It is my stupidity – Ainkurunooru 269

This poem is the ninth poem of series of 10 poems from Ainkurunooru with reference to wild boar. These poems  by Kapilar speak of love and separation.

ஐங்குறுநூறு 269, கபிலர்குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தோழி தலைவியிடம் சொன்னதுசிறைப்புறத்தானாக இருந்த தலைவன் கேட்கும்படி
கேழல் உழுதெனக் கிளர்ந்த எருவை,
விளைந்த செறுவில் தோன்றும் நாடன்,
வாராது அவண் உறை நீடின், நேர் வளை
இணை ஈர் ஓதி நீ அழத்,
துணை நனி இழக்குவென் மடமையானே.

Ainkurunooru 269: What her friend to Thalaivi said in earshot Thalaivan

 He is from a country

Where the sedge grass uprooted

and raised by the pigs

Appear like (paddy) fields!

If his stay at his place extends and makes you

With small bangles and oiled hair braided into two


Then you would lose my friendship

as I  would die thinking about my stupidity!

Poet: Kapilar

Translation : Palaniappan Vairam Sarathy

Some background:  Thaliavan would be from a different village/hill. Thalaivan and Thalaivi have met and by context of this decade looks like they have had Iyarkai Punarchi (sexual union).  Then he wants to meet Thalaivi again and again. But he cant do it without the help of her friend (Panki) to avoid any suspicion from girl’s family.  So he narrates his love on Thaliavi to Panki and begs her to arrange secret meetings. She helps him and convinces her to meet him.

So the secret meetings go on for a while. Then slowly bored of this realtionship, he avoids coming to meet Thalivi. So Panki here utters his poem.  She thought Thalaivan to be a true person (like paddy field – which is useful as food and valued) but Thaliavan turned out to be sedge grass dug up wild pig for tubers (indication of destructive passion, you have to kill the plant basically to eat the tuber/root.)

So she says if he continues to not visit Thalaivi , she would rather die than to think they she of all person helped guy to cheat her best friend.

Visual imagery:

கேழல் உழுதெனக் கிளர்ந்த எருவை,

Pig – dig – rise/lift – tuber (sedge)

விளைந்த செறுவில் தோன்றும் நாடன்,
grown – field – appear – country

எருவை – Korai pul – Sedge grass/coco grass

It has tuber (similar to yam).  Despite the bitter taste of the tubers, they are edible and have nutritional value. Some part of the plant was eaten by humans at some point in ancient history.The plant is known to have a high amount of carbohydrates.

Dried grass of Korai is used for making Pai – mat. ‘Korai pul paai’

Pig digs up the plant for tuber. When it is dug up it gives a false appearance like cut paddy.

Cut paddy


இணை ஈர் ஓதி
pair/couple – oily – hair –

Rettai jadai – double braid

rettai jadai


Ainkurunooru – Translation by P.Jyotimuthu

Learn Sangam Tamil

Tamil Lexicon – University of Madras


கேழல் உழுதெனக் கிளர்ந்த எருவை,

Pig – dig – rise/lift – tuber (sedge leaves)

விளைந்த செறுவில் தோன்றும் நாடன்,
grown – field – appear – country

வாராது அவண் உறை நீடின், நேர் வளை
not come – his – stay – extends, straight/small/strong -bangle

இணை ஈர் ஓதி நீ அழத்,
pair/couple – oily – hair – you – cry

துணை நனி இழக்குவென் மடமையானே.

Companionship – well/Abundant – lose by death – my stupidity


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