Bahubali 3

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Mahendra woke up with a start. He had just dreamed of defeating Bhallaldeva and breaking down his giant gold statue. The way the dream unfolded was always different. A pitched battle; Hand to Hand Combat; Victory; The broken statue tumbling down all the way to the end of the world. But one part of his dream always remained the same – the screams of Bhallaldeva as he burned in the pyre prepared by his mother Devasena.

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Ever since he had heard about the injustice meted out to his parents – Mahendra  had been burning for revenge but he was also wondering if it was really worth it. They had retreated into the Kunthala rebels’ stronghold and while everyone else was busy making war plans – he was contemplating whether it would be better to just walk away. All the lives lost. His Childhood. His father. Everyone had been consumed by Mahishmati. They can’t come back can they? What will he really fight for? At least now he had his mother by his side. He was spending a lot of time with her and she told him stories of his father and the golden days of the kingdom. It felt great. His bond with Avantika had also grown stronger and their chemistry did not escape Devasena. She called them both one day to tell them that she knew what was going on and that her blessings were with them. Her blessings meant the world to both and Mahendra was overjoyed. However, all this made him feel even more conflicted about what he should do. While discussing the attack on Mahishmati one day, Devasena senses his confusion but does not say anything. When Mahendra tells Avantika that he was considering giving it all up and going back to his village – she is equally taken aback. But she says she understands and keeps it to herself.

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In the meanwhile – Kattappa had taken over the duties of Senapati and was whipping up the rebels into shape. He found them quite good and gave them additional training in Guerrilla warfare. The rebels of Kunthala were raring to go and freeing Devasena was a huge shot in the arm for them. More people from neighbouring kingdoms had joined them and their numbers had gone up. However, they were still much smaller than Bhallaldeva’s army – so Kattappa decides to call upon Aslam Khan. Reminding him of his word, Kattappa asks him to help them with weapons and troops to take on the Mahishmati army. Aslam Khan tells him that going against Mahishmati was a one way street and that he needed some time to think. One night as Mahendra sits by his mothers bedside, he hears some commotion in the hallway outside. Sensing trouble, he picks up his sword and goes to check. Turns out that Bhallaldeva’s soldiers were plundering the village next to the rebels stronghold. Kattappa is rushing to fight them and asks Mahendra to join. Mahendra does not want to be involved so he asks Kattappa to go ahead and says he will join after checking on his mother.

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As he turns around – he finds Devasena looking at him in anger. She tells him that she sensed his conflict but she has to speak up now. She asks him to fight for the people as that was his Dharma and tells him that’s what will make this whole battle worthwhile. She says these are the same people whose blessings have kept him alive and that if he can free the people of Mahishmati of Bhallaldeva’s tyranny – everything will be worth it. She asks him to remember when Bhallaladeva’s golden statue was being put up. She reminds him that if his mere presence gave them strength to raise their voice, imagine what will happen when they see Mahendra Bahubali fighting for them? Meanwhile, Kattappa, Avantika and the rebels are taking on Bhallaldeva’s soldiers and while they put up a good fight – they are not that well organised. Also the larger army pushes them on the backfoot. Kattappa was doing his best as the Senapati but these were untrained rebels and not an army. Fighting with his back to the wall – Kattappa literally gets pushed into a corner and is about to go down when the wall behind him is blown to bits. Aslam Khan with his high-tech weapons arrives at the scene – being led by Mahendra.

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His mothers words ringing in his ears – just his presence fires up the rebels and they start fighting back. Soon enough, the counter attack begins to yield results and one by one Bhallaldeva’s army is pushed back. There are losses on both sides, but eventually the rebels are victorious. Mahendra, Kattappa, Avantika and Aslam Khan are surrounded by the rebels and the villagers when Kattappa thanks Aslam Khan for his help. Aslam Khan tells him that his heart had said yes, but his mind was saying no – until Mahendra came calling. One look into his eyes and he knew which was the right path to take. Kattappa smiles and turns to Mahendra and tells him there was so much of his father in him. Hearing this Mahendra puts up his hand and everyone goes quiet. “For all these years, I have just been Shivudu. I am not my father and can never be him. But now I know whose blood flows in my veins. I am Amarendra Bahubali’s and Devasena’s son. The rightful heir to the kingdom of Mahishmati. And I can’t tolerate the atrocities being done upon you all. I take an oath upon Shiva to put an end to Bhallaldeva’s tyrannic rule. It’s time for justice. Look into my eyes and tell me – Will you all walk with me into battle?”

“Yes!!” roars the crowd.

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Meanwhile, back in the castle – Bijjaldeva receives news of this battle and tells Bhallaldeva all about it. They have a spy in the enemy camp and they know everything. Bijjaldeva sneers and exclaims that Kattappa had also crossed over. The news of Amarendra Bahubali’s son returning had spread like wildfire and more & more people were joining him in the rebellion. Bhallaldeva says he is least bothered about the rebellion or Kattappa but most bothered about the legacy of Amarendra Bahubali. He hated him from the depth of his heart and now he had lost Devasena as well. Bhallaldeva was sure that his son would bring back Devasena but his soldiers had found his sons headless body. Not that it made him sad. After Devasena had rejected him, he had never married and his son was born out of wedlock. When his sons mother came to him with the child – he kept the child and threw his mother out. He trained him less like his son and more like a soldier – fiercely loyal to him. He wanted to prove that only blood does not guarantee loyalty and he had succeeded. Too bad he had lost a good soldier. But he had  another ace up his sleeve. Bhallaldeva asks his Senapati to prepare for war and tells him that they will attack the rebels stronghold the next day.

As the kingdom of Mahishmati prepares for battle in the night, one by one, their sentries are taken out by arrows to their hearts. A well planned guerrilla attack was underway and before anyone knew it, the outposts had been taken over by the rebels. At the same time, Kattappa along with his fastest soldiers, goes around the walls of the castle towards the front gate. The gate was closed for the night, but Kattappa knew a secret way in. This was a way made by Sivagami and was known only to her and to him. Thanking her soul, Kattappa and his soldiers slip inside the gate and assume their positions. Outside – Mahendra and Avantika along with the rebel army are slowly moving into position. Devasena is with Aslam Khan and his soldiers – a little distance away from the battle scene. Another 2 hours or so and the rebels would be in place to launch a full surprise attack. But before they can go any further, there is a loud bang and a rocket is fired into the night sky. The flash lights up the dark and all the rebels are momentarily visible for an attack – by the Kalakeya! Those horrid savages had sided with Bhallaldeva and were rushing in towards the rebels from all sides. Unknown to the rebels, they had been silently shadowing them through the night – waiting for their signal to attack. At the same time, Bhallaldeva and his army burst out of the castle.

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It was a well planned ambush and Mahendra and the rebels were caught in between. But it did not matter to Mahendra. He went at the enemy with all his might. As the battle rages on, it soon dawns on the Kalakeya that the rebels were different from the Mahishmati army. They were unorganized and not afraid of breaking a few ethical rules of war here and there. As a consequence, once the initial surprise wore off, the rebels slowly began to dominate. Mahendra was at the forefront and was hacking his way through the Kalakeya along with Avantika. Heads, limbs, bodies were flying around as he wielded his sword and daggers. In the meanwhile, Kattappa and his team surprise Bhallaldeva’s army by attacking them from behind. Now the battle was being fought on multiple fronts and whatever advantage Bhallaldeva had, was neutralised. Unperturbed, Bhallaldeva nears the epicentre of the battle with only one aim – to kill Mahendra. As he reaches close, he gets his first view of Mahendra and draws in his breath. It was like Amarendra Bahubali was back from the dead. The same looks, the same physique, the same fighting style – he was just like his father. Bhalladeva’s shock gave way to rage and he turned his blade-front chariot towards Mahendra.

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Hearing Avantika’s warning, Mahendra turns around and locks his fiery gaze with Bhallaldeva before making a run towards the chariot.  Just as he is about to be ripped by the blades, he rolls to one side and unleashes his sword through the chariots wheels – just like a samurai. Bhallaldeva goes down but recovers quickly to pick up his whip-mace to face Mahendra again. Both of them circle the other before attacking each other again. Being equally matched, they keep going until both of them lose their weapons. Both of them get hurt but they hate each other too much to stop. Suddenly some Kalakeya swoop down on Mahendra. Keeping Bhallaldeva in his sights, Mahendra rips through them bare-handed. Bhallaldeva, seizing his chance, climbs a horse to retreat back to the castle. Kattappa bravely tries to stop him but Bhallaldeva smartly dodges him. However instead of heading back to the castle, Bhallaldeva stops and pulls up someone on his horse. To his horror, Mahendra realises that he had picked up Devasena and was now heading back to the castle with her. Furious, Mahendra takes care of the remaining Kalakeya before jumping on a horse and heading after Bhallaldeva. Kattappa follows as well.

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Mahendra chases Bhallaldeva into the castle and is nearly upon him when a hail of arrows is fired upon him. Most of the arrows miss him but take out his horse. As Mahendra crashes into the water fountain, he realises one arrow is stuck in his thigh. Snapping it off, he moves towards a smiling Bhallaldeva – who had dismounted along with Devasena and was holding her by her hair. There were a few soldiers between them, whom Mahendra kills ruthlessly as he advances towards Bhallaldeva. Suddenly Kattappa appears behind Mahendra with his sword raised. Bhallaldeva’s smile grows bigger and more menacing. Mahendra was oblivious to the threat behind him while Kattappa came closer and closer. As soon as Kattappa was close enough, he thrust his sword – right through Aslam Khan! Aaaaaaaargh….screams Bhallaldeva as Mahendra turns around to see Aslam Khan, dagger in hand, slumped over Kattappa’s sword. Kattappa tells him that the traitor has been dealt with and Mahendra turns around smiling triumphantly at Bhallaldeva. He tells Bhallaldeva that they had figured out that there was a traitor in their midst but they had no clue it was Aslam Khan. They knew they would be caught out and while they did not anticipate the Kalakeya – they knew someone would attack them. Everything was as per plan – a plan which was only known to himself, Kattappa, Avantika….and Devasena.

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Bhallaldeva’s eyes widen for a split second before a scream leaves his mouth. Devasena had plunged her dagger deep into his thigh. She was prepared for battle and when Aslam Khan left her on the pretext of fighting – she instinctively knew something was not right. Bhallaldeva pushes Devasena and she falls down in a heap. But as he turns around, he sees Mahendra jumping through the air towards him. Too stunned to move, he watches transfixed as Bahubali flows through the air and plants his blade in Bhallaldeva’s knee. Time for justice, says Mahendra. Knowing that I have already killed your son – this will make sure that your filthy blood never flows in Mahishmati again. Bhallaldeva roars and desperately tries to break free but he is unable to do so. He frantically looks around for a weapon, until he slowly realises where he is. He is in the funeral pyre prepared for him by Devasena. Terrified now, he tries to free himself with more effort but to no avail. The sun is nearly up by now and a long shadow falls on him. He looks up and asks for help – but in return he is greeted by the sight of Devasena carrying a flame in her hand. Bahubali looks on while the castle is filled with the screams of Bhallaldeva – as he burns in the pyre prepared by his mother Devasena.

The sun rises on Mahishmati once again.

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