Bharathiayar Stories
Madurai Project. Article in Tamil
Translation: Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
Viruththimathyi warns of invasion
1. The reigning queen Suvarnamba was sitting alone in her private quarters of the palace in Kathambavanam ruled by the hero among heroes Gundodhara Raya Mahasinghan. The queen thought there was no one in the lion class to excel in beauty and education. Of all the animals living in the forest, the only animal with the closest relationship with the reigning queen was the buffalo woman Viruththimathi.
2. Viruththimathi, in the profusion of sweat, ran to the palace and fell at the feet of Svarna Devi.
3. Svarna asked, "What is the matter?"
4. Viruththimathi said, "Maharani! My friend Narichchi from Ponnangkadu came to my place this morning. The soldiers burst into my house, arrested her, and took her away. I felt there must be some error in this matter. Someone attributed a crime to her and informed Gundodhara. That is the pickle she is in."
5. "Aiyō! What am I going to do? She is dearer to me than life. I served you in this palace for many years with sincerity and dedication. The dishonor extended to her is nothing but a disrespect shown to me."
6. Narichchi raised Vīravarman, the king of Ponnangkadu, since he was a child, and the king patronizes her as equal to his mother. Once Vīravarman discovers Gundodharan incarcerated her, he will invade Kathambavanam. Our military is not strong enough to resist him. Our kingdom will come to ruin. Aiyō! Don't you know the suffering, Thandirajan and his brother Uththandi are going through for opposing Vīravarman?
7. "Maharani! We are like two birds in love living in a nest for many years. The sun and the flower develop a relationship, equality, and love, though the sun is above and the flower is below. You were born high, and I was born low, but love connects us both. You are the apple of my eye, and I earned your love by that.
8. "When I am in great difficulty, it is not right you remain aloof. You are my helper, companion, mother, father, and goddess. But for you, I have no refuge. You must save me." Saying such words, Viruththimathi cried.
9. Svarnadevi gave Viruththimathi some comfort and ordered a maid of the palace, "You go and tell Rayasinghan (Gundodharan) that I want him to report to me. Bring him to me."
10. It was evening. Singa Gundodharan had a ceremonial dip in the nearby river and performed Sandhyavanthanam. At that time, the palace attendant fell at his feet.
11. He asked her, "What is the matter?"
12. " The queen told me a great danger is lurking. Its nature, I do not know. Svarnadevi commanded me to bring you to her."
13. Gundodharan, seized with fear and tremulousness, dropped Sandhyavanthanam abruptly, went to the harem, and found nothing dangerous. Viruththimathi was sitting on one chair, Maharani Svarnadevi on another chair, and the third chair was empty.
14. Gundodharan entered the harem, asking, "What is the matter?" Gundodharan again posed the question insistently. When they saw the king, both women stood up from the chair.
15. Svarna told him, "Ask Viruththimathi; she will tell you."
16. Svarna said, "Oho! No great danger! It is about Narichchi. This female buffalo asks us to release Narichchi from the jail." Gundodharan realized he panicked unnecessarily on his way to the palace. He thought he must hide it from these women. So thinking, he twirled his mustache, strode his royal walk, and sat on the third chair. He cleared his throat, looked at Viruththimathi, and asked, "What is the matter?"
17. Viruththimathi: "Rajeshvara! Your Rajyam is in great danger. Vīravarman will invade your country soon. There was peace in this country until now, but war is imminent. What are we going to do? Svarnadevi thinks of all the subjects as her children. Because of my familiarity with her, I developed a devotion to this Rajyam. If I were to face danger, I would not mind. The country is facing trouble.
18. "Āhā! What am I to do? Many married women will be widowed. Children will go fatherless. The mothers will face the death of their sons in the war, suffer agony, and fall into hell.
19. The fathers without sons will go to hell, according to the Sastras. Your sons may happen to die on the battlefield. You will suffer a lot. Is not the war dangerous to your life? What are we going to do? How can I ever face Svarnadevi?" She cried loudly.
20. Gundodhara Rayan roared and said, "Why does that Vīravarman invade us? First of all, I need the answer for it."
21. Viruththimathi: "Your soldiers jailed Vīravarman's foster mother, equaled to his birth mother. If he heard this news, he would not wait for a minute. War is a certainty."
22. Singa Maha Singarayan (Gundodharan) asked, "What is the name of the jailed foster mother of Vīravarman?"
23. Viruththimathi: ''Narichchi Nalla Thangaiyamman.''
24. Hearing this, Singa Maha Singarayan laughed in a staccato fashion.