"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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

So be gold

We wish the land to prosper and abound in wealth. And for the way you behave, we just wish you and your friend stay safe and sound. 

Ainkurunooru 1
Sung by poet Orampogiyaar in marutham thinai(click here to know more about it) as the words spoken by the heroine's friend(thozhi) to the hero(thalaivan).


"Vaazhi Aadhan vaazhi avini
nel pala poliga pon peridhu sirakka
ena vettole yaaye yaame
nanaiya kaanji chiniaya sirumeen
yaanar ooran vaazhga
paananum vaazhga ena vetteme"

For the original poem in Tamil and explanation is Tamil, please click here.

Poem meaning: Long live Aadhan! Long live Avini! Let the paddy yield abundantly. Let there be more gold and wealth, wishes mother and so do I. Long live the man from the fertile place with blossoming kaanji trees(Trewia nudiflora) and fish with spawns. We wish, long live the bard too.

Description: The Chera kings were called 'Aadhan' and 'Avini'. The thalaivan(hero) and the thalaivi(heroine) have been meeting secretly for a while. Thalaivan asks the heroine's friend(thozhi), "What does the thalaivi think of this?". This poem is the reply as said by the thozhi. She says that the thalaivi wished the king to be hale and healthy to guard the country. She wished that there is abundant harvest and wealth so that the king can give alms.  Thozhi means that the thalaivi thinks only good and that no disgrace should come to her because of the secret meetings with the thalaivan. She also says that herself and the thalaivi wish that no harm comes over the thalaivan and his friend, the bard. 
The hero's town is prosperous with blossoming kaanji trees and fish with spawn, where the kaanji trees symbolize the married ladies of the town and the fish spawn symbolizes the concubines. The friend implies that the hero should not mistake the heroine for a concubine but should marry her.
The heroine and her friend think that its time for marriage, which is implied in the words of the poem. This is the first of the ten songs categorized under the name 'vetkai paththu', meaning 'the ten wishing poems'. The heroine's friend refers to her friend, the heroine as mother out of affection.

Word Meanings: vaazhi - long live, aadhan, avini - refers to the Chera kings, nel - paddy, pala poliga - grown in abundace, pon - gold, peridhu sirakka - multiply more, ena - so, vettole - wishes, yaaye - mother, yaame - myself, nanaiya - blossoming, kaanji - kaanji trees(Trewia nudiflora), sinaiya sirumeen - small fish with spawn, yaanar ooran - man from the prosperous town, vaazhga - long live, paananum - bard too, vetteme - we wish

My English version:
"Long live aadhan, long live avini!
Let the harvest abound, so be gold,
Thus wishes mother, so do I!
Kaanji blossoms and spawns of fish
Long live the man from such place!
Long live the bard, desire do we"



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