Monday, January 14, 2008

15. Prince Minyekyawswa's headlong charge

Minyekyawswa's headlong charge separated him from the rest of his troops.

The lord of Kale tried to catch up with him, but his elephant was in musth and distracted by the din raised by the saddle flaps on the cavalry and the noise of the elephants and men following him, he turned around and charged at them. (ye-thou-ton-hsin" not translated here? name or description?, ton = alternating cycles of motion and action; heights (MA 189))

This disruption prevented the cavalry and infantry from catching up with Minyekyawswa who was isolated far in front.

As Minyekyawswa and his 1000 brave warriors advanced, they spotted a column out ahead.

Told that it was Banya Dala, Minyekyawswa dismissed it because Banya Dala dared not face him.

Further on, as they came upon Banya Ram (Yan), Minyekyawswa with great disdain also passed him by as a worthy adversary.

Seeing Banya Dhamma Yaza coming up next, he too was dismissed after his men identified him.

Then a dazzlingly resplendent column came into view. Identified as Rajadhirat, Minyekyawswa declared:

"Out of all these it is my Elder Uncle Rajadhirat that I love the most. If I can defeat him, the rest will melt away. "

With the resounding beat of big drums, Minyekyawswa attacked and about a fifth of Rajadhirat's column scattered.

Next he attacked Banya Yaza and scattered the prince and a third of his forces.

Then he turned to Banya Ram's column and broke it up.

Awananaing was next in line but he stood firm and ordered his 7,000 troops to kneel behind their shields and hold their positions.

Rajadhirat, seeing this, turned to him with the deafening sound of war drums.

Banya Dhammayaza, Banya Ram (yan) and Banya Dala also converged on them when they heard the sound of the king's war drums.

Minyekyawswa, having penetrated too far, was isolated and surrounded by enemy elephants while elephantry troops harried his elephant Nga Chit Khaing with spear and sword.

The poor beast shook with pain and dislodged Minyekyawswa from his seat.

(Edited version of U San Lwin’s translation, page 147, the Burmese of Banya Dala, page 323)