Professor A. Dakshinamurthy

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Akananuru: Palai – 111

(The companion of the heroine consoles her friend when the hero is away)

Our lover crossed a bright and sky-high mountain.

There, atop the Otaikkunram

The webs spun by the spiders

Amidst the dried-up branches of Neamai trees

Wave in the air by the western wind

And look like the silver banners

That are held high by the royal tuskers.

The weary and thirsty tuskers

Mistake them for rain-clouds

And lift their paining trunks together

And trumpet like the Tumpu*

That are blown by the dancers

Who sing their songs while enumerating

The manifold glories of their patrons.

On the way,

A wild dog, expert in hunting

Kills a boar and drags it with force

When a vulture of ruddy ears which resemble

The torch used at night

To examine the wounds of warriors

Who fell in the battle-field

Where close fighting took place,

‘Drinks deep its blood.

Pained and put to derision

By the scornful foes

Who spoke daggers at him,

Our lover went seeking fresh wealth

Not contented with his ancestral.

He will come eft soon my friend,

May you prosper!

— Palaipatiya Perunkatunko

* Tumpu – A wind instrument wrought of bamboo.

அகநானூறு 111: திணை – பாலை ,தோழி தலைவியிடம் சொன்னது
உள் ஆங்கு உவத்தல் செல்லார் கறுத்தோர்
எள்ளல் நெஞ்சத்து ஏஎச் சொல் நாணி
வருவர் வாழி தோழி அரச
யானை கொண்ட துகிற்கொடி போல
அலந்தலை ஞெமையத்து வலந்த சிலம்பி
ஓடைக் குன்றத்துக் கோடையொடு துயல் வர
மழை என மருண்ட மம்மர் பல உடன்
ஓய் களிறு எடுத்த நோயுடை நெடுங்கை
தொகு சொல் கோடியர் தூம்பின் உயிர்க்கும்
அத்தக் கேழல் அட்ட நற்கோள்
செந்நாய் ஏற்றைக் கம்மென ஈர்ப்பக்
குருதி ஆரும் எருவைச் செஞ்செவி
மண்டு அமர் அழுவத்து எல்லிக் கொண்ட
புண் தேர் விளக்கின் தோன்றும்
விண் தோய் பிறங்கல் மலை இறந்தோரே –

— சேரமான் பாலை பாடிய பெருங்கடுங்கோ


Akananuru: Neytal – Poem 70


(The companion of the heroine discloses the happy decision of the hero to wed the heroine)

O my friend,

The village women skilled in gossip

Made public our affair

And everyone came to know of our kinship with our lover,

Who is the chief of a littoral region;

There, the successful fisherfolks

With curved boats

Greatly praise the worth

Of their beauteous nets of multitudinous interstices

And divide amongst their kin

In their malodorous village

The Ayilai fish they netted.

Now, the dinsome village is wrapped up in silence

Like unto the banyan tree of many a stilt root

From the branches of which birds chirped ceaselessly

And which the triumphant Rama stilled

With a show of his hand,

That he might discuss in peace secret matters.

At the hoary Tanushkoti upon the shore —

The town of the great Pandyas,

The wielders of victorious spears –,

A town where women would collect blooms of neytal

With rounded stems

Which would blossom amidst green foliage

In the watery fields, hard by the shore,

Where the fresh and golden blossoms of Nalal

And punnai trees shed their pollen

And make picturesque the sand —-,

To adorn themselves on festival days.

Poet Maturai Tamil Kutthanar Katuvan Mallanar
Translated by Dr. A. Dakshinamurthy
Akananuru: Volume I Kalitriyanai Nirai, Bharathidasan University, 1999.

Akananuru: Palai – Poem 55

(The mother’s answer to her friends who console her on the elopement of her daughter)

The orb of the sun that moves in the heavens

Sense forth its fierce rays to the Earth;

The heat causes even the rocks to split.

The route stretching long is so hot

That even the flying birds wilt and die.

The gravel, sharp like chisel, puncture the feet of the wayfarers

Who might fall dead anywhere in the wilderness

Full of singed bamboo clusters burnt by the fierce heat

It is through this path, my daughter eloped with her lover,

A lad strong like a tusker of enormous strength

And I grow weak heaving heart sighs

Like unto the bellow of the ironsmith.

My heart is on fire. I canst not shut my eyes in slumber,

And my mind presents to me the picture

Of my daughter’s wading through the wilderness,

Ceralatan fought with Karikalvalavan with weapons

Bright at the battle-field of Vennipparantalai

And got wounded on his back;

Besieged by shame caused by his ignoble wound,

He fasted unto death, facing north

With sword in his hand, in the field where he lost to his foe.

The news bitter and sweet at once, fill on the ears of the wise,

Who gave up their ghost forthwith following their monarch to Valhalla.

I feel not sorry for the reason that my daughter eloped with her lover

Through a terrible wilderness; But I grieve deep and wrestle with my life

That refuses to quit like unto that of Ceralatan’s bound, as it is to this earth.

Poet Mamulanar
Translated by Dr. A. Dakshinamurthy
AKANANURU: Volume I KALITRIYANAI NIRAI, Bharathidasan University, 1999.

Note: One’s friends fasting unto death was an ancient practice. This happened in the case of Koperumcholan also who fasted unto death due to misunderstanding with his sons.

(Purananuru: 217,220,221,222)

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

Akananuru: Marutham – Poem 16

அகநானூறு – மருதம் – 16.

Akananuru – The Akam Four Hundred (3 Volumes)

Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirapalli, 1999.

(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

Akananuru: Mullai – Poem 4

அகநானூறு, முல்லைத்திணை, பாடல் 4.

From Akananuru – The Akam Four Hundred (3 Volumes)

Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirapalli, 1999.

(The heroine’s companion consoles her friend at the advent of the
rainy season)

The rumbling clouds winged with lightning

Poured amain big drops of rain and augured the rainy season;

Buds with pointed tips  have sprouted in the jasmine vines;

The buds of Illam and the green trunk Kondrai have unfolded soft;

The stags, their black and big horns like twisted iron

Rushed up toward the pebbled pits filled with water

And leap out jubilantly having slaked their thirst;

The wide expansive Earth is now free

From all agonies of the summer heat

And the forest looks exceedingly sweet;

Behold there O friend of choicest bangles!

Our hero of the hilly track will be coming eftsoon,

Driving fast his ornate chariot drawn by the steeds

With waving plumes and trimmed manes

When the stiffly tugged reins

Will sound like the strumming of Yal.

As he drives, he has the chariot bells tied up

So as not to disturb the union of bees

That live on the pollen of the blossoms in the bushes.

He rushes onward thinking all along of your great beauty.

O friend whose fragrance is like unto the blossoming Kantal

On the mountain, tall and huge,east of Urantai of dinsome festivity!

Translated by A.Dakshinamurthy


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