1/
Skip to main content

Lord Vishnu Starts to Perform a Secret Caesarean

Audio
Lord Vishnu Starts to Perform a Secret Caesarean

Vocals with utukkai drum and jalra (finger cymbal) accompaniment, followed by a narrative passage and ending with two lines of direct dialogue. The bard's spoken words are accented by occasional drum slaps.

This excerpt is preceded by a narrative. Now the king and the midwife enter the palace (see excerpt two). At this point Lord Vishnu looks down (from his seat on the milk sea) and realizes he needs to take action to protect the hero's family. The great Lord flies to earth and instructs the local goddess (his sister) to stand by. Listeners know that she has already constructed a secret tunnel that connects a small cave under her temple with the queen's birthing room. The goddess now walks through this tunnel and hides just below the floor of the room where the queen lies in labour. As the excerpt starts there is a brief, standardized song that is familiar to the audience. It is heard at many points in the longer story and simply sets an upbeat mood. It describes the sweet times associated with the king's rule. Then the excerpt switches to narrative, and finally to a brief exchange of words between Lord Vishnu (here called Mayavar) and his sister/goddess. In this passage the bard is careful to remind his audience that the midwife has previously blindfolded the queen (he has provided a conversation between the queen and the midwife that highlights this odd procedure earlier). Note that in except three the bard carefully explains that the midwife now leaves the birthing chamber to enter a side room where she will sharpen her "knife of execution." Hence the bedchamber becomes empty (except for the blindfolded queen) and Lord Vishnu now has free reign to perform his secret Caesarean. The excerpt ends with Lord Vishnu making his first magical cut into to queen's womb. Immediately after this excerpted passage the bard switches back to song. Now his words are set to a lively and happy beat as we hear about how the first of the two sons being "born" to the queen literally jumps out of his mother's womb.

TOP

.