Natrinai: Kurinji – Poem 22

From The Natrinai Four Hundred

International Institute of Tamil Studies, Chennai, 2000.


(The heroine’s friend joyfully announces that the hero comes with marriage proposal.)

In our lover’s domain,

A she-monkey steals away

The heavy ears of fresh millet

Which had ripened early

On the slopes in the fields

Guarded by the hunters’ daughters,

And then moves to the hill top with its mate

And crushes the ears and gathers a handful of the grains

And stores them in its wrinkled and curved pouch*1

And sits, its back exposed to the pouring rain,

Like the woman, who, after a holy dip

In the month of Tai*2, takes her austere meal.

Such a one has come here

Just like the timely rain

Pouring at midnight,

To save the pregnant paddy crops

Which are for long

Wilting for want of water

And when every tank is dry.


*1 within its mouth

*2 December- January.



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