Monday, 19 May 2014

Chapter 29 - The Royal Guest

King Sundara Chola on his sick bed

After the poets left, the royal physician prepared the medicine for the king and the queen fed it to her husband lovingly. Chinna Pazhuvettarayar waited for a while and then came forward dragging Vandiya Devan along with him.
"My lord, do you see any improvement in your health due to the new medicine?"
"Our physician says that there is improvement, so does the queen. But I have lost all hope. I think all your efforts are in vain. Lord Yama has gone to Pazhaiarai in search of me. When he comes to know that I am not there, he will come to Thanjavur one day..."
"Prabhu! You shouldn't speak thus. Your ancestors..."

"Ah, my ancestors were not scared of Lord Yama. If only I were fortunate enough to die in a battlefield like my ancestors, I would welcome death with open hands. My uncle Rajadhithar died bravely in the battlefield of Thakollam. And people now herald him as the "Brave Prince of the Thakollam war." But what will people say about me? "The old king who died in his sick bed!" My other uncle, Kandaradithar who was a great Shiva devotee was also not afraid of death. He travelled all over the kingdom visiting Shiva temples and died. But here I am, not even able to move my legs. How long will I lie like this here, a burden to everyone? But something tells me that I won't live long..."

"Chakravarthi! Our royal physician says that there is no danger to your life. So do the astrologers, but I heard this boy telling you that you are in danger here."

"This is the young man who has come from Kanchipuram. Yes, you said something about danger. What were you referring to, thambi?"

Vallavareyan's mind worked furiously. It was obvious that Chinna Pazhuvettarayar had overheard what he had tried to tell the king. And he urgently needed an idea so he sought the help of literature!

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Volume 1 - New Flood