Kuntalakesi, daughter of a rich merchant, fell in love with Kalan, a thief, and married him. Even criminals, given a chance, do reform themselves. Kuntalakesi should have tried to reform her husband and turn him into a gentle person.

The way to do that would have been for her to talk to him of moral values. But what one should not do, when trying to reform a person, is to mock him for his past mistakes, said Malayaman, in a lecture. That will harden the heart of the one we are trying to change.

Kuntalakesi must have tried to reform Kalan gently. But one day, she mocked him and said he was after all a thief.

Kalan never indulged in thievery after his marriage, and he might have, in course of time, seen the error of his ways. But Kuntalakesi’s words enraged him.

He decided that she should be killed. All the wickedness in him came to the forefront, and he plotted to do away with her.

Harsh words always lead to undesirable consequences. Tamil work Nanneri says the world is rendered a happy place by sweet words, not by harsh words. A truly great man will not lose his temper even if there is reason to do so. He will not be annoyed by the conduct of those who do not know how to behave.

When we lose our temper, we say things we would not dream of saying in our saner moments. Once our anger dies down, we forget what we said.

But the persons, who have been at the receiving end, do not forget our unkind words. Nor do they forgive us so easily.

This is what happened in the case of Kalan and Kuntalakesi. Having made fun of Kalan, and having referred angrily to his past as a criminal, Kuntalakesi forgot all about the incident. But Kalan did not. It was now his turn to be angry.

He decided that Kuntalakesi would have to pay for her words with her life! So he plotted to lure her to a hill and push her down from there. Kuntalakesi got wind of his plan, and pushed Kalan down from the hill. Thus a cultured, gentle girl became a murderer because she had not curbed her anger, and had been unwise in her choice of words.

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