"If it is true that liberal education should "liberate" by demonstrating the cultural values and norms foreign to us, by revealing the relativity of our own values, then the "discovery" and enjoyment of Tamil literature, and even its teaching should find its place in the systems of Western training and instruction in the humanities." - Kamil Zvelebil in his book, The Smile of Murugan , The Tamil literature of South India

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Like red soil with rain

The hero assures his beloved who is apprehensive about the future of their relation. He says that they will be united in love forever. He relates beautifully something happening in nature and uses it as a simile for their love. What does he take from the nature to symbolize their relation?
Lets see the beautiful kurinji thinai poem from kurunthogai, one of the Eight Anthologies of sangam poems. The name of the poet is unknown. Hence he is called by the pseudonym, "Sembulap peyaneeraar" (செம்புலப் பெயனீரார்) where the words are taken from the poem itself. The poem depicts the words spoken by the hero to the heroine.

குறுந்தொகை 40
"யாயும் ஞாயும் யாராகியரோ?
எந்தையும் நுந்தையும் எம்முறைக் கேளிர்?
யானும் நீயும் எவ்வழி அறிதும்?
செம்புலப் பெயல்  நீர் போல
அன்புடை நெஞ்சம் தாம் கலந்தனவே"

Kurunthokai 40
"yaayum ngyaayum yaaraagiyaro?
endhaiyum nundhaiyum emmuraik kelir?
yaanum neeyum evvazhi aridhum? 
sembulap peyal neer pola
anbudai nenjam thaam kalandhanave"

Poem meaning:
My mother and your mother, who are they to each other? My father and your father, how are they related? Me and you, how we do know each other? Similar to the red soil mixed with water, hearts earnest in love became one.

Words meaning: yaayum - my mother, ngyaayum - your mother, yaar - who, aagiyaro - what relation are they to each other, endhaiyum - my father, nundhaiyum - your father, emmurai - which way, kelir - relative, yaanum - me, neeyum - you, evvazhi - how, aridhum - know, sembulap - mixed with red soil, peyal - rain, neer - water, pola - like, anbudai - loving, nenjam - heart/mind, thaam kalandhanave - became one

Description: Hero and heroine are in love. The heroine is worried if their love will succeed. So the hero assures her that they would be united forever and that they would be inseparable. He says though they are not of kin, maternally or paternally, their hearts fell in love naturally. He says that their loving hearts became one like the rain water mixed with red soil.

My English version:
"My mother and your mother, what kinship are they?
My father and your father, how related are they?
I and you, how do we know each other?
Like red soil with rain water
Earnest hearts in love became one forever"


  1. Neatly done Grace.. english version is very nice

  2. தாமத வருகைக்கு மன்னிக்கணும் சகோதரி. மிகவும் அருமை. சங்க இலக்கியத்திலேயே புகழ்பெற்ற இரண்டு வரிகளைச் சொன்னால் புறத்தில் “யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்” என்பதும், அகத்தில் “யாயும் ஞாயும் யாரா கியரோ” தான்! இன்றுவரை, தமிழை நேசிக்கும் மக்கள் தமது இல்லத் திருமண அழைப்பிதழில் நம்மை வரவேற்கும் அளவிற்குப் புகழ்பெற்ற வரிகள் இவை. அருமையாக விளக்கியும், அழகாக மொழிபெயர்த்தும் தந்திருக்கிறீர்கள். படத்தேர்வு கூட உங்களின் நேர்த்திக்கான தேடலைக் காட்டுகிறது. சிறப்பான பதிவு. அன்பு கூர்ந்து தொடருங்கள். நன்றி. வணக்கம்.

    1. வணக்கம் ஐயா.
      உண்மை , புகழ்பெற்ற வரிகள் இவையிரண்டும். இப்படம் இங்கு Big Banyan என்று ஒரு இடம் இருக்கிறது. 400 வருடம் வயதாகிய ஒரு ஆலமரம். அங்கு சென்ற பொழுது எடுத்தது. அப்பொழுதே இந்த பாடல் எனக்கு நினைவு வந்தது. அதை இன்று பயன்படுத்திக்கொண்டேன். :)
      உங்கள் தொடர் ஊக்கத்திற்கு மிக்க நன்றி ஐயா.

  3. Thank you. I was searching for this poem for quite some time !

    1. Glad that my blog could help you. Thanks Karthik

  4. I will be using it in my marriage invitation !

    1. Thank you..wish you a happy married life.

  5. romba sandhosham irukku ... thedinen vandhathu enpathu pole....dihu kadhalukku maatum porundhumaa... nalla natpukkum porundhume... Koppurunj chozhan Pisirandhaiyar natpukkum poruththip parkalaaama idhai...avanga mannan vadakirundhathum vandhathum paadiyatha oru padal undu... marandu vittathu... kidaikumaa Ms.grace ... NANDRIKAL pala..

    1. Mikka nandri. Aamam, arumaiyaana natpu...paadalai padhivu seigiren. Meendum nandri, ookkam tharum karuthirku.

  6. Was searching for these lines.. And got it with the detailed meaning as well.. Thanks..

    1. Thanks for visiting. Glad to hear that. Thanks

  7. Hi Grace,
    Thanks very much for the nice translation & effort taken, myself not from tamil educational background, but capable to understand and relate the meaningful TAMIL poem now, KUDOS.

    1. Hi Kumar,
      Glad to hear that. Thanks for your encouraging comment.


Thanks for reading and please leave your comments...