. The princess Rukmani liked the Colonel. She could make out he was a man of character and he was tall and handsome. His khaki shirt displayed powerful biceps and the belt showed the flat belly. What a man she thought and so principled.
Falling in Love
Colonel savage immediately proceeded to the circuit house and summoned the local police chief and his Subedar Major. The police chief told him, "Sir, those men sitting on the track can only be removed by force. I suggest you ask your Gurkha soldiers to fire at them and then they will run away."
The Colonel looked at him severely, "I suggest you keep your advice to yourself. I know how to deal with the situation and let me tell you my brief is not to fire at unarmed agitators."
He looked at his Subedar Major and said, "can you arrange 10 lower caste sweepers with 10 buckets. I want the buckets to be full of cow dung."
"Huzoor, I will line them in another 20 minutes"
The Colonel had been in India all his life and was well aware of the caste divide. He was an intelligent man and he was confident that what he had planned would be a success. He collected the 10 sweepers who were untouchables and along with them marched to the railway station where the Congress party agitators were sitting on the railway track, under the leadership of Pandit Des Raj.
He walked up to Pandit Jasraj and said, "Panditji, I am Colonel Savage of the 9th Gurkha rifles."
"I know who you are. Are you going to ask your men to shoot at me?"
The Colonel grinned, "No, I'm going to do something worse. I have 10 untouchables with buckets filled with cow dung. I'm going to ask them to throw the cow dung on you."
Pandit Desraj was alarmed, "You can't do that, they are untouchables"
"I can and I will." He motioned the sweepers to come forward and the 10 men came forward with the buckets. Pandit Desraj saw them and his resolve evaporated. He did not want to be defiled. He said softly to the Colonel, "you are a clever man but I will make an agreement with you. I am going to vacate the track and after that, I suggest you come for a cup of tea with me."
The news of the way the Colonel had dispersed the agitators spread like wildfire and reached the princess who realized that he was a different man and maybe she must know him better.
She was an adept rider and rode out into the countryside. As she rode at the back of her mind were thoughts of the Colonel. She liked him. Back in the circuit House Colonel Savage pored a stiff drink for himself and rang up the police chief, " can you send me a horse," he said, " I would like to relax in the countryside."
The horse duly came and Colonel Savage mounted it and rode out into the mountains. He looked at the sky and realized it would rain but he pressed on. How did this happen that John Savage and the princess had both ridden out on horses at the same time? There is no explanation for it except what is written in the Gita, the song device i.e it is Lord Krishna who will do everything.
As Colonel Savage rode, far away he saw a rider riding recklessly on a horse. He spotted the horse and headed towards the rider. He soon caught up with the rider and was pleasantly surprised that the rider was the princess, the same princess Rukmani who he had met in the office of the Raja.
He reined in his horse and so did the princess. Her eyes showed delight in seeing Savage.
" You followed me," she said.
" No," he replied, " I just came because I want to relax. It is my luck that I have run into you."
The place where they had stopped had a small rivulet with a waterfall. It was a picturesque place. He told the princess if she would like to sit with him for some time in these beautiful surroundings with the water falling all around.
He did not wait for an answer and quickly dismounted from the horse and in one movement lifted the princess from the horse. This was something that had never happened before as he cradled her in his arms and a feeling of great contentment overcame her. The princess was taken by surprise and acquiesced, not unhappy at the turn of events.
Nature now played a hand and the dark clouds which had gathered, burst asunder and heavy rain began to fall. Savage cradled her in his arms and carried her to a small ledge. There was not much protection there and the rain still came down heavily. The Princess was now getting wet and her blouse clung to her body.
With thunder and lightning all around, Savage had no option but to keep the princess cradled in his arms. Just as thunder boomed and boomed again Savage kissed the princess. It was involuntary at first but soon he was intent on it. Rainwater went into her mouth along with the tongue of Savage. There is an old saying 'stealing virginity is hot' especially if she is a princess. He rewarded her with his mouth, consuming her like fire, his tongue stroking in long, slow licks, curling in a slick. She lifted her hips to meet his remarkable mouth, not caring that the action could be called wanton. She was now under a trance as an esoteric and hedonistic effect overtook her. Something like this had never happened to her. He filled her completely and as thunder crashed she gave a small shriek signaling her change of state from girl to woman.
The Final Chapter
Colonel savage reached the circuit house and lay down in his bed. He was wonderstruck what had happened and hoped the princess would forgive him. There was a soft knock on the door and the Subedar Major entered. He said, " Huzoor, we have information that MM Khan is hiding in a tunnel ahead of the railway station. We have captured three of his companions but we must act now because Gandhi will be coming tomorrow. This man has a plan to blow up the train in the tunnel."
Savage quickly got up and took out his revolver and checked that all the bullets were there and then with 10 Gorkha soldiers he drove out towards the tunnel. He stopped outside the tunnel and motioned his men to keep standing there.
He told them, "don't come with me, I will go inside alone. Are you sure Khan is inside?"
"Yes, Huzoor but is it not dangerous to go in alone?"
"It is dangerous but I am a man who believes in fair play and I will give him the opportunity to surrender. You all wait outside here at the mouth of the tunnel. I will go inside."
The Colonel drew his revolver and entered inside the tunnel. As it was night there was darkness all around and inside the tunnel, it was pitch dark. He walked slowly almost like a panther but a pebble was a giveaway and a voice came to him. "Colonel, I was told you will come after me. Why are you courting death because I am going to kill you? You did the biggest mistake by coming inside alone."
The Colonel replied, " Khan, I request you to surrender because I will not allow you to blow up the train tomorrow."
"You think so?"
"Yes." There was a moment's silence and then Savage could make out that Khan was going to shoot. His instincts as a soldier came to the fore and he remembered the time when fighting in the northwest frontier in a similar incident, he had met a Pathan and given him the choice of life and surrender but he had to shoot the Pathan dead
Colonel Savage fired only once. His aim was lethal and a soft gargling sound told him that he had hit Khan. He moved forward and switched on his torch and saw Khan lying on the railway track, dead. He shouted to the soldiers to come inside and take the body of the revolutionary away.
The next day the Colonel got up and called the signalman. He told him to send a message to headquarters that the revolutionary Khan has been eliminated. He also told him to cable, that he was sending his resignation.
"Hazoor why have you done this?"
"There is a time for everything man and my time to leave the army has come but before I go I would like to meet the Raja and the Princess. Please inform them I am on my way."
Colonel Savage reached the palace and the Raja received him in the foyer and took him inside.
" You are a very brave man Colonel, to have entered the tunnel all alone and braver still to have dispersed the agitators without firing a shot."
The Princess now entered and she looked at Savage and asked, "what are you going to do now?"
There was an expectancy all around and the princess's heartbeat feverishly as she expected something good. Colonel Savage like the good soldier looked straight into the eye of the Raja and then turned towards the princess.
He said," I have just spoken to my mother yesterday night and she told me that I should marry. She also told me that she would like to become a grandmother. I told her I have selected the girl."
The Princess's heart beat faster, "who is the girl?" she asked, while the Raja looked bewildered.
Savage turns towards the Raja and then to the girl and said," Your highness, the girl is your daughter and I ask for her hand. I am 41 but a bachelor. I hope you will not disappoint me and my mother."
Without waiting for a reply from the Raja, the princess rushed to the Colonel and put her arms around him. She whispered, "age is not a bar, I am so glad I love you and I'll gladly go with you anywhere to the end of the world. Take me away and make me your woman."
That's the end of the story friends. Did the Raja allow his daughter to marry colonel Savage and did they live happily ever after? That's another story?