Book 1 | Chapter 14 | Crocodile on the Arasalar Bank

Crocodile that strayed off the Kollidam bank near Thanjavur (2017) img

In those times, to get from Kudandhai to Thanjavur, one would either have to cross the river Arasalar or cross the River Kaveri and head towards Thiruvaiyaaru, and then cross the river again to proceed to Thanjavur.

Vandhiyathevan headed towards the Arasalar River. On his way, he saw the famed prosperity of the Chozha kingdom that he had only heard of. He saw the fertile fields, the hard-working people, and flourishing industries. In the midst of all these sights, his mind kept going back to the beautiful face, that he had seen in the astrologer’s house. How he wished, he had heard the voice of the beautiful lady.

He reached the banks of the Arasalar River and rode close to the bank. He suddenly heard the sound of laughter. It seemed to be coming from a direction that he was riding towards. Suddenly he heard a lady scream “Ayyayo”. Sounds of commotion, alarm, fear.

Vandhiyathevan rode at a brisk gallop towards where the sound came from. He saw a half a dozen young ladies on the banks of the river. He recognized two them as the ones whom he had seen in the astrologer’s house. He turned to see what was frightening them. He saw a large crocodile close to the shore with its jaws menacingly open.

Without a further thought, he took aim, and flung his sharp spear at the crocodile’s mouth. The sharp steel tip hit right on target. In a flash, he unsheathed his sword and started running towards the crocodile.

Halfway, he realized that some of the ladies had started giggling. The fear was gone. Had they been pretending until now? He stopped mid-way. Confused. Embarrassed?

The giggling continued.

He looked again at the crocodile again.

The lady whom he had seen earlier came forward to address him.

“Dear Sir, Greetings. There is no need to worry.”