Manul was a very poor boy. He lived in India. His city was Madras, a very large and poor city. Though, it isn’t today’s Madras. It is classical Madras. When Indian kingdoms dominated commerce and used elephants as war pieces. It is 300bc and the Gupta Empire dominates the whole of the Indian peninsula. Well, but back to Manul. He lived with his mother in a mud hut, in the poorest zone of Madras. One day, Manul decided that he and his family needed money, so he became an army recruit. He said goodbye to his mother and went. Mounted on a horse with the other recruits he went for it. Passing quickly through the wet plains and hearing the horses’ hooves banging the ground like a drum they passed lakes, plains, mountains and forests. They rode for 5 days, stopping just to sleep and eat. He met a young boy, also a recruit. He was called Ranjeed. They became friends, very good friends. After some days, Manul noticed that more and more squadrons of recruits joined the cavalry march. Then, after all those days of March, they arrived in Delhi, the great city. As they walked further into the city, they saw the royal palace. It was brown, as if it was made of chocolate. It was bright like the sun and it had four towers. It had one thousand windows. It was beautiful!
But the squadron kept moving. They marched tot the city barracks. It was a short building made of mud. There they settled and trained for some months until one day the emergency trumpet sounded. Everyone stopped what they were doing and listened, looking everywhere. That’s when the general came in and shouted:” Everyone, string your bow, take the sword, pick up your spear. We march to war!” Ranjeed looked ar Manul with a confused and frightened look, as if he knew he was going to die. But everyone had to move and soon a large force of Indian infantry gathered at Delhi’s gates. The army was all divided. One force was moved to the cavalry force, one was moved to the infantry and the other third of the army, the one in which Manul and Ranjeed were in was selected for the elephant force. Manul, for the first was riding a battle elephant. It was at least three times bigger than him. It was covered in mail on his back and armoured on his head. He was painted with a swirl of curves of red, blue and yellow. From the back of the elephant the view was amazing. You could see everything. The plains, lakes and even the far mountains of the Himalayas. What you could also see was a black line on the horizon. As time passed, that line got thicker and taller. From a closer look you could see it was an army, a phalanx formation heading towards Delhi. “Soldiers” Said the general “prepare for the grim day that is to come. The people of the west will not triumph over the forces of the emperor, us!” Ranjeed was almost crying of fear.
They were already marching. Soon, Manul realized that the only thing he could do on top of that gigantic creature was fire his bow.
From the other side of the river Manul had always known as Hydaspes , the Macedonians crouched slowly in the direction of the Indian army. Deep inside, he also thought they were doomed against all those warriors equipped with pikes four times their size. But the Greek soldiers were a bit confused and scared, for they had never seen elephants before! This resulted in a mass run for survival after a five-minute fight. Afterwards, when the battle had ended, Manul went to look for Ranjeed’s elephant and him, but then he realized his elephant lie dead in the field of battle. There was no sign of him amongst the dead corpses. No one knows if he survived and no one knows if Manul went back home to his mother with money in his pocket or if he and his family lived in misery for ever and died early.