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Just Shoot Me

Bala, 28, Gordon Gekko in the making, pseudo-intellectual, cynic, bibliophile, obsessive compulsive ranter...

Being Nandivarman

February 15, 2008

In the previous post i had written about the last verse of nandhi kalambagam that killed Pallava king Nandivarman III. So how does a verse end up killing a king?. Let us be skeptical about the mystic aspects of word power. Granted that words can kill (or atleast get you badly beaten up during rush hour traffic in suburban Madurai), but we shall discredit the whole power-of-the-written-word-that-has-potential / siddha mysticism etc etc. We shall speculate at a plausible scenario how Nandivarman got himself killed.

The bare facts we know are: Nandivarman died in 869 AD and his love for the Tamil literature had something to do with his death. (Somesar Mudhumozhi veNba makes it clear that nandhi kalambagam killed him). So, how do you kill a king?. He is know ordinary king - he is the last great monarch of a dynasty that has held sway in a violent region for more than 300 years. He is the heir to the badasses who went toe to toe with Pulikesin II (who himself was a heavyweight) and burnt Vatapi (Badami) to the ground. Nandivarman's reign was a tough time all around. The Pandyas were resurgent in the South, Rashtrakutas were gaining power in the North and more new kids were arriving on the block every decade. With shifting alliances and shaky allegiances, he has kept the dying Pallava empire together with an iron fist. And amidst all this he has found time to play art connoisseur. So how does such a man, who obviously was a worthy successor to the above mentioned badasses-who-burnt-vatapi get himself killed over a poem?

My guess is his enemies slipped in a assassin past his security by disguising him as a poet. The mashkirovka involved had to be good, for nandivarman was the connoisseur - he would have sniffed a phony poet before kadaVul vazhthu(prayer to the lord and by tradition the first verse in any work of literature) was over and the assassin would find himself been sitting on a kazhumaram and cursing the day he took on such a stupid contract(Kazhumaram is a sharp long iron stick, where enemies of the state and other such "enemy combatants" were impaled through their buttocks). So they (the coup plotters) went through the trouble to invent a whole new type of siRRillakkiyam to pique the lit lover's interest. They made sure word of the new kalambagam reached nandhivarman and voila, they had a gate pass to the palace. And the assassin, (who i bet was as good as Jet Li was in The Hero ) trotted up to the palace, waived his security clearance in the faces of the praetorian guard and accomplished the tough task of regicide.


posted by Bala, 7:24 PM


Ah! If that be the case, what happened to the assassin after the killing? Did he get away? Are there any mentions in History of killer/suspect getting away? This must have been a suicide mission, no?

Also...contrast that with today's suicide killers - no talents other than to pull the plug or press the button. Dumbos.
commented by Blogger Ravages/CC, 10:08 AM  
now that i think of it, two scenarios occur to me

1) The assassin slips away amidst the confusion. If fire had anything to do with the actual deed as the legends suggest, there might have been just about enough confusion for him to make his escape

2) Or maybe he did end up sitting on a kazhumaram ;-)
commented by Blogger Bala, 8:35 PM  

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