He has returned! Ainkurunooru 270

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

ஐங்குறுநூறு 270, கபிலர்குறிஞ்சித் திணை – தோழி தலைவியிடம் சொன்னது
கிழங்கு அகழ் கேழல் உழுத சிலம்பில்,
தலை விளை கானவர் கொய்தனர் பெயரும்,
புல்லென் குன்றத்துப் புலம்பு கொள் நெடு வரை
காணினும் கலிழு நோய் செத்துத்
தாம் வந்தனர், நம் காதலோரே.

Thinking about your affliction

and tears you shed seeing,

the deserted hillock in the tall mountains where

Forest dwellers reap their first harvest

And depart the mountain slopes

That has been digged for tubers by the boars

He has returned! Your lover!

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. 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 either one of these happens

  1. Bored of the relationship he stops coming
  2. Decides he needs to earn money to pay bride price for the girl (dowry – yes those days guys had to give dowry) , so that he can come back and make visit to her house to ask for her’s parents permission

In both cases THalaivi is worried to death and wonders if he would ever come back. So most of cases Thalaivi’s friend panki would request Thalaivan to marry her in case of option 1 and elope (to avoid bride price or parents disapproval) with Thalaivai.

So in this case Thalaivan hearing Thalaivi’s plight has returned to take her hand.

Visual imagery:

Mountain farmers are nomads, they farm, harvest and leave to another spot for farming.

In this case they rush for harvest as the board has come and dig up the tubers (yam, kilangu) as the root have matured to eat it.

Farmers have now realized if they didn’t harvest the boar will dig up all tuber for food.

Similarly Thalaivan (farmer) realizes if he doesnt come back to Thalaivai (tuber), he might lose her to sorrow of separation (boar).



Ainkurunooru – Translation by P.Jyotimuthu

Learn Sangam Tamil

Tamil Lexicon – University of Madras


கிழங்கு அகழ் கேழல் உழுத சிலம்பில்,

Yam/tuber – uprooted – pig – plough – mountain slope
தலை விளை கானவர் கொய்தனர் பெயரும்,

First – grown – forset dwellers – harvest – move/leave
புல்லென் குன்றத்துப் புலம்பு கொள் நெடு வரை

Deserted – hillock – wail/cry out – learn/think – high – mountain
காணினும் கலிழு நோய் செத்துத்

See – weep/tears – affliction – having thought
தாம் வந்தனர், நம் காதலோரே.

He – came, our – lover


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