Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Puranaanooru – 191

If you ask why I haven’t greyed
though I’m advanced in age,
my wife’s noble, children clever;
my attendants act as per my wish;
my ruler is a just protector;
above all, in my town live
many a learned and humble scholar.

யாண்டுபல வாக நரையில வாகுதல்
யாங்கா கியரென வினவுதி ராயின்
மாண்டவென் மனைவியொடு மக்களு நிரம்பினர்
யாண்கண் டனையரென் னிளையரும் வேந்தனும்
அல்லவை செய்யான் காக்கு மதன்றலை
ஆன்றவிந் தடங்கிய கொள்கைச்
சான்றோர் பலர்யான் வாழு மூரே.

This poem is by Pisiranadhaiyaar, a poet in Pandya country. His friendship with Chola King KopPerun Cholan was legendary, though they had never met each other. When KopPerun Cholan decides to starve to death after a tussle with his sons for the throne, he sends news to Pisiranadhaiyaar to come and see him. But before Pisiranadhaiyaar comes, he passes away.

When Pisiranadhaiyaar is asked why he hasn’t greyed though he is old, this is his answer. “My wife is a dignified soul, my children are clever. My attendants are in line with my thinking. My ruler is just and protects us safely. Above all this I am surrounded by learned and humble scholars in my town. So I have nothing to worry about, hence I haven’t greyed”.

No wonder most of us bald and grey early these days.

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