Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Archive for the month “May, 2021”

Naaladiyaar – 218

Even if they are as close to us as a dog’s toes,
What use is the friendship of those
who don’t help us even to the size of a fly’s toe?
Even if they’re far away from us,
We should nurture the friendship of those
Who are like the canal that helps a field flourish.

நாய்க் கால் சிறு விரல்போல் நன்கு அணியர் ஆயினும்,
ஈக் கால் துணையும் உதவாதார் நட்பு என்னாம்?
சேய்த்தானும் சென்று கொளல்வேண்டும், செய் விளைக்கும்
வாய்க்கால் அனையார் தொடர்பு

This verse is under the chapter ‘Choosing Friends’ – நட்பாராய்தல். The poet says “Some people may be physically close to us, like a dog’s ties that are closely placed. However they won’t help us a bit, even to the size of a house fly’s toe. What use is such a friendship? We should nurture the friendship of those who are like a canal that helps paddy field flourish with its water. Even if they are distant from us, we should take the effort to meet them and nurture their friendship.

அணி – close
துணை – measure / size
சேய் – distant
செய் – field
விளை – produce / flourish
வாய்க்கால் – canal
அனை – like

Thirukkural – 1314

“I love you more than anyone else” I said
“More than whom, more than whom” she sulked.

யாரினுங் காதல மென்றேனா வூடினாள்
யாரினும் யாரினு மென்று.

I told her that my love for her is bigger than any man could have for a woman. But she misunderstood as I was comparing my love for her with my other lovers. So she pouted and picked up a fight with me asking “more than whom do you love me”.

யாரினும் – more than anyone
ஊடினாள் – she had a tiff / sulked

Thirukkural 819

Friendship of those whose words and deeds differ
Is an agony even in one’s dream.

கனவினு மின்னாது மன்னோ வினைவேறு
சொல்வேறு பட்டார் தொடர்பு.

Friendship of people who say something and do something else is an agony,not only when one is awake but even when asleep.

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