18. குறிஞ்சி – தோழி கூற்று
வேரல் வேலி வேர்க்கோட் பலவின்
சாரல் நாட செவ்வியை ஆகுமதி
யாரஃ தறிந்திசி னோரே சாரல்
சிறுகோட்டுப் பெரும்பழந் தூங்கி யாங்கிவள்
உயிர்தவச் சிறிது காமமோ பெரிதே.
O man of the mountain slopes
where the jack fruit tree has fruit almost on its roots
with the small live bamboo for its fences,
be of good thoughts and think of marriage.
No one knows of her state.
She’s like those other trees on the slopes,
their giant jacks hanging
from slender boughs;
her breath is short,
and her love great beyond bearing.
Translated by A.K.Ramanujan
The poem is set in Kurunji (mountainous region), which is typical of the poet Kapilar. Kapilar was master of Kurunji poems and is regarded as one of the greatest ever Tamil poets. The poem can be possibly interepreted as possible longing of the Talaivi(heroine) who fears that her lover might desert her. The poem is sung by Panki(friend of the Heroine). Panki here describes the Talaivan(hero) as ‘man of the mountain slopes where the jack fruit tree has fruit almost on its roots with the small live bamboo for its fences’ this may be interpreted as the secure environment a man has after sexual union with the girl. He is free to desert the girl and marry any other girl. So the panki prays that Talaivan ‘be of good thoughts and think of marraige’. State of women is so insecure after the girl has lost her virginity to man who is now away from the girl. Poet uses brilliant imagery where the state of Talaivi is compared to the tree on the slope with giant fruits hanging down from a thin branch. The love passion of the Talaivi is huge and beyond control. Her pride is now in stake. If the her lover doesn’t return in time , the love passion i.e the giant jack fruit here will grow beyond bearable size and break the thin branch ( her hope that her lover would return to marry her) and would become disgrace and shame for her family. If her lover doesn’t return she will lose her chastity like a tree which has lost its branch. If she loses her chastity there is no other go but to die. This indicated to the lines her breath is short and her love is beyond bearing.
I have found simple present Tamil version of this poem written by Sujatha. I am posting it below,
வேர்ப்பலாக்களுக்கு முங்கில் வேலியிட்ட
மலை நாட்டின் தலைவனே
சிறிய கிளையில் தொங்கும்
பெரிய பலாப்பழம் போல
அவள் காதல் பெரிசு
ஆனால் உயிர் மிகச் சிறியது
இதை அறிந்தவர் யார் ?
(Source : Ambalam.com)
Related posts: Talaivi worrying about her chastity
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