Monday, September 15, 2014

Princess Tangal Part IX: The Funeral At The Palace

  • Tangal is distraught over the death of her two brothers.
  • Every single sign Ponnar and Shankar left to assure Tangal of their well-being has changed its state. Each has dried up, split or lost its heat.

  • Everything now spins before Tangal’s eyes. All is broken. Nothing is what it was before.

  • Saddened, Tangal’s first step is to visit her sisters-in-law. They must be the first to hear the terrible news!

  • These two women are shocked but not very sympathetic. They decline Tangal’s invitation to participate in the funeral rites for their two dead husbands.

  • They base their refusal on the fact that they were never treated as wives, never visited and never allowed to bear children. Instead they were locked in their palace and forced to spin incessantly, all this so that their husbands could claim celibacy and attain a special status as magically empowered warriors. There was nothing in this marriage for them, argue these two sad women.

  • Tangal is upset and angry. Her own chastity and family devotion now transform into new powers. Praying to the gods first, she finds a ball of fire lights up in her right hand.   

  • Tangal now throws this ball of fire at the palace, setting it alight. She her her sisters-in-law to die honorably. Purified by this fire and passing to their deaths by this means will help preserve the family’s good name.

  • Next Tangal returns to her own palace home.

  • There she orders the many loyal servants to each take all the wealth from her home that they can possibly carry. It will not be needed any longer, and will serve to help them all remember this family’s glorious past.

  • Tangal then requests a second ball of fire be sent down to her by Lord Shiva.

  • Now she throws the new flame on her own family palace, just as she had tossed its predecessor on her sister-in-laws’ dwelling place.  

  • Now the main palace burns. The two farmer-kings are dead now! All is to be destroyed in their wake!

  • Next Tangal returns to her sister-in-laws’ abode.

  • There she collects the skulls and the bones, all that remains of these poor women’s lives!

  • After placing these bones in an earthen pot, Tangal carries her grim booty to the nearby river.

  • There she empties the container into the flowing water.

  • She lets the pot follow the bones down stream. They both disappear as they follow the current.  

  • Next Tangal herself bathes, trying her best to cleanse her body of the pollution surround all this death and destruction. She has let her hair hang loose and will not re-braid it.

  • Then Tangal calls on the gods once more, asking that the handful of sand she has taken from the river bank be turned into cooked rice.

  • The gods oblige, evidencing once more that Tangal has obtained additional magical powers that will help her cope with this great family tragedy.

  • Tangal next feeds a flock of crows the rice she has to give them. These birds are understood to embody the spirits of her dead family members. This feeding will help them on their journey to the unseen world beyond.

  • Now Tangal breaks down and cries. She has done her duty to her brothers and to her family as the only survivor of this holocaust. She must now start her journey to try to find the bodies of her brothers. She will begin by walking into the forest in the direction she thinks they must have gone. Somehow, somewhere, she believes she can find them!

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