"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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hidden not in rain clouds

How can I forget my beloved while his sapphire blue mountains are in constant view without being hidden by dark rain clouds?

Ainkurunooru 209
annaai vaazhi vendu annai  nee matru
yaan avar maraththal vendudhi aayin
kondal avaraip poovin anna
venthalai maamazhai soodi
thondral aanaadhu avar maninedum kundre

For the original poem in Tamil, please click here, கண் மறையா மணிக் குன்று.
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! You want me to forget him for a while, nevertheless his blue mountain ranges appear with white clouds resembling the flowers of hyacinth bean blossoming in Eastern winds, without being hidden by dark rain clouds.

Description: The hero has ventured out in search of wealth to get married to the heroine. She is missing him and remains sad while her friend advises her not to think of the hero for sometime. Refusing to forget the hero, the heroine says to her friend that the hero's blue mountain ranges appear with white clouds without being hidden by dark rain clouds. She implies that she cannot forget the hero while the blue mountain ranges are in constant sight. The white clouds resemble the flowers of hyacinth beans or dolichos beans (Lablab purpureus) which blossoms in the Eastern winds. The dolichos beans flower in spring and thus the poem indicates the onset of spring season and the heroine looks forward for the hero's return. It was common in those days for the hero to go in search of wealth and come back after earning, in Spring, right in time to get married to his beloved.

Words Meaning: annaai vaazhi - long live friend, vendu annai - please listen, nee - you, matru - nevertheless, yaan - I, avar maraththal - forget him, vendudhal aayin - if you wish, kondal - Eastern winds, avarai - hyacinth or field beans, poovin anna - similar to the flowers, venthalai maamazhai soodi- adorned with white clouds, thondral aanadhu - without being hidden, avar - his, mani - sapphire, nedum - long, kundre - ranges

My Version:
Long live my friend! Please listen!
For you wish I forget my love;
White clouds like beans blossoms
Deck his sapphire mountain ranges;
Hidden not in rain clouds!

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