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The Secret Rescue of the Queen's Two Infant Sons and the Subsequent Birth of Her Daughter

Audio
The Secret Rescue of the Queen's Two Infant Sons and the Subsequent Birth of Her Daughter

This is a descriptive narrative segment interspersed with a few words of humorous dialogue, and ending with another narrative passage.

This is the longest passage provided. It is intended to illustrate how narrative descriptions and conversational bits are intertwined in the bard's performance. This passage starts just after a song that celebrates how the second son (twin to the first, above) "jumped" from the queen's womb. It is important to understand that these two boys are "born" fully dressed, with knives and spears already in their hands. They are capable of significant athletic feats, from get go. They can also speak. The translation of the words used in this excerpt provides a more or less self explanatory description of events. Kuppi, the midwife, is still sharpening her knife as the excerpt starts. The second son Shankar (who is the more violent) sees her in the side room and starts to attack her. Remember that as a hunchback she has "eighteen bends" in her back. As Shankar kicks her these bends gradually straighten. Then Lord Vishnu calls his sister/goddess Celatta and she grabs the two boys in her arms and takes them down into her secret tunnel. They end up safely at her temple where she feeds them elephant's milk and tiger's milk to develop their strength as warriors. Then the queen begins to have labour pains once more. The midwife, recovering from her beating, assists with this (natural) birth and then announces the gender of the child (female). The blindfold is removed. She also explains away the earlier events as "just two evil spirits" that escaped from the queen's womb first. The queen is very disappointed not to have given birth to the sons she had been promised (much earlier). She cries, addressing Lord Vishnu with a long lament. Finally she dresses the new baby, brings it into the palace proper and beings to care for it. This long descriptive except #4 is followed immediately by a song, (sung in the queen's voice) and performed in the style of a lament.

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