Hi all, I went to my native place a couple of months back.One day i was just strolling in my ancestral fields and i saw a small shrine.I had seen it many timed before also, even in our marriages the couples come to the shrine for blessings.But i never actually thought about it.I knew it was there but never actually thought why it was there.It is actually a very old shrine made in a very simple way. A rectangular platform and a blue kota stone engraved in it.It was labeled Kr.gaj Singh chauhan (vikran samvat something something).When i came back home(my ancestral home), i asked an old relative of mine abt the shrine.At first he couldnt believe it that i didnt know who gaj singh was,as if he was feeling a little hurt or a little insulted that I asked such a question in the first place.He taunted me a bit that i have become a city kid and all.But after a litlle persuading from my side he narrated the story of kunwar.Gaj singh Chauhan. He lived about a few centuries back.During British rule many Rajputs in and around the areas which were not very fertile became Dhadaytis, Dhadaytis were Daakus in loose sense, but as they were Rajputs they brought in a code of conduct, they used to warn one day before ,they never touched women or children and harassed mainly very rich people.They used to take money and food from them and distribute it among their followers and subjects dependent upon them. Kunwar Gaj Singh was one such dhadayti, he used to loot british caravans , rich traders and distribute those to people in and around his village.He was an extra ordinary swordsman having a very strong built. Once when he was returning from a dhadha he carried out, he met a very old woman who was weeping .He couldnt see it and asked her "Ae Maa, Kyun rove aekli"meaning "Oh mother ,why u weep alone". The woman asked him his name to which he politely replied.The woman was a Gurjari.(The caretaker to Maharan Pratap Panna Dhaay was also a Gurjari who sacrificed her child to save Maharana.).The old woman on hearing the name Kr.gaj Singh Chauhan said"oh kunwaraa, Main Hoonyo ki Rajput Naa aehsaan bhoole aur Naa bairi chode" meaning "oh prince, i have heard that Rajputs never forget a favour and never forgive an enemy". Gaj singh kept on listenig. The woman continued "Toh Banna , Aa buddhi aaj aehsaan ko badlo maange , aur Thaanka dushman ko Sar"meaning"prince, this old woman demands return to a favour and the head of ur enemy". Gaj singh was puzzled and asked her to clearify to which the woman replied " That a Gurjar woman once saved the leader of the Rajputs Maharana Pratap, its a favour on all rajputs by a gurjari, i demand a reward to that favour, and as u called me mother, the person who hurt me becomes ur enemy, i demand his head". Gaj Singh then asked her who had hurt her to which she replied that she was coming back from her peeyar along with her daughter and going to her village with her valuables on her bullock cart. Eight men, 2 of whome were white beat her up and took away her bullock cart and her young daughter. She aked gaj Singh to give his word to bring back wat is hers along with the heads of those men. Gaj Singh thought for a while, a few of his men adviced against listening to the woman as they already had a lot of valuables with them to take care of and that if the britishers came to know they could be ambushed and caught. After a while Gaj Singh said " vachan diyo, Jo thaaro bachiyo hai woh paachyo thaaro, yaa Mhaaro sar , Yaa thaara Bairiyaan ro "(my word, what ever is left of what was urs , will be urs again and either it will be my head or the head of ur enemies". He then ordered his men to move on along with their loot, and that he would remain behind to help the woman. He ordered one of his men Ram Singh to stay with the woman till he comes back.When Ram singh said that u cannot face 8 men alone , may be there will be more , Gaj singh laughed and replied " das naraa ek surmaa aur suram das ek kunwar " meaning " 10 men equals a warrior and 10 warriors equals a Rajput" and rode off in the direction the woman said they went a few hours back. Gaj Singh managed to track them quickly because of the bullock cart marks and their slow speed.He challenged them. Like he had said those 8 men could not face him, he managed to kill them all .But he recieved 4 deep cuts on his body and in the sword fight his horse died and the bull got a deep cut on its shoulder.But Gaj singh had given his word that watever is left of the womans belongings, he will return it to her.So he threw all the heads of the 8 men in the cart, asked the gal to sit in , he tied the bull to the back of the cart and he pulled the cart himself.One of the wooden wheel of the cart broke.He asked the gal to get down and iinstructed her to bring the bull behind him. He then lifted the bullock cart with his bare hands on his head and walked all the way back . He reached the Woman and threw all the 8 heads at her feet and collapsed before saying " Mother, i kept my word...". Ram singh brought back his body and a shrine was built where he was cremated.It is said that when his father listened to how his young son died, his eyes didnt go wet, He became proud,his head went high as if he was thanking God for giving him a son who kept the tradition of "Praan jaaye par vachan naa Jaaye " alive. When I think of the last words of gaj singh" Mother, i kept my word..." it feels as if the entire Kshatriya way of life,the way of the warrior is being depicted in these words. A young man who fought 8 men, killed them all, inspite of being grievously injured lifted a bullock cart on his head not caring about his wounds, but only about the word he had given.Where did that strength come from.May be from his proud belief that as a Rajput its his duty to keep his word at any cost.As if in his last moment Gaj Singh was bragging childishly to the world that look I am a Rajput, look I made my ancestors proud, look I kept my word..... After listening to this story i went back to the shrine the other day, i offered a naariyal and some flowers and agarbatti and i prayed to the noble soul to bestow upon me his courage and his strength whenever i need it.