Saturday, October 11, 2008


(This is fiction with references from the internet)
In the city of Poompuhar, which was then rules by the Choza dynasty, where river Cauvery flows into the Bay of Bengal, there lived two renowned businessmen by name Masaathuvan and Maanaicken. Masaathuvan had a son by name Kovalan and I was the daughter of Maanaicken.I was married to Kovalan and our marriage ceremony was performed to the amazement of the entire town of Poompuhar.I lived very happily with my husband in the city of Kaveripattinam. My happy married life came to an abrupt halt when my husband met a dancer Madhavi and fell in love with her. In his infatuation, he forgot me and gradually spent all his wealth on this dancer, aiding a plan by Madhavi’s mother to strip me of all my wealth.One fine day, my husband took Madhavi to a trade fair and had a nice time. In his exuberant mood he requested Madhavi to sing a song and she obliged with a song. My husband however read in between the lines and developed a suspicion on her that she being a Devadasi still possessed an interest on the Choza King.At that moment of grief and loneliness did my husband think of me. He was overcome with remorse now that he could see his hurtful actions quite clearly.He came back to me and I welcomed him with open arms much to the chagrin of everyone around us. They had always detested my approach to this whole affair. My neighbors claimed that I should have turned against my husband and remarried. Now that he had come back, they wanted me to shun him as well.Little did they know of our marriage vows nor my commitment to my husband in thought and deed. I did not care my husband had strayed in between. It was only infatuation which I knew could never last. He had squandered our wealth but I always knew together we were worth more than that. Wealth we could always recover. To me it was of great importance to be united to my husband.Rejoice I did when he came back and we started to pick up our threads of union which had been speared in many places. I knew it was not going to be easy, the task of patching the gaping holes in our tapestry of marriage but I had a will and we had a desire and together we knew we could weave back the magic.The only asset we still could call our own was a precious pair of anklets(cilambu) filled with gems. Kovalan and I decided we should travel to Madurai the Capital city of the Pandya Kingdom and begin our trade with these anklets to provide the basis of the fortune with. I willingly acceded to his request and we made arrangements for our travel to Madurai. We started our journey by feet that night itself.During our voyage, we encountered a female Jain Saint whose name was Kaundhiadigal. She accompanied us to the city of Madurai where her hermit was. And she left us under the protection of Ayai, a Yadhava woman. Ayai took so much care of us and was so very loving and affectionate to us.The city of Madurai was ruled by the Pandya King Neduncheziyan. Kovalan’s objective was to sell the anklets in the Pandya kingdom and to try and start a new life with me.When Kovalan set out to sell one of the anklets, it so happened that the Queen Koperundevi, the Queen of Madurai, had also lost her anklet. It was stolen from the Queen by a greedy court jeweller. The anklet that was stolen from the Queen was similar to the one held by Kovalan.The only difference being that the anklet that belonged to me was filled with rubies and the queen’s was filled with pearls, a fact that was not visible to the outsider.When Kovalan went to the market to try and sell the anklet he was directed to the premises of the court jeweller who handled expensive anklets. The court jeweller upon seeing Kovalan saw his way out of the mess created by him when he stole the Queen’s anklet. He knew Kovalan was a stranger to Madurai and he also knew no one could tell what was inside the anklet. Cunningly he connived a scheme by which he reported to the King he had captured the thief who had stolen the royal anklet.The King overjoyed and relieved to hear that the thief had been apprehended quickly ordered that the thief be beheaded and retrieved the anklet from the court jeweller to give to the Queen. Since the anklet looked like hers, the Queen was happy to get her anklet back and the King breathed a sigh of relief that his Queen was content.The death of Kovalan reached me through the good people with whom I had been residing in Madurai. I was initially so shocked to hear the news of my husband’s demise that I fainted. Upon being revived, I listened to the people around me telling me what happened. They told me that my husband was a thief who had robbed the Queen of her anklet and then had been trying to sell it in the open market. It seemed that the court jeweler had been able to apprehend the thief red-handed and as a culprit of a royal crime, he had been beheaded as per the King’s orders.On hearing that my husband had been accused of stealing, a rage entered my heart and slowly seeped through my entire body. This rage then overpowered me giving me the impetus to move forward to question the King of his unjust sentence.I walked, nay thundered toward the Palace grounds. My feet echoed my resounding rage from within. The glare of my eyes the sun could not bear to witness and hid behind the clouds. The birds stopped their chirping when they realized the King had done a grievous err.My body trembled not with fear but at the unjust nature of the King’s action. He had chosen to behead an innocent person thereby setting the precedent that one is guilty unless otherwise proven.Coming from the kingdom of Chera, I knew that was not the way of the just. One is innocent unless proven of guilt.“Where from did this Pandya King learn to rule his kingdom so unjust”, my thoughts ran faster than my legs could carry me. I reached the Palace doors and demanded the gate keeper I be let in. He went inside to get permission and then let me in. I stormed through the open court where the King was presiding.For a moment there was an eerie and utter silence at the spectacle I must have created. I can only imagine the shock waves through the court as everyone watched me walking in. I flew in was more the truth. My hair all awry and my eyes screaming madness, my mouth curled into a tight knot of anger and disbelief that I had become a widow. My hands holding my own anklet and trembling with disgust at the sight of an unjust king. My feet ashamed to step foot into an unjust place. I was nothing short of a towering inferno.The king asked me, ”Who are you and why did you come before me?”“Oh , Injudicious King” I retorted with contempt in my speech and anger slurring my words.“I have a complaint. I hail from the famous Poompuhar in the Chera kingdom, where we have a tradition of justice. In the name of fair play one of our Kings appeased a pigeon (by giving his own flesh) to the amazement of everyone; In order to uphold justice to a grieving cow who rang the enquiry bell thunderously, another King ordered the chariot run over his only son, who earlier killed her calf by negligently running his chariot over it. From the same city comes Kovalan, son of an affluent, accomplished and highly respected grain merchant, Maasathuvan.To overcome his cruel fate, Oh King, Kovalan who came to this city to sell my own personal anklets and rebuild our lives, got killed by you unjustly. I am Kovalan's wife, Kannagi".
On hearing this, the King stood up enraged. He thought, how dare a demented woman come into his grand court and accuse him of being unjust in front of his entire assembly.“Do you have proof of my unjustness” he asked me.“Yes” said I. I lifted my arm holding the anklet and smashed it down with such great force that rubies scattered from the broken anklet.“Now open the anklet your wife is wearing to see if it belongs to me or to her” , I screamed in rage.“My anklets had rubies in them and your wife, her Majesty’s anklet had pearls in them. When the court jeweler said he retrieved the stolen anklet from my husband, you ordered my husband to be beheaded without deeply probing into the truth.
You sentenced an innocent man to be killed and you have made me a widow.”, I said.Upon hearing this, the King took the anklets from his shocked wife and threw them open. One had pearls and one had rubies.On seeing the evidence of his unjust ruling, the King fell to the ground and died.Not being satisfied with my conclusive proof of my husband’s innocence, I swore that is my chastity meant anything then the whole city of Madurai would be set ablaze
There after I left to travel towards the Chera kingdom and led by my feet traveled for a few days beseeching my Lord to take me away from this life. Lord granted me salvation so I was relieved of my pain and anger and suffering and found permanent peace at the feet of my Lord.

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