Those were turbulent times. in the late thirties of the nineteenth century. The Sikh army under General Hari Singh Nalwa had beaten the Moslems. The battle of Naushera had been won and Peshawar had been captured. After the battle Hari Singh called a conference of his leading commanders. He stood before the assembled warriors and said
“Generals! Thanks to the Wah Guru, we have won”
There was murmur of assent all around. Hari Singh however looked grim as he continued.
“I have a letter of congratulations from the Maharaja. But he asks when we shall reduce the fortress at Orkazi.”
Orkazi was an impregnable fortress on a hill crest. It had only one lane and that was heavily guarded. On the other side was a sheer cliff that descended a thousand feet. Nobody had ever climbed it as yet. Shah Durrani was holed up in this fortress with his harem of 30 wives. Shah Durrani was no mean warrior himself and had made a name for himself among the Afghans.Here he awaited the Sikh assault.
“I want a volunteer who will lead the assault on the Orkazi fortress. This must be reduced, come what may.”
“But sir” one of the generals blurted “capturing Orkazi is no easy job. We may loose a thousand warriors.”
“I know! That is why I ask for a volunteer to lead the assault”
There was silence all around and then a voice spoke. Every body looked at the warrior who had got up. He was Chamkor Singh a fearless general of Hari Singhs army. He was handsome with a black flowing beard that accentuated his fairness and his expressive blue eyes. In effect he was tall and handsome.
“I will lead the assault on the Orkazi fortress “
Hari Singh smiled “I knew you would be the one, how many soldiers will you require?’
“Are you mad? Can you take Orkazi with 10 soldiers? The Wah Guru ( great Guru)will not forgive you if you fail”
“I have given you my word .The flag of the Khalsa will fly from the fort “
With this Chamkor drew his sword and said “praise be to the Guru, victory is assured”
Chamkor reached to his tent and sat on the divan. His mind reverted back to the happening of a few days back. He had mounted his horse and ridden out into the mountains. On the horse he had surveyed the countryside and a few hundred feet below he spied a palanquin being carried along with about six soldiers. Intrigued he rode towards the cavalcade. Seeing him approach one of the guards shouted “an infidel has come. Kill him”
But Chamkor was a ferocious fighter and with one blow of his sword he severed the head of the soldier. The sword glistened in the sun as Chamkor sounded the war cry of the Sikhs “Jo bole so Nihal sat Sri Akal.( Glory to the almighty for victory)”
Two more soldiers paid with their lives and the others just ran away. He now approached the palanquin and parted the curtains. Inside the most beautiful sight met his eyes. A lovely girl with a veil sat. But her eyes shone and somehow Chamkor knew this was the woman for him. Gentle he pulled the veil from her face and was witness to a flawless beauty. Aquiline nose, fair skin and almond shaped eyes were indeed a thrilling sight.
“You are beautiful “he whispered “who are you and what is your name””
“My name is Nasreen and I am being taken to be part of the harem of Shah Durrani”
“I will leave you there”
“No I don’t want to be part of a harem…”
The girl looked at Chamkor and her eyes beseeched him. He did what he had never done. He enveloped the girl in his arms and carried her to a nearby tree. There on the soft earth he laid her down and kissed her. It was the softest kiss he had ever experienced. His tongue probed her mouth and in a trice Chamkor knew he loved this princess. He followed up and unloosened the cord of her salwar and bared the beauty of the girl. Naked, Nasreen was indeed a sight to behold. He took in her small virginal breasts and the lovely naval followed below with a profusion of black curls on her mons that accentuated her fairness. Her slim waist complemented her beauty as Chamkor sucked her succulent lips. It was not long before Chamkor was thrusting and paid his tribute to the princess.
Spent he lay by her side and whispered “dress yourself and I shall come back with some food. Then I shall take you to Lahore”
Chamkor soon returned with some lamb meat. But Nasreen was not to be seen. All he found was ring and writing on the sand. “Come and free me. More men of Shah Durrani have taken me. I will wait for you every night”
In the tent Chamkor called his trusted aide Chandan Singh.
“Chandan, collect 10 good men’
“We shall assault the fortress now”
“But it is night”
“yes this will be the secret of our success”
“It will be suicidal”
Chamkor did not answer. All he said was “we shall win and the great guru has given us a helper inside the fortress”
The ten men led by Chamkor moved out. They were all fearless warriors who had stood by the side of Chamkor in many a battle. Before leaving he sent a scroll to Hari Singh “General attack at dawn, the fortress door will be open. The Guru has willed it!”
Chamkor led his men to the bottom of the cliff and looked up. The men understood and obeyed Chamkor.
“Sir how will we climb?”
Slowly the men began the tortuous climb up the cliff. It was hard and dangerous work but they slowly inched forward. The last part was sheer rock and Chamkor looked up to the fortress .It appeared a dead end. Then he hooted like an owl. The owl hoot reverberated among the hills as Chamkor waited. His heart told him the impossible was going to happen.
After a moment a silken rope descended from one of the windows and Charan whispered “huzoor you are a great man!”
Chamkor took the rope and began climbing upwards. Soon he was inside a dimly lit chamber and he espied Nasreen .She rushed into his arms and they kissed long and tenderly.
“I knew you would come, when I heard the owl hoot I knew it was you.Oh Chamkor I love you and want to bear you a son”
Soon the ten warriors had all climbed in and Chamkor whispered
“Come men. We are now inside the fortress and must open the gate ere the sun rises. Stealthily the ten men spread out towards the fortress gate. Two sentries on duty were killed and the door opened. The Sikhs who had massed some distance away saw the opening of the fortress door and attacked .Orkazi had been taken.
Shah Durrani was led before Chamkor. He faced the warrior defiantly
“You have won by a trick. Are you going to kill me?”
“No I am letting you go eastwards to Kabul”
It is an exchange. I have given you your life in exchange for something more precious to me “
So it came to pass that the legend of Chamkor Singh grew and grew. What a warrior he was who loved a Moslem princess and captured a fort.And yes Nasreen bore him not one nor two but four sons. Praise is the lord.