Monday, February 9, 2009

I dig this

Regarding translation, AKRamanujan mentions a lovely story about how a Chinese emperor tried digging a tunnel. A minister suggested digging from both sides and the emperor asked him what is the digging didn't meet. "Then we will have two tunnels instead of one" came the reply.

Enamoured by the analogy this writer takes his pick-ax and gets to work. Those who know the Tamil original, the tunnel story is for you. And those who don't, well it atleast rhymes, doesn't it ?

A bright little spark of fire I found
And tucked it away in a burrow in the woods
All the forest was razed to the ground
Does the rage of fire know its shouldn'ts and shoulds


  1. For the less informed like me, what Bharathi verse is this the translation of?

  2. அக்கினிக் குஞ்சொன்று கண்டேன் -அதை
    அங்கொரு காட்டிடை பொந்திடை வைத்தேன்
    வெந்து தணிந்தது காடு
    தழல் வீரத்தில் குஞ்சென்றும் மூப்பென்றும் உண்டோ.

    I just inserted my take on what "age" can be interpreted as here.