About Karka Nirka

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Tamil classical literature suffers the same problem as any freely available quality resource in the age of croony capitalism and free market. Take for example mosquito repellent. You will get 100s of advts to let you know allouts, baygons, tortoise can chase the mosquitos away. No one will talk to you about lavender, tulsi plants which can be grown indoor or Nochi leaves which are natural mosquito replants.  You wont know about it because no have advertised or marketed about it. Why no one markets it?

Marketing cost money and to recover money spent on marketing there should be return of investment. Who would invest on marketing for a product which is freely available?

Hence we spend money buying tooth brush and tooth paste instead of chewing neem sticks, spending money on acidity tablets without consuming garlic consistently.  If you still see advt for Neem it means that who ever is advertising has a product which is proprietary to them based out of Neem, which eventually will give them return on investment.

Tamil classical literature faces the same fate. Classical Literature of Tamil is mostly devoid of religious nature and focuses on love and human emotion.  Tamil classical literature has been raved about in few circles but never made it big out of scholarly circle like Thirukkural did.

My effort here is to market the literature, connect with new readers, bring net new additions to people who can appreciate Tamil classical literature.

Post here are to an extent expected to capture your attention either through beauty of the verse or due to provocative nature of the information. Karka Nirka would act as sampler for Tamil classical literature and would prepare readers for serious Tamil classical literature bloggers.

In a way this is my marketing experimentation, where I dont market in Tamil but I market Tamil.

– Palaniappan Vairam Sarathy


  1. Hi
    Ur Blog spot is really very interesting and to say the least Ponnyin Selvan is keeping me occupied …….Please do pass on the links to the books suggested by you ..

  2. Hi Vairam,

    came across ur blog through orkut. enjoyed it thorou
    ghly. keep up the good work. could u mail me smile of murugan, please? id like to give it a try.
    Thnks a lot.

    – T.

  3. பார்த்த நிமிடத்திலேயே ஏதோ ஒரு ஆர்வம் தொற்றிக்கொண்டுவிட்டது!

    சைவதமிழ் பற்றிய ஆர்வமும் கூட அதற்கு காரணமாக இருக்ககூடும்!

    சில பகுதிகளை படித்தேன் இனி படிக்க நிறைய விஷயங்கள் இருப்பதை நினைக்கையில் மகிழ்ச்சியாகவே இருக்கிறது!

    தொடருங்கள் உங்களின் தமிழ் சேவையினை காத்திருக்கிறோம்!

    நாட்களின் வருகையோடு நானும் 🙂

  4. Hi Vairam,

    I stumbled on your blog when I googled for Tamil literary works. I found your blog very interesting. Good work friend. I had Tamil in school for 12 years just like you. I have totally forgotten the innumerous poems we studied in our textbooks. I am trying to revive my interest in Tamil years after my schooldays now and came across your site. Keep up the good work and keep writing.

    Could you please send me the softcopies of the book you have mentioned? I’d be interested to give a shot.

    Thanks, Ravi

  5. hi vairam..i appreciate your interest and ur efforts to compile them..why dont you write in tamil..
    check my friends website ravidreams.net, where he has elaborated on how to post tmail blog..

  6. Hi Vairam,

    Great work.

    It would be great if you have a separate page listing the books that deal with Tamil History that every tamil must read.

    As of now I have read the following

    1. History of Tamils – PT Srinivasa Iyengar
    2. Tamils 1800 years ago – Kanakasabhai pillai
    3. Dravidian elements in Indian culture – Gilbert Slater
    4. The Sun and the serpent – CF Oldham

    I have heard about the Smile of murugan but am not getting it here in India.

    It would be great if you can list the books you hav e read as a separate blogpost.

  7. I have posted sperate page on books you should read….Thanks for your suggestion

  8. Hi,

    Thoughout the years i have been browsing the internet, i have been waiting to come across a website that has quailty translations of the most sublime,profound expressions of tamil works. This is really the first step for all Tamils worldwide to not just having pride in our race but also having a sense of resposibilty to live up to our great albeit former glory.

    Personally, I will do my best to raise the well deserved profile of this blog. I’m sure educators, in particular, would find this most useful.

  9. Dear Vairam,

    Its a good initiative. I wish all the tamil people should visit this blog and support your. Its a matter of pride for us to be a part of this Tamil society.

    Our ancestors who were walking on earth centuries ago were great scholars while rest of the world was filled with mere barbarians. I will be interested to read the historic books that you have. Please send the digital formats to my mail Id.

    As I had experienced the same as of you while reading “ponniyin Selvan”, I would suggest you to read “Udaiyar” by Balakumaran. It may not be on par with PS, still it will feed your hunger for information after “RajaRajaCholan” reaches the throne.
    Also, the Site “http://www.varalaaru.com” has got a plethora of information on whole of the Tamil history.
    Hope you will enjoy exploring the book and the site.

    All the Best !!


  10. Vanakkam, pazaniyappan ungal pani sala sirandadu.mozi patralargal uruvakida vendum palar.etharku nangal ungaludan uruthunaiayai eruppom.

  11. வணக்கம் வைரம்,
    நல்ல முயற்சி..
    மென்மேலும் தொடர, உயர எம் வாழ்த்துக்கள்…

  12. Machi,

    Mail me the book ‘Tamil Temple Myths’ if you have it in Digital Format. I’ve walways wanted to know the history behind the temples of TN. Thanks.


  13. Hello Yrum,

    Very nice blog.

    My tamil reading is in an apathetic state right now. And I share ur initial aversion to _reading_ tamil (though I love the literature when read by someone else!).

    Would really appreciate it if you could send me the link to a good English translation of Ponniyin Selvan.


  14. Dear vairam:
    I have enjoyed your blogs and thanks for reawakening the dormant desire to explore the treasures of our forefathers.
    Great job!
    God Bless you.

  15. In 21th century, Tamil is living without any sicknes like sanskrit because tamil people safeguarding it like you.I really proud regardig your tamil service, continue your service to safeguard tamil and tamil history.

  16. hi
    v.interesting.was searching for some patinathar songs came across this. good venture.continue with the painathar songs.thank u

  17. very happy to read this blog.
    tks a lot for your woks on this.


  18. Dear vairam,

    I wish you enjoy your blogging and at the same time we enjoy reading a lot of thamizh treasures through your blog.

    Stressful job, poor time management and various other distractions from different media has kept me away from reading thamizh for a looong time.

    I still cherish the time when i read kalki’s “sivakaamiyin sabatham”, “paarthipan kanavu” , a few novels by vairamuthu,chaandilyan’s “kadal puRA”, a lot of thirukkurals …all at a stretch..

    now…websites like yours provide me another chance to look at the treasures of thamizh language once again.
    Ater all.. I am from “kal thOnRi mann thOndRA kAlathEy ..mun thOnRiya mUtha kudi”.. [ lemuria theory supports this].Hence,i do love anything that highlights thamizh’s specialities.

    Would frequently visit your blog!!

  19. This is a repository of ancient wisdom… Thank you so much, I am from Kerala, I do understand Tamil, but cant read, I `have read most of the translations, BUt this is brilliant… Thanks…

  20. மிக நல்ல முயற்சி,உங்களுக்கு மனமார்ந்த நல் வாழ்த்துக்கள்….அனைத்து கட்டுரைகளும் பாதுகாக்கப் பட வேண்டிய கருவூலம் ….

    நன்றியுடன் வாசன்…

  21. Hi. Stumbled upon your blog while searching for meaning of a certain proverb. “Thanneer veneer aanalum, neruppai anaikkum” – the literal meaning is fine but what is its actual meaning??

    I am not Tamil educated but Tamil fascinates me very much. I learnt Tamil off and on and am still struggling with it. My mission is to be able to read and write Tamil fluently!!

  22. Hi Vairam,

    Great Blog!!

    One kind request.. I would like to know the equivalent English proverb for the Tamil proverb “vilaiyaatu vinaiyaagum”.

    Thanks in advance..

  23. Really good work! Keep it going! I have never studied tamil in school. My love for it grew after I read PS! I have started reading Sivagamiyin Sabadham now. Kalki’s language is simple and beautiful, easily understandable by ordinary people. If you have any books in digital format, please mail them to me at : toarjun@gmail.com
    Thanks a lot!

  24. Hi,

    I studied Tamil in school for 10 long years, and though now my only Tamil link is movies -I am Telugu– my fascination for this language is eternal. The depths and the hyper-intense passion most Tamilians have for their language is unlike in Telugu.

    You’ve made tamil literature very entertaining and satisfying. I thnk we can appreciate all this only as adults – as children we just by-heart….

  25. Anbarae:
    kalakal work.
    A real use of Blog site.
    Unga blog is very informative, motivativating & inspiring.

    keep it up.
    Vaazhga vaLamudan
    thamizh Vaazhga

  26. Its really a pleasure to see nowadays many youngsters started reading Tamil with immense interest and enthusiasm. Today only i have visited your site. Wonderful job. I read Ponniyen Selvan during my school days. Till today its my favourite book. Have you read Sandilyan’s book.

  27. Dear Vairam, ( Is this your real name or a pseudonym?)

    I just happened to read your blog site. I was directed by Idlyvadai, which I am regularly following.

    I am happy that you have taken nicely to tamil Literature.

    I think we both have some common interest. Unlike you , I am a retired person and I am doing nothing useful these days. I got into this blogging habit when I visit US and spend 6 months with my grand children. The affliction continues even after I return here to Coimbatore.

    Keep the good job.

    All the best


  28. Your Blog is a revelation. Its the most informative website there is on tamil literature. I would like to mention here that even wikipedia was an small attempt. I woud like to quote the thirukkural which goes to men “Let your thoughts be always great and progressive, it will not be a loss, even if success eludes.” Please keep up your good work and kudos to your passion. Thanks a ton.

  29. Hi. I really like reading your blog, but your current background is distracting. Could you have a plainer design,please?

  30. மிக அருமையான தளம்.

    கல்லூரியில் தமிழ் ஆசான் தமிழ்ப் பாடல்களை விளக்கம் போது அடைந்த மகிழ்ச்சி உங்கள் கட்டுரைகளை படிக்கும் போதும் அடைகிறேன். தொடர்ந்து எழுதுங்கள்.

  31. The picture you have posted for Gnazhal tree is wrong. The tree is also called Pulinaga Kontrai. Now there is a brilliant novel on the title, telling the story of a vaishnavite family in Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district. In southern Tamil Nadu we call the tree Mullu Murungai. Some parts it is called Kalyana Murugai. The leaves of the tree are favourite of rabbits. In English it is called flame of forest.

  32. The picture I have give is correct, after your comment I had extensively gone through verifying the flower names you had given and the flower i had given. I need to explain this in pretty detail. Just give me a day today. Will come up with detailed explanation.

  33. Hello, really enjoy your site. Just stumbled on it today, highly informative and inspiring. I would like your recommendation of a good tamil dictionary in the US, and how to get it. Am interested in studying some devotional poetry and would like to know the meanings so that I can savor the works.
    Thanks, mona

  34. Dear Shri Vairam,
    I want know the details and the differences of Lord Muruga, Skanda and Shamuga how are they are not the same god. please send me detail if any and oblige.
    -With regards,

  35. Hi Vairam,
    I am a lecturer in eng. lit. I too had prejudices that our language has very liitle significant and interesting literature. only recently i read ponniyin Selvan and it made me shame for my past opinion. ur blog in really very useful to tamilians. Congradulations!

  36. Great work…really very interesting…thank u so much…
    if its possible, send me a copy “Smile of Murugan”…

  37. Vannakam,
    Just stumbled on to your blog today.
    Thrilled to see that I can have access to many interesting information about Tamil literature. Just read your piece on Sangam song used in Thiruvillaiyadal and it was very interesting.
    I am a fan of Ponniyin Selvan which I read in 1962 when I was doing my 5th standard.
    I am also a fan of Sujatha and have read all volumes of Katrahum Petrathum.
    Thank you and wish you all the best to continue your good work.

  38. Hello ,
    i came across your blog while searching for indian birds.nice work.keep updatig

  39. Your passion for learning Tamil Literature and sharing the same via blogs is really appreciable. You are doing a fantastic job! Do keep it up!

    I have been working on a couple of ideas to bring out a couple of blogs focusing on Indic stuides and Tamil studies which shall see the light soon though for now I am squeezed for time.

    Maybe I can – through mail – write on a few issues relating to Tamil or Indic studies now and then. And from your above write I get the impression that you are living outside India. Is it so? Maybe I am wrong.

    Anyhow, you have been doing a really fantastic job and my best wishes for a wider reach too.

  40. Hi Vairam
    Nice to read your passionate blog, as I also share love for Tamil literature,particularly Sangam poetry,for it’s unique and rich imagery and layers of meaning and astonishing timeless nature.An ardent admirer of Ramanujan’s poetry I was enamored by his superb translations of Sangham .poetry.
    I see that you are an admirer of Sujatha whose ‘Katrathum petrathum’ has inspird you in naming the title of the blog.
    Some tiime in1994 I met Sujatha in Coimbatore to interview him,(in my capacity as staff correspondent of Malayala manorama daily),along with my friend in a National Tamil daily,(only other reporter interested in Tamil literature) Sujatha was so pleased that I had read almost all his books including earlier ones’Vanamennum Veedhiyile’ ‘Nailan Kayiru”Oru vipathin anatomy” etc,which my friend hadn’t.
    Sujatha had few good words about cultural interest of Malayalees.That I hold as a memorable moment. .As one who learned Tamil along with Malayalam(my dad had a deep cultural interest in Tamil)
    and published in Tamil publications (almost a regular contributor to Kalki’s Gokulam when I was in college)I think the riches of Tamil language should be brought to the focus of the whole world.Certainly Indians needs to know more.The trend of people being possessive about their language ,and looking down up on others who also claim the tradition,is a trend on it’s way out.There are a whole lot of people who have more than one language
    which are more or less mother tongues.Love to hear from you.
    Kindly see my latest poem featured in Asiawrites

  41. To add/reinforce comment of K Balachandran,

    I am from Mumbai, Maharashtra and now settled in USA. For many years, I tried to learn more of south Indian literature, but with little success. I read a book on songs of Haridasas (from kannada) but written in nagari script which I could read and to my astonishment, found that I could understand a lot.

    Since then I have talked to many native speakers. On few occassions, I experienced the ‘possessive aspect’ referred by K Balachandran with comments such as ‘but we don’t want others to learn our language’ and comments of that nature. Of course these are rare instances, still unfortunate.

    Just curious, are there tamil books written (not translated, although accompanying translation would be good too) in nagari script?

  42. Hi there..I stumbled upon your blog while I was looking for tamil proverbs and idioms…My mother tongue is Tamil, i speak well, but can’t read or write…I love to read and i like idioms and proverbs and poems (which i collect in English) and was hoping that i can learn to read and write through knowing these in Tamil…you are right, there’s a different feeling to reading thing in your own mother tongue.

    Keep up your good job! =)

  43. வைரம்.

    மனது நிறைவாக இருக்கிறது. எதையோ தேடிப்போகையில் இது கண்ணில் பட்டு கருத்தில் ஒட்டிக் கொண்டது. படிப்பதற்கு மேலும் கிடைத்த மகிழ்ச்சியும் சேர்ந்து கொள்கிறது.
    கமில் ஸ்வெலபிலின் நூல்களைப் படிக்க ஆர்வம் இருந்தாலும், வாய்ப்புக் கிடைக்காமலே போனது.

    தங்களிடம் இருக்கும் தமிழ் நூல்களை(எண்முறை வடிவில் எந்த நூலானாலும்)எனக்கும் பகிர்ந்தளிக்க முடிந்தால் நான் மிகுந்த களிப்படைவேன்.

    நன்றிகள் கோடி,


  44. மிக்க மகிழ்ச்சி

    நல்ல வலைப்பூ

    தங்களின் தமிழ்ப்பணி சிறக்கட்டும், வாழ்த்துக்கள்,
    தமிழ் பண்பாட்டு தொடர்பான கட்டுரைகளுக்கு தகுந்த ஓவியம் இணைத்தால் மேலும் நன்றாக இருக்கும் .


  45. Dear Palani,

    Great work; thanks.
    I am surprised to learn that so many people becam interested in Tamil lit. after reading Ponniyin Selvan! Kalki was a wonderful writer. Now so many are learning a lot about Sangam Tamil from your blog. Kudos!!!

    Please send me the digital version of ‘Smile of Murugan’ by Dr. Zvelibil. I am too one of his biggest fans.

    Thanks again.

    Best wishes.


  46. Feel very proud of you.Inspite of having read several hundred books in tamil(mostly fiction) I have not still developed appetite for Sangam literature.Never strained myself to put in effort to attempt to understand.With all your school work and after school work to support yourself, it is amazing you have gained so much insight in to tamil.GOOD JOB! Keep it up.I take your offer on “If any body is interested in reading books of Dr.Zvelebil about Tamil Literature and its History can mail me”. Can you please send me the digital copy of Dr.zvelebil’s books.Thank you much

  47. அன்பரே,
    உங்கள் வலைப்பதிவு கண்டு பெரும் மகிழ்ச்சி அடைகிறேன்.
    தமிழின் மேல் இருந்த என் பற்று, மேலும் அதிகரித்து உள்ளது
    இனி கிடைக்கும் அணைத்து வாய்ப்பிலும் நல்ல தமிழ் நூல்களை படித்து மற்றவருடன் பங்கு
    வளர்க உம் தொண்டு


  48. Hi Vairam,
    Wonderful Blog. I share your love for Tamil and find this blog enormously ineresting. Keep up this wonderful effort 🙂

  49. Dear Friend,

    Really wonderful work done by you. If u would like to share some of the PDF formats with me will be great- my email id selipm@yahoo.com

    with regards,

  50. உங்களது தமிழ் சேவைக்கு தலை வணங்குகிறேன்.இந்த தளத்தைப் பார்க்கும்போது என்னுள் இருக்கும் தமிழ் பற்று அதிகரிக்கிறது.தொடர்ந்து உங்களது சேவையை தொடருங்கள்.

  51. great blog !..its so heartening that so many are intrested in tamil lit. No doubts its among the the greatest literature. As George Hart points out Tamil has all the criteria to attain classical status. The indian govt should promote tirukkural , one of the greatest works of all time. Tirukkural is not for tamils alone…it transcends time, relegion, civilizations and more……..

  52. Thanks for reiterating once again how good our ancient tamil literature was and inspiring us to read those…

  53. Gr8 Service Vairam! Godspeed!
    Can you give me the Tamil Verse Saying that Knowledge / Education cannnot be washed away by floods, Consumed by Fire – Vellaththaal Pogaathu….

  54. Sir,
    My name is Madhava Gopal and I am from Salem, Tamilnadu, India.
    I have written a book on Tamil Vedham which existed 4 million years ago. I have also recorded and posted over 70 episodes in YouTube for viewing. Tamil is way beyond just being a language, it is a gateway to the universal truths and that is why the civilisation with this knowledge flourished 4 million years back. All this knowledge was lost when Lumeria submerged into the sea and now it has been brought back through the book “Tamil Vedham” as revealed to me through meditation for the last 45 years. It is very important to understand the greatness of our amazing Tamil language so that our future generations take pride in learning, preserving and flourishing through this ancient knowledge.
    I am grateful to the divinity for giving me the opportunity in bringing back this lost gem which will give an insight about the greatness of our ancestors.
    My attempt here is to share and take this amazing wealth of knowledge and the technology of sounds received through Tamil Vedham to as many people as possible and I would be most grateful if you could help me in anyway possible in this endeavour.
    Thanking you.
    With warm regards,
    ‭+91 98427 07112‬

  55. I am impressed. This write up clearly define what your goals and what you are passionate about. I have attended your sessions already with zhee boom bhah Toronto zoom chat. Amazed at your approach and delivery with subtle humor and research data. I am happy to know you. I want to to be successful In all you endeavors. I have posted about your work to at least 15 persons and three group chats.

  56. தங்கள் பணி போற்றுதலுக்குரியது, இளைஞர்களுக்கு கட்டாயம் கடத்த வேண்டிய சங்க இலக்கியங்களை எளிய நடையில் எடுத்துரைத்ததற்கு தமிழ் அன்னை கர்வம் கொள்வாள்…. இப்படி ஒரு மகனை பெற்றதற்கு

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