Considering that Anushka 2 (the daughter Prabhas 1 and Anushka 1 would have had if Prabhas 1 had lived) isn’t even part of the “real” canon, I have become remarkably attached to my concept of her. So I can’t resist giving her a little spin-off movie all her own. And this works as a sequel to either of my previous Fanfics, the first one or the second one. Also, I really really got into this one, so it is less a single movie and more a mini-series/novel. There will be multiple installments. It will help wean us all away as now that the Bahubali 2 scene by scenes are over.
Both previous fanfics included Anushka 2, daughter of Prabhas 1 and Anushka 1, a combination of her father’s confidence and command, and her mother’s fierceness. Fanfic 1 had Anushka raised as an only child in the palace of Mahishmati with her father and mother as co-rulers, her older brother Prabhas 2 thought to be lost. Her brother reappears, decades later, and romances Anushka’s best friend, adoptive Princess of Kuntala Tamannah. In the end, the family is reunited and Prabhas 2 and Tamannah marry, while Prabhas 1 and Anushka 1 retire and pass the crown to the younger generation.
In Fanfic 2, I had Prabhas 1 and Anushka 1 raise their children in the workers’ village after their banishment. As adults, Prabhas 2 sneaks away from home against his parents’ orders to visit the trade fair in Kuntala where he falls in love with a disguised Tamannah, princess of Kuntala. Minor misunderstanding ensues, because they don’t realize that the person they have fallen in love with and the person they were engaged to by their parents as children is the same person. Meanwhile, back home removed from all these romantic hijinks, Anushka is surprised when the traveling icky prince of Mahishmati stumbles into their village and causes problems. As the only representative of the Bahubali family, Anushka takes charge and cuts off his head. And then organizes the village’s defenses and handily defeats the Mahishmati army that comes in response. Rana, grown old and weak, dies of a heart attack on hearing the news. Prabhas 2 is unpleasantly surprised to learn that he will inherit, since it means he cannot marry Tamannah since she is not willing to give up ruling Kuntala. No problem! Anushka 2 is also part of the Mahishmati dynastic line, she takes the throne of Mahishmati, while Prabhas 2 and Tamannah happily co-rule Kuntala.
I originally had Fanfic 1 ending with Prabhas 2 ruling and Anushka 2 as his champion of arms, but I think I like Anushka 2 ruling Mahishmati no matter what. So I hereby change Fanfic 1 (trumpet sound), and Anushka 2 is now the ruler there as well, with once again Tamanna and Prabhas 2 co-ruling Kuntala. And either way, Prabhas 1 and Anushka 1 are out of the picture, not wanting to interfere with their children’s decisions, they are living back in the workers’ village from “Dandaalayyaa”.
(This. I want Anushka to rule all as her only right destiny)
So, here we are with Anushka as the most powerful person in all the land. The greatest warrior, the wisest ruler, feared and beloved equally by all her subjects. She isn’t lonely, because she’s got her big brother and her sister-in-law to tease her and their babies to play with on her trips to Kuntala, and her parents who she sometimes visits but never asks for advice (no more bossy Queen Mothers! That’s where the problems start). But there is concern with another inheritance crisis. Her advisers are pushing her to marry in order to produce an heir, her family is pushing her to marry because it is what families do. Anushka herself is tired of this and finally declares that she will only marry the man who can defeat her in combat. Which, since Anushka is the greatest warrior of all time, means no one ever will and she can live a life carefree and single forever and ever. And, since she’s not stupid, she also plans to eventually pick one of her nephews or nieces to be officially named as heir to the kingdom and avoid all that war and stuff.
Cut to several miles away, a remote cave outside Singapurum, Rana 2 is in the middle of a fight against an entire troupe of soldiers. He manages to defeat them all like it isn’t anything, and then turns just in time to see someone sneaking up behind him who is then surprisingly knocked out from behind by the very person Rana 2 was trying to rescue, Sudeep! A wealthy trader staying at one of the inns under his protection, who was kidnapped by bandits, and Rana 2 was sent to save him. He elaborately thanks Rana 2 for saving him, but Rana 2 is distracted by wanting to learn the fighting move he just used. Sudeep explains that it is a secret move, he has sworn only to teach it to his apprentice. Rana 2 naturally suggests that he become his apprentice. Sudeep looks serious, says that he would be honored, but this is not something to enter into lightly, can he talk to Rana 2’s parents?
Sudeep is brought to meet Rana 2’s mother, the chief Madam and leader of the whole Singapurum red light district. They have a conversation behind closed doors with Rana 2 pacing outside. Sudeep explains that her son is the most promising fighter he has seen in his life, and he owes him a life, if he takes him as apprentice he can guarantee that he will become the greater fighter of all time, see the world, and inherit all of Sudeep’s wealth when he dies. But, it also means he will be forbidden from seeing his mother again in this lifetime, this is the oath all apprentices swear. Usually as small children, not adults. Rana 2’s mother considers this, and then calls Rana 2 in. Tells him that she wants him to swear two terrible oaths. First, an oath of absolute obedience to Sudeep, he will be Rana 2’s guide and family from now on. And second, an oath to her, that as debt to her for her care of him his whole life until now, he will give vengeance to her enemies. FLASHBACK!
40 years ago, Nassar, Prince of Mahashmati, resentful of his wife who doesn’t respect him, has seduced a simple young servant maid of the palace. He has given her a small house that he sneaks off to through one of the many secret passage ways. He enjoys regaling her with tales of his wisdom and showing her his prowess in fighting and all of that. She had his child, a daughter, which he tolerates but ignores. But the daughter he ignores has inherited both his strength and his intelligence. She watches and listens to him, and practices the fighting moves he shows off, and considers the advice he gives and learns from him. And also explores the secret passageways, not just the one to their house, but all the others that branch off from it.
(Doesn’t he seem like he would have a passive mistress squirreled away somewhere?)
As a young woman, the daughter goes to visit relatives of her mother in the countryside and falls in love with a decent man who has a farm nearby. She forgets her semi-palace upbringing, marries him, and starts training as a midwife under her new mother-in-law. This is, of course, Extra With World’s Most Eventful Life, that midwife lady who was also captured by the Kalakeya and there every time the mob stormed the palace square, and really any time someone in the crowd needed to have dialogue. Nassar never even notices she has gone.
Now, this next bit changes slightly depending on which Fanfic we are in. In Fanfic 1, Anushka 1 and Prabhas 1 marry and Prabhas 1 inherits the throne. But Rana 1 marries the neighboring Princess and, with his new wife as an ally, goes to war against Mahishmati. In Fanfic 2, Anushka 1 and Prabhas 1 are exiled and Rana 1 inherits. And then begins a paranoid purge of Mahishmati. For Fanfic 1, let’s say that one of the first places Rana 1 and his wife attack happens to be the village where his illegitimate sister Midwife lives. Her husband is captured. She decides to contact her father for the first time since her marriage. Using the spy knowledge she learned from him, she sneaks into camp and finds the command tent. Nassar barely remembers or recognizes her, Rana 1 is slightly shocked to learn of her existence but immediately begins thinking about how to use her. Rana 1’s Princess wife is the one who suggests that perhaps they might trade a life for a life. She gives them her baby (she is extremely pregnant), they give her back her husband. Because the princess is barren, thus her lack of ability to find a husband (until Rana 1 married her for her armies).
(I was thinking maybe Trisha for the princess. Also, I don’t know how they know for sure she is barren. Gypsy woman? Family curse? Something)
In Fanfic 2, same end bargain, only this time it is because one of Rana 1’s first purges was of a noble who owned the land where Midwife Extra and her husband farmed. Her husband ends up in jail, she uses her knowledge of the secret passages to get into the palace, Rana 1 needs an heir to consolidate his rule, he offers to give her back her husband if she gives them her baby.
This is an impossible choice! Until, luckily, just as Midwife Extra is going into labor, she is called to the bedside of a woman grown weak with sorrow since her husband and whole family died in the last attack. The baby is born half dead, the mother dies right after. Midwife Extra decides to swap the babies, give Rana 1 and family this sick baby who wouldn’t even survive without tender care, and hide her baby to be picked up later once she has her husband back.
But, of course, Rana 1 is terrible. She delivers the baby, and then they “give her back her husband”, that is, his tortured body. And, as a bonus, her mother’s body as well, since she should be punished for giving birth to such a troublesome daughter. They try to kill Midwife Extra as well, but she escapes through one of the secret passageways, picks up her newborn son from hiding, and hits the road.
She ends up in Singapurum at that brothel/bar place. Her midwife and healing skills are needed, and while she is helping with a birth, a rowdy customer attempts to interrupt, and she uses her Mahishmati Royal Family strength combined with the fighting moves she learned by watching her father to stop him.
Within a few years, she is not only the head Madam of this brothel, but running most of Singapurum as her protectorate. Meanwhile, her son is getting bigger and bigger. He is the pet of the brothel, carefully cared for and taught everything that it would be useful for him to know from the various sex workers who travel through. Nothing sexy, don’t be creepy, but stuff like reading and writing, foreign languages, healing skills, different religious beliefs, all kinds of things. When he is around 10, he sees a client throw a drink on his mother and, overcome with fury, rushes out and uses his innate strength and fighting skill, plus a trick he learned from one of the sex workers, and knocks out a man 3 times his size. His mother reacts by deciding that it is time for a new kind of training, and from then on, any fighting man who spent an hour training her son would get free drinks for the rest of the night in all the inns under her control. 15 years later, her son had become the greatest warrior/protector Singapurum had ever seen, but he could be so much more.
And now here we are in the present day. Sudeep and Rana 2 are both furious at how Midwife was treated. Sudeep is all ready to ride for vengeance on his own, but Midwife stops him and says no, it has to be her son who acts on her behalf, she has sworn that someday her blood will sit on the throne of Mahishmati. But, it is a massive empire, and her father’s wisdom in what he did and foolishness in what he didn’t do both taught her not to move quickly. She has a lot of allies in Singapurum, but they need more than that. Sudeep’s connections through out the region, and vast wealth, combined with the intelligence and polish he can give to Rana 2, that is what is needed. Plus, Rana 2 could never take control as merely the son of a Madam from Singapurum. But as the adopted son of a wealthy foreign trader, doors will open to him. Will he take this vow? Rana 2 takes a moment, and then holds out his hand to Sudeep and swears “You will be my father, my teacher, and my guide. I offer you my unquestioning loyalty in all endeavors from now until my dying day”. And then he turns and kneels to put his hand on his mother’s feet and swears “Within 5 years, I will place your blood on the throne of Mahishmati” Dun dun DUN!!!!!