Tuesday, January 25, 2011

third part story of nalacharitham

This is the third part of Nalacharitham. If there is something called repentence Nala has it in abundance(reminiscent of King Lear). The thought that he left his wife (Damayanti) alone in the forest (even though it was for her better future) never leaves him for a moment. He wanders in the forests. He also saves a divine serpent called Karkotaka from a forest fire. The serpent bites him and he becomes dark in colour, which is also for good since he can live incognito. Karkotaka also gives Nala a cloth by wearing which he can return to his old figure. Nala assumes the name of Bahuka and joins Rituparna's Palace as a horseman and cook. He spends many sleepless nights along with his colleagues, Jeevala and Varshneya, in his new home, lamenting about his wife, which is well brought out in the verses "Vijane Bata Mahati, Vipine Nee Unarn Indu Vadane, Vinenthu Cheyvu Kadane " meaning "Waking up in the wilderness, falling into bottomless sorrow, Lady, what did thou do?".
Now the scene shifts to Bhima Raja's palace. Damayanti designates Sudeva, a brahmin to find out whether the message from another brahmin that Nala is in Rituparna's palace is true or not. Sudeva knows the trick. He travels to Kosala Rajya and informs Rituparna that the day after next is Damayanti's second Swayamvara and and all kings are invited. Now there is only one way Kundinapura can be reached in a day. Only Nala can drive so fast and so his identity will be exposed. Sudeva's trick works. Nala's thoughts at this juncture are about the innocense of Damayanti in comparison to the cruelty of society, which is well brought out in the verses "Mariman Kanni Mauliyude, Marima Arkid Ariyam" meaning "Wavy eyed Lady, who knows thy wavering mind?"
Rituparna along with his minister and Nala as charioteer start off to Kundinapura. On the way Kali who had entered Nala's body is banished by the heat of a calculation mantra which Rituparna advices to Nala in return to the horse-sense mantra which Nala advises to Rituparna. Happily they proceed to Kundinapura.
In this story Nala, Rituparna are Pacha vesham. Sudeva, Jeevala, Varshneya, Damayanti are Minuku vesham. Kali is Red Beard, and Karkotaka has special Serpent makeup. Bahuka is a separate Pacha Vesham Nala slightly darker than Nala.

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