"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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Crab's long eyes

Ainkurunooru 30 Sung by poet Orampogiyar.
It is a marutham thinai song depicting the words spoken by the heroine's friend to the foster mother.
Neem blooms and its the wedding season. Arrange for the wedding for the groom is going to come.

"Veppunanai anna nedungan kalavan
thann aga mann alai niraiya nellin
irumpoo uraikkum oorarku ival
perungavin izhappadhu evankol annaai"

For the original poem in Tamil and its explanation please click this link to my Tamil blog.

Poem Meaning: The flowers of rice plants fill the cool mud burrow of the field crab whose long eyes resemble the neem flowers. Why does she loose her great beauty thinking of the man from such a town, mother?

Words Meaning: veppunanai - neem buds, anna - like, nedungan - long eyes, kalavan - crab, thann - cool, aga - interior, mann alai - mud burrow, niraiya - fill, nellin irumpoo - like paddy flowers, uraikkum oorarku - man from such a town, ival - she, perungavin - great beauty, izhappadhu - lose, evankol - why, annaai - mother

Description: The hero has gone to far away places to earn wealth and the heroine is waiting anxiously for him. She gets pale yearning for him. So the heroine's friend says to the foster mother that the heroine is loosing her beauty thinking of the hero. She says that as the paddy flowers fill the cool burrow of the crab, so will the hero return after earning enough wealth to fill their house.   In sangam times, it was usual for the hero to promise that he would return during the season when the neem blooms and marry the heroine. The friend reveals that the heroine is in love with the hero and asks the foster mother to arrange for the wedding. This is also referred in literature as 'araththodu nitral' meaning standing for the truth. The foster mother is usually the friend's mother.

My English Version:
"Crab's long eye resembles neem buds
It's cool burrow fills with paddy flowers
For a man from such a town
Why does she lose her beauty, mother?"


Thanks for reading and please leave your comments...