She slowly climbed down in the dark, placing each foot carefully and warding off the bats that flew around her. Undaunted, she passed through the adjoining forest even as wolves howled, snakes slithered by, and the dark and eerie night attracted prowling tigers. She made it safely to her baby.
The next morning she was again at the fort to sell milk. The guard recognized her, an alarm was raised and Hirkani was produced before the king. “This is my stronghold,” Shivaji probed her, “even the mightiest can’t break my security systems, how could you, a simple woman do so?” He asked her to take him to the spot from where she made her escape the previous night.
On arriving at the point, Shivaji looked at the imposing sight below; no way could anyone climb down or up the fort. He asked her if she could repeat the feat. She moved up the steps confidently and stood at the edge. But when she looked below, she froze in horror. “No, my king,” she shivered and cried, terrified at the prospect, “I can’t do it now.” The king smiled in appreciation of her love for her child. He knew, seeing her scratched hands and torn clothes, that she was speaking the truth about her previous night’s escape. A desire to be with her child possessed her, and that helped her transcend all fear.
Besides tightening the security, Shivaji renamed the spot as ‘Hirkani Burj’- Hirkani’s bastion, in her honour.
A passion to live for
A person obsessed with a cause is likely to neglect the mind’s fears and insecurities; she will not take the carping mind seriously. In this case, Hirkani desperately wanted to be with her child, and therefore the impossibility of the act was practically non-existent in her mind.
It’s amazing how the mind cooperates when you rise to pursue a goal higher than the mind.To be continued..