General Prahasta and His Badass Chariot

What follows is a quotation from William Buck’s translation of the great Indian epic, Ramayana, composed by the poet Valmiki sometime between 200 BCE and 200 CE.   It describes the chariot of one General Prahasta.  All I’m saying is, if this guy’s weapons don’t impress you (and make you smile), what will?

General Prahasta’s chariot had two wheels covered by sheets of gold, that turned like rolling suns and rumbled like the clouds. Steel scythes were mounted on the axle hubs, and a long iron spike pointed forward from the harness pole that was all painted with crescent moons. Sixty-four mottled green serpents drew that car, harnessed by unsolvable knots; the chariot bristled with racks of swords and harpoons; it was armored with bullhide warshields and metal plates.

Things were loaded all over Prahasta’s chariot.  He had slaughter-sledges, butcher knives and meat-hooks, chains and claws and clamps; he carried bombs and rockets and poisons and appalling jealousies; delusions and bad dreams, diseases and ambitions, many crises and confusions. Wrong-way road signs and false maps of mirages were tied on with broken promises. Small iron wheels spun in the air, their rims striking sparks against flint-stones and whirling in flames of the Night. There were lights and shadows and lying smiles, prisms and colored lenses and crooked brass mirrors and baleful green cats’-eyes. There were puzzles with essential parts missing and loaded dice and heartbreak and many first loves lost.

It was quite a sight to see!

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