Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thirukkural – 1274

Like fragrance inside an yet to blossom bud,
There’s a hint in this girl’s budding smile.

முகைமொக்குள் உள்ளது நாற்றம்போல் பேதை
நகைமொக்குள் உள்ளதொன் றுண்டு.

This couplet is under the chapter குறிப்பு அறிவுறுத்தல் – Reading the signs. She is half smiling at him, keeping him on tenterhooks. He says it is like fragrance hidden inside a bud. When the bud blossoms, it will spread its fragrance. But one has to wait till then. Similarly, her half smile hints of her love, but he has to wait till she confirms it.

முகை & மொக்கு – both mean bud. Hence I have used ‘yet to blossom bud’. Could have used ‘unblossomed’, but that didn’t sound good to my ears.

முகை – bud
மொக்கு – bud
நாற்றம் – fragrance / scent
நகை – smile
உள்ளதொன்றுண்டு – உள்ளது ஒன்று உண்டு – there’s  something in it – a hint

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