English

  “SOMETHING IS GOING TO SAVE ME”



   “I am not sure what we are about to do is ethical, but we are doing it in the best interest of our nation".
   
    "Yes, of course. I hope you understood the difficulty and seriousness of this task Chadura".
    
   In the midst of the conversation, Someone knocked on the door. They paused. Chaduran stepped towards the door. Steadied himself and slowly Opened the door. It was Chaduran's Gaurd, waiting at the other side."Sorry to interrupt Lord Chaduran, I came here to inform that All preparations are made for Velvichan's sail towards the Chola Empire. All passengers, assistants and crew members are awaiting his arrival. Chaduran turned back, Velvichan looked straight into his eyes. Velvichan's look re-emphasized the seriousness of the task they were up to. Chaduran gently nodded as a symbol of acceptance. Velvichan strode out and swiftly mounted on his horse. Velvichan said, "Chaduran, In the right time, at the right place, we shall meet", turned his horse and started riding towards the Muthur Harbor.

% & #

    The Market area at Muthur is one of the busiest places in the country. Muthur is a Harbour city and hosts People of all kinds in its vast rich lands. Traders trade everything from precious gems to little toys, but the Pearl trade is the most prominent, and hence the city was named 'Muthur' - The Pearl City. Velvichan arrived at Muthur by the end of the day. He entered the streets of the Muthur market and was instantly taken aback. As an ardent admirer of beauty, the scene could never have missed his attention. Pearls! Pearls! Pearls! everywhere. He even felt that the constellations were less admirable when compared to those pearls shining under the full moon's light. Velvichan exclaimed, "What an admirable city, especially the Pandiyan Pearls!"."They are indeed. As a very renowned trader, you might have come across lots of these precious gems, but I am little surprised on your reaction seeing these pearls" said a voice from behind. Velvichan looked at the direction of the voice, it was Magilan, a merchant from the Chola Empire.
         
    Magilan was also set to join Velvichan in the sail. They shared smiles, embraced each other and started moving towards the Harbor. A small boat was ready, waiting for them at the shore. As soon as they hopped on, the assistant started paddling the boat across the sea. The Boat headed towards a mammoth floating structure at the center of the turquoise blue sea. As the boat came closer and closer to the floating structure, Magilan was able to see it more clearly. It was the ship they were about to sail in. It looked grand and humongous in size, even the fleets of other countries looked very smaller comparing to Velvichan's ship. The ship already housed over 800 crew members. The crew directed the mainsail and the foresail and assisted in essential activities to keep the ship afloat. Magilan recognized the 'Lion sign' engraved on the flag that was dancing to the harmonies of the winds atop the ship. Lion Sign meant that it belonged to a merchant. Velvichan used to sail in gigantic ships to trade valuable products across the globe.  Velvicahan is a wealthy merchant, and this ship is one among the four similar ships that Velvichan owned. Each ship was meant to sail towards different ports, Kabadapuram in South, Viksharnapatinam, and Kaveripoompatinam in North, Korkai in the west and Islands in the east. On the sides of the ship, engraved a phrase 'Senthuraan Thunai', meaning 'Lord Senthuran will guard us'. Velvichan's lineage was the only merchant dynasty which had the freedom to do trade with all countries in the Kumari Ocean, with their lion flag waving on top of their ship.  Magilan and velvichan boarded the ship. Velvichan ordered his captain, and the ship headed north.

% & #


At the other end, Chaduran was preparing for his journey. Along with pearl chariots and 350 soldiers, Chaduran was traveling from Virisadai Pandiyan empire towards north across Mehru mountain to reach  Shaktharam. The kingdom Shaktharam’s border starts from the city Aayuda. The emperor of this kingdom was King Shaktharan. It was a vast kingdom. To be clear and exact it was in the center of Chera, Chola and Pandiyan empire. Still, the king Shaktharan ruled Shaktharam under the Pandiyan kingdom. This kingdom had equal wealth compared to Chera, Chola and Pandiyan possessed, as well as equal military forces. It was the reason for the pride of king Shaktharan for his confidence to defeat any military forces. All forms of arts including martial arts were very famous, hence the number of schools in the kingdom were many in number. People from the various countries came to Shaktharam to study in these schools. That’s why this country was also called “Country of Wisdom”. Also, the people from other countries were amazed to see the architecture of the buildings as these were built by the finest architects of the country. The roads were long and straight in the capital Shaktharam. These long straight roads were connected in the center as like the rims of a wheel. The center circle in which the roads where connected was guarded by the fort. The fort had three layers of protection and four directional forces to ensure the protection in all the directions. The palace of king Shakhtaran was located in the center of this wheel. He was ruling the country wisely and the people of the kingdom were living peacefully. Chaduran’s pearl chariot entered the roads of the city Shaktharam. Chaduran sneaked on the people walking in the streets. It was a very beautiful sight to see those charming good looking girls, dressed very pretty in sarees and half sarees. Each and every girl had a bright face denoting a festive mood. The streets were beautifully decorated and wonderful kolam (designs are done using rice power in front of each south Indian houses) were designed in front of each house. After enjoying the beauty, chaduran drove his chariot along with his crew and reached the palace.

Inside the palace, two giant doors opened. It was a wide and large hall where other kingdom’s Kings, Prince and other important persons from all over the kingdom were seated. When Chaduran entered the hall, he was amazed to see such a scene. Unconsciously one of his eyebrows raised in relation to the scene what Chaduran saw, but suddenly chaduran managed to lower his eyebrow controlling his amusement in his own style. It was the place of Suyamwaram for Shaktharan’s daughter Ilammanju. Directly Opposite to the entrance of the hall, a good kingly male figure was seated with a good looking lady to the left of him. This clearly denoted that it was king Shaktharan and the lady was the queen. It was like Shaktharan was sitting exactly at the center of the city balancing his county. Above the entrance, a balcony was located. Chaduran was younger compared to all the people who were in the hall. When Shaktharan saw Chaduran entering the hall, he placed his elbow on his knee, lowered his head in a position where his hand was touching his chin and spoke something softly to his minister. Minister raised his voice and asked, “Are you sure, that you came to the right place?”.

 “ A kingdom which is flourished in the lap of river vaigai, which is also equivalent to the three major kingdoms and the ruler of this majestic kingdom is King Shaktharan. It was already instructed to me that the majestic king Saktharan is none other than yourself” said chaduran noticing the smile which appeared on the face of Shaktharan. “ An Empire which has a dedicated city for pearls known as Muthur. An Empire with five military forces along with animal forces which makes other forces shatter into pieces. An Empire which formed two Tamil Sangam's with Agasthiyar and other poets as the head. An Empire with a single king ruling 49 countries and the descendants of this majestic dynasty Kadamba Pandiyan who is currently ruling the kingdom. I hope you people who are present here know him and his grandson Yuvan II. By the order of my king and with respect to the invitation of yours, I am here representing my Prince Yuvan II” introduced Chaduran and raised a blue flag with fish symbolized in the center. By the time when Chaduran finished his introduction, people in the hall started murmuring. Chaduran was welcomed and was given a place in the hall among the prince. But it was almost near to the throne of the king, which was in a raised platform. After a while, Chaduran’s eyes fell over the balcony. A girl who was more beautiful than a flower, being targeted by the bees and birds to get honey out of it was sitting. She was decorated beautifully with flowers on her hair. Chaduran confirmed that she was princess Ilammanju on his first sight. The people who came for suyamvaram were in the urge to see her beauty but her thoughts were lost somewhere deeply. As like the moon shines in the water of a pond, her face reflected that she was not interested in this suyamvaram. But her intuition said, “ Something is going to save me”.  

“VADUGA KINGDOM”


    The mountains of the western ghats guarded the most fearsome, indomitable and ravishing kingdom of the south – The Chera Empire. The river Cauvery originates from the kudagu mountain in the Chera Empire and flows into the Chola Empire, making the land fertile and rich in vegetation. Its majestic appearance and massive volume will make us suspect whether it is really a river or an ocean. It makes everyone gets astonished and mesmerized at the very first sight. This river is the reason behind the Chola Empire to be the biggest producer of rice. The city which is located at this backwater region of Cauvery is Kaviripoompatinam. It was one of the oldest port city of the Chola's and was used for trading before the existence of Viksharnapatinam.  This was the place where all the goods were exchanged for a commodity.
    
   The ship of Velvichan which started its journey from the south reached the port of Kaviripoompatinam. By the order of velvichan, merchant magizhan was sent as a messenger to the Chola’s palace. Velvichan’s other order was to send the goods what they carried from the port city of Pandiyan Empire to their respective places. Then he reported to the port hub, giving the details of the goods carried by him and signed in the registrar. After finishing the formalities in the port, with a small private force of him, he started traveling north, across the city Sailam and entered the mountain range Cherava Rayan. Crossing mountain range Cherava Rayan, he felt a unique breeze, which indicated he had entered the Vaduga kingdom.

  The kingdom of Vaduga looked like it is covered with a green mat. It was a kingdom enriched with mountains. Even though the kingdom wasn't originated in ancient times, the people lived who lived there had a long and healthy life. The mountain ranges were at higher altitude and had very high peaks. These mountains attracted velvichan a lot. Though he had been through this route several times, his love for this route never ceased. After traveling for a while in the route, towards the capital city of Vaduga Kingdom, he meant to see a wonderful sight. He was on his horse apart from a distance from an elegant girl, who looked so adorable. She was actually collecting something in the forest and was taking rest, with her eyes closed. Yet Velvichan could see a charm in her face. Something said to Velvichan “She is not a normal girl”. 

   Velvichan had seen a lot of women and girls, but he was never attracted to anyone. But this girl was enchanting. Both charm and calmness were being expressed on her face simultaneously. Though those traits were contradicting each other, it was endearing and complementing in her case. Velvichan could never resist his eyes falling on her. On that forest, a small streak of sunshine pierced the branches of the trees and fell on her face. By the time it fell on her, her face noded as it annoyed her. Velvichan understood her response to that sunshine which fell on her. Hence he moved his horse to block that sunshine. That girl’s face reflected calmness as a response, but within seconds she realized someone is in her vicinity. She opened her eyes as a response to it and found velvichan on his horse in a distance from her, also his private force which was on a distance from him. She suddenly stood upright and walked fast and disappeared into the forest. Velvican was starring the path until she disappeared and moved his horse towards the capital city.
         
   Velvichan entered the palace of the capital city, through the entrance which is mainly meant for the entry of ministers. By the second he entered the entrance, a group of ministers and higher officials of the kingdom welcomed him with flowers and greetings. He was then directed to a special guest room of the palace. Due to tiredness of the journey, he took some rest in the bed which was decorated with flowers for him. After a while, a guard informed: “You can now go to the meeting hall, for your meeting with the queen”. Velvichan thought himself, “I can’t miss this chance, I should convince her” and walked fast to the meeting hall. 

   When he was sitting in the hall, he heard a voice “The Queen of The Vaduga Kingdom is arriving”. A gentle and bold lady entered the hall surrounded by guards. She was looking comparatively younger than the people of her age. Her appearance showed her confidence. She was the Queen of the Vaduga Kingdom Narchonai. She ruled the whole kingdom single-handedly. She was a role model for her citizens. Velvichan stood up and greeted her. He then explained her the reason for his presence on her Kingdom and explained to her clearly what are all the things to be done in the near future. He demanded something personal belonged to the  Vadugan Queen Narchonai

    Narchonai was totally confused and was not in a state to take any decisions. Her face turned pale. Velvichan continued “ I hope the Queen of Vaduga Kingdom’s decision will be on my side”. Narchonai said, “It’s a very critical situation of my life. I am so much confused about the decision I am going to make. Twenty-five years ago, my husband died in the war field, after getting injured by arrows, swords and other weapons. I lost him, I lost my people. I lost sleep. I lost happiness. I had no hope in my life. As you know, she came. She gave me hope. She gave me happiness. She gave me my braveness back. She gave me a rebirth – Nimalini my daughter” Narchonai's eyes were filled with tears when she said Nimalini.
         
   “I thought someday, she might know the truth. Today the truth came in the form of you. It’s okay, do you think Nimalini will accept the forthcoming events. Till date, I am her mother and she is my daughter. Nimalini doesn’t know anything. Even if she comes to know by you, she won’t accept. It's something next to impossible. As a Queen, I should also accept this but as a mother, I can’t accept” Velvichan suddenly interrupted “ Respectable Queen, whatever happens, you are the mother of Nimalini and she is your daughter. This is the truth and no one can change it. It’s actually like when your daughter gets married to another kingdom, she will leave you and start living her life. It's normal for any princess. And I hope you did not forget anything that happened in your past. I would like to recollect a memory from your past. Twenty-five years ago, you gave a precious gift to a person named ‘Subbaiyan’. Do you remember?”
        
  The name mentioned by Velvichan made Queen Narchonai travel back in her memory lane. Her memories of the old man Subbaiyan started striking her mind. She felt like “No mother in this world should happen to face my situation”. Velvichan Continued “ I hope you can understand what am I talking about”. Narchonai suddenly sent a messenger to the private room of Princess Nimalini with an order signed by the queen. It was written, 
                             
                                              "Report to the meeting hall immediately" 


“POET’S BALLAD OF IMPLICIT LOVE”


The parliament of the Kingdom Shaktharam is always known for its magnificent amount of people involved. Normally the ministers, poets and important people of a kingdom will only be present in the parliament but in the parliament of Shaktharan, all the common people of the kingdom will be present. They were active participants and the decisions of Shaktharan will be based only on the side of people welfare. Each and every people saw true democracy on it as people were not deciding whom to rule but they were deciding what laws to be imposed and what judgments should be taken.
“It was a kingdom, for the people and only for the people”
The city of Shaktharam was flooded by a lot of ministers, thinkers, poets and common people from other countries. On the first day of the Suyamvaram, the Kings and Prince from various other countries were welcomed very warmly in the parliament of the Kingdom. It was at that time when Chaduran made his appearance in the parliament of Shaktharan. Arrangements were made for them to stay in the county’s renowned guest palace. The guest palace was very famous for its appearance and decorations made. The Guest palace was very luxurious than most of the King's Palaces around the globe. Along with the guest, King Shaktharan spent his night in the Guest Palace.
Next day, approximately a kilometer in front of the Kingdom’s Palace a giant stage along with gallery was constructed. All the people from the country and other country’s ministers, poets and thinkers occupied their places in the gallery.
 “Word or Sword anything which attracts my dearest princess will be honored in this Diaz”  Shakhtaran said in a very bold voice such that each and every people in the Gallery could hear it. Every Prince and King who came there to win the heart of the Princess were ready to show off their talent in the Diaz. The way their chariots were parked around the place looked like the stage was under siege.
Two gigantic guards appeared on the way to the center stage and announced: “The Great Princess of The Kingdom Shaktharam, Ilamanju is arriving at the Suyamvaram Stage”. A chariot which was decorated completely with flowers and jewels drove by two beautiful girls in white saree with four white horses came inside. The most gorgeous women of the Kingdom Ilamanju stepped out of the chariot and walked neither too fast nor too slow to her place near the King and Queen of the Kingdom. With a fake smile, she greeted the people and other dignitaries present in Diaz and got seated. Blue colored flags with chariot wheel symbol lifted high around the stage and high in the palace along with bass drums sound indicating the Suyamvaram has started and no more entries of any King or Prince will be entertained.
Ilanthirayan son of Muthurathan was sitting first in the row of participating Kings and Prince. He was one among the experts of Swords. In order to impress the princess, he started to show off his sword fight talent. The moves what he made, made the whole crowd in the gallery stun. He started listing the wars he won and the enemies who were killed by him through the most horrible punishment – Kalumaram. Konkuruvaluthi was once a never defeated king but he lost to Ilanthirayan on his first war. Ilanthirayan explained loud how he killed Konkuruvaluthi on the second war by inserting the weapon Narasam on this ear and pierced his head. He was very proud of killing him that way. Yeah, he is a very great warrior but he is zero in character and attitude.
One after the other Prince and Kings showed off their talents in spear, sword, bow and arrow, also with poems. Each and every person who participated were very talented and unique. On the list, there was a king who was spoken widely for his talent on ancient Tamil poetry. He ruled a part of Chera Empire and his name was Kooperum Kon Kuttuvan. In his kingdom, almost all the thieves were caught and were sent as prisoners to other countries. This was one of his pride.
Not in the first, not in the last but in the middle Chaduran appeared himself in front of all. By the time Chaduran was thinking what can he do to impress the princess and can do the job assigned to him. He smiled to himself which indicated that he got some idea to do. He took the weapon Thandam. By the way, he picked up the weapon showed that he is an expert handling it. He took two steps back and started to show off his talent on Thandam. In the end, he forcefully hit the floor with Thandam creating vibrations all over the place even the flags and umbrellas of Kings and Prince were shaken. Then he took another weapon. Very few countable persons were experts in this weapon, even no one was praised for being an expert on it. Its name was “Thigiri”(It is a weapon which looks similar to Boomerang). He threw the weapon in the air which hit a target within the movement of eyelashes and held back on his weapon holder. In fact, very few have seen this weapon before. When the crowd saw him using it in a pro manner they got goosebumps. Wait, he is not over yet. His main plan is yet to come. He unfolded a poem which he had with him “My girl and my soul”. He started to read the poem in front of all. There came a chapter “With my message, with my messenger”
On the banks of river Vaigai,
With the stars on high,
Sky served as the ceiling,
Moon gave the lighting.
He was lying on her lap
She got close, to close their gap
resulted in a kiss,
she got into complete bliss.
When the whole town was sleeping,
They both were on a divine love feeling.
Breaking the silence
His lips opened saying,
When the river Cauvery uprises in Aadi
I will be yours, my lady
With my message, with my messenger
Cross the siege, Cross the barrier
          When these lines were read by chaduran, Ilamanju was on a complete shock and her face showed that. She can’t believe what she heard. Chaduran became happy inside because this is what he expected. Unlike the other chapters, he read these line thrice and made each and every line clear. Ilamanju did not even turn her face up to see anyone on the stage, but this guy chaduran made it. Now Ilamanju can’t even take her eyes apart from him. Yeah, there is a relation between these lines and Ilamanju. There is a relation between her confusions, her sadness to these lines. Let's see the relation.
          To the north, east and to the northeast of the country Shatharam lies the Chola Empire. It is one of the neighborhood Empire of Shaktharam Kingdom. This Empire is ruled by a great Shiva devotee, Marudha Cholan. The sea which lies in the east of the Empire seems to be a lake for the ships of the Chola Empire to sail. He was known as a King who creates dread because in wars other enemies will be panicked by just seeing the number of militants in the military of him. It will be like a sea of Chola army when they go to war. He had two sons. The elder one is Sundhara Kanthan and the younger one is Sundhara Sembiyan.
          Sundhara Kanthan went to the Shaktharam Kingdom for his education. That’s how he came to meet Ilamanju during his teenage. They both fell in love during the occasion of Aadi Perukku (Happens in 18th of the month Aadi. Celebrated in the banks of River Cauvery) which happened in Chola Empire. They were in a deep and mad love still they know that their marriage would be a highly impossible one. Because years back Shaktharan and Marudha Cholan accidentally had a war resulted in enmity between them. Shaktharan lost to Marudha Cholan and he felt shame on that. He was searching for an opportunity to take revenge on him. Both Ilamanju and Sundhara Kanthan know this.
It was a  completely impossible task for Ilamanju to express his love on Sundhara Kanthan to his father. They both decided to have a meet, where they usually meet – The bank of river Vaigai. Ilamanju was confessing to Sundhara Kanthan about her Suyamvaram which is going to happen on Aadi Perukku. It was a tricky date because the King and Prince of the Chola Empire are not supposed to stay away from their country during the occasion of Aadi Perukku.
“Don’t worry my darling. I will be there for you. I will marry you by doing anything possible or else I will try to stop your Suyamwaram through war. At least I, myself all alone will fight for you and may even die for you. Expect me on that day. I will be yours, my lady” said Sundhara Kanthan and kissed her.
It was almost the same what Chaduran read on the Diaz. This was the reason for the shock what Ilamanju got. It was a secret known only to Ilamanju and Sundara Kanthan. How Chaduran came to know it?. Who is Chaduran?. Who sent him?. These were all the doubts arose in the mind of Ilamanju. Shaktharan did not want the Chola Prince to attend the suyamvaram. He invited all the other Kings and Prince but not the Prince of the Chola Empire. He fixed the day of Suyamwaram to be on Aadi perukku knowing that the Chola Prince and King were not allowed to stay away from their empire on that occasion. There were actually two reasons for Shaktharan. As you all know, the first reason was he lost in the war and the second reason was an order issued as war penalty by Marudha Cholan. Shaktharan was on a dilemma. He felt humiliated about the loss and order issued as a penalty. What was the reason for the war?. What was the order issued by Marudha Cholan?. Just wait with patience let us see very soon.

Comments

Popular Posts

CHAPTER 3

பகுதி-1

பகுதி-3