Seven Brave Souls Poem by Thinker Shah

Seven Brave Souls



My poetic tribute in ballad form to Prataprao Gujar -the trusted Commander-in-Chief (सरनोबत) of Shivaji Maharaj's army who on this day (24th February) died at the battle of Nesari charging at the army of Bahlol Khan whom he had pardoned earlier.

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When Shiva launched his Swaraj fight,
Most heroic that the world ever knew
There were umpteen unsung heroes,
With help of whom Raje's dreams grew

One such braveheart we reminisce today
Born at Bhosare, Kudtoji Gujar was his name
Through gallantry he rose through the ranks
Called 'Prataprao' given his glory and fame

While captain Netoji Palkar was sacked
Shivaji, from Mughals faced a lot of grief
During such trying times, Maharaj made
Prataprao-the Maratha commander-in-chief

A fierce warrior and a motivating leader
He fought valiantly against every odd
Mughals and Adilshahi were awe-struck
Among his foes he struck the fear of god

At Salher, mighty Mugals were vanquished
After a blood-soaked and tumultuous fight
Fewer Marathas made Mugals bite the dust
And Prataprao's glory soared to a new height

Bahlol Khan, an afghan warlord at Bijapur
with a huge army left to capture Panhala fort
Raje Shivaji got the wind of Bahlol's moves
Sent Prataprao to cut the Afghan's plans short

At Umarani near Bijapur, both armies met
Prataprao's battle tactics carried the day
Khan's army was encircled and trounced
The saffron flag of Marathas held the sway

Thirsty and dying without a drop of water
Bijapuri army begged Prataprao for peace
Bahlol promised his Maratha adversaries
All his attacks on Swaraj shall now cease

Carried away by Indian traditions of chivalry
Pratprao fell for Bahlol's treacherous plea
Based on his promise - not to fight again
Marathas allowed duplicitous Khan to flee

True to his style, Bahlol Khan cheated
And broke every word of peace he gave
With new vigour he attacked Marathas
Who paid for showing mercy to a knave

At Raigad, Raje heard the news of idiocy
Seething with blind rage he lost his cool
In a stinging missive he rebuked Gujar
Asked him how could he be such a fool

Scathing letter from Raigad Shivaji wrote
"You've been a fool and such a disgrace
Now till you capture perfidious Khan again
You should no more show me your face"

Prataprao now was in deep remorse
Hearing his leader's brutal reprimand
His heart now ached for a quick revenge
Each word of Raje felt like a blazing brand

Prataprao learnt it the very hard way
Misplaced charity shown to an evil snake
Comes back to bite back the generous
And turns out to be a humongous mistake

When dolorous Gujar was so dismayed
And in sea of contrition he was drowned
It was just then he heard the big news
His antagonist Bahlol was just around

Now Bahlol had his full army with him
And Prataprao had soldiers only a few
A frontal assault would be a sheer suicide
And would mean decimation of his crew

The lips of the warrior twitched in fury
His hand touching the hilt of his sword
This was the chance to get at his foe
And to set straight ignominious record

Anguish engulfed the body of the warrior
Sense of revenge gripped his entire frame
This was the time to hit out at the snake
And for history books to clear his name

Unsheathed his sword from the scabbard
And in a rage Gujar mounted battle steed
Six of his valiant friends joined the hero
Who knew no fear nor any lifely greed

Seven brave souls charged at an army
Even the gods came to cherish this sight
Afghans-Bijapuris were by hundreds slain
In perhaps history's most unequal fight

Seven warriors fought like men possessed
But in the end perished all frenzied seven
World took notice of the unparalleled valour
And the gods opened the doors of heaven!

At Raigad Shivaji raje heard gloomy news
And lamented the loss of his brave lion
Maharaj in his small way tried to make up
Wedded Prataprao's daughter to his scion

All seven reckless fighters will always live
Their reputation etched in history with gold
Immortalized by their supreme sacrifice
Will be remembered till our history is told

Many such brave men died for Swaraj
And for Maratha empire paved the way
A huge debt we owe to those who perished
So that India can be with Indians today!

Seven Brave Souls
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
My poetic tribute in ballad form to Prataprao Gujar -the trusted Commander-in-Chief (सरनोबत) of Shivaji Maharaj's army who on this day (24th February) died at the battle of Nesari charging at the army of Bahlol Khan whom he had pardoned earlier.
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