Thursday, June 21, 2018

வரலாறு அறிதலின் வரலாறு

A couple of nuggests from Dr. V.Rajesh's, Manuscripts, Memory and History: Classical Tamil Literature in Colonial India, Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2013
  “It is scarcely possible to conceive a greater confusion than that which prevails with reference to the question of the age of Sambhanda. Mr.Taylor places Kun Pandya, and therefore Sambandha also, who converted him, about 1320 B.C., while Dr.Caldwell contends he was reigning in 1292 A.D. Thus it would appear possible to assign Sambandha to 1300 B.C. or A.D. indifferently! This is certainly curious: and I am not sure if we can find the like of it in the whole range of history. Indeed, it would seem that South Indian chronology has yet to begin its existence. We have not, in fact, as yet a single important date in the ancient history of the Dravidians ascertained and placed beyond the pale of controversy.
A critical study of (the classical) dialect and of this literature would certainly, under ordinary circumstances, be held as a pre-requisite for conducting South-Indian antiquarian researches. But, unfortunately, for reasons that cannot be here explained, critical scholarship in Tamil has come to be regarded as not so essential to those researches. Hence absurdities that we sometimes we meet with in the writings of those whose oracular utterances pass in certain quarters for axiomatic truths.”
இவ்வாறு காரமாக எழுதி, ஆய்வில் கறார்த்தன்மையைக் கோரியிருக்கும் இவ்வாசிரியர் யார்: பிற்காலத்தில் மனோன்மணியம் எழுதிய, இன்று கிட்டத்தட்ட அந்த முன்னொட்டின் மூலமாக மட்டுமே அறியப்படும் பெ.சுந்தரம்பிள்ளை தான் அவர்!

Thursday, June 14, 2018


தாதை சொல் தலைமேல் கொண்ட தாபதன், தரும மூர்த்தி 
ஈதைகள் தீர்க்கும் நாமத்து இராமனை எண்ணி ஏங்கும் 
சீதையும், அவளை உன்னிச் சிந்தனை தீர்ந்தும் தீராப் 
பேதையும், அன்றி, அவ் ஊர் யார் உளர், துயில் பெறாதார்?

Except Sita
                           thinks and long for

                           (the very form of righteousness that he is)
                            bore his father's Word, upon his head
                           very name destroys miseries

And the pitiable fool
                                longs for her 
                                beyond reason

Who else is not asleep in that city?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


இருவேறு உலகத்து இயற்கை திருவேறு
தெள்ளியர் ஆதல் வேறு

is one of the several kuṟaḷs where vaḷḷuvar is employs snark to great effect.
There is an almost audible sigh that of the 'learned' assuaging themselves as tirumakaḷ bypasses them.

I have read the following  kuṟaḷ as a sort of companion to the above.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

அன்று நான் பிறந்திலேன்

ஓசையில் வெண்புறா கூட்டம் வழிவிட/ பூசையை வீசியே தேடு
கடந்த செவ்வாய்க்கிழமை (29/05) வைகாசி அனுஷம். திருவள்ளுவர் திருநக்ஷத்திரம்.

நமக்கு நமது கவிஞர்களின் வரலாறு தெரியாது. கர்ணபரம்பரை கதைகள், தொன்மங்கள் மட்டுமே உண்டு. ஆழ்வார், நாயன்மார்களுக்கு நக்ஷத்திரம் கொண்டாடப்படுவது எவ்வாறு ஒரு தொடர்ச்சி அடிப்படையிலோ, அந்த அளவே ஒரு உண்மைத்தன்மை/இன்மை நோக்கோடு இதை அணுகலாம்.

Monday, May 28, 2018

What a Man Wants -3

The second time they meet, Clara says she was thinking about how to react if Jayachandran brings up the question of marriage. She says that in 'passive voice'. i.e. 'had the question been raised' (not: had Jayachandran raised the qn).

He counters it with: what if the question had been raised (i.e. what would have been your speculation).
And her response is : the question has not been raised. Has it?

I found that fantastic. There is just no simulating life. No predicting, expecting how people would react, deciding accordingly. Things just happen like rain and you have to bloody go with it. It's not like you have a choice.
You can think as much as you like about how you would react to situations when they crop up. But will you indeed react that way? Can you be sure about that?
If values, beliefs are all supposed to be based on 'how one reacts to situations', then how can one think 'I am like this only' in such a fundamentally uncertain world.
So, later when she says let us not part saying 'we will never meet again', it just strikes as perfectly in line with her wide view of the world.

The choice of expression: 'the question has not been raised, has it?' as opposed to 'you have not raised the question now, have you?' is just brilliant.

Why didn't he ask the question? Because she has 'changed' since we last met him? That's a what a girl like Clara, is well within her rights to think of a man. But then we know that kind of thing won't stop him and we also know Clara isn't someone who would think of Jayachandran to be such a person (what masterly writing for audience to be sure they 'know' a  character they've only seen in a handful of scenes). So she is not being hurtful, at the max. only playful with him.

Then Clara goes on to say how it is only the lucky girls who give and receive first love. She is not being self-deprecatory or being falsely soft towards Radha. Her observations are all sincerity. And a quasi-maternal concern for a 'simple girl' Radha is unmissable.

You have to sit back and see how incredible the reactions of Radha to Jayachandran's revelations are. But it is not. And yet it is shown to be highly- pardon the word- believable and heartwarming.

monE, thadi condractorE nee yaaraa(m)? 

It is unapologetic in its:  'I am a man of many parts and would appreciate someone who can understand that'. Such a film may be dated, or even ill-received today by the hypersensitive audience of today. It is an exercise in discipline to not feel pity for them.

Part 1, Part 2

P.S: apologies to the vast band of loyal followers of this blog for the slight delay in the publication of this final piece. Dredged this up from the drafts. Took inspiration from Valery: no poem is ever finished, only abandoned.