300th post – Connection of West and East by Art – Poetryinstone becomes a Record of History – Kra Narasiah

300 … Its been a fascination journey of discovery and many joyous friendships therein. “poetryinstone” has been a labour of love and along the way have been touched, tutored, supported,helped by countless individuals – boys, youngsters, relatives, family, friends and Scholars. Yes, Scholars – many of whom shared their countless pearls of wisdom with a novice like me without any reservations, encouraging me to plough on – so far its been an eye opener and yet just a scratch on the surface !

Today, one such amazing individual – a scholar par excellence, a well wisher in the truest sense – Kadalodi Sri Narasiah Sir honors the site with an unique guest post.

What is your first response on seeing the images below?

Photos courtesy: Flickr: Pigalle

“Some of the better maintained Nayak temples in South India??” read on to know more about the remarkable tale of these stones and their journey. Why i request Sir to take this as a subject was it was this discussion that started our serious interaction, almost 6 years ago, in a egroup – he posted these lines:

” There is a temple called Madanagopalswami temple in Madurai which historically dates to 16th century. There in front of the temple now, is a road lined up with shops on either side. There was in this place a full fledged Mandapam with sculptures. This entire mandapam ……………………………..In the meantime this lady passed away and her family members, Susan Pepper Gibson, Mary Gibson Henry, and Henry C. Gibson , procured the material and presented the lot in memory of Adeline Pepper Gibson to the Art museum at Philadelphia. Now the whole lot is housed in Gallery No. 224, second floor of the museum re-erected as a mandapam”

Imagine him with an incredible array of accomplishments:

Profession: Retired Chief Mechanical Engineer of Vizag Port.
Former Consultant to the World Bank for the Emergency rehabilitation Programme of Kingdom of Cambodia.
Former ADB consultant, Visiting Faculty AMET University for MBA Programme. (Terminal Management and IMO related subjects)
Education: Marine engineering. I. N. S. Shivaji Naval Engineering College Lonavla
Writing: over 100 short stories in Tamil (9 as Muthirai kathai in Vikatan.)
3 collections of short stories published, first one for 6 years as non-detailed study for UGs in Madura College. Second won 2 awards. Third won TN State award.
Non fiction. Kadal Vazhi Vanikam a treatise on sea trade from 3rd century BC –won TN State award.
Madrasapattinam the story of Chennai from 1630 to 1947. Won TN State award and Chidambaram Meyyapan award
Sadharana Manithan Biography of Chitti Sundararajan.
Madras (Tracing the history of Madras from 1369) in ENGLISH
Overcoming Challenges the story of 125 years of the Port of Chennai with S Muthiah (English)
Author of the book on the history of Madurai (Aalavai)

……interacting with a novice blogger like me. But his dedication shone through as he remembered and immediately confirmed to this guest post. readon…

Photos courtesy: Flickr: Pigalle

For what is preserved in the Philadelphia Museum (USA) from the pieces picked up from the temple of Madanagopalaswamy in Madurai, we must thank William Norman Brown(1892-1975). He was the first curator of Indian Art in the Museum appointed in 1931. He established the first academic department of South Asian Studies in the United States in 1947, when he was serving as chair of Sanskrit at the University of Pensylvania.

Before going into this detail we must remember Stella Kramrisch, whose name I stumbled upon when researching for the Lettered Dialogue, as this lady seemed to have invited Mathuram Bhoothalingam (Krithika) to the US.

Stella Kramrisch (1896- 1993) an Austrian born art enthusiast, was originally trained as a ballet dancer. While in Vienna with her parents at very young age she came across a translation of Bhagavath Gita, and was highly impressed by it. That induced her to study Sanskrit and thus earned her doctorate in Anthropology and Indian philosophy. When she was invited to speak at Oxford, Rabindranath Tagore heard her and impressed by her knowledge invited her to join Shantinketan in Calcutta. This happened in 1922. From Shantiniketan, she went to Calcutta University as a professor of Indian Art and served there from 1924 to 1950. Director of Philadelphis Museum of Art, Fiske Kimball persuaded Dr. Stella Kramrisch to join the Museum and assume the curatorial position. Thus she was responsible for opening a new section for Oriental Art in the Museum. Kramrisch expanded the Museum’s holdings in Indian and Himalayan art. In addition to bequeathing her personal art collection to the Museum, Kramrisch also endowed the curatorial chair of the department to which she had devoted nearly 40 years of scholarship and service. (Darielle Mason was the first to receive the new independent appointment in 1997 and it was from her I received much information when I was researching for Madurai)

In 1931 the Museum appointed W. Norman Brown (1892-1975) as its first curator of Indian art. Brown, who established the first academic department of South Asian Studies in the United States in 1947, was at that time serving as chair of Sanskrit at the University of Pennsylvania. Brown held honorary degrees from the West Bengal Government Sanskrit College, the University of Madras, India, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. We learn a lot of his effort from The personal papers of Professor W. Norman Brown, that contain lecture notes, drafts and completed papers, and materials related to research, archeology, travel, and letters.

His small (88 pages) but highly valuable book his findings in Madurai is titled A pillared hall from a temple at Madura, India, and is published by the University of Pensylvania press 1940. In this book he narrates the way he went about to establish the place of origin of this art pieces found in Philadelphia.

government service.


Printed at the University of Philadelphia Press 1940
The only Indian stone temple ensemble in America is the pillared Hall (mandapam) from Madura belonging to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and now installed in a gallery on the top floor of the south wing of eh main building at Fairmont. It consists of a number of monolithic pillars with corbels, Lion capitals and some ornamental frieze slabs, all apparently carved in the sixteenth century. These originally constituted part of the temple until at some unknown date they were defaced and the temple badly damaged or razed, possibly by a Mohammedan conqueror in the eighteenth century. No other museum anywhere can show such a large grouping of integrated architectural unit from a single building of India. The nearest approach in America is the small carved wooden room from a sixteenth century Jain sheine of Putan, Gujarat, in western India which is now set up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York. The unit in the Philadelphia Museum so rare outside of India illustrates so many aspects of India Architecture, sculpture and iconography that it has seemed worthy of description in a small monograph, especially since the dimension produces explanation of numerous points not heretofore treated in any publication.

The pieces constituting the pillared hall were originally acquired in Madura in 1912, by Adeline Pepper Gibson who died in France January 10, 1919, in the military service of the United States Base Hospital 38, American Expeditionary force at Nantes. They were presented to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in August 1919 in her memory by Mrs. J. Howard Gibson, Mrs. Norman Henry and Mr. Henry C. Gibson.

Shortly after the pieces were presented to the Museum, they were installed in Memorial Hall Fairmount Park, and the installation with a pageant called “The Building of The Temple” which was given daily on April 19, 20, 21 and 23, 1920. They remained in Memorial Hall until 1938 when it was possible to remove them to the India Gallery in the Fairmount building and commence to install them there with the aid of Federal Works Progress Administrative grant.

In 1934-35, aided by the late Mrs. Robert G. Logan, the Museum made it possible for me to examine the site from which the pieces had come. The mani purpose of my visit to Madura was to secure information that might assist in the future installation of the pieces at Fairmount. I went to Madura at the end of November and spent five days in intensive investigation, taking with me as interpreter and consultant Mr T. G. A. of the Government Museum Madras.who is mentioned frequently in the book. In the hope that additional pieces could be securd, Mr. J. Noraman Henry and Mr. Henry C. Gibson then generously gave a fund which they also graciously permitted to be drawn against the preparation of this book and for assistance in the final installation of the temple.

The main purpose of this work is to determine the site, date, and the significance of the elements comprising mandapams. To do so it has been necessary to develop some points in the history of Madura architecture showing that features described by Jowean Dubreil to the Madura period appear actually to have been known inn the latter part of the preceding period, that is the known one as Vijayanagara. In the iconography many types have received description which are without printed explanation anywhere.

A mirror point elsewhere has been to discuss the mandapam with enough attention to the back ground for a non-Indian visitor to the Museum to understand the meaning of the Indian terms employed and the cultural significance of the ensemble. To this end I have included the two very summary introductory chapters, which contain almost no new material and have throughout tried to treat the mythology with enough fullness to be intelligible.

The book has VI chapters.
I. The age of importance of Madura
II. South India temple architecture
III. The architectural units in the Mandapam. 16 simple columns 8’ 2” average height. 5 of one variety and others different; 14 compound columns 8’ 4” to 8’ 8” in height, 12 of one variety and one of different variety. 12 corbels; 12 lion capitals; 8 frieze slabs.When purchased in 1912, they were all lying in the compound of Madana Gopalswamy temple. When presented to the museum someone felt that the pieces do not belong to this temple but are from Perumal temple (Kudal Alagar Madura.)
Norman feels that the items might have come from other temples also. They may have been kept here.

A Grieving Mother or a unwilling assassin?

When Dakshin put up this fantastic photographic capture from the Madurai temple and titled it as Boothagi, the first question that came to my mind was ` Wasn’t she a demoness who was hired as an assassin by Kamsa to kill Krishna?’

Our conceptions or misconceptions of Boothanai were driven not only by graphic depictions of her in our story books, but also in sculpture. This early chola depiction in Pullamangai in stone and this sudhai from from the Tanjore Big Temple ( Photo courtesy: Arvind) added to our visions of an Ugly demoness who was sucked dry by Krishna.

So who else could the beautiful maiden sculpted in Madurai be. Some references identify her as Chandramathi the wife of the legendary Harishchandra cradling her dead son Lohidasan. But then something didnt quite feel right. The great King Harishchandra being reduced to penury, had sold his wife into slavery. The sculpted figure even after discounting the ornamental excesses of the Nayak style, does sport an impressive amount of ornaments. But her face seem to show a variety of emotions, at once a bit sad, a bit like that of a demoness – but definitely not that of a loving mother. Plus the Baby seems very well endowed, very much alive and in one angle seems to be puckering his lips to suckle at her breasts. So it cannot be Yashodha and Krishna for sure.

If only we could spot something about the two that could help us with the identification ! After some frantic requests to friends, Mr Raman obliged by making the trip and getting us the required photographs.

This is going to be a really tough one – the request to him from me was very simple. Get me a good shot of the right chest of the baby. Why ?

Remember this post about the mole that adorns the chest of Vishnu – Srivatsam . Keep the last image of that post in your memory.

The Ornamentation of the baby is rich as well , compare with those of known krishna sculptures. Problem is Sambandar also seems to share the same fashion / wardrobe.


Lets study the baby more to find more clues and why I wanted a closeup of the right chest. Please do keep in mind the position of the baby and how difficult it would have been for the sculptor to be able to sculpt any detail on the baby’s right chest.

You can see that he has not made the clear demarcation of the chest on the right side compared to what he could show in the left – where he has shown the shape of the chest clearly. I have marked in white where the right chest should have been shown.

Now lets, demarcate where the jewelery is sculpted on the chest.

Now, if you have followed closely you would see a small indentation on the right chest.

and if you can sit a bit back and focus on the same place, you can see the triangle emerge.

Compared to the standing icons of Vishnu where the Srivatsam mark is more pronounced and more towards the outer half of the chest, due to the position of the baby closer to the lady – the sculptor is forced to center it more. Compare with this

If we can fix that this is indeed the Srivatsam mark – then the question of Boothanai’s description arises. Boothanai is said to be kind of a contract killer – paid assassin, who would kill by having young children suckle at her breast ( two accounts – either her milk itself was venom or she applied a deadly poison on her breasts). This she does as she is under the grasp of the evil Kamsa. So when Kamsa wants to get rid of Krishna, the first person he turns to is Boothanai. She goes in the guise of a beautiful maiden and Yashoda allows her to suckle her baby. Kishna knowing her ploy anchors his teeth on her breasts and sucks the life blood out of her. She is either shown as falling dead regaining her ugly form or sucked bone dry as per varying accounts.

So having touched Krishna and smitten by his good looks, being a mother herself, is it the anguish of trying to kill a toddler that is shown on her face or the realisation that her end is near and a bitter happiness that she is to going to be liberated by him ?

Controversial sculpture series – Part 1 -He gifts the discus to Vishnu

Gods vs God – Our God against your God – is always controversial and generally you would prefer to step clear of these, inorder not to hurt the sentiments of both sides. But at times we need to dwell on these to understand that whatever physical manifestations we see are but mere rungs of a ladder that are meant to take us to a higher plane and not to defend imaginary territories by laying anchor on these. So, as part of the site’s initiative to bring out purely the story behind sculpture, there are a few such which we cannot ignore – be it the more common Lingothbhavar, to the exotic Sarabeshwarar, to the Ganga’s origins on the other side. Having said that, these have been around for a 1000 years and form part of the religious framework and hence its our duty to look at them objectively. With that as a forward and a warning to increase your patience ( you may please leave now if you may wish !!) am going ahead with the first of this controversial sculpture series. Vishnu Anugraha Murthy and Chakra Dharanar. One is from the Madurai temple – could have been rebuilt post Malik Kafur’s assault – by the Nayak’s but the other is from 8th C CE – Rajasimha Pallava – kailasanathar temple Kanchipuram.

To make sure that this legend is not a figment of my imagination nor am i forced to concoct such a conspiracy theory am taking refuge in the Thevaram hymns of Appar at the outset.

Sixth Thirumurai

O Holy One whose crest is flower-laden,praise be!
O Ens hailed by the gods,praise be!
O Lord of gods,Praise be!
O Giver of the Disc to Tirumaal,praise be!
O One that saved me from Death and rules me,praise be!
O the Adept who is bedaubed with the ash that is white Like conch,praise be!
O the One whose victorious flag Displays the Bull,praise be,praise be!
O Tirumoolattaana,praise be,praise be!

Translation: T. N. Ramachandran,Thanjaavoor ,1995

Now that the ground work has been done and have ensured i have built all my defenses, proceeding with the story – well, there are many versions of it ( as usual).

Part 1:

To be brief – A wicked demon Jalandran gets a boon – who else but from Brahma. Shiva needs to slay him but since his wife is a devotee of his wants to use a proxy. Vishnu meantime needs a powerful weapon and does penance on Shiva ( hang on – dont crucify me just now – there is more to come) with 1000 lotus flowers. As luck could have it, he finds he is short by one – he being the lotus eyed one ( kamalakkannan) himself, he wastes no time in plucking his eye and offering to complete the 1000. ( now – don’t reach out for your daggers yet ! let me put across the exhibits as well)

The sculpture from Rajasimha Pallavas Kanchipuram Kailasanthar Temple:

Well, well – what do we have here now. The classic free wheeling style of the Pallava sculptor comes to the fore here. You can see the relaxed seated style of Siva, Stylistically folding one leg up, while he seems to leaning on his right hand for extra comfort. The Back two hands seem to be in the process of tying up his headdress or something of that sort. Vishnu on his part, kneeling on one knee – both his lower left and right hands seem to be in the act of offering something to Siva ( lotus flowers??) – the most interesting thing to note is the upper left hand – seems to be in act of plucking his left eye – a la Kannappar !!

I for one expected a more balanced portrayal of the chief characters, but then that is maybe the core devotion that is the basis of this panel. You must be prepared to forgo your ego and submit totally to him to realise God.

But the next part, have to renew my life insurance at a hefty premium after seeing this in Madurai.

Part 2:

Pleased with Vishnu’s devotion, Shiva conjures up ( some versions say he drew a circle on the ground and cut out a discus form and proceeded to cut the demon into two himself and later presented it to Vishnu, some others say there were some more deceit involving the wife of the demon – am stepping away from these – not wanting to create more controversies- am sure you would google these up) – crux is Shiva gifts the Discus to Vishnu.

We swing across to the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple to view this sculpture.

That it is Vishnu and Shiva – with Brahma watching reverently by the side is clear from the relative attributes held. You can see that the cannons have become more rigid and the sculptor has merely sculpted to definition following set rules – leading to a duller or rather less artistic output.

It is a pillar sculpture but I do wish the sculptor be bit more balanced in depicting his subjects – especially the relative sizes and the problem is compounded by the size of Vishnu and he having to match the size of the discus to that of Vishnu. It would have been more pleasing both aesthetically and politically to have sculpted …. hmm, let me stop with that.

Its shiva not Varahi – feeding the piglets

An interesting discussion in Agathiar forum by Dr Jaybee set me up on this post. Thanks to his expert guidance we could understand this much misunderstood sculpture. He had mentioned about this sculpture of Shiva feeding piglets – an interesting episode from the 64 acts of Shiva, which was (is) wrongly depicted as Varahi ( one of the seven mothers in the saptha matrikas). So we had our antennas out for this sculpture in Madurai and Tirupparankundram. But we got a chance glimse of this episode,couple of days before we reached Madurai and tiruparankundram, n a relief panel in Chidambaram just as completed our darshan there.

The interesting part of this sculpture is the line of praying pigs to the left of the panel ( your right as you view it). We will see this as the post progresses.

Ok, the puranam aka story first.

There was once a farmer named Sugalan in a small village called Athimanimaadamuthoor near Madurai. He and his good natured wife were pious and led a astute life. In sharp contrast were their 12 sons. They did all sorts of irresponsible and bad stuff including neglecting their farming duties, teaming up with the hunters in the forest and hunting for sport. During the pursuit of one such hunting expedition, they came across a shrub in which a ascetic was doing penance. They disturbed him for fun, pelting him with stones and hitting him with their arrows. Enraged the ascetic cursed them to born as piglets and to loose their parents at a young age and lead a miserable life. Realising their folly, the misguided youth fell at the ascetic’s feet and begged for his forgiveness and a way out of their curse. Seeing them repenting, the ascetic relented and told them that Lord Shiva himself will redeem them from their curse.

In due course, they were born as piglets and the Pandyan king who had ventured into the forest felled their parents. The piglets were left at the mercy of the elements and devoid of even nursing at their mother’s breasts. Taking pity on them, the loving shiva in his infinite mercy, himself took the form of a pig, sprouted breasts and nursed them and redeemed them from their curse. .

So, armed with the knowledge, we set on our search to find this pillar. It was not inside the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple precincts ( remember this was after our sojourn with the Bronze gallery) – when we were directed to the Pudhu Mandabam. We were sufficiently warned that it was taken over by commercial establishments and spotting anything lest alone searching for a sculpture would be impossible, better to return early in the morning and request the watchman to open up !! But we stood our ground and went for a quick run, scouting for anything that resembled the legend. As luck could have it, we spotted it at exactly the opposite end of the Pudhu (new) mandabam. A few requests for the friendly shop keeper to resettle his wares and we could take our shots. ( we did return the next day for some more of the bottom panels )

Is it Shiva or Varahi?

Well its definitely shiva for you can clearly see the Axe blade being held in his right hand, the left hand has unfortunately broken off.

But some interesting panels in the foot of the pillar tell the full story

The hunter felling the mother pig.

There were piglets allover, clamoring to be fed. Its the same episode for sure

The clincher – our line of grown ups ( pardon the angle – the steel chairs didn’t make life easier for us!)

Armed with this knowledge, we headed to tiruparankundram and were pleasantly surprised to see an exact replica ( ok, some important differences at the base) – but the basic composition was the same, but sadly named as Vaarahi and anointed with turmeric allover !!!

Another angle showing the same styling of the sculpture as the one from Madurai

Including the line of impatient piglets

Again , is he Shiva? Can you spot his attributes.

I did mention a difference, didn’t I, the hunter is shown here shooting down the mother pig from the side of the panel and the carcass is shown inside the main sculpture.

By the way, did you notice the line of grown ups just coming into frame in the bottom of the last picture….a common factor in all three !!

Whats more interesting is a paired pillar to this – which contains an even more interesting aka rare depiction of Shiva from the Thiruvilaiyaadal Puranam. We shall see that is a subsequent post. But with all this clinching evidence, hopefully someone will restore the rightful name for this sculpture in Thiruparankundram.

A mistake at the seat of knowledge – time to set it right

This December, our trip took us to a lot of wonderful sites and was an eye opener in many ways – we learnt lot of things and more importantly realised how little we know!!. There are a lot of positive things to write about, but there was one instance which was an eye sore. Hence, thought will write about it first.

It is just a mistake but a mistake which finds in place in a site which is meters away from the greatest edifice to the regions art, literature and culture – Madurai. As one of the oldest sites and a seat of learning, Madurai is synonymous with Sangams and the lore of Shiva’s work itself being evaluated in its famed assembly. Thus this error, which is being witnessed by so many visitors is bound to be looked at as an himalayan blunder.

To set things in perspective, its was a long day for us, when we landed in Madurai ( me ,Arvind, my wife Priya and son Prithvi ) – we left early noon to be in time for the temple opening post lunch break and clicked away at the magnificent gopurams of Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. Then we ventured inside, thanks to a helpful local guide and 4 hours flew inbetween. With our backs and arms aching, sore from trying to jostle with the hundreds of enthusiasts to capture the right view in the fading light ( somehow, people do know how to jump into frame just as you waited for 5 min for the crowd to move on …and just as you press the button, someone jumps into frame and you get their bald frame !!)

It was close to 7 pm, and we had almost packed up our bags, promising to return the next day morning for another encounter with the gopurams ( east side….for better sunlight) – when i remembered that we had not got the pillar sculptures from the mandabam. The guide brushed us off saying there are only 4 or 5 there and can be skipped. But the presence of the ticket counter and a cop at the gate, got our curiosity growing and we went in. The pillars were ok, not great, but my gaze fell on a dimly or rather unlit dusty area of the hall. There were curious pedestals with smoky glass boxes. Was in for a shock when i went to investigate. Amazing bronzes, lined on both sides – over 50 of them. We were just then warned that we had less than 20 min before they shut down the place ( by 8 pm)….What a pity. The lighting was so poor and the glass was dusty – no way to get even decent quality snaps. Yet, the very first row of exhibits was disappointing.

Take a look yourself.

The first image ( identified as # 70 – Nirthana Sambandan)

I hope you have read the post on identification of Sambandar bronze.

Lets zoom in to see the clear mark

Such a clear mark, left behind by the sculptor – the Srivatsam, to show its Narthana Krishna – yet the bronze has been identified as Sambandar and that too in a museum housed inside the Meenakshi Temple !! What a pity.

Even trained guides arent aware of such a treasure inside this beautiful temple. Hopefully, someone can help reach this to authorities and correct this mistake.

The metamorphosis of Thadathagai – the three breasted Queen of Madurai

Recently i was searching for some specific pictures of an early Pandyan cave in Thiruparankundram, hence had made an appeal for viewers near madurai to help with pictures. One of my friends Smt. Shoba Ramakrishnan sent me her collection but it was from the famed Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple. While going through it – i came across this Gem of a sculpture. Initially I was bit hesitant to publish this post, for it concerned usage of certain sensitive ( in these days) descriptions and some explicit sculpture. But was emboldened by the strength of the legend and the need to explain a sculpture as it is. So inorder to prepare myself in advance for any backlash, i tried to seek assistance from friends on authentic texts – found the Thiruvilaiyaadal puranam authored by Paranjyothi Munivar


Ok, enough of beating around the bush – today we are going to see the sculpture and the story behind the three breasted Queen of Madurai – a name so synonymous with the city that the very mention of her name or the city – brings up the other.

Since the legend is long and well known – starting off with the sculpture first. How would a sculptor show a three breasted maiden, who should be ravishingly beautiful, full of pride bordering on manliness, majestic as a ruler, yet befit the title of the future consort of shiva – add to this her fame as the fish eyed one. Simple task for our master sculptor.

Enjoy the sculpture first

Now we go to the legend, the Pandyan King Malayadhwaja was a great devotee of Shiva and Shakti. Despite this, the couple were unhappy that they did not have any issues and as a King, he had to have a male heir to continue running the Kingdom. Hence, King Malayadhwaja along with his wife Kanchanamala perform a penance. From the great yaga, a three year old girl comes out of the fire. The child was ‘Ayonija’ (not born out of the womb). However, the King was shocked to see that she had three breasts. He pleads that he has been a devote follower and done the penance according to strict rules, yet he has been blessed not with a boy but with girl and she too with three breasts. Just then a divine voice is heard

“Don’t fear. Whatever has taken place is for good only. You bring up this child like a man. Whatever education and training is given for a man, all such education may be given to this child. Name her Thadathagai ( endowed with irresistible valour) When she sees the man who is to be her husband, the third breast will disappear. ”

Since she had eyes shaped beautifully like fishes (Meena) she was called Meenakshi. She grew to be a very beautiful young woman despite her birth defect. After the Kings’ demise, she ruled the country herself – Her valor was unparalleled and she wa unmatched in battle. Kingdom after kingdom fell to her might till she had no one else to conquer by Shiva himself. Destiny drove her on and she marched with her massive army to Kailash to face Shiva.

Shiva meantime, knew of this and came to meet her – clad in his tiger skin, sporting snake ornaments, sacred white ash allover his body, wearing the sacred thread – he smiled knowingly at her. In that instant she realised who she was, the third breast dissapeared, the manly valor gave way to feminine shyness, as she realised it was Shiva her beloved, who had given half of himself for her – who was in front of her…