Book 1 | Chapter 36 | I will become Empress
The Periya Pazhuvettarayar knew that there was a lot of gossip around him wedding a girl half his age. He had also heard that Kundavai had ridiculed this. But he had never known the words that Kundavai had used. His blood boiled and his temper flared. Nandini weeping in front of him just made it worse.
“She called me an old buffalo, did she? I will trample her like an old buffalo tramples a lotus vine. I will …”. His words failed him. Anger had taken over all of his senses. He struggled to maintain his composure, but in vain.
Nandini gently placed her hand on his shoulder and said, “I knew you would be very upset if you heard this. But, why should a lion like you fight a small cat like Kundavai. She is a cat, but a cunning one. With her cunningness, she is controlling all around her. You need to beat cunning with cunning. If you do not like what I am doing, let me know. I will leave this palace right now.”
Pazhuvettarayar calmed down. Love took over. “No. Why should you go? Call a hundred Sorcerers if you need to. You are my love. You are my life. If you leave, what will I do? “
He sighed and looked at her. “The fire inside me that longs for you — when will you extinguish it? When will you satisfy this fire? It has been three years since we got married. You still not have given me the pleasure of being with you. You have always been giving excuses of religious observances. If this is not going to happen at all, please give me poison in a cup with your very hands.””
She clasped his hands and shrieked, “Oh no. Please do not even talk like that. If you ever talk like that again, I will drink from that cup of poison.”
“No, no. I will stop. I will never mention this again. If you ever die, I will go mad.”
“The day we got married, our body became one. These bodies made of earth would go back to the earth one day, when we all die.”
“I object. I will never agree. The other women on this land, Lord Brahma, may have made using this earth, or rock, or limestone, or whatever material. But you, my love, are not the same. Lord Brahma made you special.”
She smiled. “Are you using these lines only at me, or at the other girls that live in your andhapuram as well?”
“I had married the other ladies in my andhapuram mainly to ensure that the family line of Pazhuvettarayars continue on. It has been Gods will, however, that none of them have born me a male child yet. For some years until recently, I had forgotten all about them, and immersed myself into Government matters. That was the time when the Great War with the Pandiyas happened. Even though, there were several young warrior Commanders, I could not stay back and watch. I joined in the war and made pulp out of the Pandiya armies. I was returning from that victory, when I saw you in the middle of the forest. I was enchanted at that moment I saw you. Momentarily I thought you were a deva kannigai, who had come down from the heavens.”
“I had asked who you were. You had replied that you were an orphan and sought refuge. While I brought you back in a palanquin, something kept telling me that you looked familiar. But I could not bring myself to remember. It struck me that, perhaps, you were familiar from a previous birth.”
She repeated after him, “Perhaps .. perhaps”, and smiled at him.
“My religious observances are nearing to an end. My prayers are towards ensuring that the two Princes of Sundara Chozhan do not ascend the throne. My prayers are towards suppressing Kundavai’s arrogance.”
“Consider these as done. I am taking all steps towards making these happen. Things are happening per plan. All our vassal kings except perhaps a couple have agreed to our plan. Barring any foolish happenings, our plan will succeed. “
He paused, “Even today, one such foolish thing happened. A messenger warrior from Kanchi had fooled Kaalanthakan and met the King. The young man claims that he had our insignia ring with him.”
“People who have been fooled will talk about excuses like these. Are there any efforts to catch the young man?”
“The fort is being combed as we speak. He will be caught soon. This should not affect any of our plans. Once the Chakravarthy dies, our Madhuranthakan will ascend the throne.”
She said, “I do have one other thing that I am praying for, and I think it is time I should talk about it to you.”
She looked into his eyes, and continued, “Madhuranthakan, that naive boy who grins at every girl he meets. Hmph. He is not the right person to ascend the throne. When I was young, an astrologer looked at my horoscope. He said that, I would go through great turmoil for my first eighteen years. After that, he said, I would marry a man, who would rule one of the largest kingdoms in this land. A man, to whom, the 53 kings of the larger land would place their loyalty with. A man who would become Emperor.”
Periya Pazhuvettarayar’s felt dizzy when he heard these words.