Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Shambuga, The First Minister - Pt. II: His Duties as a Key Assistant and a Fighter

  • Soon after Ponnar and Shankar turn sixteen their mother insists that they marry. Shankar tells Shambuga that he will need his help.

  • After Shankar gets dressed for his wedding Shambuga brings him his fine horse. He watches his master prepare to mount.

  • Shambuga runs after Shankar’s galloping horse at lightning speed. Shankar’s brother Ponnar has already gone ahead to take care of the preliminary ceremonies their mother wants performed.

  • It is a long way. The landscape the they pass through varies and includes huge rock outcroppings.

  • They finally reach the wedding site. Shankar now hands Shambuga his horse to look after. He will be busy with the required ceremonies.

  • The wedding is brief and the two brothers agree to perform only the bare ritual necessities. Each ties a necklace on his new bride. The formal proceedings are over quickly.

  • The brides are given their own palanquin to ride back to Ponnivala from the place where the wedding happened.

  • Shambuga is told to meet the ladies’ palanquin when it arrives. He has put on his ceremonial turban for this important job.

  • Next, Shambuga has been told to take the brides to a special home, built just for them. He asks the women to follow him there.

  • Shambuga then leads the two brides to their newly built living quarters.

  • But once inside the two women get a shock. This is not what they expected!

  • Shambuga quickly closes the front door of the brides’ house and locks it tight. It is a trick. The brides will have to remain here, all by themselves!  

  • Shambuga tells them both to spin to keep themselves occupied! This is what his masters have told him to say and do. It was not his decision. Why this happens is a different story.

  • Not long after, Shambuga is given his next big job. He is to accompany his two masters on an expedition.

  • The destination is a neighbouring area where their clan cousins’ families live. These families grabbed lands belonging to Ponnar and Shankar’s father long ago. Now these two sons plan revenge.

  • Shambuga deliberately separates from his masters. He has been assigned to make a surprise entry into the local school house. He starts by running behind several buildings to avoid being noticed.

  • Shambuga’s surprise is to enter through the school house roof! It is made of thatch. He climbs up a post and then jumps down through the ceiling. Meanwhile his two masters guard the exit doors.

  • Soon the students’ parents come to defend their children. Shambuga is told to give them a good whipping while his masters watch. They want to show these men that they are now in full control. They are the new rulers of Ponnivala!

  • To make the message clear, Shambuga takes the time to intimidate the local school teacher as well.

  • But Shambuga’s tasks are many. Next he is asked to help Ponnar, the elder brother, carry some symbolic tribute to the Chola king. He is Ponnivala’s neighbouring overlord.

  • But this loyalty to the Chola king does not last. After a time Ponnar and Shankar desire independence. Now Shambuga helps his two masters attack the Chola king, ending his rule and destroying his palace.

  • Shambuga is a skilled fighter. He jumps the Chola’s fine horses from behind and throws off their riders.

  • Shambuga is so strong he can lift two opponents at once and toss them both aside!

  • Here Shambuga throws one more Chola fighter into a pot of boiling water in the palace kitchen!

  • At the end of the battle the two farmer-kings are triumphant and the Chola’s power is completely destroyed.

  • When the war party returns to the Ponnivala palace Shambuga is formally thanked by the two ruling brothers for his bravery and loyal service.
[<==Back to Part 1]

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