The Untold Story About A Rearing Horse (contd.)

Part 3

‘So, there you are, just as I thought, wasting your time as well as Uncle’s.’

I turned around to see the voice belonged to a comely young lady clad modestly in a salwar-kameez. Her dupatta in disarray, locks of hair jumping their braid and playing on her forehead, the exasperated look in her kaajaled eyes – and she appeared to be addressing my master story-teller.

A moment’s silence – we all looked at each other. He was quite calm like he didn’t hear her or the words were not spoken to him.

‘I must be mad in my head to have fallen for him. Uncle, please tell him.’

She paused to catch her breath.

‘He doesn’t work anywhere, doesn’t earn a rupee. He does just three things – imposes himself on people like you, reads books or disappears for hours into some Internet Café. So how are we going to pull on? Doesn’t bother him a bit. I’ve even threatened him, one day I’ll just leave.’

For the first time since the arrival of this typhoon, I got my turn and I rushed to his defense: ‘You’ve with you an invaluable gem, a storehouse of immense knowledge, and you don’t see it, my friend.’

‘Uncle, tell me, how do we generate cash out of this invaluable gem? Sell him? Pawn him? Who’ll buy him? All in my fate. Now, come, let’s figure out for tomorrow.’

She took him by his hand and pulled him away.

‘Hold for a minute. I immensely enjoyed listening to him for the last hour and it cannot be for free. He said he won’t accept money. Please keep this. I wish I had more on me.’ I thrust the three hundred rupee notes into her reluctant hands.

‘Thanks very much, Uncle.’

In a few winks, they were gone by the nearest exit, the Vellai Gopuram.

Days later on returning to my base, I scoured the Internet high and low for corroborating sources. Surprisingly couldn’t find much. Came up with ‘A Forgotten Empire: Vijaynagar’ by Robert Swell, an oft cited classic, I learnt. It was mentioned by my master story-teller too, I remembered. Large parts of his amazing story were supported by this source.

Was the whole thing a clever scam? An incurable romantic, making it up? I don’t want to think so. If it was made up what then is the real story?

I regretted I did not find out more personal and contact details of him, not even his name, much less a snapshot; and fondly hope I run into him again in Srirangam or anywhere else.


The post, partly inspired by ‘The Miracle’ of Fredrick Forsyth, is not entirely fictional.

The photographs are taken with thanks from Wiki and

Thanks to Ms. Prema Srinivasan, my m-in-l, a post-graduate in History, for pointing me to Swell’s work, the chief verbatim source for Part 2.

The Vellai Gopuram has its own poignant story, a story of high courage, deceit for a noble cause ending in a heart rending sacrifice, with social overtones. The Kamban mandapam again in the same prakaram to the north has witnessed historic events of a different kind. More on these in subsequent posts.


5 Responses to The Untold Story About A Rearing Horse (contd.)

  1. trisha says:

    so i was right, there truly are very rare stories about him outside history book!

    well, the story was good thats for sure.


  2. gopal says:

    Very well oiled transportation by a time machine , YOU !
    Srirangam ,one is definitely nostalgic & surely one has missed the many ornamental works which you have beautifully depicted in words & thru the lens. Even if the story told by the boy was a fib ,who cares ,you were spelbound ,right ..imagine the younger days when grandma used to feed all her grandchildren ,sitting around her , food.. the story used to be the same but each grandchild used to imagine it thru their right or Left brain ,to their own conclusion..who cares if it was a fib..we all need to be transported in & with our own imagination..thats it..You enjoyed it & u have shared the enjoyment man


  3. Nagulan JOghee says:

    This is a wonderful narration of a lagacy.. as usual .. Lots of similarities with the present days politics and politicians.. the weapon is Money now..Thanks for bringing this out.. I know someting is due from my sid also.. I will surely come back.. Thanks again..


  4. Buvana says:

    Very interesting! Perhaps the Madras library archives have something? Somehow don’t want to believe that it is a clever scam.


  5. S R Kannan says:

    A sting operation alright. But how often I have regretted not engaging a Guide and getting some facts at site (mixed with fib like at Bedaghat marbel rocks) rather than off-site from the web. Ajantha without a guide is umimaginable.


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