Long long ago there was a state by name Ratanpur. A king by name Kumarsen was the ruler of the state. The king was well-known for his valour, justice and fine arts. He used to honour and encourage artists with rich rewards.
The king himself was a pastmaster in playing the Mridangam. He had a special love for the Taala Vidya i.e. the art of beat system.
There was a taala maestro by name Nandalal residing in Ratanpur. Nandalal was a genius by himself. He used to be engrossed always in devising different taala sequences. The king Kumarsen had a close friendship with Nandalal. The ministers from the royal court did not like this special friendship of the king with Nandalal. In fact they were searching for an opportunity to trap Nandalal and to show him his due place.
Once while wandering in the forest, Nandalal happened to envisage quite a novel system of taala. However, only a fringe thereof had become perceptible. Nandalal had a prolonged discussion with the king regarding the system appearing over the horizon of his imagination. Both were eager to get the lotus bloomed.
The next day the king was eager to know about the further progress made by Nandalal in developing the system. So the king sent a caparisoned elephant to bring Nandalal. It was customary on the part of the king to send such elephant to this artist alone. On arrival of such royal invitation Nandalal would ride over the elephant with grandeur and would proceed to the palace beating Mridangam all over the way.
Now when the decorated elephant arrived at the residence of Nandalal this born artist was lost in the mood of inventing the new taala system, which was playing hide and seek with him.
In the realm of genius it so happens that a new idea is preceded by a sense of restlessness period whereof is unpredictable. During such period an artist almost loses contact with the material world. It requires another genius only to appreciate such unusual state of mind.
Lost in the mood, Nandalal made some vague signs at the Mahavat of the elephant who conveyed the invitation of the king to Nandalal. As a result thereof the elephant returned without Nandalal on its back.
The king was surprised over the arrival of the elephant without Nandalal. But the king kept quiet.
The ministers who had heart-burning about Nandalal were quick enough to catch this opportunity. The senior most of them approached the king and made it clear to him that the behaviour of Nandalal in sending back the elephant was a brand affront. The minister further made it clear to the king that if this arrogance is tolerated by the king, other people may be emboldened to tread the same path and so the indiscipline must be nipped in the bud by meting out due punishment to Nandalal as laid down in the book of law.
The minister went on repeating his argument so much so that the king was convinced over the need to punish Nandalal.
The punishment over such rude behaviour with the king as laid down in the law book was death by being trampled under the foot of an elephant.
So the punishment was declared and the date, time and venue of punishment was made to the people.
A garland of red flowers was placed around the neck of Nandalal and he was brought in the arena where the punishment was to be executed. The onlookers were all moved over this harsh punishment to the born artist but nobody dared utter a word of protest.
Just before the news of king'sire reached the ears of Nandalal, he was in the happiest mood of his life because the taala he had pined for so much and so long had made full emergence and Nandalal almost went dancing over the beats of the new taala with heavenly joy. The news of capital punishment brought him back over the earth just like a stone.
All eyes were riveted on Nandalal. As per custom Nandalal was asked to pronounce his last wish. Over this Nandalal said, ?I would like to present the newly evolved taala system before the audience.?
The last wish of Nandalal was granted. He was supplied his fond instrument. Nandalal played Mridangam with full vigour. For a while his face glittered with heavenly luster.
Exactly at this moment a miracle took place. The elephant specially commissioned and goaded to trample Nandalal had a strange feeling. The taala reached the ears of the elephant. The taala entered into all the limbs of the elephant with the batting of an eyelid. The taala vibrated the heavy feet of the wild beast. The elephant started moving his feet and started dancing strictly over the taala released, with light feet. It was really a rare sight.
The elephant further raised its trunk and proceeded towards the source of the beats without missing a single step.
That taala which had its origin woven in the roars of the wild elephants sent this elephant into raptures. Overwhelmed with ethereal joy the elephant paced ahead, approached Nandalal and instead of trampling him the elephant embraced him with his trunk, lifted him and placed him straight over its back with full honour. The elephant then paraded Nandalal all over the arena. It was an unbelievable sight with Nandalal playing Mridangam on the back of the elephant and the elephant, himself dancing strictly according to the beat sequence. Both the artist and the dancer were immersed into a heavenly joy.
The king Kumarsen was ashamed because he had failed to understand the language of art, which a wild beast had recognised.
So the king left his seat, he patted the elephant, he brought down Nandalal and he embraced him with tears in his eyes.
The name of this new taala was Gajazampi.