As Splendid as a peacock – Ainkurunuru 74


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This was one of the earliest ever post I wrote. But I felt something was missing. I felt the beauty of the poem would be best illustrated by an art. I waited for long time to meet an artist who would be interested in illustrating sangam poems. Thanks as usual to Mr Vijaykumar of, he got me introduced to cartoonist Bala.

And I got what i was waiting for years. Here is the post a sure shot visual treat.

74. விசும்பு இழி தோகைச் சீர் போன்றிசினே
பசும் பொன் அவிர் இழை பைய நிழற்ற,
கரை சேர் மருதம் ஏறிப்
பண்ணை பாய்வோள் தண் நறுங் கதுப்பே.

Her bright ornaments of fresh gold gently radiant,

she climbed the marutam tree on the bank,

and plunged into water,

and her cool,fragrant hair

was as splendid as a peacock descending from the sky

Poet: Orampokiyar

Translated by George L.Hart


The additional notes to the poem say that the Husband wants to bathe with his wife in the river like they used to do when they were in love. But the wife is not a good mood and she wont come. So our hero goes to his wife’s friend and talks to her loudly so that his wife can hear what he is saying. He describes the beauty of his wife when they used to have bath during their pre-martial days.

The Visual Imagery:

The Hair of the Thalaivi is compared to the feathers of the Peacock. The thalaivi is falling down from a Marutam tree into the pond/stream.

So first lets check out the Marutam tree,
மருது marutu
நீர்மருது. Common name:Arjuna, Scientific name: Terminalia arjuna

Maruthu- arjuna

So our Heroine jumps from one such branch of a Marutam tree into the water below. The poet says that her hair while jumping into the water is like that of a peacock descending down from sky. So first to understand this comaprision we have to visualize how a peacocks feathers would really look like. So here are the pictures,

And now finally comes the illustration I have been waiting for, thanks to Bala for such beautiful piece of art,

Ainkurunuru 74 Illustration by Bala

Hope you enjoyed this visual treat. Soon you can see more of Bala’s illustration for Sangam poems. And once again special thanks to Mr. Vijayakumar of


Artist who are interested in Illustrating Sangam poems are welcome to contact me at


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4 thoughts on “As Splendid as a peacock – Ainkurunuru 74

Add yours

  1. way to go vairam and bala. looking foward to more such. reminded of clandestinely watching brooke shields in …..


  2. கோட்டோவியத்தில் தவறு: நாயகி கீழே விழும் சமயம் கூந்தல் மேல் நோக்கி இருக்காது. புவி ஈர்ப்பால், கீழ் நோக்கித்தான் விழும். இருப்பினும் ஓவிய முயற்சி பாராட்டுக்குரியது.

  3. கோட்டோவியத்தில் கூந்தல் மேல் நோக்கி இருப்பது சரியே.வேகமாக காற்றைக் கிழித்துக் கொண்டு செல்லும் பொழுது கூந்தல் பின்னோக்கியே செல்லும்.அச்சமயம் கண்கள், உதடு,புருவம் மட்டுமன்றி முகமும் ஒரு பெருங் காற்றை எதிர் கொண்டால் எப்படி இருக்குமோ அதுபோல் இருக்கும்.முக-கை அளவு (proportion) சரியாக அமையவில்லை.நல்ல முயற்சி. தொடருங்கள் , முன்னேற்றம் காண்போம். வாழ்த்துக்கள்.

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