R Venkataramanan

R Venkataramanan

R Venkat's Blog

R Venkat's Blog
"To be an Inspiring Teacher,one should be a Disciplined Student throughout Life" - Venkataramanan Ramasethu

SNK

SNK

Sunday, January 29, 2012

செந்தமிழ் நாடு



செந்தமிழ் நாடெனும் போதினிலே -- இன்பத்
தேன் வந்து பாயுது காதினிலே -- எங்கள்
தந்தையர் நாடென்ற பேச்சினிலே -- ஒரு
சக்தி பிறக்குது மூச்சினிலே -- (செந்தமிழ்) 1

வேதம் நிறைந்த தமிழ்நாடு -- உயர்
வீரம் செறிந்த தமிழ்நாடு -- நல்ல
காதல் புரியும் அரம்பையர் போல்இளங்
கன்னியர் சூழ்ந்த தமிழ்நாடு (செந்தமிழ்) 2

காவிரி தென்பெண்ணை பாலாறு -- தமிழ்
கண்டதோர் வையை பொருனைநதி -- என
மேவிய யாறு பலவோடத் -- திரு
மேனி செழித்த தமிழ்நாடு. (செந்தமிழ்) 3

முத்தமிழ் மாமுனி நீள்வரையே -- நின்று
மொய்ம்புறக் காக்குந் தமிழ்நாடு -- செல்வம்
எத்தனை யுண்டு புவிமீதே -- அவை
யாவும் படைத்த தமிழ்நாடு (செந்தமிழ்) 4

நீலத் திரைக்கட லோரத்திலே -- நின்று
நித்தம் தவஞ்செய் குமரிஎல்லை -- வட
மாலவன் குன்றம் இவற்றிடையே புகழ்
மண்டிக் கிடக்குந் தமிழ்நாடு. (செந்தமிழ்) 5

கல்வி சிறந்த தமிழ்நாடு -- புகழ்க்
கம்பன் பிறந்த தமிழ்நாடு -- நல்ல
பல்வித மாயின சாத்திரத்தின் மணம்
பாரெங்கும் வீசும் தமிழ்நாடு. (செந்தமிழ்) 6

வள்ளுவன் தன்னை உலகினுக்கே -- தந்து
வான்புகழ் கொண்ட தமிழ்நாடு -- நெஞ்சை
அள்ளும் சிலப்பதி காரமென்றோர் மணி
யாரம் படைத்த தமிழ்நாடு. (செந்தமிழ்) 7

சிங்களம் புட்பகம் சாவக -- மாகிய
தீவு பலவினுஞ் சென்றேறி -- அங்கு
தங்கள் புலிக்கொடி மீன்கொடியும் நின்று
சால்புறக் கண்டவர் தாய்நாடு. (செந்தமிழ்) 8

விண்ணை யிடிக்கும் தலையிமயம் -- எனும்
வெற்பை யடிக்கும் திறனுடையார் -- சமர்
பண்ணிக் கலிங்கத் திருள்கெடுத்தார் தமிழ்ப்
பார்த்திவர் நின்ற தமிழ்நாடு. (செந்தமிழ்) 9

சீன மிசிரம் யவனரகம் -- இன்னும்
தேசம் பலவும் புகழ்வீசிக் -- கலை
ஞானம் படைத்தொழில் வாணிபமும் மிக
நன்று வளர்த்த தமிழ்நாடு. (செந்தமிழ்) 10

மஹா காளியின் புகழ்

காவடிச் சிந்து

[ராகம்-ஆனந்த பைரவி] [தாளம்-ஆதி]



காலமாம் வனத்திலண்டக் கோலமா மரத்தின்மீது
காளிசக்தி யென்றபெயர் கொண்டு --ரீங்
காரமிட் டுலவுமொரு வண்டு -- தழல்
காலும்விழி நீலவன்ன மூல அத்து வாக்களெனும்
கால்களா றுடையதெனக் கண்டு -- மறை
காணுமுனி வோருரைத்தார் பண்டு.
மேலுமாகிக் கீழுமாகி வேறுள திசையுமாகி
விண்ணுமண்ணு மானசக்தி வெள்ளம் -- இந்த
விந்தையெல்லா மாங்கது செய் கள்ளம் -- பழ
வேதமா யதன்முனுள்ள நாதமாய் விளங்குமிந்த
வீரசக்தி வெள்ளம்விழும் பள்ளம் -- ஆக
வேண்டும் நித்த மென்றனேழை யுள்ளம். 1

அன்புவடி வாகிநிற்பள் துன்பெலா மவளிழைப்பள்
ஆக்கநீக்கம் யாவுமவள் செய்கை -- இதை
ஆர்ந்துணர்ந்த வர்களுக்குண் டுய்கை -- அவள்
ஆதியா யநாதியா யகண்டவறி வாவளுன்றன்
அறிவுமவள் மேனியிலோர் சைகை -- அவள்
ஆனந்தத்தி னெல்லை யற்ற பொய்கை.
இன்பவடி வாகிநிற்பள் துன்பெலா மவளிழைப்பள்
இஃதெலா மவள்புரியும் மாயை -- அவள்
ஏதுமற்ற மெய்ப்பொருளின் சாயை -- எனில்
எண்ணியேஓம் சக்தியெனும் புண்ணிய முனிவர் நித்தம்
எய்துவார்மெய்ஞ் ஞானமெனுந் தீயை -- எரித்து
எற்றுவாரிந் நானெனும் பொய்ப் பேயை. 2

ஆதியாஞ் சிவனுமவன் சோதியான சக்தியுந்தான்
அங்குமிங்கு மெங்குமுள வாகும் -- ஒன்றே
யாகினா லுலகனைத்தும் சாகும் -- அவை
யன்றியோர் பொருளுமில்லை, அன்றியொன்று மில்லையிதை
ஆய்ந்திடில் துயரமெல்லாம் போகும் -- இந்த
அறிவுதான் பரமஞான மாகும்.
நீதியா மரசுசெய்வர் நிதிகள்பல கோடிதுய்ப்பர்
நீண்டகாலம் வாழ்வர்தரை மீது -- எந்த
நெறியுமெய்து வர்நினைத்த போது -- அந்த
நித்தமுத்த சுத்தபுத்த சத்தபெருங் காளிபத
நீழலடைந் தார்க்கில்லையோர் தீது -- என்று
நேர்மைவேதம் சொல்லும் வழி யீது.













3

சாகா வரம்

பல்லவி

சாகா வரமருள்வாய், ராமா
சதுர்மறை நாதா-சரோஜ பாதா!


சரணங்கள்

ஆகாசந் தீகால் நீர்மண்
அத்தனை பூதமும் ஒத்து நிறைந்தாய்
ஏகா மிர்த மாகிய நின்தாள்
இணைசர ணென்றால் இதுமுடி யாதா?
(சாகா) 1

வாகார்தோள் வீரா, தீரா,
மன்மத ரூபா, வானவர் பூபா,
பாகார்மொழி சீதையின் மென்றோள்
பழகிய மார்பா! பதமலர் சார்பா (சாகா) 2

நித்யா, நிர்மலா, ராமா,
நிஷ்க ளங்கா, சர்வா, தாரா,
சத்யா, சநாதநா, ராமா,
சரணம், சரணம், சரண முதாரா!





(சாகா)



3

எனதிரு கண்ணே

திருவே நினைக்காதல் கொண்டேனே -- நினது திரு
உருவே மறவா திருந்தேனே -- பல திசையில்
தேடித் திரிந்திளைத் தேனே -- நினக்கும் மனம்
வாடித் தினங்களைத் தேனே -- அடி, நினது
பருவம் பொறுத்திருந் தேனே -- மிகவும்நம்பிக்
கருவம் படைத்திருந் தேனே -- இடைம்நடுவில்
பையச் சதிகள்செய் தாயே -- அதனிலுமென்
மையல் வளர்தல்கண் டாயே -- அமுதமழை
பெய்யக் கடைக்கண்நல் காயே -- நினதருளில்
உய்யக் கருணைசெய் வாயே -- பெருமைகொண்டு
வையந் தழைக்கவைப் பேனே -- அமரயுகஞ்
செய்யத் துணிந்துநிற் பேனே -- அடியெனது
தேனே, எனதிரு கண்ணே, -- எனையுகந்து
தானே வருந்திருப் -- பெண்ணே!

கண்ணம்மா (3)

காற்று வெளியிடைக் கண்ணம்மா -- நின்றன்
காதலை யெண்ணிக் களிக்கின்றேன்; -- அமு
தூற்றினை யொத்த இதழ்களும் -- நில
வூறித் ததும்பும் விழிகளும் -- பத்து
மாற்றுப்பொன் னொத்தநின் மேனியும் -- இந்த
வையத்தில் யானுள்ள மட்டிலும்-எனை
வேற்று நினைவின்றித் தேற்றியே -- இங்கோர்
விண்ணவ னாகப் புரியுமே -- இந்தக் (காற்று வெளி) 1

நீயென தின்னுயிர் கண்ணம்மா -- எந்த
நேரமும் நின்றனைப் போற்றுவேன் -- துயர்
போயின, போயின துன்பங்கள் -- நினைப்
பொன்னெனக் கொண்ட பொழுதிலே -- என்றன்
வாயினி லேயமு தூறுதே -- கண்ணம்
மாவென்ற பேர்சொல்லும் போழ்திலே -- உயிர்த்
தீயினி லேவளர் சோதியே -- என்றன்
சிந்தனையே என்றன் சித்தமே! இந்தக் (காற்று வெளி) 2

கண்ணம்மா (2)

பல்லவி

நின்னையே ரதியென்று நினைக்கிறேனடி -- கண்ணம்மா!
தன்னையே சசியென்று சரண மெய்தினேன். (நின்னையே)

சரணங்கள்

பொன்னையே நிகர்த்தமேனி மின்னையே நிகர்த்த சாயற்
பின்னையே -- நித்ய கன்னியே, -- கண்ணம்மா! (நின்னையே) 1

மாரனம் புகளென்மீது வாரிவாரி வீச நீ -- கண்
பாராயோ -- வந்து சேராயோ, -- கண்ணம்மா! (நின்னையே) 2

யாவு மே சுகமுனிக் கொர் ஈசனா மெனக்குன் தோற்றம்
மேவு மே இங்கு யாவுமே, -- கண்ணம்மா! (நின்னையே) 3

கண்ணம்மா (1)

பல்லவி

பீடத்தி லேறிக் கொண்டாள் -- மனப்
பீடத்தி லேறிக் கொண்டாள்.

சரணங்கள்

நாடித் தவம் புரிந்து -- பீடுற்ற முனிவரர்
கேடற்ற தென்று கண்டு -- கூடக் கருது மொளி
மாடத்தி லேறி ஞானக் -- கூடத்தில் விளையாடி
ஓடத் திரிந்து கன்னி -- வேடத்தில் ரதியைப்போல்
ஈடற்ற கற்பனைகள் -- காடுற்ற சிந்தனைகள்
மூடிக் கிடக்கு நெஞ்சின் -- ஊடுற்றதை யமரர்
தேடித் தவிக்கு மின்ப -- வீடொத் தினிமைசெய்து
வேடத்தில் சிறுவள்ளி வித்தையென் கண்ணம்மா (பீடத்தி) 1

கண்ணன் திருமார்பிற் -- கலந்த கமலை யென்கோ?
விண்ணவர் தொழுதிடும் -- வீரச் சிங்கா தனத்தே,
நண்ணிச் சிவனுடலை -- நாடுமவ ளென்கோ?
எண்ணத் திதிக்குதடா, இவள்பொன் னுடலமுதம்
பெண்ணி லரசியிவள் -- பெரிய எழிலுடையாள்
கண்ணுள் மணியெனக்குக் -- காத லிரதியிவள்
பண்ணி லினியசுவை -- பரந்த பொழியினாள்
உண்ணு மிதழமுத ஊற்றினள் கண்ணம்மா (பீடத்தி) 2

கண்ணம்மாவின் -- அங்க வர்ணனை

[ராகம் -- செஞ்சுருட்டி] [தாளம் -- ரூபகம்]

பல்லவி

எங்கள் கண்ணம்மா நகை புது ரோஜாப்பூ
எங்கள் கண்ணம்மா விழி இந்த்ர நீலப்பூ
எங்கள் கண்ணம்மா முகஞ் செந்தாமரைப்பூ
எங்கள் கண்ணம்மா நுதல் பாலசூரியன்

சரணங்கள்

எங்கள் கண்ணம்மா எழில் மின்னலை நேர்க்கும்
எங்கள் கண்ணம்மா புருவங்கள் மதன் விற்கள்
திங்களை மூடிய பாம்பினைப் போலே
செறி குழல்; இவள் நாசி எட்பூ


.(எங்கள்) 1

மங்கள வாக்கு நித்யானந்த ஊற்று
மதுர வாய் அமிர்தம்; இதழமிர்தம்
சங்கீத மென் குரல் சரஸ்வதி வீணை
சாய லரம்பை, சதுர் அயிராணி
(எங்கள்) 2

இங்கித நாத நிலைய மிருசெவி;
சங்கு நிகர்த்த கண்டம் அமிர்த சங்கம்
மங்களக் கைகள் மஹாசக்தி வாசம்
வயிறா லிலை; இடை அமிர்த வீடு.
(எங்கள்) 3

சங்கரனைத் தாங்கு நந்தி பத சதுரம்
தாமரை யிருதாள் லக்ஷ்மீ பீடம்
பொங்கித் ததும்பித் திசையெங்கும் பாயும்
புத்தன்பும் ஞானமும் மெய்த்திருக் கோலம்.
(எங்கள்) 4

The Great Tamil Poet – Subramanya Bharathiar



‘Bharathiyar' is the name that reminds Indians of nationalism, patriotism and Tamil prose and poetry. Born in 1882 he was conferred the title of ‘Bharati' for his poetic talent at a tender age. Bharati emerged as a prolific poet earning the name of ‘Mahakavi', meaning a Great Poet. He died at the age of 39 but in his short span of life he had made immeasurable contribution to his country and language.

Life of a patriot

He lived in the eventful years of our country's freedom struggle. He had met his contemporaries who influenced his political thinking like Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak, Sister Nivedita, Aurobindo Gosh, VVS Iyer and Lajpat Roy. The Tamil poet and writer's life itself is a shining example of upholding the spirit of freedom, equality, justice and love despite poverty and against the oppressive British rule. He was the assistant editor of ‘Swadesamithran' a Tamil daily from 1904 to 1907. He launched ‘India' the Tamil weekly of which he was the editor and later edited a newspaper ‘Bala Bharatam' in English. He had a turbulent life laced with living in exile, arrest, being jailed amidst abject poverty. He resumed as editor of Swadesamithran a year before his death in 1921.

Social reformist

His lofty dreams about our society and the country came out brilliantly in his songs and prose. He had the uncanny ability of using his literary skills to the best to kindle the patriotic feelings of the masses and about the evils of the society which caused all their problems.

Patriot

He proudly proclaims that the there is no other country in the world can equal the greatness of India which has the Himalyan mountains, the sacred river Ganges and the Upanishads in his song "Mannum Imaya malai' and ‘paarukkule nalla naadu'. He is equally proud about the Richness and sweetness of the Tamil language in his lines ‘yamarindha mozhiugalile'. He proclaims with equal pride the richness and uniqueness of the Tamil language.

Advocating Freedom and Casteless society

He fearlessly wrote about freedom for individuals as wells as nations being influenced by ‘Vande Mataram' the patriotic song by Bankim Chandra. These meetings have injected fearlessness into his writing. Considering this to be a divine inspiration he went on to write revolutionary compositions that were packed with national unity and the spirit of freedom His songs brought a spiritual dimension to the freedom movement. ‘Swathesa Geethangal' and ‘Janma Bhoomi' which he dedicated to sister Nivedita are examples of his patriotic songs and serving the underprivileged and emancipation of women. They were distributed to the people during the freedom movement of India. His dreams of a free India and a society that is educated, devoid of its social evils and living in harmony. We can see that many of his dreams have come true today. His writings when he was in exile in Puduchery were so powerful that the British even jailed him.

His songs for the children in ‘Paappa Paattu' and ‘Pudhiya Aathichoodi' evoked a sense of equality, love towards all living beings, casteless society and courage etc. His simple words convey the ethical and moral principles to the young minds effortlessly. His unique style was simple with a technique of weaving the spoken language and rhythm into beautiful prose and poetry.

The literary genius Bharati has made an indelible mark in the minds of crores of Tamil people through his writings that included novels, short stories, essays and poetry.

Subramanya Bharathi



Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar (Tamil: சுப்பிரமணிய பாரதி) (December 11, 1882 – September 11, 1921) was a Tamil poet from Tamil Nadu, India, an independence fighter and iconoclastic reformer. Known as Mahakavi Bharathiyar (the laudatory epithet Maha Kavi meaning Great Poet in many Indian languages), he is celebrated as one of South India's greatest poets. Bharathi was prolific and adept in both the prose and poetry forms. He was one of the early Independent poets and played a vital role in pioneering the Independence movement in its infancy stages in Tamil Nadu. He is well-known for his simple yet stirring use of the language.

Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar was born to Chinnasami Subramanya Iyer and Lakshmi Ammaal as "Subbayya" on December 11, 1882 in the Tamil village of Ettayapuram. He was educated at a local high school called "The M.D.T. Hindu College" in Tirunelveli. From a very young age he learnt music and at 11, he was invited to a conference of Ettayapuram court poets and musicians for composing poems and songs. It was here that he was conferred the title of "Bharathi" ("one blessed by Saraswati, the goddess of learning).

Bharathi lost his mother at the age of 5 and his father at the age of 16. He was brought up by his disciplinarian father who wanted him to learn English, excel in arithmetic, become an engineer and lead a comfortable life. However, Bharathi was given to day dreaming and could not concentrate on his studies. In 1897, perhaps to instill a sense of responsibility in him, his father had the 14 year old Bharathi, married to his seven year younger cousin, Chellamal.

After this early marriage, Bharathi, curious to see the outside world, left for Benares in 1898. The next four years of his life served as a passage of discovery. During this time he discovered a country in tumult outside his small hamlet. Bharathi worked as a teacher in Madurai Sethupathy High School (now a higher secondary school) and as a journal editor at various times in his life.He was a freedom fighter.

During his stay in Benares (also known as Kashi and Varanasi), Bharathi was exposed to Hindu spirituality and nationalism. This broadened his outlook and he learned Sanskrit, Hindi and English. In addition, he changed his outward appearance. It is likely that Bharathi was impressed by the turbans worn by Ayyavazhi people (being a tradition in Ayyavazhi society, turbans represented the crowns worn by kings) and started wearing one himself. He also grew a beard and started walking with a straight back.

Soon, Bharathi saw beyond the social taboos and superstitions of orthodox South Indian society. In December 1905, he attended the All India Congress session held in Benaras. On his journey back home, he met Sister Nivedita, Vivekananda’s spiritual daughter. From her arose another of Bharathi’s iconoclasm, his stand to recognise the privileges of women. The emancipation of women exercised Bharathi’s mind greatly. He visualised the 'new woman' as an emanation of Shakti, a willing helpmate of man to build a new earth through co-operative endeavour.

During this period, Bharathi understood the need to be well-informed of the world outside and took interest in the world of journalism and the print media of the West. Bharathi joined as Assistant Editor of the Swadeshamitran, a Tamil daily in 1904. By April 1907, he started editing the Tamil weekly India and the English newspaper Bala Bharatham with M.P.T. Acharya. These newspapers were also a means of expressing Bharathi's creativity, which began to peak during this period. Bharathi started to publish his poems regularly in these editions. From religious hymns to nationalistic writings, from contemplations on the relationship between God and Man to songs on the Russian and French revolutions, Bharathi's subjects were diverse.

He was simultaneously up against society for its mistreatment of the downtrodden people and the British for occupying India.

Bharathi participated in the historic Surat Congress in 1907, which deepened the divisions within the Indian National Congress between the militant wing led by Tilak and Aurobindo and the moderate wing. Bharathi supported Tilak and Aurobindo together with V. O. Chidambaram Pillai and Kanchi Varathaachariyar. Tilak openly supported armed resistance against the British.

In 1908, he gave evidence in the case which had been instituted by the British against V.O. Chidambaram Pillai. In the same year, the proprietor of the journal India was arrested in Madras. Faced with the prospect of arrest, Bharathi escaped to Pondicherry which was under French rule. From there he edited and published the weekly journal India, Vijaya, a Tamil daily, Bala Bharatha, an English monthly, and Suryothayam, a local weekly of Pondicherry. The British tried to suppress Bharathi's output by stopping remittances and letters to the papers. Both India and Vijaya were banned in British India in 1909.

During his exile, Bharathi had the opportunity to mix with many other leaders of the revolutionary wing of the Independence movement such as Aurobindo, Lajpat Rai and V.V.S. Aiyar, who had also sought asylum under the French. Bharathi assisted Aurobindo in the Arya journal and later Karma Yogi in Pondicherry.
Bharathi entered British India near Cuddalore in November 1918 and was promptly arrested. He was imprisoned in the Central prison in Cuddalore in custody for three weeks from 20 November to 14 December. The following year Bharathi met with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

His poetry expressed a progressive, reformist ideal. His imagery and the vigour of his verse symbolise Tamil culture in many respects. Bharathiyar advocated greater rights for women. His verse called for emanicipation for women and put a premium on their education. He visualised a modern Indian woman with distinctive features.
The world will prosper in knowledge and intellect if both men and women are deemed equal.

(The new age women will learn many intellectual texts. They will set the base for many scientific discoveries that facilitate human life. They will expunge all backward superstitions in the society. They will, all the same, be devoted to God and present all achievements of mankind as a tribute to God. They will live to earn a good name from men.)

Bharathi also fought against the caste system in Hindu society. Although born into an orthodox Brahmin family, he gave up his own caste identity. One of his great sayings meant, 'There are only two castes in the world: one who is educated and one who is not.' He considered all living beings as equal and to illustrate this he even performed upanayanam to a young harijan man and made him a Brahmin. He also scorned the divisive tendencies being imparted into the younger generations by their elderly tutors during his time. He openly criticised the preachers for mixing their individual thoughts while teaching the Vedas and the Gita.

சாதிகள் இல்லையடி பாப்பா!-குலத் தாழ்ச்சி உயர்ச்சி சொல்லல் பாவம்; நீதி உயர்ந்த மதி,கல்வி-அன்பு நிறை உடையவர்கள் மேலோர்.

(There is no caste system. It is a sin to divide people on caste basis. The ones who are really of a superior class are the ones excelling in being just, intelligent, educated and loving.)

Pondicherry is a city of rich history. Bharathiar is one of them who makes it all the more interesting.

He moved to Pondicherry in the year 1908 to escape his arrest. He took a house in Pondicherry which has been turned into The Bharathiar Museum now. The house address is: No. 20, Easwaran Koil Street, Pondicherry – 3

The museum has a collection of his letters, family photographs and lot of books.
The museum does not sell any items like his books or memoirs. They do have a great library which is open on Sundays from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The museum is closed on Mondays. The timings for the other days are 10:00am to 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 5:00pm.
Observed two things on some of his letters:

1. He starts off a letter with the words “Om Shakthi“
2. He usually signed off the letter saying “May you gain immortality“

There was a postage stamp released on Barathiar which is framed in the museum.
There are around 20 photographs collected of his family, friends and relatives. Some names that I can recollect are his wife Chellama, two daughters (one is Thangamma, I can’t recollect the name of the other), V.V.S Iyer, Sri Aurobindo and many others.
While in Pondicherry he was involved with the following journals/magazines: India, Vijaya, Chakravarthini etc.

The front cover of the magazine Chakravarthini (the 1906 edition was displayed) which reads “A Tamil Monthly Devoted mainly to the Elevation of India Ladies”
The topics for that edition were interesting as well:

1. Women in Buddhism
2. Figures regarding female education in the Madras Presidency
3. Tulsi Rai
4. Infant marriage and female education

I think we indeed have come a long way since 1906.

It was mentioned that he composed the poem “Crows and Birds are our clan” in this house.

Bharathiar was an expert in many languages: Tamil, Sanskrit, English, Telugu and French. They had mentioned that he wrote very beautifully in English.

There is also a Tamil version of the phrase “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” – “Swathanthiram, Sammathuvam, Sahotharathuvam“

Many of Bharathi’s lyrics are chicks of fire. They burn up the whole jungle of our vices – our apathy, our fear, our pettiness, our casteism, our religious sectarianism, our greed and all that.

Thus, purged of our ills, we become pure-hearted and fearless and consequently strong, nay, invincible

Bharathi's health was badly affected by the imprisonments and by 1920, when a General Amnesty Order finally removed restrictions on his movements, Bharathi was already struggling. He was struck by an elephant at Parthasarathy temple, Triplicane, Chennai, whom he used to feed regularly. Although he survived the incident, a few months later his health deteriorated and he died on September 11, 1921 early morning around 1 am. Though Bharathi was a people's poet and freedom fighter there were only fourteen people to attend his funeral.

Mahakavi delivered his last speech at Karungalpalayam Library in Erode, which was about the topic Man is Immortal.

The last years of his life were spent in a house in Triplicane, Chennai [1]. This house was bought and renovated by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1993 and named 'Bharathiyar Illam' (Home of Bharathiyar).

Kolkata Bharathi Tamil Sangam - Soul Solace Corner



Bharathi Tamil Sangam was founded in 1941 by the great scientist, Dr. K S Krishnan,who was a great lover of Tamil Literature with the following objectives.


To promote and propagate Tamil language and literature in general and the works of Poet, Subramania Bharathi in particular.


To teach Tamil to the Tamil speaking community and the children who are away from Tamil Nadu in order to have the continuity to the next generation with the language.


To publish good Tamil literary works and the translation in different languages.


To serve as a platform for interaction between Tamil scholars and writers with those of other languages and contribute to the national integration and also to honour them.


To propagate love and peace and serve the society enhancing the human values.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

BIRYANI BADSHAHI RECIPE

Ingredients:
1/2 kg Mutton
250 gms Rice parboiled
311/2 tblsp Lemon Juice
10 blanched Almonds (Badam)
1/2 tblsp Mint Leaves (Pudina Leaves)
1 cups Butter
1 handfuls chopped Coriander Leaves (Dhania Patta)
1/2 tblsp Cumin Seed (Jeera)
2 large sliced Onion (Kanda Pyaaz)
2 Brown Cardamom (Elaichi Moti)
1 tblsp Oil
4 pods Garlic (Lasun)
2 Cloves (Lavang)
1 " long piece Ginger (Adrak)
1/2 tblsp Saffron (Kesar)
1/2 tblsp Green Chilly (Hari Mirch) chopped
1/2 tblsp Red Chili Powder (Lal Mirchi)
1/2 " Cinnamon (Tuj/Dalchini)
1/2 kg Curd (Dahi)
125 gms Milk
3 cups Water

How to make biryani badshahi:
First wash and soak rice.
Then fry sliced onions to a golden brown color.
Soak saffron in water.
Now grind ginger, red chillies, garlic and almonds and fry these in butter.
Add it to the mutton and salt and stir for 5 minutes.
Now add water and cook onlow flame till meat becomes tender and about 1 cup of gravy is left.
Boil rice with salt in another pan.
Put curd into a piece of muslin cloth and let the water drain away.
Add cloves, cardomoms, cumin seed, mint leaves, chopped chillies and coriander in drained curd.
Strain the saffron water and add lemon juice.
Add all this to mutton.
Sprinkle half of the boiled rice over the mutton and then spread a layer of fried onion and then of rice again.
Now pour milk and some butter and cover the vessel.
Seal the edges of the pan with flour paste.
Place the can on flame for one hour.
Serve it very hot with some curry.

MUGHLAI CHICKEN PULAO RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 Chicken cleaned and cut
1 kg Minced Mutton
2 cups Clarified Butter (Ghee)
4 big sized Onion (Pyaj) minced
1/4 kg Curd (Dahi)
1/2 kg Rice
1/2 tsp Saffron (Kesar)
Few Sliced and fried Almond (Badam)
4 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
1 " long piece Cinnamon (Tuj/Dalchini)
10 Cloves (Lavang)
10 Cardamoms
18 Pepper corns (Kalimirchi)
3 pods Garlic (Lasun)
1 " long piece Ginger (Adrak)
1 tsp Red Chili Powder (Lal Mirchi)
2 tsp Coriander Seeds Powder (Dhania Powder)
1 tsp Cumin Seed Powder (Jeera)
1/4 tsp Turmeric (Haldi)

How to make mughlai chicken pulao:
First grind garlic, ginger, chiili powder, coriander, turmeric and cumin powder to a fine paste.
Now heat 4 tblsp of ghee and fry 2 onions till brown.
Add half the whole spices and then add chicken and mince meat and let it brown.
Add ground spices and fry for a few minutes along with chicken and mince.
Add 2 cups of hot water, cover and cook till chicken is tender.
Beat the curd with saffron and add to chicken.
Cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
Remove from flame and keep aside.
Now heat the remaining ghee and fry bay leaves and remaining whole spices.
Add onions and brown them well.
Add rice and fry till brown.
Add enough water to cook rice and also 1 tsp of salt.
Spread a layer of rice on a flat serving dish and then another layer of meat.
Repeat with one more layer of each.
Garnish with almonds.

Drumstick Sambar Recipe - முருங்கைக்காய் சாம்பார்

Ingredients:

Brinjal - கத்திரிக்காய் - 2 nos.
Drumstick - முருங்கைக்காய் - 1 no.
Mango - மாங்காய் - 1 no. (Small)
Red gram dal - துவரம் பருப்பு - 1 cup
small onion - சிறிய வெங்காயம் - 1/4 kg
Tomato - தக்காளி - 2 nos.
Green chillies - பச்சை மிளகாய் - 2 nos.
Red chilly - மிளகாய் - 2 nos.
Red chilli powder - மிளகாய் தூள் - 1 table spoon
Coriander powder - மல்லித் தூள் - 2 table spoons
Sambar powder - சாம்பார் பொடி - 2 table spoons
Turmeric powder - மஞ்சள் பொடி - 1 tea spoon
Asafoetida - பெருங்காயம் - a pinch
Tamarind - புளி - small quantity
Mustard - கடுகு - 1 tea spoon
Black gram dal - உளுந்தம் பருப்பு - 1 table spoon
Fenugreek seeds - வெந்தயம் - 1 tea spoon
Curry leaves - கருவேப்பிலை - small quantity
Coriander leaves - மல்லித்தழை - small quantity
Grated/Shredded coconut - தேங்காய்த் துருவல் - 1 table spoon
Garlic - பூண்டு - 1 no.
Cumin seeds - ஜீரகம் - 1 table spoon
Ghee - நெய் - 1 table spoon

Method:
Put red gram dal in pressure cooker adding a pinch of asafoetida, turmeric powder and 1 tea spoon of oil. Pour 2 cups of water and heat for 20 minutes. Once it is boiled keep it aside.
Chop onions, tomatoes and vegetables, and keep them aside.
Prepare sambar powder, grind grated coconut, onion, curry leaves and garlic and make it to a paste.
Heat oil in a pan , splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black gram dal, fenugreek, add curry leaves, green chillies, red chillies and fry them. Now add onions and fry them well. Add tomatoes and a little salt and fry them well.
Now add all the vegetables and boil for some 5 minutes. Now add tamarind paste and mix them well. Once it starts boiling add sambar powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and the coconut paste.
Finally add smashed dal and ghee and allow it to cook for about 15 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Enchantress

Parthiban had been listening to the story of Karikala without much sympathy in the beginning; now, even he felt
moved. He wiped away the teardrops brimming in his eyes.
75
"My Prince! I never dreamed that such sorrow could result because of the love for a woman. None of us knew that
you had such an experience on the day of your coronation. Of course, we were all puzzled by your apathy. We teased and joked
and tried to revive your spirits. I remember all that now!"
"Yes, you teased, joked and tried to revive my interest in things. You talked about the great things I was going to
achieve during my rule. You and our friends had conquered all the lands from Lanka to the Himalaya's for my empire that day
itself! In fact you captured empires across oceans! I remember all those boasts; I remember how painful all that teasing was.
"After that, one day, Nandini summoned me to her mansion, the Pazluvoor Palace. There was a struggle in my mind --
to go or not to go? Finally, I decided to go; I wished to question her and clear up several doubts about various incidents. I
wanted to know the secret about her birth. I even suspected if there was any connection between my father's fainting spell and
his seeing Nandini accidentally in the palace that day. You may perhaps recall that though the Emperor recovered quickly on
that day, he never regained his health after that. I thought that some unsolved mystery would be cleared by talking to Nandini. I
made up all these reasons as my excuses -- I really went to her because of that magnetic grip she had over me. I was merely
fooling myself by other justifications. Lord Pazluvoor was not in town; there was no one to stop me in his palace. In fact none
in Tanjore knew of my old liaison with Nandini. They thought that the newly crowned Prince was coming to their palace to
seek the blessings of the elder women of Pazluvoor. I met Nandini in a flower laden gazebo in her garden. ...
"Parthiban! We have heard the tales of sailors who have gone across distant seas. They talk about swift, powerful
ocean currents in uncharted waters; how ships caught in such currents would be smashed to smithereens. When I stood in front
of Nandini that day, I was like one of those sailing ships caught in an unfamiliar ocean current. My body, heart and soul were
all shattered into a thousand formless pieces. Even I was amazed by the words I spoke. One corner of my brain wondered, `Oh
dear! How can I talk like this?' but my tongue mouthed unmentionable nonsense at the same time. Nandini expressed
happiness about my becoming the Crown Prince. `I have no happiness in that,' said I. `Why?' she asked. `What question is this?
How can I feel happy, when you have betrayed me like this?' I questioned. She pretended to not understand me. We continued
conversing in that fashion for some time.
"I accused her of forsaking my love and of taking Veera-pandiya for a lover. I spoke sarcastically about her marriage
to an old man. `Prince! First, you killed the love I had for you; then you killed the man who loved me in front of my own eyes;
perhaps you won't rest content till you have killed me also. You don't even like me being alive; that is fine! Please kill me also
now, and satisfy your desire!' saying this she pulled out a sharp knife hidden in her waistband and extended it to me. `Why
should I wish to kill you? You are the one torturing me to death!' I told her.
"In the end I spoke words about which I am now ashamed to even think. `Nothing is lost even now. Say just one word!
Promise to leave this old man and come away with me! I will give up my kingdom and come away with you. Let us both sail
away to distant lands across the oceans.' I told her. Nandini laughed horribly on hearing my words. Even now my hairs stand
on end if I think of that laughter. `What are we to do by going away to distant lands across the seas? Shall we chop wood for a
living? Or shall we raise a plantain orchard?' she asked with sarcasm. `Yes you will not like such things. After living in a
priest's house you have become the Queen of Pazluvoor now, haven't you?' I said.
"She continued, `I don't intend to be satisfied with this. I intend to sit upon the throne of this Chozla Empire as an
Empress. Tell me if you like the idea. Tell me if you will do this: Kill both these Lords of Pazluvoor, throw the Emperor in
prison, become the Emperor and make me your consort!' she demanded. `Oh! What horrible words you speak!' I retorted. `Was
it not a horrible deed to kill my beloved Pandiya who was wounded, right in front of my eyes, on his sickbed?' asked Nandini.
This infuriated me further. I babbled some enraged words at her and rose to leave. She did not let me go easily, `Prince! If you
ever change your mind, come back to me. When your heart is ready to make me your Empress come back to me!' she taunted. I
left her that day and have never seen her again," finished Aditya Karikala.
Parthiban, who heard all this was horrified and shocked. "My Prince, can there be a monster, a ghoul like this on the
earth? It is good that you never met her again!"
"It is true that I did not go and see her again. But, she has not let go of her hold over me! She circles around me, day
and night, torturing me. She occupies my thoughts throughout the day; fills up my dreams in the night. Sometimes she comes
to me with an enchanting smile, hugging me, kissing me; at other times she comes with a sharpened knife, ready to kill me.
Sometimes she comes with eyes brimming with tears, sobbing her heart out; at other times her hair is dish eveled, long nails
have scratched her soft cheeks, she is screaming in horror and fear. She comes laughing at me, like a maddened fiend; like a
saint with a calm face, soothing my sorrows. Oh dear God! How can I explain how that wretch torments me! Do you remember
76
what Grandfather said this evening? He gave all sorts of reasons about why I should not go to Tanjore. The real reason for my
not going to Tanjore and my trying to bring my father here to Kanchi is Nandini."
"Prince! Are you avoiding Tanjore just because you are afraid of a mere woman? What can she do? Are you afraid
that she will treacherously poison you and kill you?" asked the Pallava nobleman.
"No, Parthiba, no! You have not understood me even now! I am not afraid that she will kill me. I am afraid that she
will make me follow her wishes. `Throw your father in prison! Chase your sister out of this country! Kill this old man and
place me on your throne!' If that sorceress says these things once more, if that enchantress orders me once more, I am afraid
that I would feel like doing all those things. My Friend! Either Nandini should die or I should die. Or, both of us should die.
Otherwise there is no mental peace for me in this birth."
"What kind of speech is this? Why should you die? Permit me, I will go to Lanka later. I shall first go to Tanjore and
kill her; doesn't matter if I commit the sin of killing a woman ...."
"If you ever dare to do anything like that, you will become my first enemy. If Nandini has to be killed, I shall kill her
with these own hands of mine. After that I will kill my own self! I cannot tolerate anyone else harming even the tiny nail of her
little finger. Parthiba! You forget Nandini; forget everything I said about her. As Grandfather advised, you leave for Lanka
tomorrow itself. Somehow, convince Arulmozli and bring him here. He can stay here in Kanchi; grandfather and grandson can
consult with each other and do what they want. We can both go away to Lanka. We can sail away in ships, with large armies to
the island kingdoms in the southeast. We can go to Java, Srivijaya, Sumatra, Burma and Malaya. We can install our victorious
tiger-flag in all those countries. After that we can turn westward: to Egypt and Persia; to the Arab worlds and Yavana
Kingdoms. We can spread the fame of Tamils in all those worlds and raise our tiger-flag in all their cities. My Friend, did you
know that in all those countries, they are not bound by restrictions of karppu (sanctity of married women)? Kings in those lands
can want any woman under their rule and take her to their beds..."
Before a shocked Parthiban could to reply to this, Lord Milad-udayar Malayaman came up to them.
"There is no story more wonderful than the story of Aravaan! There is no hero like him in any of these countries you
were talking about just now. Why are you both up this late? Parthiban, don't you know that you have to set sail early
tomorrow?" asked old Grandfather.
"That is what we have been talking about, without sleeping," replied Pallava Parthiban.

A Palace Incident

Several hundred years ago, when Mahendra Pallava ruled from Kanchi, he had made arrangements for narrating the
Great Bharata story at various places all over his kingdom. He arranged this in order to rekindle the spirit of bravery among the
Tamils who had become peaceful in nature due to the spread of Buddhism and Jainism. He built several meetinghouses in
many towns exclusively for the telling of the Bharata story. His arrangements continued, uninterrupted, in the Thondai
Territories. People gathered in such meetinghouses or in open spaces to listen to the story of Mahabarata. Several singers who
were experts in narrating the story of Bharata and the subplots of that great epic, who were maestro's in miming the heroic
deeds of the epic warriors existed in the country.
When Arjuna, the epic warrior had been on a pilgrimage he went to the Kingdom of Manipuri, where he met Chitrangi
and fell in love with her. An exceptional son called Aravaan was born to her. This son born to Arjuna and the Mountain
Princess was a very brave youth. On hearing that the Bharata War was about to take place, he came down to the plains to join
the Pandava's. Just as the war was about to begin, the leaders began looking for a perfect, brave youth for being offered as a
sacrifice to the Deity of the Battlefield. Aravaan came forward saying, "Here I am; give me up as the Sacrifice to the
Battlefield." Since no other young warrior was braver than him on the Pandava side, they had to give him up as the sacrifice.
This story of brave Aravaan, who came forward to give up his life for the victory of his party, caught the fancy of the
Tamil people. The Story-teller had finished this tale of Aravaan at the shore temple of Mamallai that night. The musicians
ended the program by raising slogans such as, "Long life to Sundara Chozla the Emperor of the three worlds!" "Long life to the
Crown Prince Aditya Karikala!" These sounds came floating down the sea breeze. Town-folk who had been listening to the
story rose to disperse.
"The Story-teller has finished. Grandfather Malayaman will be back in a short while," said Karikala.
"Aravaan's story is completed. But, your story is not over yet?" asked Parthiban.
"Look at the strength of Malayaman at this age. Even now he keeps awake till midnight and goes to listen to the
Story-teller," said Karikala.
"There is nothing so fantastic about being alive till a ripe old age! There are many such old men in this town. They go
and listen to the Story-teller because they cannot sleep at night!"
"Are you dismissing Thiru-kovalur Malayaman as one such ordinary old man? How many victorious battles he has
fought? I wonder if we would even be alive till his age? Even if we are alive we may not be strong like him"
"My Prince, there is a reason for these old-timers being so strong."
"What is that?"
"They are not caught in the seductive wiles of womenkind. They do not loose their heart to a mere priest's daughter
and go into a decline with desire for her. Even if some woman happens to tempt them, they do not hesitate to drag her by her
tresses, throw her into their fortress and then continue with life."
"Parthiba, Nandini is really not a priest's daughter. There must be some secret about her birth ..."
"How does it matter whose daughter she is? Priest's daughter? Prince's daughter? Even if she is a nameless orphan, so
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what? Look at that other old man of Pazluvoor! He saw her somewhere along the wayside; immediately dragged her in, threw
her in his palace, a ninth one after the other eight!"
"I am astonished by that, My Friend!"
"Astonished? About how that old man became enmeshed in her wiles?"
"No, no! About how she, who once swore that she loved me and then declared that Veera-pandiya was her lover and
tried to save his life, how that Nandini willingly married that old man! That is what astounds me."
"I am not surprised by that. Sir, what surprises me is your behavior. How could you spare her, she who begged for the
life of your lifelong enemy -- that greatest coward, Veera-pandiya who is famous for escaping and hiding from the battlefield,
that greatest rival of your Chozla clan? That is what astonishes me the most when I think of it. For one thing, you could have
chopped her to bits there itself; if you didn't like that, you could have at least bound her hands and feet and taken her prisoner.
You did neither of these things! My Prince, I think I can remember now, you brought Veera-pandiya's dead body and threw it
outside the cottage. We all shouted impassioned slogans of victory. In the midst of all that commotion I could hear sobs from
inside the house. I had asked `What is that?' You had answered, `Some woman of the priest's family! She is already petrified by
these killings. None of you need go in and frighten her further.' In the midst of the victorious enthusiasm we did not ponder on
that incident. We all left that place with Veera-pandiya's head. You came back with us, though you did not participate too much
in our revelry. You seemed apathetic. I questioned you about that and you pacified me with some reason. I remember now
about wondering if you had been badly wounded or something!" said Parthiban the Pallava.
"There was no wound on my body Parthiban! But, a wound that will never heal festers in my heart! That sight - of her
falling at my feet in front of Veera-pandiya's bed and begging for his life with folded hands, -- it has been etched in my mind. I
tremble with the thought, `Oh, why did I not grant her the one request she had?' If I could have given my own life and brought
Veera-pandiya back to life, I would have done it! That is not possible; I blame myself, curse myself. Parthiban, we feel so
proud of our capabilities and achievements; we think that nothing is impossible to us; we even believe the ancient writings that
declare, `Kings are Divine!' But, do we have the power to bring back life to a dead body? Can any royal personage do it? All
that we can do is take life; no man has the power to bring back life..."
"It is good that we do not have such powers. If you had possessed that power, what a terrible impropriety would have
been committed! You would have brought Veera-pandiya back to life; he would have once again hid himself in some desert
cave; and the Pandiya war would still be going on! All this because of a woman's tears!" spoke Parthiban.
"Pallava, you are an unfortunate who dislikes womankind. You have no experience of love. That is why you say such
things."
"Yes; it is true that I have never been enmeshed in the wiles of any woman; but your dear friend Vandiya Devan
would be mesmerized into a grinning idiot by one glimpse at any made-up face. That is why you like him better than me, is it
not so, My Prince?"
"Ah! In the end you have come back to Vandiya Devan. I wondered how you had forgotten him all this while!"
"Yes, it is distasteful to you if I tell you the truth about him. I won't mention it again. What happened after that, Sir?
Did you never meet Nandini after that? Did you never ask her how she came to marry old man Pazluvoor when she claimed to
have lost her heart to Veera-pandiya?"
"That night after the death of Veera-pandiya, after all the victory celebrations, you went to sleep in our camp. I could
not sleep. Every nerve in my body trembled with an urge to see her again. I wanted to see her, console her, beg her forgiveness.
At other times I wished to pour all my rage upon her. Anyway, I felt that I would have no peace if did not see her again and
that I could never return home without her. So, after all of you had slept, much past midnight, I stole out of the camp with my
horse. I neared that grove on the river bed. With an agitated mind, shivering body and weakened limbs, I dismounted and
walked slowly towards the temple. I found that all those cottages had burned down to ashes. An old man and a woman were
sitting amidst that devastation and wailing. I recognized them as the two people who had brought Nandini to Pazlayarai long
ago. Upon seeing me, their fear and sorrow increased. In the beginning they could utter nothing clearly. Slowly, I dispelled
their fear and questioned them. Apparently their elder daughter lived in a village across the river. They had gone to visit her
because it was time for her childbirth. Nandini had refused to go with them; since she had been adamant, used to doing her own
thing from childhood, they had decided to go without her. They had not realized that a battle was taking place around them. On
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the way back, they had seen some rogues binding the hands and legs of some woman and throwing her into a funeral pyre in
the forest. They had felt that such atrocities were natural in times of war and had hurried away from that place with fear. On
coming back they saw that their houses were aflame and no sign of Nandini. After disclosing this much, the priest and his wife
began wailing even louder; `Prince, where is our dear daughter? Where is she?' they asked. I had known even before that they
were not Nandini's real parents. Now it was confirmed.
"If they were truly her parents, would they have left her alone like that in the middle of a war and gone away?
Therefore, I felt neither pity or mercy for them. All I could feel was an ambiguous sadness about Nandini's fate. `Go find your
daughter's funeral pyre and you too fall in it and die!' I cursed them and came back to the camp before daybreak. I don't think
anybody knew about my leaving or coming back ..."
"Yes Sir! We never knew. I am surprised that you have locked up all these secrets in your heart for so many years
after that. This is totally against the tenets of friendship. If I had been you, I would have shared all my feelings."
"But, you were not me Parthiban! No one in the world could be in my position. If you had been me, who knows how
you would have behaved?"
"Why worry about what happened long ago? What happened after that? When did you see Nandini again? Was it
before or after she became the Young-Queen of Pazluvoor?"
"If I had met her before, she would have never become Pazluvoor's Queen. When Lord Pazluvoor was married, you
and I were not in Tanjore. Remember how disgusted we felt when we heard that news? Some months after that, I was
coronated as the Crown Prince. My father, grandmother and other elders had made that arrangement so that there would be no
confusion about the succession to the Chozla throne. Perhaps they feared that Madurandaka would be tempted by ill advice
from someone or other. They anointed me as Crown Prince and gave me the title of Parakesari, with the right to issue edicts,
and establish stone inscriptions on my own. My dear father blessed me wholeheartedly, `Henceforth, the responsibility of
ruling this Chozla Empire is yours!' All the citizens, people, ministers, generals and chieftains upheld it and raised chee rs of
victory. In those celebrations, I had almost forgotten Nandini. An incident which took place a few hours after the coronation
proved that I could never forget her. My father led me, crowned with the antique, jewelled diadem of Chozla kings, to the inner
courtyard of the palace to seek the blessings of my elder-grandmother, mother and other elderly women of our clan. My young
brother, the Prime Minister and the Lords of Pazluvoor followed us. Along with the older women, my sister Kundavai, her
friends and several other young noblewomen waited in the palace court to greet me. They all shone with silken garments and
bright jewels; they welcomed me with bright happy faces. But, among all of them only one face caught my attention; it was
Nandini's enchanting face. The angel of my heart, Nandini, who I thought had burned down to ashes! How did she appear in
that court? How beautiful she looked, dressed in those wonderful clothes and jewels, shining like an empress among all those
queens! What ecstasy and triumph on her face? How did her loveliness become tenfold?
"Within a few seconds my heart built several dream fortresses. That day when I had been crowned as the Prince of the
Chozla realm was truly the luckiest day of my life! Was the queen of my heart also going to be my royal consort? Is this
becoming possible by some magic, some sorcery? ..... as I daydreamed, my mother Vanamadevi stepped up to me saying, `My
Son! My Child!' and embraced me with kisses. In that same instant a totally unexpected incident occurred. My father screamed
loudly, `Aahh!' and fell down in a faint. Everything became confused. I and the others tried to revive the Emperor. All those
women except my mother and my elder- grandmother Sembiyan Madevi left the chamber. My father regained his senses soon.
I led my sister Kundavai apart and asked her, `How did Nandini come here?' My sister said that Nandini had married the Elder
Lord Pazluvoor and was now the Young-Queen of Pazluvoor. Sharp lances pierced my heart!
"My Friend, I had been wounded several times in battlefields, but the wound caused by my sister's words, `Nandini is
the Young-Queen of Pazluvoor,' has not healed to this day." Aditya Karikala finished and held his chest with both his palms as
if that pain still lingered in him.

Nandini's Lover

"I met Nandini for the first time when I was twelve years old. One day in Pazlayarai, I, my sister Kundavai and my
younger brother Arulmozli were playing on the lake behind our palace, holding boat races. After playing for a while we were
walking back through the garden. We heard the voice of our elder-grandmother Sembiyan Madevi. All three of us were fond of
our grandmother who spoilt us with her affection. We wanted to immediately tell her about our experiences with the boat and
so we walked into the garden pavilion where we heard her voice. Besides our grandmother, three other persons were in that
building. One of those three was a young girl, about our age. The other two appeared to be her parents. They were saying
something about that girl to my grandmother. When we three children walked in, they stopped; all of them looked at us. All
that I can recall is how that young girl's beautiful eyes widened with surprise and watched me. I can see that look clearly, even
now ...."
After saying these words, Karikala became silent, gazing at the stars in the sky above him. Perhaps he could glimpse
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the face of that young girl in those light clouds which floated across the sky, veiling the stars. Who knows?
"Sir! What happened next?" asked Parthiban, bringing Karikala back to this world. The Prince continued:-
"My sister Kundavai told my grandmother all about our boat. After listening for a while, the Elder Pirati asked her,
`Darling, did you meet this girl? See how smart she is? They have come from the Pandiya country to the house of our Mr.
Esanya Bhattar. They will be here for a while. This young girl is Nandini. Why don't you make friends with her and play with
her? She will be a good companion to you!' But, I soon found that my sister did not like this. The three of us left the pavilion
and walked back towards the palace. At that time Kundavai asked me, `Anna! Did you see that girl there? Wasn't she awful
looking? Such an owlish face! Why does grandmother want me to play with her? I cannot stand her face, what am I to do?'
When I heard this, I realized an important truth. That is, women are born with envious minds. However beautiful a girl is, she
cannot stand the sight of another pretty face. Among all the women of my clan, my sister is renowned for her beauty. She could
not stand the sight of another attractive girl! Otherwise why would she make such a comment about that new girl? But, I did
not let my sister off easily. I teased her often and praised the comeliness of the new girl just to anger her. We often got into
petty arguments and quarrels because of this. Arulmozli who was too young, did not understand this bickering and was quite
bewildered. Very soon after this, I left with my father to the war in the Pandiya Kingdom. We engaged in several combats
against the Pandiya forces as well as the troops from Lanka which came to help them. All our engagements were victorious.
Finally, Veera-pandiya abandoned the field to run away and hide. At that time we did not know if he had gone into hiding or
whether he had died in the battlefield. But, the Lankan forces which had come to help him, began retreating towards the coast.
We followed those retreating men till the Port of Sethu. All survivors of that Singhalese Battalion escaped to their island in
small boats and rafts. My father wanted to teach a lesson to those Lankan kings who often helped the Pandiyas against us. He
decided to send a large army under the Command of the Younger Lord Velir of Kodumbalur to Lanka. It took us some months
to collect supplies and organize the ships for this expedition. We camped at Sethu, organized the campaign and sent off our
army in the ships; only after we had news of their safe landing in Matottam did we return. By the time I came back to
Pazlayarai, more than two and a half years had passed.
"I had completely forgotten the priest's daughter who had come from Madurai. When I came back to Pazlayarai, I
found that both my sister and that girl had grown unrecognizably. I found them both to be great friends. Not only had Nandini
grown more beautiful, but she shone with silken garments and jewels. I found that this was due to my sister's generosity.
Unlike the earlier time, Nandini now hesitated to see me or talk to me; she seemed bashful. I tried to make her overcome her
shyness. I found incomparable pleasure in talking to her and spending time in her company. At that young age, this attraction
for her surprised me no end. Like the fresh floods of the Cauvery, a new emotion, a fresh experience was flooding my heart,
filling my soul with an ambiguous enthusiasm. However, I soon found that none of my near and dear ones liked this new
interest of mine. Since my coming back, Kundavai began to dislike that girl. One day, my grandmother Sembiyan Madevi
talked to me in privacy, `Nandini is from a priest's family; you are the Emperor's son. You are both no longer young children.
This intimacy between you two is no longer appropriate,' she advised. I, who revered my grandmother like a Goddess became
angry with her and disregarded her words. I forsook her advice and began meeting Nandini in secrecy. But, that did not last too
long. Suddenly one day, Nandini and her parents left Pazlayarai and went back to their village in the Pandiya Kingdom. When I
found out, sadness overwhelmed me; anger and rage were uncontrollable. I buried my sadness and showered my rage upon my
sister. Fortunately, I had to soon leave and go north. I came away with the battalion sent to fight the Rashtrakuta forces which
occupied Thondai and Thiru-munaipadi. It was at that time that I met you; we became inseparable friends.
"With the help of Malayaman, you and I fought the Rashtrakutas. We drove them beyond the River Palar and captured
Kanchi City. At that time we heard the bad news from Lanka: our forces were defeated, the Younger Lord Velir had lost his
life there. On hearing that news, Veera-pandiya who had been hiding in mountain caves, came out like a serpent emerging
from its mound. He collected his army once again and captured Madurai to raise his fish-flag over that city. Remember how
impassioned we became when we heard all this news? The two of us went back to Pazlayarai immediately.
"My father was already in ill health, losing the use of his limbs. Even so, he was planning the Pandiya campaign. I
begged him to send me in his stead. I promised to destroy the Pandiya army and capture Madurai once again; I swore that I
would not return home without Veera-pandiya's head. You were also with me at that time. My father agreed to send us on that
campaign. He ordered us to go under the leadership of Bhoothi Vikrama Kesari, the Elder Lord Velir of Kodumbalur who
had already been appointed the Commander for that campaign. We went gladly. On the way we met the Elder Lord Pazluvoor
and his battalion. We learned that he was annoyed at not being appointed the Commander for the campaign.
"Seeing our enthusiasm, Commander Bhoothi Vikrama Kesari gave us important assignments in the conduct o f that
war. My Friend, remember? You and I performed the greatest deeds of daring and valor during those combats. There is nothing
wrong in being proud of that! We defeated the Pandiya forces and captured Madurai, but were not satisfied with that. We
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wanted to destroy every unit of that army so that it could never regroup again. We ordered our men to follow every company of
their retreating battalions and kill them mercilessly. We pursued the withdrawing Pandiya King with one compact detachment.
"A fish-flag flying high atop an elephant directed us to the path of that coward's retreat. We followed in that direction
and caught up with that regiment. The Aabathudavi Battalion surrounded Veera-pandiya in all sides and guarded him like a
fort. In a way, that Aabathudavi Battalion of the Pandiya Kingdom was much better organized than even our Chozla Velaikara
Battalion. Each man of that Pandiya regiment had sworn that he would never retreat, and that he would guard the life of his
king by giving up his own life if needed. If that became impossible and they were unable to save their king, those men had
sworn to cut off their heads with their own swords and offer themselves as sacrifice. We fought against such invincible men.
Those men fulfilled their oaths, for we killed every single one of them. Dead bodies rose in mountains. But, we could not find
Veera-pandiya in their midst. We had been fooled by the fish-flag; the elephant stood there carrying the fish-flag of the
Pandiyas; but, there was no sign of their king anywhere on it or nearby. Wasn't Veera-pandiya an expert in running away from
the battlefield and hiding himself? We suspected that he had run away once again. We divided our remaining forces and sent
them to search in all directions.
"You and some men went swiftly along both banks of River Vaigai. I too did not remain quiet. I stepped into the river
bed and went southward. A single horse's hoofprint marked the sandy river bed; bloodstains accompanied the hoofprint on the
sand. I followed the clue and entered a grove which was like an island in the middle of that river bed. A Vishnu temple was in
that grove; a few cottages for housing temple priests were also nearby. That grove contained several flowering bushes and trees
for use in the Lord's worship. A small lotus pond was brimming with delightful blooms.
"Dear Friend! You perhaps remember it. I had pointed out that grove and ordered that you or our men should not even
accidentally enter it. The reason for my strict orders was not merely to safeguard the temple and the flower garden: that queen
among women who had abducted my soul and taken abode in my heart, lived in a priest's house in that grove. Once earlier,
when I rode into that grove, I saw Nandini. Her appearance was quite changed. She had bound her tresses over her forehead,
into a coiffure like that of Saint Andal's and wound flower garlands around it. More garlands decorated her shoulders! `What is
this guise?' I asked her. She said that after she had been forced to part from me, she had resolved to marry no living man and
that she was intent on marrying the Divine Lord Krishna, just like Saint Andal! It appeared to be utter foolishness to me. An
ordinary human girl, marrying God!? -- Even so, I did not wish to argue with her about it at that time. `Let the war be over; we
will see afterwards,' I thought. I asked her if she needed any help. `Arrange it that none of your soldiers come into this garden.
Only my aged father and half-blind mother live here with me now. I did have a strong bodied brother, but, he is away on
pilgrimage!' she said. I promised her that none of our men would go into her garden, and returned to our camp. I met her later
two or three times. My old passion for her had grown tenfold; but, I remained patient. The assignment on hand must be
completed first. I must go back to Pazlayarai with Veera-pandiya's head. As a reward for that I could ask my father for
Nandini's hand.
"When I had been so resolved, when I saw the single horse's hoof-prints going into that garden, I became quite angry.
On entering the grove, I saw a horse hidden behind the trees. The fellow who had escaped here must be in one of those
cottages. I walked up to Nandini's house and looked in through the window.
"My Friend, the sight that met my eyes in that house remains in my memory like a sign etched with a hot branding
iron. Veera-pandiya was lying on an old coir cot. Nandini was embracing him and giving him water. Her face shone with an
unusual light; her eyes were filled with tears. She bound his wounds and soothed him. I had no control over my rage as I kicked
the door open and walked into that room. Nandini who was binding his wounds, stopped upon seeing me and came towards
me. She fell to the floor bowing to me and with folded palms begged, `Sir! In the name of the love you had for me once upon a
time, I beg you! Please do not harm this man. Please do not kill this mortally wounded man!'
"Hesitantly, `What is the relationship between you and this man? Why are you trying to save his life?'I asked. Nandini
replied, `He is my lover; my God; my benevolent lord who has promised to marry me!'
"Even the little pity I felt for Veera-pandiya on seeing his wounds, now vanished. That wretch, the sinner -- he had
taken his vengeance on me! It would not have mattered if he had captured my kingdom; he had abducted the queen who ruled
my heart! I could never show him any mercy!
"I kicked Nandini aside and went past her; with one swift blow of my sword I chopped down Veera-pandiya's head. If
I think of that monstrous, horrible deed now, I feel ashamed, mortified. But, at that time the rage of anger mingled with the
rage of war in me. In that passion, I killed Veera-pandiya; as I was about to step out of the house, I turned back to look at
Nandini once more. She too was staring at me without blinking an eyelid. I have never seen such a look on this earth. All the
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emotions -- passion, anger, pride, prejudice, envy, love -- burned like bright embers in her eyes. I have tried to decipher the
meaning of that look several times; till this day I have not understood it.
"By then, you and several of our men had come there in pursuit of me. Upon seeing Veera-pandiya's headless body
and bleeding head, all of you raised cheers of victory. Nonetheless, my heart felt crushed with a heavy weight, as if the
Vindhya mountain was placed upon it."
*****
Ponniyin Selvan

Venomous Fiend

The three noblemen spent that night in one of the old Pallava palaces in Mamallai. After the night meal, Malayaman
walked back to the shore temple to listen to the Story-teller recount the tale of Aravaan. Aditya Karikala and Parthiban went up
to the terrace.
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Karikala kept gazing at the nighttime view of the Mamallai coast for some time. A few lights burned indifferently here
and there. Silence prevailed in the streets. They were closing temple doors after midnight services. The roar of the ocean could
be heard as a melancholy background drone. The expert villu-pattu (folk-song) maestro and his group were retelling the story
of Aravaan, in the courtyard of the shore temple; town-folk gathered around them, to listen to their story, could be seen as dim
shadows in the light of torches.
"Look at this old man, he has gone to listen to the Story-teller at this ripe old age! Whatever you say, there is
something commendable about these old timers. Who in these days has the will of mind and strength of purpose like them?"
asked Karikala.
"Prince! You too have started talking of the glory of ancient times and oldmen. What have we not achieved in our
times that has been done by these old-timers? I have not heard of anyone even in epics and fables performing such brave,
daring deeds like you, at such a young age," said Parthiban.
"Parthiba! You are pure of heart; I know that you will not conceal something in your mind and speak something else.
If you didn't do that you will not be my friend but, my worst enemy. You flatter me too much. There is nothing like flattery to
hurl a man into the deepest abyss."
"Sir, if one makes up untrue stories about a person and recounts them with a selfish motive, such tales are flattery.
Consider Madurandaka, who is slave to those Pazluvoor fellows in Tanjore; if I go and praise him saying, `You are the bravest
among brave!' it is flattery. If you ever find me doing anything stupid like that, you must kill me immediately with the sword in
your hand. Not a single word of excess have I uttered about you. Which warrior of ancient times has achieved so much at such
a young age? Perhaps we can consider your great-grandfather, Raja-aditya who `Reposed atop the elephant,' as comparable to
you. But, I cannot say he was greater ..."
"Stop this Parthiban, stop this! How can you compare me with Raja-aditya? We are not qualified even to talk about
Raja-aditya who reached the heavens meant for the brave, after wrecking havoc on the huge Rashtrakuta forces with a tiny
battalion. How can we compare ourselves to him? Forget this Chozla Dynasty. Consider the great heros of the Pallava clan in
which you are born! Will we ever see men equal to the great Mahendra Pallava and Mamalla Narasimha in these lands once
again? Think of valiant Narasimha Pallava who established his victory pillar in Vatapi, the capital of Chalukya Pulikesi who
had ruled all the lands from Tungabadra to Narmada under one canopy! You and I are nothing compared to him! Can anybody
in our times or after us, create a dreamworld like this exquisite Mamallai? ... Oh! Look around you in all directions once more!
Look over there where the Story-teller is holding court! Do you think they are ordinary men who gouged granite boulders to
build those exquisite chariots of stone? My whole body quivers with elation to think how splendid this Mamallai must have
been three hundred and fifty years ago. Don't you feel anything like that? When you think of your forefathers don't your
shoulders swell with pride?"
"My Prince, sometime ago you accused me of flattering you. You forgot that I often point out the faults in you. This
foolishness of wasting a lifetime with sculpture, art and music has taken hold of you too. It is because of such a madness that
all the victories won by my forefathers became useless. What did Narasimha do after establishing his victory pillar in Vatapi
City and coming back? He sat here sculpting stones and gouging boulders! And what was the result? Within a few years the
Chalukyas rose back to power. They came back with large armies bent upon vengeance; destroyed Kanchi and Uraiyoor and
went as far as Madurai! If Nedumara, the Pandiya had not faced those Chalukya hordes at Nelveli and defeated them, all these
southern lands would be under Chalukya rule even to this day!" said Parthiban.
"No, Parthiba, no! We have not heard of any ruling dynasty lasting for ever in this world. Even the Ishvaku line of
Rama came to an end. Rashtrakutas appeared to overthrow the Chalukyas. It is natural for empires to achieve glory at one time
and shrink to nothing at other periods. Some empires last with splendor for long times and then disappear without trace. Think
of my own ancestors -- Karikala Valava and Killi Valava of Sangam Times ruled with such pomp! What do we know about
them now? Because some bards wrote about them and their times we at least remember their names! Who knows if those bards
sang the truth or let their imaginations run wild in a drunken stupor? But Mahendra and Mamalla created this world of
sculpture. This will last for thousands of years and proclaim their fame to all the world. What have we done, comparable to
their creations? We killed thousands of men in battlefields and raised mounds of dead bodies; made rivers of blood flow! What
else have we done to establish our fame in history?" asked Karikala with some despair.
When Parthiban heard these words, he wondered if it was Aditya Karikala talking; he was stunned into silence for
some minutes. After some time he sighed and spoke up, "Prince, if you yourself talk in this fashion about combat and war,
what can I say? Your mind is not steadfast today, that is why you are rambling in this fashion. Si r, why don't you share the
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sadness in your mind with me? Open up your austere heart to me?"
"Parthiba! If I open up my heart and show it to you, what do you think you will find inside? Whom do you think will
be inside?"
"That is what I would like to know, My Lord!"
"My mother and father who gave life to me will not be there. My sister and brother, more dear than life, will not be
there. My closest friends, you and Vandiya Devan will not be there. A woman, the embodiment of deception will be found
there. The Young-Queen of Pazluvoor, the personification of all sordid sins will be there. All these days, I have not spoken to
anyone about this torture by that venomous fiend, Nandini who dominates my heart. I have told you now." When Aditya
Karikala spoke, the fiery heat of a furnace rose from his words.
"Prince, I could guess this somewhat. Whenever the Young-Queen of Pazluvoor was mentioned, your face darkened
and eyes turned bloodshot exhibiting some unbearable pain. How did this undeserving passion take hold of your heart? You are
born in a tradition which considers every alien woman as a mother. The nobles of Pazluvoor are blood relatives to you over
several generations. Lord Pazluvoor is old in age. Though he is enemy today, it was always not the case. Yo u father and
grandfather showed such regard for him. Such a man's legally wedded wife -- however wretched and sinful she is -- how can
you even think of her in this way?"
"I should not! I know I should not. All this mental torture is because I realize this. But, she did not take possession of
my heart after she became the Young-Queen of Pazluvoor. This poison of passion for her had gripped my heart much before,
much much before that. I have not been able to get rid of this unworthy obsession, however I try. I speak as if everything was
her fault. Only God knows whose mistake it was. Perhaps all the blame should be cast upon the Creator who brought us into
this world. Or, we must blame Fate, which made us meet and then separated us!"
"My Lord! Had you met Nandini before she became the Young-Queen of Pazluvoor? Where, when and how did you
meet her?"
"That is a long tale. Do you wish to hear it today?"
"I surely do! I shall have no peace if I do not know the details. You are asking me to leave for Lanka tomorrow; I
cannot do my duty properly over there if I leave you like this. I must know the situation and offer you some solace. Only then
will I find rest."
"My Friend! Are you going to comfort me? There is no solace for me in this birth. I am not sure if I will find peace
even in my next birth. Anyway, I will tell you; for your peace. I do not want you to go away thinking that I have secrets from
you. You should not depart for Lanka with such thoughts."
After saying this, Aditya Karikala hesitated for some time. He then began disclosing his story.

Malayaman's Anger

Of course Aditya Karikala did not faint on hearing the shocking words uttered by Thiru-kovalur Malayaman who was
capable, intelligent and experienced. Nevertheless, he was stunned into silence for a few moments. Parthiban was also shocked
into wordless silence. Even the roaring sea seemed quiet. By then even the `elelo' songs of workmen loading the ships had
stopped.
Aditya felt ashamed to have shown his shock. He quickly looked up at his Grandfather's face and said, "I too heard of
such talk in the countryside and cities. I dismissed them as mere rumors. You seem to be convinced. Are you sure? Is it
possible?"
"Why is it not possible? Didn't your Elder-grandfather Gandara Aditya rule this Chozla Kingdom before your
Grandfather Arinjaya? Doesn't his son have more rights to this Empire than you two brothers?" asked Lord Malayaman Miladudayar.
"Never! That fool who cannot utter four words clearly, who has never touched a sword in his life, he who should have
been a woman but was by accident born a man -- he has a right to this Empire!? What of the rights of our Prince who entered
warfront at the tender age of twelve, who has never seen defeat, who bears the title, `Valiant Prince who took Veera-pandiya's
head,' the bravest lion Aditya Karikala -- what of his rights? Sir, have you lost your senses in your old age?" screamed
Parthiban in rage.
Karikala silenced him and then turned to Malayaman, "Grandfather, this Empire is not a big thing for me. If I want, I
can establish an empire ten times larger than this with the help of my sword. But what is the justice in this? I would not have
cared if they had declared in the beginning itself that the Kingdom was for Madurandaka. With the consent of countrymen,
citizens, chieftains and the people they declared that I have a right to the throne and anointed me as Crown Prince. How can
that change now? How can you support that?"
"I do not support it and never will I do so. If you ever concede and agree to give up your throne to Madurandaka, I
will chop you to pieces with this sword of mine. Then I shall cut your dear mother to bits. After that, I who gave birth to your
mother shall hack myself to death with that very same sword. Till I have life in this body, I shall not let the Chozla Empire slip
from your hands." When the old man roared with passion, his eyes shone with a bright anger; his aged body shook with
emotion.
"Say it like that Grandfather, say it like that," shouted Parthiban as he ran up to embrace old Malayaman. Even his
eyes were filled with tears of passion.
Karikala kept gazing at the deep sea for some time. "If this is your opinion, why hesitate? Grandfather, why should we
not gather our armies and immediately march towards Tanjore? We can easily overc ome the Lords of Pazluvoor and
Mazlavaraya, Muthuaraya, Sambuvaraya, Munai Raya and all the other chieftains who support them; we can capture Tanjore
Fort. We can imprison Madurandaka, free the Emperor. If I have your blessing, if I have Parthiban at my side, who on this
earth can overcome us?" asked the Prince.
"True; none can win you in warfare. But what can you both do against conspiracy and treachery? Even as you
approach Tanjore with your army, they will declare that the son has declared war on his father. They will announce that unable
to bear the shock, your father, the Emperor gave up his life. And people will believe that. What will you do in such a situation?
You too will loose courage. My son! Can you tolerate an accusation of declaring war on your own father?"
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Aditya Karikala covered his ears and said, "Oh Lord God! It is horrible, disgusting even to hear!"
"That is why I have been cautioning you from the very first: grave danger surrounds us."
"What is the solution, Grandfather? What is the solution?"
"We must first send a trustworthy messenger to Lanka and make him bring back Arulmozli with him. Your brother
will not easily leave the battlefield, abandon his men and come. We must send a capable man who can convince him, change
his mind and make him come here."
Parthiban stepped up and said, "Sir! If it is agreeable to you, I can go and bring him here."
"That depends on Karikala's wish; and your will. Whoever it is, the messenger should not get involved in extraneous
affairs like Vandiya Devan."
"See! Remember what I said!" spoke Parthiban.
Karikala asked, "Grandfather, did you get any news of Vandiya Devan?"
"In the beginning I even had some suspicions about him. I wondered if he had joined our enemies; but, later my
doubts were cleared."
"Listen Parthiba!"
"Let him finish, My Prince, let him finish; you are so hasty! Sir why did you suspect Vandiya Devan?"
"I found that he was at Kadamboor on the night of the treacherous meeting. But, later I came to know that he had no
involvement in that conspiracy."
"Grandfather, how do you know all this?"
"I did not get an invitation to the banquet at Kadamboor. That itself raised my suspicions. After that, I imprisoned the
Chieftain of Kunratoor who was returning home from that get-together and took him to my mountain fort. I learned of
everything that took place at Kadamboor from him. Apparently Vandiya Devan is a dear friend of Kandamaran..."
"Yes; we know that. They were both in our army garrison near the North Pennar. I knew that they had become good
friends from those days."
"Anyway, Vandiya Devan was at Kadamboor that night. It was not clear if he was part of the plot or not. Soon I found
the answer! When I heard that he had stabbed Kandamaran on his back at Tanjore before he escaped ..."
"Grandfather! I can never believe that story. Vandiya Devan may do anything, he would never stab someone in the
back to escape. That too he is not so wretched as to stab his own friend." Karikala spoke for his friend.
"If he had found that his friend was involved in treason against his master? If that friend had tried to recruit him also
into that treason?"
"Whatever it may be; he would have fought face to face; never would he stab someone in the back."
"I am amazed by your confidence in your retainer. Who knows the truth? Lord Pazluvoor has accused Vandiya Devan
of having stabbed Kandamaran on his back; they are looking for him; that is all I know. We can surmise that there was some
kind of a quarrel between Vandiya Devan and Kandamaran; and that he was not involved in that scheme against you."
"We need not look for such involved proof of that. If Vandiya Devan joins forces with my enemies, this earth will turn
upside down! The deep ocean will dry up! The sky would shatter and the sun will rise in the night. The Chozla Dynasty will
face utter destruction." Aditya spoke with intensity.
"I agree with the Prince. Vandiya Devan will never betray us and join forces with the enemy. I find only one fault with
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him. If he sees the face of a beautiful woman, Vandiya Devan will turn dizzy; he will loose his senses."
Aditya smiled upon hearing these words of Parthiban. "Don't I know that nature in him! That is why I ordered him to
first deliver my letter to the Emperor and then meet my sister, the Younger Pirati. If he sees my sister once, he has no escape;
he has to be her slave!"
Malayaman now asked with surprise, "Is that what you told him? I didn't know it! Did you get any news from him
after he left Tanjore? Did the Younger Pirati send any information?"
"I am expecting some message every minute. Nothing has come so far."
"After Arulmozli comes here, we must get your sister also to come here. Then we do no not have to worry about
anything. We can leave all thinking to her and follow her orders. That will be enough!" said Malayaman of Thiru-kovalur.
"You are worse than Vandiya Devan in this, Grandfather!"
"Yes Karikala! Your sister has picked up the mace of authority ever since she was two years old! She would rule over
us -- me, your grandmother and your parents -- and make us dance to her wishes when she was a child. Even now nothing has
changed as far as I am concerned. Her rule is law for me! Karikala, don't think that I am demeaning you by praising your sister.
It is added honor for you that you have such a sister. I have not seen a man or woman so far, who is possessed of an
intelligence comparable to your sister's. You know how capable our Prime Minister Brahma Raya is? He himself consults
Kundavai's opinion on certain matters. What other endorsement do you need?"
Parthiban had not overcome his rivalry over Vandiya Devan. He asked, "All that is fine, who disagreed? But, what are
we to do if Vandiya Devan has met some other woman and fallen prey to her enchantment before he has met Kundavai? For
example, if he had met that enchantress called the Young-Queen of Pazluvoor?"
He had uttered the last few words in a soft voice; the old man did not hear them. Karikala had heard; he turned to look
at Parthiban with eyes brimming with fire. That look petrified Parthiban.
Malayaman stood up saying, "Parthiba! I hope you intend leaving for Lanka tomorrow itself. You two young men
may have much to talk about. I am old; I shall slowly walk back to the palace. You can both talk about everything and come
back slowly."
After he had walked away a little, Parthiban looked at Karikala and said, "My Prince, My Master! There is some
turmoil in your mind. Some sadness engulfs your heart. I think it has something to do with the Young-Queen of Pazluvoor.
Your very appearance is transformed if there is any mention of old man Pazluvoor's wedding or his Young-Queen. Your eyes
redden and spit fire. For how long are you going to bury this sorrow in your heart and suffer? Your have called me your dearest
friend at least a thousand times. Why don't you share your secrets with me, your friend? What is your anguish? Why don't you
tell me? Why don't you give me an opportunity to wipe out that melancholy? How long am I to keep quiet, watching you suffer
like this?" Parthiban asked in an impassioned voice.
Aditya Karikala sighed deeply, "My Friend! My heart ache has no cure. It is a sorrow that will die with me; it has no
soothing solution. It is nothing that I cannot share with you. I'll tell you tonight. But, let us go back to the palace wi th
Grandfather. It is not correct to let him go back alone."
The Prince stood up.

An Old Man's Wedding

There were several small boulders strewn about the sea shore of Mamallai. Sometimes the tide would rise to cover
those rocks with furious waves. At other times, the sea would recede and allow those boulders to dry completely. The great
sculptors of Mamallai had not forgotten even one tiny rock face along the shore: they had used their imagination fully and
carved each stone-face with large and small sculptures.
Aditya Karikala and his two companions walked towards two such boulders which were facing each other on the
sandy beach. Treating the two rocks like two thrones, Malayaman and Karikala sat down. Parthiban stood a little apart. Waves
came up to wet their feet now and then. Sometimes the spray of water caused by the waves dashing upon the rocks showered
droplets of pearls upon them. In the far distance they could see barges loaded with goods cleaving the waves and riding
towards the distant horizon. Men were loading the goods from those barges onto ships anchored far away.
"I am filled with anger to think that all the supplies that we had collected for the northern invasion are being diverted
to Lanka," said Parthiban.
"What can we do? The best trained Chozla battalions are in Lanka, winning battle after battle. They have captured
Anuradapura, the ancient capital from which Lankan Kings ruled for a thousand years, and raised our victorious tiger-flag.
How can we let such brave men starve?" asked Prince Karikala.
"Who said that we must let them starve? Of course we must send food supplies. But, they could be sent from Chozla
Territories via Nagapattinam Port. Or they can be sent from the Pandiya Kingdom from the port at Sethu. Where is the need
to send food supplies from these dry deserts of Thondai? I am saying this because we must consider the setback to our plans for
a northern campaign because of this."
"I am also enraged by that thought. I wonder what those wretched Lords of Pazluvoor intend to do. How long am I to
tolerate this? Grandfather! Why are you still keeping quiet? Why don't you say something?" asked Karikala.
"My son! These sea waves are roaring incessantly. Your friend Parthiban with his ceaseless chatter is competing with
them. What can I say in the midst of all this din? I have grown feeble in my old age."
"Parthiba, You keep quiet for some time. Let Grandfather express his opinion."
"Here, I shall shut my mouth. Poor Grandfather has come down here, so far from the fort, with great difficulty in this
weak old age. I shouldn't have opened my mouth in front of him. This sea also has no sense; it is roaring incessantly! There is
none to control it. The Ocean King seems to have no fear for our Mountain Lord!" Parthiban spoke with scorn.
"Thambi! Parthiba! Once there was a time for that too. All the kings of this land would tremble; the Chalukyas of the
west, Vaanars of Vallam, Vaithumbas, Gangas and Kongu chieftains -- all of them would quake upon hearing the name
Malayaman (mountain chief), like serpents hiding from the roar of thunder. Even the Ocean King used to be quite timid. Now
that I have grown feeble, they have all raised their heads. These westerners who have come recently, these commoners of
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Pazluvoor are now questioning me of ancient lineage! They are trying to put an end to me! It can never happen. Karikala you
said that you could not understand the intentions of these Pazluvoor upstarts. I shall tell you what their intentions are. Listen to
this. They wish to separate you and your brother and weaken both your strengths. They want your brother Arulmozli to loose
his battles in Lanka and face disgrace. Here, you must be provoked into anger against your brother. The two of you should
quarrel with each other; and this old man must die of shock upon seeing that! This is their secret aspiration, ..." as Malayaman
was speaking passionately, Karikala intervened.
"This intention of their's will never succeed Grandfather! None can separate me and my brother from each other. I will
give up my very life for Arulmozli. Do you know what I think sometimes? -- I should sail away, to Lanka perhaps. I wonder
what hardships he faces over there? Here I am comfortably sleeping away my life in these palaces. Each minute is like an
endless eon. I hate staying here. Grandfather, tell me, shall I sail away in one of those ships to Lanka?" asked Karikala.
"Fantastic idea, My Prince! I too have been thinking along similar lines for some days now. Come let us go. There is
no point in asking Grandfather. If you ask him he will merely advice, `No. Wait!' Come let us leave tomorrow itself. Let us take
half our forces from here in Thondai. We will put an end to the war in Lanka once for all and then land in Nagapattinam. From
there we can march to Tanjore and teach a lesson to those Pazluvoor men...." came the tirade from Parthiban.
"Look at this Karikala? Did I not warn you? Did I not say that I can talk only if he keeps his mouth shut?" asked
Malayaman.
"I shall shut up, Grandfather, I shall shut up. You say whatever you wish to say." Parthiban covered his mouth with
one palm.
"Karikala, you are brave. There are not many men of valor like you in these Tamil lands. I have seen many wars in my
eighty years. But, I have never seen a brave youth like you who single handed entered the enemy field and fought with such
courage. You were not even sixteen during the Battle of Chevoor. I have never seen a combat like yours, when you swiftly
entered the enemy formation, swirling your sword left- and right-handed, toppling enemy heads all along the way! That scene
lingers before my eyes even now. Your friend Parthiban, is like you, quite great in valor.
But, both of you are rash youths. Impetuous in anger. Both of you lack the capacity to think clearly. You tend to do the exact
opposite of what must be done."
"Grandfather you have said such things several times ..."
"Yes; I have. But, there was not much use? Are you asking me to go back to my country?"
"No! No! Tell me what must be done now."
"You must somehow, get your brother Arulmozli to come here immediately. You and your brother should never be
physically separate. ..."
"Grandfather what counsel is this? If Arulmozli comes here what will happen to the war in Lanka?"
"Oh, the Lankan campaign is now at a standstill. Our men have captured Anuradapura. Now the rainy season begins in
Lanka and none can do anything for four months; all we can do is safeguard the captured positions. The other generals can do
that quite capably. It is important that Arulmozli is here at this time. Oh! What is the use of hiding the truth from you Karikala?
There is grave danger to the Dynasty of Vijayala Chozla and the Empire established by him. You and the ones near and dear to
you should all be at one place now; you should all safeguard yourselves with much care. We should also consolidate all our
strengths. No one knows what danger is likely to strike, when ..."
"Grandfather, why are you frightening me with such talk? What do I fear as long as I have a sword in my hand? What
danger can stalk me? I can manage, tackle whatever it is ... I am not afraid ..."
"Son! Do you have to remind me of your courage? But, consider these lines of Valluvan:
It is folly to not fear the frightful;
The way of wisemen is to fear the fearful.
When you confront an enemy in the battle field there should be no room for fear. One who is frightened at that time is a
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coward. If such a coward is born in my family, I will personally chop him to pieces which this old hand of mine. But, we must
fear secret conspiracy, treachery and unseen danger. Fearing such threats, we must take adequate precautions. Those born in
royal households, those with a right to ascend thrones must not be negligent in such matters. Such heedlessness will spell doom
for the whole kingdom."
"Grandfather! What secret conspiracy do you expect? Only if you explain can we be careful."
"I shall explain; some days ago, a secret meeting took place at midnight in Kadamboor Sambuvaraya's Fort. The Elder
Lord Pazluvoor had come to that meeting. Apparently, Munai Raya, Mazlava-raya, the Chieftain of Kunratoor, Muthuaraya,
and Rajali of the Double Canopy had come. These are the names I heard. Others may have been there."
"Let them have come; so what? All of them would have dined till their stomachs burst, watched the dance and frolic
till midnight, drunk kegs and kegs of liquor and gone to sleep. Why should we be concerned with that? What would those old
men with greying beards achieve by meeting at midnight?"
"When you have such a good opinion of old men, what is the use of my saying anything to you? I am also an old man!
In fact much older than all those fellows."
"Grandfather, don't be angry. Will I equate you with those useless old fools? What happened there, tell me?"
"Again you refer to them as useless old fools! Their chief, the oldest man among them was married only recently;
don't forget that! Understand that there is no youth more dangerous in the whole world than an old man married to a very
young maid."
When the conversation turned to a discussion of the old man's wedding, a peculiar expression covered the face of
Aditya Karikala. His eyes suddenly turned bloodshot like those of some horrible pagan deity demanding blood sacrifice. Lips
trembled; and teeth crunched in anger.
Malayaman did not notice these changes; but, Parthiban took note.
"Why talk of that wedding now? Sir, tell us what happened at Sambuvaraya's Fort after that." The Pallava nobleman
intervened again.
"That is what I was going to speak about. I have grown old and am loosing track of what I say. Listen Karikala!
Parthiba! You too listen. That midnight meeting was not convened merely by old men. Some young blades were also there.
One youth was Sambuvaraya's son Kandamaran. Another was ..." When the old man hesitated, Karikala asked with haste,
"Who else Grandfather? Who was the other youth?"
"Your Elder-grandfather Gandara Aditya's divine son -- your uncle --Madurandaka Deva, who else?"
On hearing this, both Karikala and Parthiban began laughing loudly.
"What mirth is this? What is the meaning of this senseless laughter? Are you mocking me again?" asked Milad-udayar
of Thiru-kovalur.
"No, Grandfather, no! We are laughing because you called Madurandaka a `young man!' Is he not the oldest among
old men?" laughed Karikala.
"Haven't you heard of youth returning in old age? Like that, youth has come back to Madurandaka. Till recently he
had been saying, `I'll become an ascetic; I shall follow the path of Saiva devotion.' -- Now he has embarked into matrimony not
once or twice but thrice."
"Let him; if he wants let him get married several more times! So what?" asked Parthiban.
"Thambi, Madurandaka's marriages are not ordinary marriages. They are political alliances. Organized by the
secretive treachery of the Pazluvoor noblemen."
"Grandfather, you continue talking in riddles. Why don't you explain clearly? What do the Lords of Pazluvoor really
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want? What is their intention in convening such meetings in every town? What are they going to achieve with Madurandaka
Deva?" asked Aditya with some impatience.
"Nothing. They are trying to declare that you and your brother have no rights to the Empire and place Madurandaka
on the Chozla throne. They are trying to obtain your father's consent for this. That is why they guard him in Tanjore Fort like a
prisoner," said Lord Malayaman.

Mamallai

We welcome our readers to Mamallai Port. More than three hundred years have passed since the times of Mahendra
Pallava and Mamalla Narasimha who had made this port town into a dream world with spectacular sculptures and rock cut
temples.
The town appears somewhat dull and this does not delight our hearts. Mansions are in ruin; palaces appear
dilapidated. Not much of a crowd in the streets or in the port. There is not much trade now. Nor are there many large
warehouses. Export and import goods are not piled into mounds in market streets.
In those early years, the sea had come inland as a deep channel, a safe, natural harbor for sailing ships. Now the
channel is silted, shallow and filled with dirt. Only tug-boats and small rowboats could now go in that shallow sea channel.
Ships and sailboats had to anchor far away in the deep sea. Tug-boats or barges must carry goods to load and unload those
ships.
But, in these past years Mamallai had acquired several new attractions. The beautiful stone-cut temples along the
shoreline particularly captivate our attention. They are not like the temples excavated from boulders and rocks during the times
of Pallava Mahendra and Narasimha. They were built of stone quarried from rock-mounds. They seem like beautiful crowns
adorning the Ocean King's forehead. How is one to describe the beautiful architecture of those temples?
A Vinnagara for the Perumal who measured the three worlds, Lord Vishnu, can be seen in the midst of the town. It is
a temple built by Parameswara Pallava who nourished both Saiva and Vaishnava sects equally, considering them his own two
eyes. Thiru-mangai Azlvar had visited this holy place and worshipped the Lord in Eternal Repose and sung several sacred
psalms in sweet Tamil. Even during the times of that saint, the Pallava Empire must have existed in splendor; the following
psalm attests the fact:
Worship Him with all your mind,
Oh! worship Him my foolish heart,
Worship Him the Lord in Eternal Repose,
Him of Mallai Port,
Where ships come ashore to be loaded,
With wealth from far lands,
Trumpet handed elephants and gemstone mounds.
A Hundred years after Thiru-mangai Azlvar's time, the sun had set on the glory of the Pallava Empire. The greatness
of Kanchi, `A City without equal for Learning,' had diminished. Trade in the `Mallai Port where ships anchored,' has
dwindled.
But, there is no decline to the magnificence of the astonishing art treasures in that town which brings undiminished
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fame to Tamil culture. The intricate sculptures carved on rock-faces and the delicate art work on stone towers remain fresh
even after three hundred years. The town was filled with tourists who came to enjoy these art treasures rather than with traders
who came to import or export goods.
A beautiful chariot yoked with twin horses ran through the streets of Mamallai. The trimmings of the decor ated
horses, the jewelled embellishments on the chariot and the gilded canopy which shone like another fiery sun in the evening
light declared its occupants to be of noble birth. Yes, three noblemen were seated inside the spacious, golden chariot.
One of them was the bravest among brave, Aditya Karikala, the eldest son of Emperor Sundara Chozla. This Prince
had entered gory battlefronts at a very young age and performed several remarkable deeds of valor. In the final battle he had
killed Veera-pandiya of Madurai and won the title, `The Valiant Prince who wrung the head of Veera-pandiya.' Sundara
Chozla had fallen sick only after this victory over Veera-pandiya which had brought all the Pandiya lands under Chozla rule. In
order to establish without doubt that Aditya Karikala had all rights to ascend the Chozla throne, Sundara Chozla coronated him
as the Crown Prince. From then the Prince also had the right to issue edicts on his own under the title Parakesari, as well as
record such edicts in stone inscriptions.
Later, Karikala journeyed north to free the Thondai Territories from the rule of Kannara Deva the Rashtrakuta. Here
too, he performed several deeds of daring. He drove the Rashtrakuta armies north of the River Pennar. Before he went further
north, he had to consolidate the strength of his forces. Therefore, he came to Kanchi: to collect a larger army and equip it with
the necessary armaments and supplies for a northern invasion. In this situation, the Lords of Pazluvoor began to raise
objections to his endeavors. They said that the northern invasion should be attempted only after the campaign in Lanka was
concluded. All sorts of other rumors began floating around. It came to be known that adequate supplies and food was not being
sent to feed the forces in Lanka. Because of all this, Karikala's brave heart was filled with rage and anger.
For about three hundred years before and after the times of our story, several brave men, comparable to the great heros
of the epics, were born to serve at the lotus feet of Mother Tamil. Warriors comparable to Bhima, Arjuna, Bhishma, Drona,
Gatotkacha and Abimanyu appeared in the Tamil Kingdoms. Their deeds of bravery astonished the world. Each victory in the
battlefield gave them added vitality. Old men had the strength to move mountains. Youth had the capability to fly across the
skies and gather stars from the heavens. Two such brave men were seated in Karikala's chariot along with him that day.
One of them was Malayaman of Thiru-kovalur. His mountain stronghold was popularly known as `malai-nadu' or
`miladu' country. Therefore he had the title Milad-udayar. Sundara Chozla's second wife, Empress Vanama Devi was his
daughter. Thus, he was Aditya Karikala's grandfather. In age and experience he was comparable to Grandfather Bhishma of the
epic Mahabarata. Though Karikala had a great regard for his grandfather, sometimes the older man's advice irked the Prince's
patience.
The other man in the chariot was Parthiban. He was the scion of a minor family of the ancient Pallava Dynasty. He
was somewhat older than Prince Aditya Karikala. Since he had no kingdom to call his own he wished to gain fame as a brave
warrior of the battlefield; he sought the company of Karikala and functioned as a right arm to the Prince in the various
campaigns. He had gained the confidence and personal friendship of Aditya Karikala by helping him in many combats. Since
the victory over Veera-pandiya they had become inseparable friends.
As they rode in the chariot, the three of them were discussing the vague rumors that came to them from Tanjore.
"I cannot tolerate the insolence of these Pazluvoor nobles anymore, not even for a second! Day by day they cross the
limit. How arrogant they must be, to accuse my messenger of being a `spy'? I believe that they have announced a reward of one
thousand gold coins for his capture. How can I tolerate all this? The sword in my scabbard shrinks with shame! And you advice
me to be patient!" spoke Aditya Karikala.
"I am not advising patience. But, I did warn you even before, that you should not send Vandiya Devan on important
missions like this. I knew that he, an impatient youth, will mess up any assignment. Is it enough if he is proficient in the use of
his sword and spear? A messenger on political affairs must be sharp of mind also," said Pallava Parthiban.
Parthiban had never liked the affection shown by Prince Karikala towards Vandiya Devan. He would always find
some fault with that noble youth of the Vaanar clan. He would find some impropriety in his every act. He did not miss this
opportunity now.
"You have started again, your old story! You cannot pass the time of day without finding fault with Vandiya Devan. If
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he is not sharp of mind, who is? I had ordered him to somehow or other deliver my letter to the Emperor; he has fulfilled his
assignment! Those Pazluvoor fellows have become angry because of it. How is Vandiya Devan at fault?" asked Karikala.
"Oh, he wouldn't have stopped with the assignment you gave him. He would have interfered in other irrelevant
affairs," said Parthiban.
"You keep quiet for a while! Grandfather, why are you silent? What is you opinion? What is wrong if we take a large
army and invade Tanjore, free the Emperor and bring him here to Kanchi? How long are we to watch these Lords of Pazluvoor
guard the Emperor like a prisoner? How long are we to fear these Pazluvoor fellows?" spoke an enraged Aditya Karikala.
Malayaman of Thiru-kovalur, Lord Milad-udayar, who had the experience of over sixty battlefields in his lifetime,
cleared his throat as if to reply. But, catching a glimpse of the sea shore ahead of them, he said, "Let us first get off this chariot.
My son, let us go and sit down in our usual place and talk. I am too old, it is not easy for me to talk in a moving chariot."