NN07. SUYAM-VARAM SCENE

a poem by Rajaram Ramachandran, India - poetry writer, author, poet

KING NALAN

It was early in the morning,
Flowers started blooming,
While the lily and the lotus
Similarly opened their eyes.

Along with those fresh flowers,
Meant for the gracious hands,
The world too opened its eyes
Driving away the darkness.

It was not a pleasant sunrise
For Dhamayanthi, the princess,
Though flowers o’er her hair
Gave pleasant smell in the air.

The Sun rose

Cupid lost his arrows.
The moon lost its importance.
The night that was a hell
To Dhamayanthi, broke well.

After their disappearance,
The reddish sun rose,
From the hill’s head,
On the eastern side.

Before the kings, this happened,
While their desire deepened,
To receive her garland,
And then hold her hands.

Many Eligible Kings came

After the drum-beat announcement,
For the grand engagement,
When the seventh day opened
Many eligible kings assembled.

They blew white conches
And bet the morning drums
Kings came with head wears
And their colourful garlands.

Came to the centre

Calves chewed black lotus
And spat the flowers,
In all the house courtyards,
That fulfilled petty desires of maids.

This kind of kingdom Nalan had.
More penance he really did
To satisfy Dhamayanthi’s petty desire,
So, he came and sat at the centre.

The Bride Came

Wearing precious jewels,
Made of beads and pearls,
Princess Dhamayanthi came
There to the Suyam-Varam.

Many of the kings’ minds,
Closely followed her behind,
Her makeup was so excellent
Towards her, all eyes went.

Sights in the gap

With her, came a row of maids,
Like deer followed their calves,
And in the gap between the maids
The kings’ sights went to her side.

She entered the hall

The swan, with its red-foot,
And its wings, so white,
Swam in the water cool,
Filled in the red-lotus-pool.

When she entered the hall
All the kings’ visions fell
Towards her direction
Without any exception.

Cupid stood waiting

The king of flower arrows,
Cupid, went on his rounds,
And his bow, ready he kept,
At the proper time to shoot.

King by king was shown

A wise maid, who knew well
“Who’s who in the hall”
Introduced one by one
To Dhamayanthi then.

From what tribe, he came?
What was his name?
Which was his kingdom?
How about his wisdom?

All those details, the maid
Explained to the bride,
While introducing each one
For the selection of her own.

He was Cholan

“Oh, Your Highness!
My exalted princess,
He’s King Cholan
The best among men.”

“He has a big spear force,
That can throw out enemies.
By the Ponni River side
His Kingdom is spread.”

He was Pandian

“Oh beautiful Princess!
Here is the beautiful prince,
Sitting like Lord Murugan.
He is King Pandian’s son.

“Once, King Pandian won,
Meru, the highest mountain,
Such a famous king he was.
From his tribe, he comes.”

He was Cheran

“Oh Gracious, listen!
This prince is the one
Coming from the west
And also is the best.”

“His mountainous place
Is full of many streams,
And high his flag flies
In the region he rules.”

King of Yadu Tribe

“Once this king washed,
His arrow, blood soaked,
In the sea for purification
After a bloody confrontation.”

“He knows seven types of music
And takes a leading part in music.
He’s a messenger of Indran.
And is a Yadu Tribe’s son.”

King of Kuru Nadu

“If you like, you can see,
A fit person, he may be,
And from a royal race
Of Kuru Nadu place.”

“In his place, a crane chick
Mistook a petal, grown thick,
As a cobra and cried out,
But its mother consoled it.”

“Vallai Creeper in plenty,
Grows in his country.
Such a famous place,
From where, he comes.”

Son of Mathira Kingdom

“This pretty strong prince,
Belongs to a fine place,
Mathira is its good name,
For rich fields, rose it’s fame.”

“Oyster placed its pearl
O’er a lotus petal
And the flower held it
Firmly to honour the gift.”

Son of Machatar Kingdom

“You deer-like princess!
Like water, sugar cane juice
Flowed into the rice fields
Yielding ‘Sanjali’ paddies.”

“This straw, when buffaloes ate
From calves’ mouth, milk came out.
So plenty, everything is
In Machatar, where he stays.”

King from Avanthi

“Rare Buffaloes tried to eat
Lily flowers, but did hesitate
As inside those flowers,
Bees made so much noise.”

“Such a fertile country,
Where things are plenty.
So, you can see this prince
From the Avanthi place.”

King of Panchal

“From Panchal comes
This glorious prince,
Whose spear is the one
Dipped in deadly poison.”

“From the fishhook its bait
By chance, slipped out.
The hook then swung up
Hitting a honeycomb on the top”

“Honey flowed into fields
Which yielded rich corns.
In such a fertile place
Lives this noble prince.”

King of Kosala

“In the early morning
Swans started running
Towards the lotus field
Where farmer harvested.”

“Farmer sharpened his sickle,
On the hard shell of turtle.
From such a prosperous
Country, this prince comes.”

King of Magadha

“Like the burning fire,
Lotus petals spread over,
While on top the bees fly
Like the smoke rising high.”

“Magadha King, he’s here,
And he’s a fast charioteer.
You can consider him.
If you like, see him.”

King of Anga

“From the conch shell,
Young ones came well,
But they got stuck up
On Coral reef’s top.”

“The sea out of pity
Brought them to safety,
He rules such a nice
And prosperous place.”

King of Kalinga

“Buffaloes woke up
Vaalai fish from sleep.
Fish, in turn, stirred the waters
Full of lotus flowers.”

“Then birds and bees
Flew away out of fears.
Such water resources
Are plenty in his lands.”

“King of Kalinga is here.
Whom you may consider.”
Like this the maid
Took her as a guide.

King of Kekaya

“The sea born magara fish
Was brought by Konda fish
And led into Ganges water.
Making the country prosper.”

“He defeated his enemies
And killed many elephants
With his deadly spear
And now he’s here.”

King of Gandhara

“Ghandhara King is here.
In the tank, with more water,
O’er the creepers, the swans walk
Like the girls on circus rope walk.”

King of Sindhu

“When conch shells were disturbed,
The lotus flowers, out of fear, dropped
Their honey into the waters
Of the fertile paddy fields.”

“The ruler of Sindhu State,
If you like, you can meet.”
Like this he led her to them
Explaining her about them.

Devas in Nalan shape

In disguise as King Nalan
Four Devas were seen.
Dhamayanthi was confused,
And stood there, spell bound.

Who was her real Nalan?
Why this confusion?
Her mind wavered.
In a shock, she stood.

Heavenly Devas Came

“Dhamayanthi gave her beauty
To the ornaments on her body.
Kings lost their shyness,
And sat with broken hearts

Which king did not come
To this Suyam-Varam?
All the Kings came.
Devas too as Nalans came

She prayed for mercy

“My fate enveloped me
And the same forced me
To keep King Nalan
In my heart as mine.”

“If I’m the real daughter
Of Vimarasan, my father
And am a real virgin
Oh God, bless me then.”

“As the swan told me
So God, help me
To garland the man,
The bird had chosen.”

Found Nalan

He winked his two eyes.
His foot rested on floors.
His colourful garland faded.
He was the one, she decided.

(Devas never do these things)

She garlanded

Devas were badly hurt.
Others too felt like that.
She went near King Nalan,
And garlanded the real one.

Faces Faded

The colourful garland of victory
Went to the man of glory,
The faces of Kings, who had lost,
Turned like lotus white.

Walked with pride

The great King Nalan
Went in royal procession
In the streets, with pride,
Like a cow that walked.

Dhamayanthi accompanied him,
Who waited too long for him.
Devas couldn’t hold it even,
As marriage was made in heaven.

Met Kali

The disappointed Indran,
And his other companions,
Having lost the garland,
Were back to their land.

They saw Kali on the way,
Who did harm, night and day,
To this world, dashed by waves
Of the sea around the coasts.

Why are you coming here?

The great Lord Indran
Asked him a question,
“Why are you coming here,
So late at this hour?”

Kali replied, “Why you’re here?
For the same reason I’m here.
I wish to marry the daughter
Of Vimarasan, so I’m here.”

Leave your desire and go

Indran told him then
“Better you also return
As she had already chosen,
As her partner, King Nalan.”

I will spoil! I will punish!

“When you’re from heaven,”
How she chose an earthly Nalan?
I’ll spoil her intention.
I’ll punish her husband, Nalan.”

Kali retorted like this.
He made this promise.
Thus began the confrontation
Between the earth and heaven.

Told and left

Indran advised Kali
On the chastity
Of Dhamayanthi
And her purity.

Also of the Nalan,
Whose rule was clean,
His strength to fight,
And then Indran left.

Poisonous snake he became

When Indran told like this,
Evil Kali became furious.
He vowed, “I’ll never
Allow both to live together.”

Like a poisonous snake,
This promise he did take,
That he would harm them
By separating both of them.



NN06. SICKLY HEART
KING NALAN
NN08. MARRY AND BE HAPPY

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