Akananuru: Marutham – Poem 16

(The heroine speaks to her husband who returns home after a visit to his hetaera)

My lord, our son is adorned with golden bangles whose charm attracts everyone;
His spotless palms are like the inner petals of the lotus flower
That flourishes in the midst of the very ancient pond where flourish otters;
His mouth is red as ruby and his sweet prattle evoked great fun
As it does not conform to rules of speech; He stood all alone in the street
Pulling his toy-car, when your young hetaera with her sharp teeth,
Approached him in love since he resembled you.
Assured of the absence of by-standers, she took him in her arms saying,
“O my dear life! Come to me!”, and stood holding him
Close to her tender bosom adorned with golden jewels.
I watched her standing at a distance but did not move from where I stood
And then moved to her and on a sudden, hugged her and invited her to our home saying,
“O flawless young girl! Why are you so bewildered? You too are a mother to him!”
When she blushed and dropped her head down and stood scratching the ground with her toe
Like a thief who pleaded guilty of larceny when caught red-handed.
My lord! Did I not take pity on her, your favorite girl- as chaste as celestial Aruntati -,
And treat her with affection deeming her fit to be the mother of your son?
Why do you lie and pretend ignorant?

Poet – Cakalacanar.
Translated by A. Dakshinamurthy

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