Two emotions – Sundrakandam -Kambaramayanam


One of the poems which illustrated why Kamban is hailed as one of the greatest Tamil poets. Situation: Hanuman is in search of Sita in Lanka. Finally seeing her in Ashoka vanam, he goes to her and identifies himself. To prove he was a messenger from Rama, he shares Rama's ring to her. Hanuman narrates... Continue Reading →

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Loser is a winner – Thirukkural 1327


Cheeky poem from Thiruvalluvar! Loss can also be a victory. -------------- Thirukural 1327 ஊடலின் தோற்றவர் வென்றார்; அது மன்னும் கூடலின் காணப்படும். While arguing (with your wife), suffering defeat is also a victory! You will realize it later in your sexual union! Poet: Valluvar Translated by Palaniappan Vairam Sarathy மனைவியுடன் ஊடலில் தோற்பதும் வெற்றிதான், அது பின் வரும் புணர்ச்சியில்... Continue Reading →

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Fire and Ice – Thirukkural 1104


Tamil love lyric tradition passing on Sangam literature to Thiruvalluvar. Thirukkural 1104 நீங்கின் தெறூஉம், குறுகுங்கால் தண்ணென்னும், தீ யாண்டுப் பெற்றாள், இவள்? I burn if I touch her,  I feel cool when I approach her, Where did she acquire such fire? Poet: Valluvar Translated by Palaniappan Vairam Sarathy விட்டால் சுடவைக்கும், தொட்டால் குளிரவைக்கும் (காமத்)  தீயை எங்கிருந்துப் பெற்றால் இவள்! Reference:... Continue Reading →

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Bee and her husband – Ainkurunooru 90


This is a cheeky poem.  Thalaivan is having relationship with another women. His wife knows about this and sulks about this other women all over the village. The other women gets upset and utters this poem which literally trolls the character of Thalaivan. ஐங்குறுநூறு 90, ஓரம்போகியார், மருதத் திணை – பரத்தை சொன்னது, தலைவியின் தோழியரும் தலைவனும்கேட்கும்படியாக மகிழ்நன் மாண் குணம் வண்டு கொண்டன... Continue Reading →

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He has returned! Ainkurunooru 270


Final poem of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation. ஐங்குறுநூறு 270, கபிலர், குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தோழி தலைவியிடம் சொன்னது கிழங்கு அகழ் கேழல் உழுத சிலம்பில், தலை விளை கானவர் கொய்தனர் பெயரும், புல்லென் குன்றத்துப் புலம்பு கொள் நெடு வரை காணினும் கலிழு நோய் செத்துத் தாம் வந்தனர், நம் காதலோரே.   Thinking about your... Continue Reading →

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It is my stupidity – Ainkurunooru 269


This poem is the ninth poem of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation. ஐங்குறுநூறு 269, கபிலர், குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தோழி தலைவியிடம் சொன்னது, சிறைப்புறத்தானாக இருந்த தலைவன் கேட்கும்படி கேழல் உழுதெனக் கிளர்ந்த எருவை, விளைந்த செறுவில் தோன்றும் நாடன், வாராது அவண் உறை நீடின், நேர் வளை இணை ஈர் ஓதி நீ அழத், துணை நனி... Continue Reading →

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What are you going to achieve? Ainkurunooru 268


This poem is the eight poem of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation. ஐங்குறுநூறு 268, கபிலர், குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தோழி தலைவியிடம் சொன்னது, சிறைப்புறத்தானாக இருந்த தலைவன் கேட்கும்படி தாஅ இழந்த தழு வரிக் குருளையொடு, வள மலைச் சிறு தினை உணீஇய, கானவர் வரை ஓங்கு உயர் சிமைக் கேழல் உறங்கும், நன் மலை நாடன், பிரிதல்... Continue Reading →

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She believes all your lies – Ainkurunooru 267


This poem is the seventh poem of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation. ஐங்குறுநூறு 267, கபிலர், குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தோழி தலைவியிடம் சொன்னது, சிறைப்புறத்தானாக இருந்த தலைவன் கேட்கும்படி சிறு கண் பன்றிப் பெருஞ்சின ஒருத்தல், துறுகல் அடுக்கத்து வில்லோர் மாற்றி, ஐவனம் கவரும் குன்ற நாடன், வண்டுபடு கூந்தலைப் பேணிப், பண்பு இல சொல்லும், தேறுதல் செத்தே.... Continue Reading →

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Tears of the shy girl – Ainkurunooru 266


This poem is the sixth poem of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation. ஐங்குறுநூறு 266, கபிலர், குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தோழி தலைவனிடம் சொன்னது சிறு கண் பன்றிப் பெருஞ்சின ஒருத்தலொடு, குறுங்கை இரும்புலி பொரூஉம் நாட! நனி நாண் உடைய மன்ற, பனிப் பயந்தன, நீ நயந்தோள் கண்ணே. You are the man from a... Continue Reading →

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Gold like son – Ainkurunooru 265


This poem is the fifth poem of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation. ஐங்குறுநூறு 265, கபிலர், குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தலைவி தலைவனின் நண்பர்களிடம் சொன்னது புலி கொல் பெண்பால் பூ வரிக் குருளை, வளை வெண் மருப்பின் கேழல் புரக்கும், குன்று கெழு நாடன் மறந்தனன், பொன் போல் புதல்வனோடு என்  நீத்தோனே. Ainkurunūru 265, Kapilar, Kurinji... Continue Reading →

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Pale eyes – Ainkurunooru 264


This poem is the fourth poem of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation. ஐங்குறுநூறு 264, கபிலர், குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தோழி தலைவனிடம் சொன்னது இளம் பிறையன்ன கோட்ட கேழல், களங்கனியன்ன பெண்பால் புணரும், அயம் திகழ் சிலம்ப! கண்டிகும், பயந்தன மாதோ, நீ நயந்தோள் கண்ணே. Ainkurunūru 264, Kapilar, Kurinji Thinai – What the... Continue Reading →

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Along came my beauty – Ainkurunooru 263


This poem is the third poem of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation. ஐங்குறுநூறு 263, கபிலர், குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தலைவி தோழியிடம் சொன்னது நன் பொன் அன்ன புனிறு தீர் ஏனல், கட்டளை அன்ன கேழல் மாந்தும், குன்று கெழு நாடன், தானும் வந்தனன், வந்தன்று தோழி, என் நலனே. Your lover from radiant hillock,... Continue Reading →

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Afraid of my Father? – Ainkurunooru 261


This poem is the first one of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation. ஐங்குறுநூறு 261, கபிலர், குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தோழிதலைவியிடம் சொன்னது, சிறைப்புறத்தானாக இருந்த தலைவன் கேட்கும்படி மென்தினை மேய்ந்த தறுகண் பன்றி, வன் கல் அடுக்கத்துத் துஞ்சும் நாடன், எந்தை அறிதல் அஞ்சிக் கொல், அதுவே மன்ற வாராமையே? My man is from the land... Continue Reading →

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Flood of Passion – Kurunthokai 99


Another gem from Auvviyar of Sangam age. A poet par excellence, most of us know her songs on Adhigaman Neduman Anci. In way some of her poems were prelude to hero build up songs in Tamil cinema. But the side most of us don’t know is the sensitive and mostly aggressive love poems.  This a poem from a lover lorn Thalaivan's point of view.

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no names, no color and no size – Civavakkiyam


  God is within your soul,when you realize this you realize he has no names, no color and no size. This is the essence of Civavakkiyar's poem below. Sivavakkiyar is considered to be one of the greatest Shidda poets along side Thirumoolar and Pattinathar. His poems questions Hindu religious structure, Brahmanical supremacy, idol worship, authority... Continue Reading →

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Isn’t he father and mother – Kurunthokai 93


It is not easy for women especially if the marriage doesn't work out. Thaliavan has started philandering and he is not allowed to enter the house by Thalaivi. When Panki (Thalaivi's friend) comes to advice her of not have love quarrels with  her husband and asks her to let him in. Thalaivi responds that as husband he should care for her like a father and mother. And feels he isn't behaving like that, when there is no love how can there be love quarrel is her central question. Sangam literature deals with every facet of love and marital life.

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Integrity of a ministry – Malaipatukatam


A verse from Malaipatukatam on integrity of a kings council.  Malaipatukatam (Echoes on the Mountain) by Peruilkunrur Perutikaucikanar is dated c. 210 A.D.The title of the poem is taken from line 348; the original title was perhaps different. A poem of 583 lines celebrates Nannan the son of Nannan,and describing various aspects of life in different communities of his territory, It contains some exquisite pictures of nature.  

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Melt me and fill me – Andal’s Nachiyar Thirumozhi 10.8


By far one of the best love and philosophical poem, I have read in Tamil. It is a surprise to me it matches Sangam love poems but surpasses them here by it deep philosophy.This poem has layers, each passing day I was realizing a new meaning to the poem. Plain vanilla translation would neither emphasize the philosophy of the poem nor the intended meaning of the poem. 

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Question of Desperation – Kurunthokai 156


Brahmins were respected for their negotiation skill during Sangam age and were valued as messengers.  There is a puram poem where a Brahmin stopped war just thorugh his negotiation. He our hero who is full of love asks Brahmin messenger a crazy question. After all love makes a person crazy.

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Yavanar Lamps – Anna Villaku , Paavai Vilakku


Every time I tell any of my friends that Kuthu villaku is probably imported from Greece or Rome, they give me a surprising look.  Lighting Swan lamp, Anna villaku has become an Indian tradition.  Be it starting a new store or hosting an international dignitary, it starts with lighting the swan lamp. But these Swan lamps were very popular imports from Greece and Rome. Sangam Literature has reference to these imports...

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Earliest reference of Krishna stealing clothes of Gopikas – Akam 59


Reading Sangam literature can always throw you some pleasant surprises. This is one of such surprise. Krishna stealing Gopika's dress while they were bathing in Yamuna, is absent in any of Sanskrit litertaure before 5th century and the earliest available literature for the theme is available only in Sangam literature. Below lines for Agananooru are the earliest available lines on this motif.

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Puthiya Aathisoodi


What better day to publish this post other than birthday of Barathiyar. Probably he is not poet par excellence. His poems does not have alliterations of Kabilar, flow of Illango or mesmerism of Kamban, but probably he brought in second wave of revolutionary poems after the Siddhar poems of Civavakkiyar and Pattinathar. Dissatisfied with Auvaiyar's version which was more peacetime work, Barathiyar wrote this version of Aathichoodi to inspire youth.

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To think of you or not! Kurunthokai 102


Describe Auvvaiyar - most likely answer, old women with stick who sang proverbs and was disciple of Murugan and Eesan. This is one of the greatest Myths which you can safely debunk. In one of my other post I have written how at least 3 poets existed in Tamil Nadu with name of Auvvaiyar.  The first one was of Sangam Age. A poet par excellence, most of us know her songs on Adhigaman Neduman Anci. In way some of her poems were prelude to hero build up songs in Tamil cinema. But the side most of us don't know is the sensitive and mostly aggressive love poems.

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Moss and the Touch – Kurunthokai 399


Probably one of the greatest visual imagery in Tamil literature. Any body who wants to understand the greatness of Sangam Tamil poets need to read the poem and see my visual representation. Nothing more to say from my end the picture would say the rest!

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World of Two lovers – Kurunthokai 57


Beautiful love poem from the ancient Tamils. One more example why Tamil love literature is considered to be classic across the world. The poem talks about how for lovers they get isolated and the whole world become each other when they are in love. Separation is a fear which they want to escape. The pain of separation is greater than death to these lovers.

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What can you do? Sivavakkiyam 6


Transient nature of life becomes the theme of Sivavakkiyar's poem here. Sivavakkiyar is considered to be one of the greatest Shidda poets along side Thirumoolar and Pattinathar. His poems questions Hindu religious structure, Brahmanical supremacy, idol worship, authority of Vedas and Agamas, caste systems. He has written around 520 poems. Below poem questions the madness of love and love for oneself/body.

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#MeToo – Do not touch me! Narrinai 350


#MeToo is trending for the past few days. The case of taking advantage by people in power, people in anonymity is not a new age activity. These have been for ages.  This is the time when Indian courts are debating about Martial rape and Indian government arguing case of husbands taking advantage of their position of strength in society and physical strength should not be considered a case of rape. The post looks at the wisdom and view of women of 2000 years ago.  

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Men are always the same! Narrinai 226


This poem is dedicated to the women and children who bare the brunt heavy office workload of their husbands. The poem which pretty much says Men being men worry more about wealth/career than family. Poem emphasizes 'Men are like this' as a sort proverb 2000 years ago.

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What is a life without children? – Purananuru 188


  Poem believed to be sung by a Pandiya King. While most of us dream of being a king, his poem shows us life is nothing without children. புறநானூறு 188, பாடியவர்: பாண்டியன் அறிவுடை நம்பி, திணை: பொதுவியல், துறை: பொருண்மொழிக் காஞ்சி படைப்புப் பல படைத்துப் பலரோடு உண்ணும் உடைப் பெருஞ் செல்வர் ஆயினும் இடைப்படக் குறுகுறு நடந்து சிறு கை நீட்டி இட்டும் தொட்டும் கவ்வியும் துழந்தும் நெய்யுடை... Continue Reading →

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