May 22, 2013

Et tu Brute?

Here is a modern take on the legacy of Julius Caesar, inspired by Shashi Tharoor's 'The Great Indian Novel".

Julius Caesar was not just the youngest Field Marshall in history, he was the real life hero. He was the orchestrator the 1971 Mukti Bahini War of Independence, which resulted in the quickest surrender in modern history. In fact, it is said that as soon as Caesar stepped into the battleground,the opposition would go down on their knees and literally beg for mercy- such was his reputation. As if that was not enough, he went on to conquer the neighboring countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh!

For his distinguished service to the nation, both the houses of the Parliament decided to grant him some unconditional powers. Due to the fact that he was not an assassin (but a conqueror nonetheless), known for forgiving his enemies, he was very popular among the people. They were overjoyed at the decision of the parliament. Because of the corruption in the government, Caesar drafted a new constitution along with Team Anna granting the Lokpal all powers, and that did not go well with the politicians. Caesar knew he had to act quickly to save himself, so he started preparations for a military coup, and proclaiming himself the king of the republic.

The conspiracy to overpower Caesar required careful planning. The conspirators, who preferred calling themselves the People's Liberation Army, were never at the same place at the same time. They communication was possible thanks to WhatsApp! Cassius and Brutus were the main co-conspirators, and ironically enough, Caesar considered them good friends. The main objective of the conspirators was to overthrow Caesar from his perch and the only way they could achieve it was an assassination. However, fooling the people into believing that such an act would be beneficial to the nation was the main hiccup.

Many plans were proposed for an assassination. One plan was to use a sniper during one of Caesar's public speeches, but the idea was abandoned because of the high security, which still used highly effective World War II rifles. Another one was to hire an assassin from the Deep Web, but they were scared off by the dealers. The final way that was unanimously accepted was during the Independence Day celebrations, the Ides of August. Bribing off the people who shoot blank firearms during the show was considered a relatively easier task.

On the days leading to the planned assassination, Caesar was given many reasons not to attend the event. Being an epileptic patient, his doctors advised him not to leave his house. Caesar's wife, Calpurnia gave stronger indications. She had nightmares, crying out loud in her sleep. In fact, she held on to Caesar as he was about to leave, and Caesar would have stayed back too, had it not been for Brutus. Brutus reinterpreted Calpurnia's dream of countrymen bathing in Caesar's statue spouting blood as being good for Caesar. Brutus even said that it could also be the day when the crown would be presented to Caesar.

On the way to the ceremony, a soothsayer by the name of Artemidorus smuggled a piece of paper to Caesar at a traffic signal, where he wrote about the elaborate plan of the assassination, telling him not to trust Brutus or Cassius, among many others, but he was so blinded by his friendship, and the fact that he thought he was about to be proclaimed king of the empire, he decided to overlook it.

What happened afterwards is well known! Caesar was sad to find out about Brutus' involvement, uttering the famous 'Et Tu Brute! Then fall, Caesar!' just before his death. Yes, Caesar's ignorance cost him his life, but the conspirators were about to commit a mistake which proved to be worse than this.

Mark Antony, who turned out to be Caesar's true friend, begged for his death, but the conspirators  thought it would be good if they could have him on their side. After a short speech by Brutus, the crowd wanted to go with him to celebrate. However, he asked the people to stay with Mark Antony and mourn Caesar's death, while the conspirators themselves took off in their Lamborghinis to celebrate. What they didn't know was that they would have to pay with their lives for this error.

Mark Antony, the father of sarcasm and satire, started by praising the conspirators, but slowly and carefully, turned the mob against them. This sparked off a great civil war, when Mark Antony, along with Caesar's nephew, Octavius, took over the power.

This is posted under the contest "The moral of the story is ...!" by IndiBlogger. Have a look at My Healthy Speak Blog!

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