Book 1 | Chapter 13 | Vandiyathevan meets the Josiyar

img src: wikipedia — agraharam

Read from the first Chapter — https://medium.com/son-of-cauvery

After the chariot had vanished from sight, the astrologer took him inside his house.

“Thambi, who are you? Why have you come here?”

Vandhiyathevan laughed and said — “I hear that you are a great astrologer. Can’t you use your astrological skills to predict that also?”

This was the second time today that someone had replied to him this way. The astrologer quipped back — “If I knew everything about that also, then who will give me any payment?”

“Who were the two ladies who left just now?”

The astrologer smiled a smug smile and said — “Thambi, the ethics of our profession prevents me from answering you. I will not tell you anything about them. After you leave, I will not tell anyone about you either.”

Vandhiyathevan was impressed.

“My name is Vallavarayan Vandhiyathevan.”

“Aha. From the Vaanar clan. I think I may have your horoscope with me.”

Vandhiyathevan was quite surprised. “How is it that you have my horoscope? I have heard that you collect only royal horoscopes.”

“My dear young boy, it seems that you do not know your own family heritage so well. Your ancestors were great warriors.”

“Aha, so what Alwarkadiyaan Nambi said was indeed right. You are good.”

“Who is the Nambi you are talking about?”

“What? You do not know him? He talked as if he knew you so well.”

“Perhaps the name escapes me. Can you describe him to me?”

“He is short and stout. He has his hair bunched up in the front. He wears his dhoti in his lower waist. He is a Veera Vaishanavar. He will start a verbal duel with any one claiming the greatness of any other God.”

“From your words, it seems like you are talking about Thirumalai.”

“Oho, he has other names, is it?”

“He has many names. He has many outlooks.”

“Are only half of his words true?”

“Half-truth. Half fantasy.”

“So we cannot believe him. He is a phony?”

“Oh no. I never said that. He is a phony to the bad and a genuine person to the good.”

“Anyway, let us talk about me. My clan may have had some clout. But I am just a wandering warrior.”

The astrologer just smiled — “That is for now. You are going to become a very big person very soon. Your bravado and your deeds will lead you to heights that you have never imagined.”

Vandhiyathevan was quite happy on hearing all of this.

He smiled a childish grin and asked — “Let me ask you about a dream I have had since I was a child. Will I ever have a sea journey?”

“Of course, you will, my son.”

Vandhiyathevan tried asking the astrologer about the Chozha Emperor and the succession challenges. The astrologer cleverly diverted all his questions, citing that, he cannot predict state matters.

“Human beings have horoscopes. I take these horoscopes and align it to the stars and predict the future. State and the government do not have horoscopes, do they?”

“They say that the current Chozha kingdom is being ruled by ladies. Is that true?”

“Thambi, are you talking about the young queen of Pazhuvettarayar?”

“No, to the north of the Kollidam, they are saying that the kingdom is being ruled by Princess Kundavai.”

“That is not true at all. The Emperor is in Thanjavur, while the Princess stays in Pazhayarai. Also, what powers does the Emperor have? All the powers are now rested with the Pazhuvettarayars.”

At this time, the astrologer looked Vandhiyathevan suspiciously.

“Josiyare, please do not mistake me to a spy of the Pazhuvettarayar. I will never ever do that my Chozha kingdom.”

Vandhiyathevan realized the futility in getting any more information. He finally asked about his hero. Not just his hero, the hero of all of the Chozha Kingdom — Prince Arulmozhi.

“He is the guiding star of the entire Kingdom. He will rule well. He will expand the already large Chozha Kingdom. He will be loved by all.”

“The way you describe the prince is like a lover describing his lady love.”

The Josiyar replied — “If you ask anybody on this side of the Kaveri, you will get similar replies from anyone.”

Vandhiyathevan paid the astrologer five pieces of gold and took leave.

Book 1 | Chapter 13 | Vandiyathevan meets the Josiyar

img src: wikipedia — agraharam

Read from the first Chapter — https://medium.com/son-of-cauvery

After the chariot had vanished from sight, the astrologer took him inside his house.

“Thambi, who are you? Why have you come here?”

Vandhiyathevan laughed and said — “I hear that you are a great astrologer. Can’t you use your astrological skills to predict that also?”

This was the second time today that someone had replied to him this way. The astrologer quipped back — “If I knew everything about that also, then who will give me any payment?”

“Who were the two ladies who left just now?”

The astrologer smiled a smug smile and said — “Thambi, the ethics of our profession prevents me from answering you. I will not tell you anything about them. After you leave, I will not tell anyone about you either.”

Vandhiyathevan was impressed.

“My name is Vallavarayan Vandhiyathevan.”

“Aha. From the Vaanar clan. I think I may have your horoscope with me.”

Vandhiyathevan was quite surprised. “How is it that you have my horoscope? I have heard that you collect only royal horoscopes.”

“My dear young boy, it seems that you do not know your own family heritage so well. Your ancestors were great warriors.”

“Aha, so what Alwarkadiyaan Nambi said was indeed right. You are good.”

“Who is the Nambi you are talking about?”

“What? You do not know him? He talked as if he knew you so well.”

“Perhaps the name escapes me. Can you describe him to me?”

“He is short and stout. He has his hair bunched up in the front. He wears his dhoti in his lower waist. He is a Veera Vaishanavar. He will start a verbal duel with any one claiming the greatness of any other God.”

“From your words, it seems like you are talking about Thirumalai.”

“Oho, he has other names, is it?”

“He has many names. He has many outlooks.”

“Are only half of his words true?”

“Half-truth. Half fantasy.”

“So we cannot believe him. He is a phony?”

“Oh no. I never said that. He is a phony to the bad and a genuine person to the good.”

“Anyway, let us talk about me. My clan may have had some clout. But I am just a wandering warrior.”

The astrologer just smiled — “That is for now. You are going to become a very big person very soon. Your bravado and your deeds will lead you to heights that you have never imagined.”

Vandhiyathevan was quite happy on hearing all of this.

He smiled a childish grin and asked — “Let me ask you about a dream I have had since I was a child. Will I ever have a sea journey?”

“Of course, you will, my son.”

Vandhiyathevan tried asking the astrologer about the Chozha Emperor and the succession challenges. The astrologer cleverly diverted all his questions, citing that, he cannot predict state matters.

“Human beings have horoscopes. I take these horoscopes and align it to the stars and predict the future. State and the government do not have horoscopes, do they?”

“They say that the current Chozha kingdom is being ruled by ladies. Is that true?”

“Thambi, are you talking about the young queen of Pazhuvettarayar?”

“No, to the north of the Kollidam, they are saying that the kingdom is being ruled by Princess Kundavai.”

“That is not true at all. The Emperor is in Thanjavur, while the Princess stays in Pazhayarai. Also, what powers does the Emperor have? All the powers are now rested with the Pazhuvettarayars.”

At this time, the astrologer looked Vandhiyathevan suspiciously.

“Josiyare, please do not mistake me to a spy of the Pazhuvettarayar. I will never ever do that my Chozha kingdom.”

Vandhiyathevan realized the futility in getting any more information. He finally asked about his hero. Not just his hero, the hero of all of the Chozha Kingdom — Prince Arulmozhi.

“He is the guiding star of the entire Kingdom. He will rule well. He will expand the already large Chozha Kingdom. He will be loved by all.”

“The way you describe the prince is like a lover describing his lady love.”

The Josiyar replied — “If you ask anybody on this side of the Kaveri, you will get similar replies from anyone.”

Vandhiyathevan paid the astrologer five pieces of gold and took leave.

Book 1 | Chapter 11 | Vaanathi’s Horoscope

Naadi scrolls (img src: http://www.sarvajnapeetha.org)

Read from the first Chapter — https://medium.com/son-of-cauvery

The astrologer had collected horoscopes of several of the royal family and associated vassal kings and their families. It is this reason why he was able to find the horoscope of Vaanathi in his ancient wooden box. He pulled out the horoscope palm leaf carefully and started studying it. He looked at it deeply without making any comment, intermittently looking at Vaanathi’s face once in a while. After a while had passed, the Princess asked, “Josiyare, you have been studying the leaf for a long while now, and you have not spoken. Is there anything wrong?”

“Oh Princess, there is nothing wrong in this horoscope. In fact, quite contrary. I have not seen a better horoscope than this in my life. This lady here is going to have a future that is unimaginable for any normal person. She is going to become the Queen of Queens. Her husband will rule a large kingdom. And the child that she will give birth to — a boy — aha — that boy will rule over an even larger kingdom.”

The Princess asked — “Where will her husband come from?”

“The husband would not need to come from afar. This warrior prince is not here right now. He is right now fighting a war across the ocean. The prince who will marry this lady would have a Shanku-chakram pattern on his palms.”

“Akka, this old man is making fun of me. I do not want to stay here any longer.”

“You will not believe me now. But my astrology never lies. When all of what I tell you happens, please do not forget this poor astrologer.”

“The horoscope also tells me that the warrior prince who will marry this lady will have several obstacles while becoming the great ruler that he will become. But he will overcome each and every one. However the boy who will be born out of this lady, will have no obstacles. All that he touches will become gold. Places where he steps foot on, will become his kingdom. Wherever his eyes set sight on, the tiger flag will fly high.”

Suddenly, Vaanathi fainted and fell. The Princess caught her mid-fall and made her lie on her lap.

“Nothing will happen to her, your Highness.”

“Yes, I know. This has become common now. She has fainted like this a few times now. After a while she will slowly wake up, without knowing where she is.”

“Meanwhile, I would like to ask another important question. What is going to happen to the Chozha kingdom? I hear all kinds of ominous speak in the streets.”

“Your highness, please do not ask me about that. I do not foretell about state matters. States do not have horoscopes, do they? I have only enough skill to foretell future considering the horoscopes of people and the positioning of the stars.”

With a smile on her lips, the Princess said — “You are playing very safe, sire. I agree that the state does not have horoscopes, but you can tell the future of my father, the Emperor, and my brothers? They have horoscopes and available with you. I have been worried about my father ever since he moved from Pazhayarai to Thanjavur.”

“As I had earlier said, Princess, your family is going through a difficult time. There will be some obstacles. But, with the grace of Durga Devi, all will end well.”

“Akka, where are we?” said Vaanathi, groggily getting up.

“Vaanathi, we are still in this earth only. Come, let us get back on our chariot, and leave from here.”

“Josiyare, you said so much about me — not that I believe any of it — but you did not tell anything about the Princess? When and where will her Prince come?”

The astrologer smiled and said, “He will come very soon.”

Princess Kundavai asked — “How will he come? By horse, or chariot, or will he jump directly from the heavens, breaking through this roof?”

“Akka, I can hear a horse approaching.”

They could hear the gallop of a fast horse. The horse came to a stop right outside the astrologer’s house. There was a commotion of the rider arguing with the astrologers disciple about getting inside the house.

Vandhiyathevan forced open the door and walked into the house, with the disciple tugging at him from behind. As he came in, he saw the two ladies sitting in front of the astrologer. His eyes met the eyes of the Princess. For a few seconds, he stood mesmerized. Her mischievous smile on her lips, her large eyes, her strikingly beautiful face. Within those few seconds, this entire sight got imprinted in his heart.

He shook himself out of his reverie, and turned to the disciple — “You could have told me that there were ladies in the house. I would not have come in.” And he stepped out of the house immediately.

The Princess asked, “Josiyare, who is this young man?”

“I do not know, your Highness. But he does seem to be a brash young man.”

The astrologer gave the two ladies kumkum, as was customary, and led the ladies out of the house.

Vandhiyathevan was standing in a corner outside the house.

As the Ladies walked towards the charriot, Vandhiyathevan yelled — “Please pardon me. This wise disciple did not tell me about ladies in the house. I truly would not have come in if I had known.”

The Princess gave a mischievous smile and tugged at Vaanathi’s hand and boarded the chariot.

As the chariot began to move, Vandhiyathevan shouted again — “It seems that Kudandhai ladies do not even have the basic courtesy to respond to a genuine apology from this young man.”

The chariot raced towards the Arasalar River.