Author : S. Venkatesan
Published : 2018.
An epic novel Velpari. Velpari is one of the finest works of Sahitya Akademi Award-winning writer Su Venkatesan. Venkatesan’s Pari is a Velir tribal king, broad-shouldered, long-haired, and moustachioed.He was the patron and friend of poet Kapilar and is extolled for his benevolence, patronage of art and literature. He is remembered as one of the last seven great patrons in Tamil literature.
He’s a man of nature; one who knows the birds, animals, insects, and plants of the mountains he ruled, like the back of his hand. An emperor bedecked in a jewelled crown and silk dhoti who left his golden chariot to not disturb a jasmine creeper that got entwined on its wheels — this is how our history books depict Paari. Velpari was in the making for over six years. Pari was the head of one among the 14 tribal clans that ruled the Western Ghats, ranging from Goa to Kanyakumari. It was because he ruled a mountainous terrain, that the Cheras, Cholas, and Pandiyas couldn’t defeat him, despite their combined efforts.
Paari understood the danger of being attacked by huge and united forces of Moovendhar’s , He collected all his men assembled them in the hill fort of Parambu Malai and only had very few soldiers in the plains of Parambu Naadu.
Moovendhars without much resistance had easily reached Parambu malai where Paari’s Capital and Hill fort is there. It wasn’t easy job for Moovendhars to climb the hill with narrow passages and Paari’s forces had started their attack from the hill by rolling and throwing stones on Moovendhar’s forces , Attacked with spears and Bows from the top of the hill which made it very difficult for Moovendhar’s to proceed further.
Paari’s forces had thrown packs of Bullet Ants over elephant forces and on Cavalry , and the blood sucking leeches thrown on them , sometimes disturbed the honey bee hive that disturbed and never allowed elephants to go near ponds to drink water which eventually weakened them as days pass by. Paari seems to be an expert in Gorilla warfare and used many ancient and innovative ways to wage a deceptive attack on Moovendhars forces.After loosing huge portion of their men , Moovendhars decided to besiege the Hill fort and cut their food supply route to make them starve and squeeze them to surrender without taking any weapons against them.
But Months passed by there were no signs of anyone getting down from the hill , in the mean time they got a message from kapilar that it is impossible to make Paari’s forces to starve as they get enough rice from Bamboo plants and they have trained parrots that brings paddy from across the country in all direction , they have honey , jack fruits and the the powder made from jack seed can also be used as food , Many clear Springs in the hill are supplying them with water , even if Moovendhars continue to besiege the hill fort for a year they cannot make them starve. On hearing this they decided to withdraw their forces accepting their defeat.Kapilar asked to hurry to seek the kingdom from Paari as he already had donated 300 villages to poets and it is only the Parambu Malai and fort that is remaining with Paari , which he may even donate it to other poets in a day or two.
At first Moovendhars hesitated , later they went like Paanars (singing community people) with Yaazh troop along with them , they entertained Paari in his court and pleased by their performance Paari asked them their wish , what do they want from him ? , Moovendhars asked for his Kingdom and his life , already Knowing who had come there to his court , without any change of smile in his face Paari handed over the sword to Moovendhars and stood true to his words , he said to them that my country is yours from now on , and my life too is thy …. , Without even considering the greatness of Paari , the enmity and anger they had on him hid their eyes to see the Most Generous and the Satya Putra standing in front of them , they killed him on the spot and took over his kingdom , on his death note he requested Kapilar to take care of his daughters and complete the duty of a father in getting them married. Kapilar never expected this brutal behavior of Moovendhars , later out of guilt and injustice that happened to such a great man bcz of his idea given to moovendhars , he starved himself to death facing north (Vadakkiruthal).This is the reason why Paari was known as a Hero and a star even today , who donated everything including his life and lived a selfless life for others. His love for other living creatures , who by providing his golden chariot to creeper mullai plant , that made him a hero to be remembered as one among the Kadaiyezhu Vallal (One among the 7 Philanthropist of Kadai Sangam period). “Mullaikku Thaer Kodutha Paari Vallal “ !!!
Categories: Book Reviews