Silence of the guns !

The Daulatabad Fort houses some canons. Big bad canons. Canons that must have maimed and killed at will.

“A range of 35 kilometers”, says our guide with an arm movement that seems to stretch to the end of the world, looking at one that sits pretty atop the fort.

A tourist attraction. Pointed at the city. Its ornamentation and heavy metal frame, intact. The dance of death seems to have been an art form back then !

Its easy to imagine its hey day! It must have instilled fear in the enemy and pride in the rulers ! And presided over death universally.

Today, a royal steadied silence permeates the touristy air. The canon looks down on the city and on the few monkeys jumping about nearby and the newly weds who rest on it for a moment to be captured on camera !

As the snaps register on the digital camera, the only sound that can be clearly heard is the sound of silence. A sound that vanquishes the war cries, victories and wails of earlier times.


A few hundred kilometers away in Ahmednagar is the Tank Museum. A bristling bevy of Tanks from around the world sit (should i say ‘stand’ ). Quite a bevy they are. Patton to Rolly Royce to others.

Driven by a litany of armies that reads like a list of countries out of a Geography test. Jordan. Israel. China. India. USA. Russia. Germany. UK. France. ETC ! All of them stand tall.

Pure metal. Pure hard metal. From the early 19th century on. Some with those metal tracks firmly on. Others with nuts and bolts where perhaps tyres stood once.

One of them is called Valentine. If irony were a ballistic missile, it sure would get launched from this gun ! . Today, a regimented steadied silence permeates the tourist air. The tanks stare aimlessly into the plastic roofing as the bees hover and the odd crows crow.There are newly weds here too clicking snaps and walking about.

As the snaps register on the digital camera, the only sound that can be clearly heard is the sound of silence. A sound that vanquishes war cries, victories and wails of earlier times.

Man ! His life. The frenzy of his pursuits. The noise of the guns and those around. And finally silence ! Silence survives. Only silence survives.

Of course not counting the odd crow, bee or monkey.

17 thoughts on “Silence of the guns !

  1. Neha says:

    I didn’t see canons in Daultabad! missed that..

    I had seen a fort that has two ways at each level..if you select the right path; you reach on the top; but if you select the wrong one; you fall in the valley..if I remember; it was Shivaji Maharaj’s fort..not too sure..

    and I don’t only compliment you for your observation skills; I even praise you for your clicks, narration and description of certain things apart from having an intelligent missus 😀

    and all the praises are applicable for this post too.. (another generous comment from me?) 🙂

  2. sujata says:

    how true, when you say that only silence survives!! the canons always hold a pride of place everywhere. all over India the forts have theese huge and beautifully embellished canons. wonder why they went through so much of designs onto something which was used as a weapon to miam!

  3. Crunch,
    on the
    chained wheels
    rocks to powder,
    she moves,
    the enemy,
    the long telescopic

    Sometimes ,
    for someone
    to blast
    in a cloud of

    And sometimes,
    to show
    affirmative action,
    now a Valentine,
    under a canopy,
    the beloved
    man in uniform,
    coming up
    the slope
    with a
    can of fuel
    for a parched
    peacetime mind
    in Ahmednagar…

    Great travelogue, and enjoyed your take on things greatly…..

  4. And the sound of clicking of wonderful photographs by Kavi. 🙂

  5. nsiyer says:

    Sound of silence. Well said. Actually thinking about the ‘sound of silence’, I tell you the sound can be quite revealing of how to deal with it.

  6. calling that Valentine… now that was something!

    you caught the irony nicely in words.


  7. Insignia says:

    The canons are artistically made. Talk about ‘dying artfully’.

    Valentine, now!! people had humor in them, didnt they?

  8. Canons and tanks seem so tame when I think of the sly viciousness of an AK-47, or RDX.

    When battles were fought only for national pride, maybe it was an age clearer about the demarcations between life and death.

  9. radha says:

    Lovely account. And to think we all stand around these weapons and take pictures.

    Valentine – wondered about the name and Wiki had this to say –

    Several versions exist concerning the source of the name Valentine. The most popular one says that the design was presented to the War Office on St. Valentine’s Day, 14 February 1940. According to another version the tank was called Valentine in honour of Sir John Valentine Carden, the man who led the development of the A10 and many other Vickers vehicles. Yet another version says that Valentine is an acronym for Vickers-Armstrong Ltd Elswick & (Newcastle-upon) Tyne.

  10. @radha

    War brings out the valour , and some folks really shine,
    Tanks leading the charge, fighting at the front-line,
    “Valentine”‘s the type,
    But no romantic hype,
    It’s “Vickers-Armstrong Ltd Elswick & (Newcastle-upon) Tyne”

  11. G says:

    Like this line.
    One of them is called Valentine. If irony were a ballistic missile, it sure would get launched from this gun !

    And as always fundoo pics. 🙂 I like the second close up one with those dome shaped designs on the cannon.

  12. Jeevan says:

    It remain silence now, but we don’t know how much lose there peace fearing when these canons will throw fire. We never know its nature at present, only the history will say the sorrow. Let this silence get slice all over the world.

  13. starry says:

    Beautiful pics.I am glad they are silent now because they caused havoc before.I am not a big fan of guns.I do believe guns kill.

  14. Sweta says:

    I love the shots. In fact I wonder… those once mighty guns, today are an object of exhibition.. in a quiet way.

  15. Kavi says:

    Neha : Well, i have to only try and match up with a generous thank you ! 🙂

    Sujata : Yes. Canons and tombs reign everywhere. Showing signs of the living and the lived ! Perhaps holding stories that we refuse to see.

    Ugich Konitari : I take a bow ! I froze reading the piece. On how easily words flow off your keyboard !

    for someone
    to blast
    in a cloud of
    uncertainty !

    Wow !

    Chandrika : 🙂 Almost silent sound that one is !

    NS Iyer : Yes sir ! That sound can be very deafening and can be very widely heard !

    Sundar : thanks ! 🙂

    Insignia : Yes.. death machines that were well designed ! ‘dying artfully’ ! How well put !

    Sucharita : Yes. Despite their size they seem tame. For i can see them from a mile away. That packet of RDX that could be part of the undergrowth can inflict far more damage !

    Everything changes. including war & dying !

    Radha : I am glad that there are logical reasons to this and not vicarious reasons to naming that tank Valentine ! Thanks for all the information and lovely to have here !

    G : Thanks ! I was just blown over by those designs. completely. Couldnt resist clicking !

    Jeevan : Yes. the havoc they caused must have been burried in time and history !

    Starry : Yes ! Guns kill. they do. Big time.

    Sweta : Yes.. objects of fear and death to objects of exhibition ! Some journey !

  16. Value Time because one day it is History. Or maybe take life as it comes because one day it is History.
    Check the newest blog:
    And following you on twitter.
    keep writing.

  17. amreekandesi says:

    Note to self: Must visit said tank museum.

    BTW, quite amazed by the 35 km range. Its similar to the range of modern 155mm howitzer guns such as the famous Bofors.

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