Akananuru:Neytal – Poem 110

(The companion of the heroine discloses the clandestine love of the heroine, to the foster mother)

I reck not if our mother should know of it;
Neither do I, if this scandalous and dinsome village hears of it.
I will speak out in plain words; None else is the cause.
I will even make solemn affirmations in the name of the deity of Pukar
Whose floods are full of maelstroms.
One day we sported in the sea with our garlanded friends;
We build tiny houses of sand and indulged in imaginary cooking;
After getting tired of our sporting we rested awhile by way of relief;
At that time came a stranger to us and said,
“O innocent girls of broad, soft and bamboo like shoulders!
The day light has dwindled; I am too weary;
What if I were your guest and share with you your victuals
Served in a soft leaf and stay with you in this small hamlet bustling with activity?”
On beholding him , we out of our bashfulness dropped our heads down,
Hid behind one another’s back and said: “Sir, this is not a dish fit for you,
It is but a dish cooked with unappetizing fish.”
All of a sudden, we beheld the vessels in the sea
With their flags fluttering in the air; We ran with great eagerness
After destroying the sand-houses with our feet;
We avoided standing before him any further;
With a protracted look at me alone, amongst all who stood there,
He spoke with a sore heart, “O girl of bright forehead!
Shall I take leave of you?” When I said, “Yes”, he stood for a long while
Holding the lotus staff of his chariot. He who is even now envisioned by me
Is the cause of her malady.

Poet Pontaippacalaiyar
Translated by Dr. A. Dakshinamurthy
Bharathidasan University, 1999


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