Thursday, July 10, 2014

Shambuga, The First Minister - Pt. IV: Raising The War Drum

  • A new problem raises its head. Ponnar, the elder of the kingdom’s two kings, is forced to swim upstream through a dangerous, dark tunnel. Lord Vishnu has appeared to help him out He will lead the way. But even this is not enough. Ponnar needs added help. So Shambuga is called into service once again.

  • The problem is that the enemy is standing on top of the tunnel’s exit ready to throw a huge rock on Ponnar to kill him! Shankar, the younger brother comes to know of this danger though his sister’s dream.

  • Shankar’s sister has warned him that their brother is about to drown in the irrigation sluice due to foul play. So he calls Shambuga and together they rush to Ponnar’s aid.  

  • Shankar throws his sword with such accuracy that the wiley artisan is knocked into the water.

  • The artisan dies and Ponnar is saved. But the incident does not end here. The hunters are still angry and they have pre-arranged an attack on the two heroes at this very spot.

  • Now Shambuga enters the picture once more. His first move is to intimidate the hunters with a special martial arts-style somersault

  • Then Shambuga leaps in the air and comes down hard on the first hunter who tries to attack him.

  • More special jumps help Shambuga to defeat still more hunters who belong to this same forest-dwelling attack party.

  • Shambuga specializes in a special South Indian fighting style known as Silambam. This is a very old style of martial art which he knows well.

  • Finally Shambuga polishes off the last hunter using only his fighting stick. This ends this incident, but there will soon be another for him to deal with.

  • The great boar Komban hears all about this mistreatment of the forest-dwelling hunters. His mistress Viratangal, the lovely forest Princess, tells him about their many misdeeds.

  • Komban wants to help defend the forests. He develops his own plan to destroy the farmer’s fine fields, during the night!

  • First Komban throws the farmers’ fine sugarcane plants in the air as if they were toys.

  • Next Komban destroys the dam used to hold back all the stored water the farmers use to irrigate their crops. These releases are gradual. Releasing all the water at once causes a terrible flood. All the young rice plants are killed! 
  • Finally Komban goes to the farmers’ lovely flower garden and uproots all the beautiful plants there. With these many acts Komban has declared war on Ponnivala!

  • Shambuga’s mother brings the special oil lamp that will be needed.

  • She is the one who must fill the lamp with oil and make sure it is properly lit.

  • Then Shambuga calls all the hungry spirits that live in the pond. He gets them to agree to stay out of the way, by feeding them. This fresh food gives them the power to fly away!

  • Next Shambuga uses a special chant, and also the heroes’ great war spear, to raise the great drum up out of the water.

  • Now Shambuga dries the drum off carefully.

  • The drum head is then renewed using fresh leather. It must be ready to sound its best when he plays the terrible call to war on it. The special “tum tum” beat that invites all local men to join the fight will now be heard across of Ponnivala!
[<==Back to Part 3]

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