Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Story: Tenali Rama & the poem on fleet of elephants

Among the Ashta Diggajas in the Bhuvana Vijayam of Sri Krishna Deva Rayalu, the King for his ingenuity, quick wittedness, and fast filling of stanzas when at test particularly favoured Raman. Rayalu was renowned as Andhra Bhoja and Poets’ Paradise. With his inherent qualities of wit and sarcasm, Raman was growing big and closer to Rayalu day after day.

With no change in the rule, the more you grow the more envious you become, the other courtiers like Rama Raja Bhushana were against the growth of Raman’s association with the King Rayalu. Whenever there is a possibility, those courtiers, and Rama Raja Bhushana had been working out for damaging Raman’s image and sling mud on him before the King. Raman efficiently countered these efforts and trials of courtiers all the time.

At one stage, as these personalities were unable to compete with Raman in wit and ingenuity decided to humiliate Raman. They handed over the responsibility of insulting Raman to the main entrance guards. Those poor soldiers were lured by the bribe amount courtiers had offered them. A line was given to those guards for stopping Raman at the entrance itself. The line was “Kunjara Yudhambu Doma Kuthuka Jochen” meaning an elephants’ fleet is stuck in a mosquito’s throat.

Raman as usual was walking into the Bhuvana Vijayam premises and the guards stopped him. He questioned why were they blocking the way. The soldiers told Raman about the line and asked him to enter the premises only after reciting the first three lines for the last line they recited to him. Raman boiled and trembled with anger on those soldiers. Immediately he understood what and who was behind the soldiers. With harsh words he completed reciting,

“Ganjayi Thravi Thurakala
Sanjathamu Goodi Kallu Chavi Gonnava?
Lanjala Kodaka! Yekkadara!
Kunjara Yudhambu Doma Kuthuka Jochen.”
Long before those guards could understand the meaning of the poem, Raman walked stiff into the main court hall.

After sometime, while the King Rayalu was into one of the pleasure rounds of literary discussions, the guards entered the hall and complained that Raman disgraced them with the poem at the main entrance. After listening to all the details narrated by the guards, Rayalu ordered Raman to extempore compose a poem taking the same end line with a situation in Mahabharatha.

Raman raised from his seat and after salutations to the King Rayalu recited,

“Ranja Chedi Pandavulari
Bhanjanulai Viratu Golva Palapadirakata!
Sanjaya! Vidhinemandunu
Kunjara Yudhambu Doma Kuthuka Jochen!”

Pandavas in Mahabharatha are like a fleet of powerful elephants. Losing in the gamble with Kauravas, they had to live incognito for some time. During this period they served a weak ruler Virata. By all Gods! It is the fate of those Pandavas to serve such a weak person in spite of being renowned warriors. This is similar to a fleet of strong elephants being stuck in the throat of a small mosquito.

Rayalu clapped in all praise of Raman for his ingenuity and wit filled narration. In the full house, Rayalu hugged Raman and appreciated him agreeing that Raman’s words are like double-edged swords. This state of affairs brought Raman more close to Rayalu.

All the attempts to trap Raman and cut down his image before the King Rayalu by the envied courtiers and poet Rama Raja Bhushana blew off like a piece of raw cotton in Raman’s intelligence whirlwind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that detailed explanation.:)