He rivals the speed of needle – Purananuru 82


82. ஊசி வேகமும் போர் வேகமும்!
பாடியவர் :சாத்தந்தையார்.
பாடப்பட்டோன்: சோழன் போர்வைக்கோப் பெருநற்கிள்ளி.
திணை: வாகை. துறை: அரசவாகை.

சாறுதலைக் கொண்டெனப், பெண்ணீற்றுற்றெனப்
பட்ட மாரி ஞான்ற ஞாயிற்றுக்,
கட்டில் நிணக்கும் இழிசினன் கையது
போழ்தூண்டு ஊசியின் விரைந்தன்று மாதோ;
ஊர்கொள வந்த பொருநனொடு,
ஆர்புனை தெரியல் நெடுந்தகை போரே!

In the hand of a low caste leather worker stitching a cot,

with a festival impending and his wife in labor and the sun

descending while the rain comes pouring down,as he

pulls thread through and again through,the needle flies!

When the warrior tried to take the city,

the lord who wears a chaplet of laburnum fought with that speed!

Cattantaiyar sings of Cholan Poravaik Kopperunkilli

Translated by Gorge L Hart and Hank Heifetz

The leather worker was a worker by caste ,hence his skills with needle should be great and should have the natural ability to use the needle at a very fast pace. Along with that he has to help in a Festival as well as attend to his wife’s labor. The Sun was also setting, which means he had to complete his work before the natural light goes off(no electricity those days!). All these events would have pressurized the leather worker to work at a frantic pace i.e use his needle at a very very high speed. The poet uses this hyperbolic metaphor to compare the speed of the King in war.

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