Vampirism, Intelligence Bureau and the President of India - spot the connection!
I was compared with a fictional vampire today, so I decided to write a post on vampirism. The three words in the title are closely connected to each other, and there's a very interesting story behind it.
The story goes like this. Once upon a time in ancient India there was a monster called Raktabija. The catch with this guy was, for every drop of his blood that would spill on the ground, one new Raktabija would emerge. This made him a nuisance and a headache for the Gods. Nobody knew how to kill him, so they went to the Goddess of destruction, Kali. Kali did something unprecedented to kill the monster. In order to ensure that no drop of Raktabija's blood was spilt on ground, she drank his blood and sucked him dry. Every last drop of it. This was one of the first known records of VAMPIRISM in Indian mythology.
It is said that Kali tore a piece of the yellow cloth she was wearing and made two large napkins out of it. She then chose two brothers, both her staunch disciples, gave them the napkins and asked them to strangle all monsters that they would encounter on the planet. Centuries later, a certain group of people started believing that they were the direct descendants of these brothers and they started strangling not monsters but innocent travelers to rob them. These people also worshiped Kali and came to be known as thugs. Because of their code of secrecy, not unlike the Sicilian Omerta, they were notoriously difficult to catch. In order to check the menace of these creatures of the night, a bright young British officer called Major William Sleeman established the Thuggee and Dacoity Bureau, which subsequently morphed into the oldest surviving intelligence organization of the world and is today known simply as the INTELLIGENCE BUREAU. Yes, readers. Our very own IB.
In order to catch these thugs, Sleeman created a force of strong and powerful warriors. The main requirement for joining this force was, every member had to be at least six feet tall. Why? so that the much shorter average thug would find it difficult to strangle the necks of such large-bodied warriors. This cavalry force eventually did defeat the thugs successfully but was disbanded later. After the independence of India, the descendants of the warriors of this force were tracked down and recruited for a new, special assignment: The formal bodyguarding of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNION OF INDIA. Yes, even today, the Presidential Guard is selected from the descendants of those warriors that defeated the thugs. There you have, as promised - a connection between vampirism, Intelligence Bureau and the President of India.
Nice story, isn't it? It's all true.