There are times in life, when against all the sanest voices of reason, and in the face of gravest danger to one's very existence, a man decides to stick onto something steadfastly - perhaps that is loyalty, be they ties of loyalty or the bondage of loyalty, however you may put it. It's like staying on in a sinking ship, when you can still jump off easily and save yourself. Not that I had this much time to think all these things over in my head - I just knew that by not running away, by staying with my Raya, I was probably doomed, yet I knew I couldn't run away as many others were doing. For how could I run. There he was, my brave Raya, my dashing Raya, my hero holding aloft his sword, exhorting everyone to stay put. But how could these poor souls listen to the Raya, when one could see the face of one's impending doom.
There, in the horizon, like dark clouds loom just before the heavy downpour, the vast hordes of Turushka horsemen were charging towards us at a breakneck speed. They were still more than a mile away in the open field, but very well visible as if the very Yamadutas astride their bovine vehicles. And in the field in front of them, fleeing from them was the remnant of our first army, our magnificent advance guard of thousands of horsemen and countless infantry, not to mention a few hundred elephants. All of that great army was probably reduced to less than half it's original number, as they were being cut down, mowed down, and even in distance I could see the glee in faces of the accursed Turushkas.
I looked again at my Raya wondering if he wasn't beset with the panic that I could sense fluttering in my heart. Could he not be beset with disappointment, as when one feels, when one's most brilliant chess moves have come to a nought, and checkmate is round the corner. But looking at his face, I could see a mixture of many emotions - there was rage, ah! bellowing rage at that, there was exasperation and desperation, anxiety even, but there was one attitude that foreshadowed all of that and that was determination. It was evident from the way he clutched at his sword, the way he tightened his legs against the saddle, the way he set his jaws sight and looked in grave determination against our approaching enemy. Then he made a forward movement and then all of us, the few hundreds of us, who were not dithering, who were steadfastly milling around him, noticed that and mirrored his stance. We waited for the inevitable fall of the raised sword in the direction of the foe and when it came, with the shout of "Jaya Virupakshe", we charged towards the Turushkas, even as many of our own fleeing brethren crashed against us. Suddenly the anticipation of doom was gone, replaced by exhilaration. Even now several years later, as I reminisce this incident, I wish I could against taste that feeling of exhilaration, mixed with fear and foreboding. It's a heady mixture that the best wines cannot match. We felt a sense of purpose and we were confident that our Raya would lead us to a glorious victory or a glorious death - either of which were infinitely preferable to being meekly slaughtered or running away.