- Soon after Ponnar and Shankar turn sixteen their mother
insists that they marry. Shankar tells Shambuga that he will need
- After Shankar gets dressed for his wedding Shambuga brings
him his fine horse. He watches his master prepare to mount.
- Shambuga runs after Shankar’s galloping horse at lightning
speed. Shankar’s brother Ponnar has already gone ahead to take
care of the preliminary ceremonies their mother wants performed.
- It is a long way. The landscape the they pass through varies
and includes huge rock outcroppings.
- They finally reach the wedding site. Shankar now hands
Shambuga his horse to look after. He will be busy with the required
- The wedding is brief and the two brothers agree to perform
only the bare ritual necessities. Each ties a necklace on his new
bride. The formal proceedings are over quickly.
- The brides are given their own palanquin to ride back to
Ponnivala from the place where the wedding happened.
- Shambuga is told to meet the ladies’ palanquin when it
arrives. He has put on his ceremonial turban for this important
- Next, Shambuga has been told to take the brides to a special
home, built just for them. He asks the women to follow him there.
- Shambuga then leads the two brides to their newly built
- But once inside the two women get a shock. This is not what
- Shambuga quickly closes the front door of the brides’ house
and locks it tight. It is a trick. The brides will have to remain
here, all by themselves!
- Shambuga tells them both to spin to keep themselves occupied!
This is what his masters have told him to say and do. It was not
his decision. Why this happens is a different story.
- Not long after, Shambuga is given his next big job. He is to
accompany his two masters on an expedition.
- The destination is a neighbouring area where their clan
cousins’ families live. These families grabbed lands belonging to
Ponnar and Shankar’s father long ago. Now these two sons plan
- Shambuga deliberately separates from his masters. He has
been assigned to make a surprise entry into the local school house.
He starts by running behind several buildings to avoid being
- Shambuga’s surprise is to enter through the school house
roof! It is made of thatch. He climbs up a post and then jumps
down through the ceiling. Meanwhile his two masters guard the exit
- Soon the students’ parents come to defend their children.
Shambuga is told to give them a good whipping while his masters
watch. They want to show these men that they are now in full
control. They are the new rulers of Ponnivala!
- To make the message clear, Shambuga takes the time to
intimidate the local school teacher as well.
- But Shambuga’s tasks are many. Next he is asked to help
Ponnar, the elder brother, carry some symbolic tribute to the Chola
king. He is Ponnivala’s neighbouring overlord.
- But this loyalty to the Chola king does not last. After a
time Ponnar and Shankar desire independence. Now Shambuga helps his
two masters attack the Chola king, ending his rule and destroying
- Shambuga is a skilled fighter. He jumps the Chola’s fine
horses from behind and throws off their riders.
- Shambuga is so strong he can lift two opponents at once and
toss them both aside!
- Here Shambuga throws one more Chola fighter into a pot of
boiling water in the palace kitchen!
- At the end of the battle the two farmer-kings are triumphant
and the Chola’s power is completely destroyed.
- When the war party returns to the Ponnivala palace Shambuga
is formally thanked by the two ruling brothers for his bravery and