Thirukkural – 1151
Her friend to him:
If you aren’t leaving, tell me; your promise of speedy return,
tell that to those who’ll be alive then.
செல்லாமை உண்டேல், எனக்கு உரை; மற்று நின்
வல்வரவு, வாழ்வார்க்கு உரை
After marriage, he plans to go in search of wealth. He can’t tell her that he is leaving. So he tells her friend to pass on the message that he will return quickly. Her friend refuses saying “If you have decided not to leave, tell that to me. I will go and tell her. But if you have decided to leave and want to tell her that you will return quickly, I can’t pass that message to her. Tell that to those who will be alive when you come back. She won’t be alive She will wither away in your absence.”
Thiruvalluvar packs so much into those seven words that it is impossible to bring out all the nuances in translation.
வல் – quickness / speed