Was she ever young? Muttolaayiram 58

This poem really surprised me. Girl mocking her mother for not letting her see her king who is dream hero for young girls.

வளையவாய் நீண்டதோள் வாட்கணாய் அன்னை
இளையளாய் மூத்திலள் கொல்லோ – தளையவிழ்தார்
மண்கொண்ட தானை மறங்கனல்வேல் மாறனைக்
கண்கொண்டு நோக்கல்என் பாள். – 58

Oh one with rimmed bangles, broad shoulders and sword eyes,

Why is mother telling me not to look at Maran

With red lance and valiant army which took enemies land

Did my mother become old without being young?


Translated by Palaniappan Vairam Sarathy

வளையல் அணிந்து நீண்ட தோளும் வாள் கண்ணையும் உடைய என் தோழியே

என் தாய் இளையளாய் இருந்துதானே முதியவள் ஆகினால்!

பின்னர் ஏன் மாலை அணிந்து எதிரிகளின் மண் வென்ற

வீரப் படை கொண்ட செவ்வேள் உடைய மாறனை

She is asking why mother is not able to understand feelings of young girls. Maran is dream hero for young girls, every body wants to have a glance of him and dream about him. Can’t mother understand this, did she become old without ever being a young girl who dreamt about heroes?

Poem is on a Pandya king.

old mother tamil.png


About Muttollaiyiram (Three Times Nine Hundred)

Anthology of poems on on Pandya,Chera, Chola kings. Poet: anonymous

The work should have been 900 poems on each of Chera,Chola,Pandya kings. But only 46 on Chola, 23 on Chera, 60 on  Pandya kings have survived.

The poems are dated to between end of 6th-10th c. A.D .According Dr.Kamil Zvelebil the collection ‘Contains some exquisite and delicate verses of high craftsmanship. Some portions showing the king’s procession developed later into ula.  The work must have been very popular and influential since it is often quoted and referred to by commentators. ‘


Tamil Literature – Kamil Zvelebil

Lexicon of Tamil Literature – Kamil Zvelebil

Muttollaiyram – Central institute of Classical Language edition

Tamil Lexicon – University of Madras



வளையவாய் நீண்ட தோள் வாள் கணாய் அன்னை

Bangles – rimmed – Broad – shoulder – sword – eyed women – mother

இளையளாய் மூத்திலள் கொல்லோ தளைவிழ் தார்

Was young – became old? – tie – fallen – garland

மண் கொண்ட தானை மறம் கனல் வேல் மாறனைக்

Land – take – army – valient – reddened – lance – Maran

கண்கொண்டு நோக்கல் என்பாள்.

Eye with – don’t see – she say

கண்கொண்டு பார்க்காதே என்கிறாள்?


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