The elephant suddenly trumpeted loudly and started running wildly. It did not care for the trees and branches in front of it. The earth shook. Frightened birds shrieked and flew out of the way. Small animals scurried out of the way. Poonkuzhali felt fear envelop her.
The queen was pregnant and realised that the mute girl was pregnant as well. Out of compassion, the queen took the mute girl to the palace. The girl gave birth to two children in the palace. The queen offered to raise one of the children in the palace. The girl first hesitated. After deep thought, she decided to leave both the children at the palace and she ran away into the dark of the night.
“I spent the next day thinking whether to move camp elsewhere, but I wanted to see her once more. Night fell, and I heard the wailing again. I gave strict orders to my soldiers not to follow me, and I went again, to the place where I had met her the night before.
There are only two forms of sculpture that have impressed me – the Natarajar sculptures of our Chozhanaadu, and the Buddhas of Lanka.
I am reminded of an ancient poem about the fictitious elephant owned by one of my ancestors, Perunkilli Valavan. This elephant was supposed to have one leg in Lanka, one leg in Thanjavur, one in Kanchi, and the fourth in Urayur (present day Trichy).
The Prince came and sat on a tree stump in the centre. He was not wearing a beautiful gold crown, pearl necklaces, or dressed in fine silk. Vandhiyathevan and Nambi were sitting close to him. They were getting ready for an enactment of the tale of Elela Singhan.
Nambi got down from his horse, walked over to Vandhiyathevan, and whispered in his ear, “Appane, the scroll is currently with the person to whom it should be delivered.”
“Oh yes, General. I had half a dozen armed soldiers near the door for company. The house was large. And for dinner, they sent me a cat. Just when I was about to finish off the cat, this Veera Vaishnavan came and disturbed me. The cat, which was a staunch Shaivite did not like this man one bit, and scratched his skin and drew blood.”
“She gave me an important task.”
“Which was.. ”
“To come here to Lanka and search for the Pandiya coronation crown and a bejeweled scepter. Apparently, it is hidden in some jungle here in Lanka.”
She knew about the perils of rescuing people who were hysterical and on the cusp of drowning. She had heard about how they would clasp the rescuer so tightly that it would make it very hard for the rescuer to swim. She thought quickly. There was only one way. She went close to him and landed a powerful blow between his nose and temple.