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“There you are. Come down, I’ll take you to the sage.” Unniyarcha commanded.

“Where’s Vikram? And you woman, you’ll climb the tree?” Vetal’s infamous mirth rang aloud.

“He hurt his back, I was called to help. Though I can, I don’t need to climb.” Unniyarcha cut the branch in one swift swoosh of her sword.

“Awww!” The fearsome Vetal fell.

“Walk.” Unniyarcha pulled.

“I’m old. Carry me, can you?” Vetal tried laughing, but coughed instead.

“The tantrums!” Unniyarcha skilfully placed him on her back.

“Strong indeed Unniyarcha. Let me tell you a story, but on one condition. You can’t utter a word.” Vetal began his narration.

“Once upon a time, there lived a prince, who liked three girls. One sang well, the other cooked well and the third cleaned well. Whom would he marry?”

“Stupid story, who’s he to choose?” Unniyarcha scoffed.

“You open your mouth, I fly south… Why can’t I?” Vetal was dismayed.

“You fool, you’re tied to my back sling, I fight wars with my son secured to it. I’m not Vikram to repeat the same mistake.” Mocked Unniyarcha, “So, another story?”

“I’ll rather rest.” Vetal was snoring in a moment.

“Men, I tell you.” She sighed.

(Word count:200, EXCLUDING Title and Note)

Note: Unniyarcha is a legendary warrior  and heroine mentioned in the Vadakkan Pattukal,[1] a set of ballads from Kerala She is a popular character in Kerala‘s folklore, and is remembered for her valour and skills in Kerala’s native martial art, Kalaripayattu.


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