Kalyana Sougandhikam is based on events in Mahabharata, during Pandava’s vanavasa ( exile in the forest ) at Kamyaka Forest. The story happens when Arjuna is away from rest of the Pandavas. Though the story line is long only some of the scenes are popularly staged. Scene: 1 Play starts with the scene between Yudhishitra and younger brother Bhima. Disturbed by the humiliations that Pandavas had to suffer from the hands of Duryodhana and his brothers, angry Bhima tells Yudhishtira to give him the order to go and destroy the enemies. Yudhishitra tries to calm down Bhima and asks him to be patient and complete their 14 year long exile,and Bhima at last agrees to it. Scene:3 Sreekrishna visits Pandavas at Kamyaka forest, Yudhishtira conveys their miseries to the Lord Krishna. Krishna consoles him saying that Arjuna will soon join them after attaining the divine arrow from Lora Shiva and soon they will triumph over their unhappiness. Scenes 8 and 9 are the most popular ones in Kalyana Sougandhikam. Scene 8: While spending time with Bhima near Gandhamadana Mountains, Panchali ( Droupadi ) happens to see one Sougandhika flower ( an aspicious water lilly ) carried by the breeze. She soon grabs hold of the beautiful flower and requests her affectionate husband Bhima for more such flowers. Without any hesitation Bhima agrees to fulfil his beloved’s wish and starts his journey through the thick forest in search of the flower. Being known for his strength, Bhima destroys every obstacles in his way and at last reaches Kadali forest. Scene: 9 During then, Hanuman has been doing his meditation at Kadali forest and his prayers are interepted by the sound of Bhima destroying the trees on his way. Soon hanuman realises that its Bhima, his own younger brother.( Both Hanuman and Bhima are the sons of Vayu, the God of wind). He decides to calm him down teach his loving but arrogant Brother a lesson, and takes the form an old monkey and lies on the path. Soon Bhima reaches there and gets agitated by seeing an old monkey carelessly resting on his way. First he asks the monkey to move out but Hanuman says he is too weak to do that. Then Bhima tries to lift the monkey’s tail with his mace to get pass him but to his surprise he can’t lift the tail and his mace gets trapped under the tail. Soon Bhima realises that it’s not an ordinary monkey and enquiers the monkey about it. Then monkey gets up and gets his original form as Hanuman and replies that it’s none other than his own elder brother Hanuman. Bhima feels extremely sorry of his behaviour and requests his brother to forgive. Then Hanuman shows his true form to Bhima on Bhima’s wish, blesses him and gives the instructions on where to find the Sougandhika flower. With his elder brother’s blessings Bhima continues his journey to fetch the flower.
Synopsis by Vikar T M,
Attakkatha Translation: Credits to Uthareeyam, Chennai and other sources.