Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kambaramayanam – 7409

The King with strong shoulders
Wasn’t ashamed at the thought that
Humans and celestial beings will laugh at him,
So will foes whom he laughed at;
But shriveled with shame at the thought that
Dainty princess of Mithilai, Janaki,
– Of red lips and eyes that mock spears –
Will laugh mockingly at him.

வானகு மண்ணு மெல்லா நகும் நெடு வயிரத் தோளான்
நானகு பகைஞ ரெல்லா நகுவரென் றதற்கு நாணான்
வேனகு நெடுங்கட் செவ்வாய் மெல்லியன் மிதிலை வந்த
சானகி நகுவ ளென்றே நாணத்தாற் சாம்பு கின்றான்.

வான் நகும்; மண்ணும் எல்லாம்
நகும்; ‘ நெடு வயிரத் தோளான்
‘நான் நகு பகைஞர் எல்லாம்
நகுவர் ‘என்று, அதற்கு நாணான்;
‘வேல் நகு நெடுங்கண்
செவ்வாய் மெல்லியல், மிதிலை வந்த
சானகி நகுவள்‘ என்றே
நாணத்தால் சாம்புகின்றான்

Ravana is disarmed in the first battle with Rama. Rama spares him and lets him go asking him to come back to fight the next day. Mighty Ravana walks back, burning with shame. He is not ashamed at the thought that all humans in this world will laugh at him or the celestial beings whom he conquered will laugh at him. He is not even ashamed that the foes whom he defeated in battle and laughed derisively at will now laugh at him. What burns him with shame is the thought that Janaki (Sita), the dainty princess of Mithilai, whose eyes are so sharp that they mock spears and whose lips are red in colour, will laugh at him.

Ravana craves for Sita’s acceptance. So the thought that now she will laugh at him for losing the battle burns him with shame.

வான் – sky / celestial beings
நகும் – laugh
மண் – earth / humans in earth
நெடு வயிரத் தோளான் – long armed with strong shoulders
பகைஞர் – foes
நாண் – shame
வேல் நகு நெடுங்கண் – long eyes that laugh (mock) at spears
செவ் வாய் – red lips
மெல்லியள் – மெல்லிய சாயல் கொண்டவள் – tender / dainty
சாம்பு – வாடுதல் – shrivel

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