- One day, soon after the twin heroes from Ponnivala return
from their war of independence from the great Chola of Uraiyur,
their sister calls them to speak with her. She is lonely. They are
always going out on big adventures while she has nothing to
entertain herself with. She sits alone in the palace all day.
Tangal then tells her brothers that she wants two parrots to keep
her company. She wants them to catch two lovely birds for her.
- But Tangal does not have in mind just ordinary birds. She
wants two parrots that have descended to earth from the heavens,
bird of very special beauty and plumage. Tangal has dreamt of these
birds and she now describes them to her brothers. She knows where
these two birds live. They nest in a certain great tree just near
the hunters big palace.
- The twin heroes are ready. This adventure sounds like fun!
And also, it is notable that their decision to try to catch these
parrots follows close on the heels of their defeat of the Chola
king. Great monarchs like him controls vast forest areas. They
were considered to be a great king’s “private” game preserve.
Now that the great Chola ruler is no more, it is likely that these
minor Ponnivala kings feel they possess a new freedom to hunt in the
forests that surround them.
- But first the brothers need a proper hunting net. It is not
easy to catch wild birds. So they order their loyal group of local
artisans to make them the proper hunting tool.
- The artisans are taken to the palace store room where a stash
of irons rod are kept. But soon the artisans complain that this
iron is not good enough. They need some superior iron to make a
really fine and strong net.
- Shambuga hears about this problem and volunteers to find some
better iron. He knows that the forest hunters, known as Vettuvas,
have a pile of very fine iron that they keep near their forest
temple that is dedicated to the fearsome goddess Kali. Shambuga
volunteers to go and get some of this material for the artisans to
- After a day or two Shambuga returns with an impressive bundle
of iron rods that are of the highest quality.
- The artisans make a net using this fine iron. They are well
satisfied with this better material and the fine hunting tool is
soon ready for use.
- Before the two brothers leave on their hunting expedition
they ask their sister to bless their swords. This will bring them
good luck and enhance their hunting skills. Tangal is a little
worried about her brothers entering a forest that does not belong to
them. She knows that a group of fearsome Vettuvas live there.
However she does want those parrots and she wishes her brothers
well. She ends up blessing their swords!
- The two brothers prepare for the hunt by dressing in the
finest silks. They are ready for whatever challenges might lie deep
in that dark forest where they have never been before!
- The hunting party now takes off. Shambuga accompanies his
two masters, of course, and so do a number of village men who
provide field labour for Ponnivala’s first family. The horses
have to walk more slowly this time, so that these ordinary peasant
men can keep up!
- Soon the hunting party reaches the edge of the thick forest.
They stop to rest on a high ridge. From there they can see the
great parrot tree in the distance. That will be their destination.
- From here on the brush begins to thicken. The men and the
horses cannot see where their footsteps fall. The light dims and
the path begins to feel spooky.
- Yes, there are eyes that seem to watch these travelers from
the bushes. After all, this is a small group of inexperienced
hunters. This is their first time they have traveled through such
a thick forest.
- Suddenly Shankar hears a growl. His horse rears. What was
- The party have barely stopped and caught their breath when a
huge group of tigers appears. Shanbuga and Shankar jump off their
horses and begin to swing their swords. Tiger after tiger falls
victim to their sharp weapons so skillfully swung. Finally, all of
the tigers lie dead and the little party feels safe to continue
- But very soon after this there is another challenge. This
time it is a sea of cobras, hissing and trying to strike at the
little party of hunters from all directions. Again Shankar and
Shambuga get of their horses and wade into the fray. Cobras are
slashed and cut up by the hundreds. Finally these beasts, too, are
fully defeated and the hunting party feels safe to move on.
- Finally the great banyan tree is reached. This is the
parrots’ home. This is where the real hunt is to begin.
- Shankar orders Shambuga to climb into the tree. He is to get
as high as he can. Then the party on the ground will throw him the
net. And at all costs, he must move slowly and silently. He must
not to scare the birds who are living there!
- Shambuga begins his climb full of energy. This is a fine
challenge for him and he believes he is up to the task. This
amazing man is known to be a master of tricks and he is also very
strong. He feels more at home in the forest than any other person in
the expedition party! Shambuga manages to get quite a ways up this
huge banyan tree before he is thrown the special net by the other
members of his hunting party, who remain below.
- Now Shambuga spots the two parrots. They are truly beautiful. But they are also wary. The strange goings-on around the base of their tree has not escaped their notice! Shambuga throws the net. One of the two birds, the female, is caught by it. But her companion, the male parrot, flies free.
- As soon as Shambuga descends from the tree the beautiful
female bird is put in a cage that has been especially made by the
artisans ahead of time, expressly for this purpose. Ponnar,
Shankar, and the entire hunting party admire their beautiful catch.
Never mind that the male parrot got away. Everyone feels happy at
- The caged parrot is brought back to the Ponnivala palace and
handed over to Tangal. She is thrilled and begins trying to talk to
it right away. Finally she will have a lovely companion to play
with in her lonely home!