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.


Natrinai: Neythal – Poem 172


(The companion of the heroine speaks importuning the hero to wed the heroine soon.)

Oh chief of a littoral domain

Where in the sweet-watered ford,

The right-whorled and white conch-shells

Sound sweetly like the Vilari tune*

Of the newly arrived musicians.

Our mother spoke at length,

The greatness of the Punnai tree thus:

“My friends and myself, when we were young,

Sported in the sandy beach;

Then, we forgot altogether of the ripe seed of Punnai,

Which we buried in the white sand;

Later, it grew into a young plant

Which we nurtured with love,

Feeding it with ghee and milk!

So the Punnai tree is your elder sister,

Sweeter far than you yourself!”

So chief, we feel embarrassed

To sport with you beside it.

Should you consent,

There are other trees with rich shades

Where we can sport!

–                      Anonymous

* Vilari – One of the seven musical notes.

The seven musical notes of Ancient Tamil music are as follows:

Kural , Uttam, Kaikilai, Ulay, Ili, Vilari, Vilari.



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