When one of the young men overtook her, the little girl galloped
her horse faster and overtook him. Was the young man to accept defeat? Of course, he tried
to overtake her but his horse stumbled and he feel down.
"O Manoo, I am dead"
When she heard that sorrowful cry, the girl rode back. The young man had been hurt and
wad bleeding. With difficulty she lifted him mad him sit on her horse. By that time the
other rider also joined them. All the three returned to the palace.
When the horse returned without the rider, Baji Rao the Second, the Peshwa of the
Mahrata Empire, was quite disturbed. Although Moropanth who was with him tried to soothe
him, his mind was troubled. When his children returned he breathed a sigh of relief.
The injured youth was Baji Raos adopted son Nana Saheb and his companion, his
younger brother Rao Saheb. The girl was Manubai, the only daughter of Moropanth, a member
of the Peshwas council.
When they returned home Moropanth said:
"Manu, how unfortunate! Nana has been seriously hurt."
"Not so, father; he has been hurt just a little. Did not Abhimanyu continue to
fight although seriously injured?"
"Those times were different, Manu."
"What is the difference, father? It is the same sky, the same earth. The sun and
the moon are also the same."
"But Manu, the fortunes of the country have changed. This is the age of British.
We are powerless before them."
The fathers reasoning did not appeal to the daughter. The father himself had
taught her the lessons of the lives and the examples of the saintly Seeta, the brave
Jeejabai and the brave Tarabai.
Another incident happened in the same town of Bethur: Nana saheb and Rao Saheb went out
on an elephant. Baji Rao wanted to send Manubai with them. Moropanth also wished it. But
their wish was not fulfilled. Nana Saheb asked the mahout to move on. Manu was
The father said to the daughter when they were back home: "Manu, we must move with
the times. Are we chieftains or kings to ride elephants? We should not wish for something
for which we are not destined."
"No, not so, father; I am destined to own not one but several elephants,"
"So, be it."
"Father dear, I will not practise shooting with a rifle," so saying she left.
Observing her manly qualities Moropanth was troubled.