Two faces of love – Kurunthokai 312


Very interesting poem of a women coping up with her being a lover in secret as well as being part of family….

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இரண்டு அறி கள்வி நம் காதலோளே:
முரண் கொள் துப்பின் செவ் வேல் மலையன்
முள்ளூர்க் கானம் நாற வந்து,
நள்ளென் கங்குல் நம் ஓரன்னள்;
கூந்தல் வேய்ந்த விரவுமலர் உதிர்த்து,
சாந்து உளர் நறுங் கதுப்பு எண்ணெய் நீவி,
அமரா முகத்தள் ஆகித்
தமர் ஓரன்னள், வைகறையானே.
இரவுக்குறி வந்து நீங்குகின்ற தலைமகன், தன் நெஞ்சிற்கு வரைவிடை வேட்பக் கூறியது. – கபிலர்
312. What He said

My lover is (sweet) thief with dual character,

at midnight, she is mine with fragrance of Mullur forest

of Malayanman with red spear who has valor to oppose anyone;

at the dawn she transforms herself to become one with her family

by spreading her hair, removing flowers, applying oil to neutralize the

sandalwood fragrance (form the previous night), and by sporting an unsettled face


Translated by : Palaniappan Vairam Sarathy

A brief note on the situation,

The Thalaivan(hero) has met Thalaivi, both have fallen in love. Thalaivi is yet to open this subject to her parents , since she either feels she has betrayed their trust or afraid of saying it to them. But she is fully immersed in love passion. They have already made love (there is actually two schools of thoughts – conventional approach says that they never made love but have just fallen in love, Western scholars and most scholars now point out to the fact of the word Iyarkai Punarchi – meaning ‘natural love making’ – as an indicator that the lovers have had the pleasure of love making and hence plunging into deep love passion). It makes more sense to assume that the lovers have made love and have plunged into deep love passion. They cannot be without each other everyday. They are unable to meet int he day either due to the restrictions placed by the girls parents or the girl is afraid of the gossips of the town. The Thalaivan takes the risk of coming to the girls place crossing forest infested with wild animals in the dark. He makes some signals to confirm his arrival and the Thalaivi sneaks out of the house without any one’s knowledge or with the help of Panki ( her companion). She spends the night with the Thalaivan which usually have many physical advances(inferred from many other poems – no poem explicitly mentions love making – which is trademark of Akam poetry). When the day comes, befor the sun rises the lovers seprate and the girl goes to her house. Hence the lover girls hate the sun rays sicne they cut short the time they spend with their lover.

Here the Thalaivan wonders how the young girl was capable of hiding her feelings and show a strange face when she is away from him with her family.

Historical allusion,

 செவ் வேல் மலையன் ‘ meaning Red-Speared chieftain’s forest hills can be alluded as the mountains of the greta lord Murugan who had Red Spear and is the god of Kurunji (hilly )region . But U.V.Swaminathan Iyer in his commentry goes on to say this மலையன்  is actually the Malayanman king. His view has validity since , Kapilar who was court poet of Pari moved to the kingdom of Malyanman after Pari was and his kingdom was destoryed by the combined army of Chera, Chola and Pandyas. For people who have read Ponniyin Selvan would have read this name as the Grand father of Aditya Karikalan.
இரண்டு அறி கள்வி நம் காதலோளே:
two – knowledge – theif – my – lover
முரண் கொள் துப்பின் செவ் வேல் மலையன்
oppose – take up – valor – red – lance – Malayanmaan(king)
முள்ளூர்க் கானம் நாற வந்து,
Mullur – forest – fragrance – come
நள்ளென் கங்குல் நம் ஓரன்னள்;
subdued noise – midnight – mine – unite
கூந்தல் வேய்ந்த விரவுமலர் உதிர்த்து,
tresses – spread – mingled/union – flower – remove
சாந்து உளர் நறுங் கதுப்பு எண்ணெய் நீவி,
Sadal – infused – fragrance – hair – oil – apply
அமரா முகத்தள் ஆகித்
unsettled – face – become
தமர் ஓரன்னள், வைகறையானே.
relations – become one- at dawn




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