Friday, November 26, 2010

The History behind the History

The first time I got interested in history was...

You are not going to believe it.

By playing Age of Empires II demo when I was really young, I don't remember exactly, maybe third I think.

The demo had only Learn to Play. I followed the story with real zeal. In fact, knowing the next part of the story was a welcome bonus and I often wonder, which gave me more pleasure, the “You are victorious', or the next part of the story. Even as I write, the Scottish accent fills my head with phrases like “Edward Longshanks, the avaricious king of Scotland” or “We are without a leader, the dead king of Scotland has no heir”.

The story of William Wallace. The game gives you the taste of unorganised Scotland before the entry of our hero. What I really liked was the inclusiveness you felt. William Wallace is their messiah bearing the torch of hope against oppression and subjugation. His battle techniques were quite unusual with wooden pikes to cover for their lack of cavalry. The Battle of Sterling and the Battle of Falkirk are covered. Of course, history tells us that William lost the Battle of Falkirk due to treachery whereas the campaign leaves with the victory over the English castle. The brutal quartering follows for our hero. The cause is taken up, twenty years later by Robert Bruce and Scotland wins.

The interest embedded was quite mild at that time. It really took off after this incident. My parents were seeing one of those English-dubbed-in-Tamil movies (Some of them are quite hilarious, Jackie Chan says “Naa singam, Nee asingam”). I sat down, with a familiar feeling. As I followed the story, I told them, “This is sort of like the game I play...” and I rambled on in my usual manner quite oblivious to their downright ignoring when

and his name is William Wallace”.

William Wallace” screamed the TV.

My parents were pleasantly surprised. “How on Earth did you know?”. “Its in my game...” And soon I had recited the whole story again. I got everyone excited and our entire family was a treasure trove of information on medieval Scotland. After that, it was no turning back. History was one of my favourite subjects.

My very first presentation was on William Wallace.


  1. personal request - will u post one on the war of the roses? wud love to read it.