"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, September 4, 2018

Blackgram spun with ghee

Ainkurunooru 211
neyyodu mayakkiya uzhunthu nootranna
vayalaiAm silambin thalaiyathu
seyalaiAm pakaiththazhai vaadum  annaai

Sung by Kapilar,  categorized in 'annaai paththu', a group of ten Kurinji thinai songs addressing the heroine affectionately as mother.  The song depicts the words spoken by the heroine's friend to the heroine. It was typical to call a friend affectionately as mother, as we do use the words dear, darling etc these days.


Purslane vine
Poem Meaning: The differing leaves of the beautiful Asoka tree growing atop the beautiful mountain, where purslane vines grow as if black gram flour mized with ghee is spun around, would wilt my dear. 

Description: Purslane Vines are compared to black gram flour mixed with ghee spun together. The shiny texture of the white purslane vines makes the poet think of the ghee mixed flour. The hero's beautiful mountain is covered by such vines whereby beautiful Asoka trees also stand tall. The hero having made a skirt from the leaves of the Asoka tree making it loose its leaves, gives it to the heroine's friend and asks that to be delivered to the heroine. The friend accepts it from the hero and tries to convince the heroine to wear the skirt. She says the leaves would wilt if the heroine doesn't wear. The heroine's friend also implies that this gift from the hero would help cheer up the heroine who thinks of the time spent with the hero long
ing to meet him again. This song shows the herione's friend's intention to alleviate the sorrow of the heroine who is longing to meet the hero again. The leaves used to make the skirt are referred to as differing leaves as they parted and altered the appearance of the tree. The practice of twisting black gram flour mixed with ghee to make fries and making of skirts from asoka leaves are made known to us through this song. The leaves used to make the skirt are mentioned as differing leaves (pakai thazhai) as they change the appearance of the tree.

Word Meaning: neyyodu mayakkiya- mixed with ghee, uzhunthu - black gram, nootranna - twisted into threads, vayaali- Purslane vines , am- beautiful, silambu - mountain, thaalaiyathu- atop, seyalai- Asoka tree (Saraca Indica),  pakaiththazhai - differing,  vaadum - would wilt, annaai- mother/dear friend

My English Version: 
These differing leaves of the beautiful Asoka
Atop his beautiful hill where purslane vines
Appear like blackgram spun with ghee
Would wilt my dear friend
 For the original song and explanation in Tamil please click this link - ஐங்குறுநூறு-211

Purslane vine

1 comment:

  1. சிறு வயதில் இப்படி எல்லாம் படித்தது மறந்த வேளையில் அதை அழகாக எடுத்து சொல்லி சென்றவிதம் அருமை கிரேஸ்.. எப்படி உங்களால் இதையெல்லாம் ஞாபகம் வைத்து அழகாக எடுத்து சொல்ல முடிகிறது....யூ ஆர் வெரி ஸ்மார்ட் சகோ


Thanks for reading and please leave your comments...