Curd, Kuzhambu and a Minute Smile – Kurunthokai 167


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After involving my self in some research work for some time, I am back to blogging again. I found this sweet poem and decided to blog it immediately.
The situation is like this, the Thalaivan and Thalaivi have fallen in love and without parents conset they have eloped and married. So after few days the gals parents miss her and send the foster mother to check out if the girl is doing well. The foster mother goes to Thalaivi’s place and observes her and reports back to their parents. So this situation usually results in poem of how the young girl has taken up responsibility of running the family and how she does really well even though she is young and used to luxurious conditions in her parents home. Here is one poem  where the foster mother recounts her observations to Thalaivi’s mother.
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Kurunthokai 167
முளி தயிர் பிசைந்த காந்தள் மெல் விரல்,
கழுவுறு கலிங்கம், கழாஅது, உடீஇ,
குவளை உண்கண் குய்ப்புகை கழுமத்
தான் துழந்து அட்ட தீம் புளிப் பாகர்
‘இனிது’ எனக் கணவன் உண்டலின்,
நுண்ணிதின் மகிழ்ந்தன்று ஒண்ணுதல் முகனே.
கடிநகர்ச் சென்ற செவிலித்தாய் நற்றாய்க்கு உரைத்தது-கூடலூர் கிழார்
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What the foster mother said to the mother of the girl:
She kneaded the mature curd with her
kanthal like soft fingers
and wiped it in her garment,
she whose kuvalai like
eyes with lower lids painted black
was filled with smoke from seasoning,
wore the same garment without washing,
and served the sweet sour liquid (kuzhambu),
she stirred and cooked.
Her husband said, ‘sweet’ and ate the food,
her face with bright fore head  gave
subtle smile.
Poet:Koodalur Kizhar
Translation by me
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It surely should be interesting to know people ate curd and Rasam/puli kozhambu even 2000 years ago.When I read this poem, i just felt this kind of emotion is still present in lot of us. The approval is so common theme that it finds place in lot of movies even today. SO I thought I would post a small video from movie with similar situation.
And before that pictures of Kuvalai and Kanthal!
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முளி தயிர் பிசைந்த காந்தள் மெல் விரல்,
curdled- curd- knead- glorisa superba- soft – fingers
கழுவுறு கலிங்கம், கழாஅது, உடீஇ,
cleaned-garment-wash-no-wear
குவளை உண்கண் குய்ப்புகை கழுமத்
lotus-black shaded eye- spice seasoning-smoke-abundant
தான் துழந்து அட்ட தீம் புளிப் பாகர்
she-stirred – discharged(cooked)- sweet-sour-liquid food(kulambu)
இனிது’ எனக் கணவன் உண்டலின்,
‘sweet’- said- husband- eat
நுண்ணிதின் மகிழ்ந்தன்று ஒண்ணுதல் முகனே.
minute-smile -bright forehead -face
Vairam
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Reference:
Kurnthokai urai by U.V Swaminathan Iyer
Kurunthokai : An anthology of Tamil classical poetry by M.Shanmugam Pillay and David Ludden
Tamil Lexicon – University of Madras
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13 thoughts on “Curd, Kuzhambu and a Minute Smile – Kurunthokai 167

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  1. உனக்கு இந்த காலத்துல பொண்ணு பாக்கறது ரொம்ப கஷ்டம்ட சாமி….படத்துல காட்டறத வெச்சு நீ கனவு காணாதே. பொய் சமைக்கக் கத்துக்கோ…

  2. எழுபதுகளில் பச்சையப்பனில் தமிழ் முதுகலை கற்றபோது மிகவும் விரும்பி வாசித்த குறுந்தொகைப் பாடல் இது. மற்றொரு பாடல், கலித்தொகையில் வரும் சுடர்த்தொடீ கேளாய்.
    இவற்றை அனைவரும் உணர வலைப்பூவில் வடித்தமைக்கு உளமார்ந்த வாழ்த்துக்கள்.

  3. Once again, a fantastic write up. This particular poem used to be our favourite one when we were in college for it is like a short crisp film with a realistic characterization! Thank you and God bless you.
    Chitra…

  4. Awesome work. I am an ardent admirer and lover of sangam poetry. As it is they are so beautiful themselves with carefully chosen words which interplay and exemplify human emotions. You add beauty to beauty making it an unparalleled experience for the reader. The photos speak for the poems. Please keep up your work. We need people like you so that the treasures are not confined to books and literature readers alone.

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