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(The heroine speaks in desperation to her friend who consoles her)
The cool clouds gathered in the sky
And poured heavily with thunderclaps
And caused the flowers to get crushed;
Then the rains became scanty;
It was the closing phase of the season
When our lover left us here alone and parted;
We were overtaken by boundless grief;
As we have grown weak
Even the very few bangles
Slipped off from our forearms;
Now when we are yearningly gazing
At the direction he went,
Expecting eagerly his return,
We are assailed by grief.
O northerly, carrying with you a benumbing chillness
That could cause even the hill to quake!
You seem to blow only for me, quite mercilessly,
At this midnight of early dewy season,
When the dew drops which look like
The fine particles of water that are thrown off
When an elephant puffs away after taking water,
Veil every place and cause lotus blossoms to get wilted.
May you blow like this, losing no time,
In the direction of our lover!
Should you do so, he whose heart is strongly linked
To the efforts of earning riches,
May perhaps return thinking of me,
His heart melting like the washing of a fine sand strip
Overrun by the channel water.
Poet Kalar Kiran Eyirriyar
Translated by Dr. A. Dakshinamurthy
AKANANURU: Volume II Manimitai Pavalam, Bharathidasan University, 1999.
அகநானூறு – 163. பாலை
விண் அதிர்பு தலைஇய, விரவு மலர் குழைய,
தண் மழை பொழிந்த தாழ்பெயற் கடை நாள்,
எமியம் ஆக, துனி உளம் கூர,
சென்றோர் உள்ளிச் சில் வளை நெகிழ,
பெரு நசை உள்ளமொடு வருநசை நோக்கி
விளியும் எவ்வமொடு, ‘அளியள்’ என்னாது
களிறு உயிர்த்தன்ன கண் அழி துவலை
முளரி கரியும் முன்பனிப் பானாள்,
குன்று நெகிழ்ப்பு அன்ன குளிர் கொள் வாடை!
எனக்கே வந்தனை போறி! புனற் கால்
அயிர் இடு குப்பையின் நெஞ்சு நெகிழ்ந்து அவிழ,
கொடியோர் சென்ற தேஎத்து, மடியாது
இனையை ஆகிச் செல்மதி;
வினை விதுப்புறுநர் உள்ளலும் உண்டே!
பிரிவின்கண் வற்புறுக்கும் தோழிக்குத்
(The hero speaks to himself when he is in a foreign land in quest of riches)
My beloved is the one
who won my heart for her.
She has dark tresses which hang low on her back;
Her eyes, adorned with collyrium,
Glow like a pair of Neythal blooms;
They have cool brows;
My heart goads me to rush towards my home
And relieve her of her pangs of separation
While my intellect urges me thus:
“To leave unaccomplished
An endeavor undertaken,
Is ignorance, besides being
Cause for disgrace!
May you weigh the relative merits
And act accordingly.
Do not act in haste!”
Alas, what will betide of my poor body?
Is it destined to perish
Even like an old rope
Of worn-out strands
Whose ends are pulled
From opposite directions
By two elephants of upturned and glittering tusks?
– Teypuri Palankayirrinar.
– Translated by A.Dakshinamurthy.
(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.
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.