"It is better to die than be a coward."
- Gurkha motto
Bishnu Shrestha wasn't looking for a fight on the evening of 2 September 2010. As his express train roared through the darkness of the jungles of West Bengal, this Nepalese ex-soldier sat quietly, looking out the window into the calm stillness of the night sky above. The 35 year old veteran was finally on his way back home, having just retired from his position as a Naik (Corporal) in the 7th Battalion of the 8th Gurkha Infantry – a famous, battle-hardened regiment of ass-whompers that had produced balls-out awesome war heroes like Lachhiman Gurung, and a unit in which Shrestha's own father had served during Vietnam. One in a long line of warriors, Bishnu himself had seen plenty of combat in Iraq, Afghanistan, and probably a half-dozen other locations that may never be declassified, and now, after having spent a good part of his adult life crushing his foes with the stock of his assault rifle and charging enemy positions armed with a bayonet and his ultra-badass kukri knife, he was looking forward to finally seeing an end to the constant fighting, settling down, and building a family in the quiet mountains of his homeland. On this evening he rode the Maurya Express, a passenger train appropriately sharing it's name with historical badass Chandragupta Maurya, enjoying the serenity of the Indian night.
But there would be no rest for the weary. Around midnight, the mighty locomotive ground to a halt unexpectedly, sending passengers lurching forward in their seats. Without warning, while everyone was still trying to figure out what the crap hell was going on, suddenly from seemingly every direction passengers stood up and began to whip out all manner of frighteningly gruesome-looking weaponry – guns, knives, clubs and fucking giant swords(seriously, who robs a train with a sword!) – and started shouting for everyone to sit still, get out their valuables, and prepare to get ripped the fuck off.
As if that wasn't bad enough, from a side door more armed thugs leapt into action, pouring into the train from the jungle beyond. Dozens of unscrupulous goons began making their way down the aisles, shaking down everyone for their shit, stealing wallets, tearing jewelry from the necks of old women, snatchin laptops and cell phones, and waving knives in the faces of terrified hostages.
Despite the chaos around him, Naik Bishnu Shrestha just sat there quietly. Not saying anything. Not betraying his emotions. Even when the thugs took his own wallet, he remained silent. Like a true badass, he knew that this wasn't his fight. Just be quiet, give them what they want, and survive. It's just a few hundred bucks. It's not worth dying over.
But then shit got out of hand. You see, it just so happened that Shrestha was sitting near a cute 18 year-old girl, and when this gang of baby-kicking terrorists came by her seat they decided it would be awesome to be the complete fucking slime of the earth and gang-rape her in front of her own terrified parents just for shits and giggles. The terrorist leader cut open her shirt while she cried for help.
That was fucking it. Bishnu Shrestha couldn't just sit by any longer.
Unfortunately for the douchebags of West Bengal, when the thugs had robbed Bishnu they'd made one fatal mistake: They didn't take his kukri. This ultra-hardass Gurkha warrior, one in a long line of head-cleaving soldiers battle-hardened by centuries of hand-to-hand combat (and a steady diet of steel tacks and the corpses of their slain enemies), had given up his money, but knew better than to ever relinquish his weapon. Slowly, effortlessly, he eased the hilt from its hiding place. Now these fuckers were going to see what it felt like to get a taste of their own steel-tipped medicine, and it was going to taste like dental-grade pain and a roll of nasty old pennies.
Corporal Shrestha leapt to his feet, drawing the ultimate symbol of Gurkha badassitude with one fluid motion. He flew across the train car, grabbing the would-be rapist from behind in a sleeper hold, pulled him up off the girl, and used him as a human shield while he lunged out and slashed one of the sword-swinging thugs, sending the hapless dude spinning off in a vicious tornado of blood. One of the other motherfuckers, unwilling to stab in the direction of his own boss, instead took the manly man's route and tried to cut the girl, slashing his knife wildly at her neck, but the girl only took a minor wound before Shrestha dropped him with a lightning-quick strike. With the terrorists in the immediate vicinity disposed of, he sliced the throat of his human shield and went looking for more fuckers to get his blood-rage off on.
The news reports are pretty vague about what happened during this epic battle, where one balls-out Gurkha face-wrecker carved his way through a pack of 40 merciless cutthroats (indeed, even the above paragraph is a little bit of pulp fiction editorializing – merely my interpretation of the phrase "he took control of the attacker and killed everyone around him") but the fact of the matter is that after his initial ambush this ex-military mecha-hardass from one of the world's most over-the-top batshit-insane military organizations suddenly found himself in the middle of a hostage-filled train crawling with well-armed, highly-organized terrorists. This was Die Hard without the cowboy references. Delta Force without Lee Marvin. Under Siege without the Dramamine. and Passenger 57 without the always betting on black thing. And, worse yet, it was happening in real life.
Over the next twenty minutes, Corporal Bishnu Shrestha raced through the aisles giving those wanna-be punk-ass thugs a first-class ride on the Pain Train to Severed Arteryville, cutting, dodging, and back-alley knife fighting anything carrying a weapon larger than a ball-point pen. He took on the entire train – 40 men – at once, killing three and wounding eight more with a ferocious series of face-stabs and Limit Break Whirlwind Slashes so badass they would make Jet Li proud. Even after he took a nasty sword blow that severed every major artery and vein in his left hand, he continued carving up douchebags with his kukri, all the while spraying what I like to imagine to be a pseudo-comical amount of blood from his non-killing hand.
The sight of a real man was too much for those weak-willed thugs, and once they realized that they weren't just beating up schoolchildren and robbing crippled old ladies of their wedding rings and were instead facing a goddamned psychotic Gurkha with balls so gigantic they barely fit through the doorway of the train car, they dropped all their look and ran for it like fucking pussies. The whole thing was over in about 20 minutes. When the train pulled into the next station, police and emergency personnel were there to treat the wounded and rush Shrestha to the hospital, where he spent two months recovering from the injury to his hand. When the police searched the dead and dying thugs, they recovered 40 gold necklaces, 200 cell phones, 40 laptops, and nearly $10,000 in stolen cash. Those idiots lucky enough to be left alive were hauled in to jail.
Bishnu Shrestha was temporarily un-retired from the Gurkhas for the purposes of being promoted and subsequently awarded two medals for bravery and awesomeness. His former unit also awarded him with a presumably-rightously-looking silver-plated kukri (kind of like how when you beat Goldeneye you unlock the Silver PP7) and a cash bonus of 50,000 Rupees, which is enough to buy like 200 Blue Rings in The Legend of Zelda. The Indian Government also awarded him the bounty that was on the heads of this vicious gang, and granted him discounted airfare and train tickets for the rest of his life. I guess after hearing this guy's insane story they just decided to say, "fuck those backscatter ultra-invasive x-ray machines, the best anti-terror homeland security measure our country can take is to make sure this guy is on as many flights and trains as possible."
Ultimately, like a true badass, Bishnu Shrestha doesn't need any thanks for doing what he needed to do. The family of the girl he saved offered him a reward of $6,500, but the dude never stopped by to collect it. That wasn't the point. The man himself said it best, responding to reporters by saying, "Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier. Taking on the thugs on the train was my duty as a human being."
Times of India
The Himalayan Beacon
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