Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Riparian Ganapathi - ஆற்றங்கரைப் பிள்ளையார்

Translation of Tamil writer Puthumaipithan's Riparian Ganapathi

Riparian Ganapathi/ஆற்றங்கரைப்_


Eons ago...

Horizon of history immeasurable by time scales like B.C (Before Christ).

In that period, a river called Civilization was flowing like wild stream.

There was a Ganapathi resided in the river bank.

Ganapathi distressed due to frequent overspread of rocks and mounds in the spate of flood water.

An old man appeared.

Old man pitied on Ganapathi’s plight. He came up with an idea to rescue Ganapathi.

He built a stage called ‘Society’ and resettled Ganapathi over it. In order to give shadow for Ganapathi’s repose and make sure he is not affected by demoniac, he planted a papal tree called “Religion” and a neem tree called “Governance”.

Owing to profuse alluvium of river stream, both trees loftily flourished.

For the first time, Ganapati experienced what is called pleasure.In the memory of the benefactor old man, Ganapati named himself as “Human”.


Both trees flourished closely plaited together, it enshrouded Ganapathi and covered him from the sunlight. During rains, water drops continuously dipped over Ganapati caused trepidation by dampening him. Birds those started nesting on the branches of the trees occasionally pooped on Ganapati.
Ganapathi turned awful. Two old men came there.

By seeing the horrible state of Ganapathi, both old men cleaned him with the river water at once.
Conceiving an idea, one of the old man rushed towards other side by taking a spade in his hand.

“I cannot return back anything except my love for your cordial service to this unknown person. May I know your name and your friends?” after relieved from dirtiness, revived Ganapthi asked the old man.
“We don’t expect any reciprocal reward for our help to people in misery. My name is ‘Buddha’. He is not my friend; I met him on my way. His name is ‘Jina’ ” answered the old man.

An idea sparked to the old man. Of a sudden, he leaped on to the tree and started cutting down the branches of the trees where birds nested.

Since Ganapathi was in darkness and shadows of the trees for a while, he could not endure the fulminate sun rays and it caused him sunburn. He could not see in the glare of sunlight either. “Ah.. Enough of your help!!!” snarled Ganapathi. “These branches are causing you…” before completing his reply, Ganapathi hurled the old man with this trunk. The old man fell down far away from the stage in the North east.


“I built a new stage for you. You will not have any difficulty over there. ” said the other old man who went with hoe, approaching Ganapathi. He lifted Ganapathi and placed him over the new stage at once. “Look here... There are no trees in this stage... you would not suff… ” Before the old man finishing this statement, Ganapathi dashed back to the original stage, he frowned and infuriately cried,
“Ah…What do you both people think as a help!!! troubling others? Just now your friend and fellow traveler caused fester in my body by cutting down the exquisite branches of the trees. You with your brainy idea scorched me with this new stage, when I was comfortably reposed on the old stage. Enough!! Your so called help!!”

The old man terribly disappointed by the reaction of Ganapathi. He started hunger strike in the new stage and passed away soon.


The cut-down branches started flourishing rapidly and copiously again. Since the papal tree’s new branches grew shot in height, it enclosed and overspread over Ganapathi and his head ensnared in between two branches of the tree. The encircled roots of Neem trees clenched Ganapathi’s paunch. Two roots of papal tree tightly plaited with Ganapathi’s legs.

Ganapathi confined between two trees.

In the blustering winds, Ganapathi suffered as if head about to detach. He could not tolerate the agony of paunch due to the encircled roots. He could not run either because of the immured legs.
Ganapathi experienced what is called Hell.


Days passed on…

Due to heavy deluge in the North western ghat (Mountain pass), the river water started overflowing. It washed away a head covered old man with beard lived there along with his hut and Rose garden.
Papal tree fell down in the floods. Neem tree too fell down except the plaited root clinging with Ganapathi, quivering in the water. Frightened Ganpathi, did not want to run either.

Ganapathi suffered with unbound misery. There was no way to abolish the grief.
The beard old man who swept away in the floods, clung on to the stage by out-reaching the neem trees branches. Flood water subsided after some time.

Beard old man upheld and transplanted the fallen papal tree hoping for shadow. He manured neem tree with the meat of a stranded dead cow by excoriating the skin. He also transplanted the rose plant and manured it with remaining meat in between Papal tree and neem tree. Using the cow’s skin, he made a small hut. He took his sword from his scabbard and hung it in the Neem tree, then started taking rest in the hut happily.

Manured rose plant prospered soon with fragrant roses and sharp thorns.

No one noticed the misery of Ganapathy for some time.

After a while, three men named as Sankaran, Ramanujan, Maadhvan came there one by one.


First man tried to extricate Ganapathy’s head. His endeavours slightly detached the head from branches. But he was not able to move the clenched root from Ganapathy’s paunch. By seeing Gapanathy’s head released, a satisfied Sankaran moved away from there.

The other two old men came there and tried to uplift and transplant the Papal tree. But the elderly men were not able to complete it. They planted the papal tree in contorted shape. Assuming that as its original shape, both satisfied men left that place.

The separated branches of papal tree, prospered yet again and clenched Ganapathy’s neck this time. The manured roots of Neem tree made him immovable by surrounding tightly to his paunch further more.
Though Ganapathy enjoyed the fragrant roses, the sharp thorns frequently pierced him which caused him
rashes filled with pus in that part of his body.

Besides this, beard old man started grinding his sword on the only horn of Ganpathy whenever he got bored.

Meanwhile on the stage, few small saplings of papal tree and neem tree, grasses and herbage scatteredly germinated.

Few more days passed on…

One night day, because of an earth quack occurred in the western ocean floor, the ocean water on-rushed in to the river towards the stage. Since there was also storms and whirlwinds on the stage side, the gushed river water opposed the inflowing ocean water.

Demoniacally fluttered trees in the storm, fell down yet again. Papal tree fell down on the back of Ganapathy this time. Fallen neem tree once again, quivered in the river water, by its roots clang along with Ganapathy.

Since the floods washed away the beard old man, there was nothing except the resilient (drooped while storm, then refreshingly arose) rose plant, in the memory of him.

Ganapathi suffered with unbound grief. He was distressed with all the three kind of diseases.
Overflowing ocean water, washed away a man with his boat who was travelling on the western ocean. He along with boat drew closer to the stage. The boat man clung on to the stage by out-reaching the Ganapathy’s legs. Then he em-placed the boat on to the stage by hauling it.
Light pigmented skin coloured new man’s shiny blond hair was shining like smelted gold string. His long beard adorned over his chest like a golden ornament. He wore a long white infant garment (gown) and a foot wear covering his ankle. He carried a bulky book with black cover in his right hand and in the left hand had a holy cross.


Since the new man aware of the power and glory of neem tree, he uplifted and transplanted the tree again by keeping his overturned boat as support and started reposing beneath the tree.

He slept after keeping his bread slices in front of Ganapathy that he carried for his dine. Ravenously hungry Ganapathy hurriedly consumed the bread slices. Since Ganapathy customed to have only Kozhukattai ( a kind of rice cakes), this new food was ambrosially tasty. Hunger appeased Ganapathy, fell asleep in unendurable pain.

Next daybreak came.

Since the Ganapathy’s stage located in the tropical region, intolerable new man started resting beneath the neem tree, relishing the breeze by sitting on top of his overturned boat wearing only trousers. He dangled his white garment in the branches of the Neem tree along with black book and holy cross. Whenever he was in boredom, he started brandishing his sword for fun.

Many old men appeared there.

They terrified at the sight of Ganapathy in the stage and of the trees.

Few of them tried to uplift the papal tree.

Few of them tried to release Ganapathy’s neck.

Rest of the old men started cleaning the stage.

But every-one's action hindered other’s assisting activity.

When some of them tried to cut the Ganapathy paunch’s surrounded neem tree roots, the new man threatened them by rising his sword.

when some of the others tried to cut down the branches of the papal tree. “The slanted papal tree is standing by the support of Ganapathy. If the branches are cut down, the tree will fall flat. This should be thoroughly investigated. So wait for a while.” uttered some of the old men.

Few of them came close to the stage believing that removing of the trees is the best solution.
Their quarrel intensified.

They disputed over whether trees are for the interest of Ganapathy or Ganapthy is for the interest of trees.

Some of the impatient and enraged old men throbbingly approached stage to destroy the trees.

Sleeping Ganapathy having a wonderful dream. He appears to be growing in size. A beamingly smile rising in his face. Trunks started wiggling gently.

is he prodigiously rising?

will he be freed by anyone?

or will he free himself by his dream coming true?

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