Friday, September 12, 2014

Princess Tangal Part VIII: The Curse of the Little Dog

  • Tangal’s main companion in her palace home is her tiny little dog Ponnachi. Ponnachi greets guests and helps Tangal in many other ways.

  • But after Tangal’s brothers leave for the great boar hunt Ponnachi becomes terribly sad. All the village dogs were invited to help the hunters, but she was left behind! Ponnachi feels left out. She is angry and suspects she was not shown respect by the hunters because of her petit size.

  • So without telling Tangal, Ponnachi goes to the family Celatta temple and places a curse on Ponnar and Shankar, the two Ponnivala warrior-kings who are leading the boar hunt.

  • Ponnachi hides in a small cave while her curse flies towards the brothers’ war tent. “This will get their attention!” she reasons.

  • After some time Shambuga, the palace family’s First Minister appears and asks Tangal where he can find Ponnachi. A wandering astrologer has told the two brothers this little dog has caused a terrible sickness to fall over them both. The hunt is in danger of failure. Only Ponnachi can lift the curse on Ponnar and Shankar, allowing the boar hunting party to succeed!

  • So Tangal takes her maid and goes to look for the little dog. She is worried, knowing that her pet has been missing for some time.

  • Finally Tangal finds the little dog in its hiding place and she coaxes it out of hiding with sweet words.

  • Once on her knee Tangal tells Ponnachi she must lift her curse and that her brothers will then relent and invite her to join the hunt as an equal partner.

  • Ponnachi is more than brave. She ends up facing Komban by herself! Komban is a big bully, but Ponnachi does not yield. After all, she is like a tiny little replica of the magical powers that lie within Tangal herself.

  • Angered by Komban’s abusive words, Ponnachi decides to chew off his ears, humiliating him and making him just as ugly as she believes she is!

  • With Ponnachi’s secret help Komban is greatly weakened. After this the two brothers finally manage to throw their great hunting spear and Komban is killed.

  • But the powerful forest princess soon learns of her favorite pet’s demise. He had called out to her for help as he fell to the ground.

  • Viratangal is Tangal’s double and her opposite in many ways. She takes up Komban’s case with her hundred fierce hunting brothers. She asks them to attack the farmers for this great insult, and she does so in front of her powerful family goddess, the dark forest-dwelling Karukali.   

  • This starts the great war between the hunters and the farmers. Lord Vishnu and the goddess Kali both back the wily forest fighters. The two warrior brothers fight bravely but are not allowed to win in this great cosmic contest.   

  • When the two brothers are made to understand their fate by Lord Vishnu they decide to die honorable on their own swords. Lord Vishnu then carries their souls directly to heaven in a little golden box.

  • Tangal, always able to see things at a distance because of her exceptional intuition, learns of her brothers’ deaths through seven signs they left in the palace for her to observe.   

  • Tangal now sees that the coconut has split, the jasmine flowers have wilted, the flame of the little lamp has gone out, the ripe mangoes have rotted, the water level in the cup has receded, and the once-moist dish of turmeric has clearly dried up.

  • By these many signs Tangal comes to know of her two brothers’ deaths. She is greatly saddened and she knows she must now pray for their souls’ safe passage to the world above.

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