Friday, June 22, 2012

Episode 17: Chastity Forever

In this feature, we outline the chapters of The Legend of Ponnivala as we've laid them out in the animated and print series. The sub-story descriptions are those that occur in each episode, and are drawn from our Teacher's Handbook.

The two sons of Ponnivala’s King and Queen reluctantly agree to take wives. But wanting to focus on the defence of their family’s honor, they leave their wives locked away. Meanwhile their unmarried sister continues to live in the family palace with them. When their aging parents die the two boys become the area’s new rulers.

A Very Strange Wedding Occurs

The big wedding day is arranged. The two girls that are being held in waiting as the brides (see episode #10) are returned from their “stone” forms to flesh and blood for the event. The wedding is “simple” by Indian standards and quickly completed. Most important is the fact that neither groom sees his wife’s face during the ceremony. Furthermore, they never touch, as silver “finger extensions” are used at the point when a couple would normally link hands. The younger twin stays only the minimal amount of time at the event. Soon afterwards the two wives are "jailed" in a remote and very plain palace. There they live alone and are forced to spin endless hanks of cotton thread day after day

The Parents Make Their Death-Bed Wishes Known

Meanwhile the twin brothers return to a pleasant and carefree life in their much grander palace. In particular, they pass the time by playing dice with Lord Vishnu, who descends from heaven to visit them for just this purpose. The two young men also gradually begin to concern themselves with the affairs of their parent's kingdom. Foreseeing their own death, this kind and gentle senior couple now counsel their sons. They ask them to refrain from pursuing any grudges. They request that they be wise, gentle and calm rulers. In particular, the parents ask their sons never to pick a fight with family rivals. They also ask that they take good care of their sister and see that she is well married. Soon, however, the last rites for these two seniors are performed. The great Yeman, Lord of death, is sent to down by the great god Shiva. His “accountant” has told him that his book states that the days this couple can spend on earth are now used up. So Shiva asks Yeman to bring the lives of these two quickly back to his Himalayan abode.

The Sons Ignore Their Parents’ Final Words

Not long afterwards, the younger twin wants to begin settling old family scores. He singles out the enemy clansmen, the same men who once forced his parents into exile. The elder brother is very reluctant to endorse this move, but he is soon pulled into action by his fiery younger sibling. The two of them go to the palace dressing room and prepare for an attack. They wrap their fine turbans on their heads, put their swords in their scabbards, and call for their powerful horses. Their assistant (son of the untouchable described earlier…who is also their guardian) helps with these preparations. The two young kings soon leave the palace on horseback for the clansmen’s key village. Their powerful assistant follows at a run behind them.

No comments:

Post a Comment