"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

Friday, August 21, 2015

Eyes like blue flowers

Oh mother! Her wide eyes fills with tears when her beloved's blue mountains drop out of sight. Such is her love and am glad you helped erase her sadness.
For the original poem and explanation in Tamil, please click here.

Ainkurunooru 208
annaai vaazhi vendu annai kaanavar 
kizhangu akazh nedungkuzhi malka vengai
ponmali pudhuvee thaa-am avarnaattu
maninira maalvarai maraithoru ival
araimalar nendungkan aarndhana paniye

These are the words as spoken by the heroine's friend to the foster mother. This is a kurinji thinai (click here to learn about it) song sung by poet Kapilar, which falls under the category named 'annaai vaazhi pathu' meaning 'long live mother ten'. 

Poem meaning: Long live mother! Please listen! Fresh golden flowers from the vengai tree (Pterocarpus marsupium) fall and fill the long pits created by the forest people harvesting yams. Whenever the tall sapphire mountain of his country drops out of sight her eyes fills with tears like a blue flower(lily).

Description: The heroine's friend had confessed to the foster mother about the heroine's love to the hero. Upon the foster mother's intervention the hero could come to the heroine's house and meet her. Expressing her joy, the heroine's friend says this to the foster mother. She says that, in the hero's country, fresh golden flowers fall and fill the long deep pits created by the harvest of the yams by the men of the forest. Whenever the tall sapphire mountain of his country goes out of sight the heroine's eyes get filled with tears similar to the blue lilies. The wealth given away by an altruist in charity would be replaced by fame. The empty pits filled with flowers represent this. It implies the hero's good nature. The heroine's friend says that the foster mother has helped erase the heroine's sadness.

Word Meanings: annaai vaazhi - long live mother, vendu annai - please listen, kaanavar - forest dwelling people, kizhangu akazh nedungkuzhi - deep pits created by harvesting yams, malka - to fill,  vengai - vengai tree (Pterocarpus marsupium), ponmali - abundant golden,  pudhu vee - fresh flowers, thaa-am - falling, avarnattu - his country, maninira - sapphire colored, maal varai - tall mountain, maraithoru - whenever disappears, ival - she, araimalar - like a blue flower, nedungkan - big eyes, aarndhana filled, paniye - water

My version:
Long live mother, please listen
Long pits left by men harvesting yam
Fills with fresh golden vengai flowers
When his country's blue mountain
Drops out of sight, her wide eyes 
Fills with tears like the blue flowers

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