Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Archive for the tag “Ainthinai Ezhupathu”

Ainthinai Ezhupathu – 23

Dark clouds have started pouring, monsoon is here;
Riding his horse whose bells sound like noisy toads,
Won’t my lover come today to alleviate my sickness?
Not a bangle stays in my arms.

தேரைத் தழங்குரல் தார் மணி வாய் அதிர்ப்ப,
ஆர்கலி வானம் பெயல் தொடங்கி, கார் கொள,
இன்று ஆற்ற வாரா விடுவார்கொல், காதலர்?
ஒன்றாலும் நில்லா, வளை.

He has gone away in summer to earn money, promising that he will come back by the time monsoon starts. Now the clouds have darkened it has started pouring. Monsoon is here. He hasn’t come yet. She is pining for him. She asks her friend, “The monsoon is here. Won’t he come today to alleviate my sickness? I’m so weak that not a single bangle stays in my arm, they are all falling down”

The first line in the Tamil poem (which I have made second line in translation) is packed with description. She wants him to ride fast and reach her. As he rides fast, sleigh bells in his horse’s neck sound noisily, like toads croaking in monsoon season. It isn’t specified in the poem whether he is riding a chariot or a horse. Earlier commentators have taken in as horse driven chariot. I couldn’t work it into the translation.

தேரை – toad
தழங்குரல் – தழங்கு + குரல் – sounding noise
தார்மணி – bells worn by horse
வாய் அதிர்ப்ப – sounding
ஆர்கலி வானம் – rainy clouds
பெயல் – to pour
கார் – monsoon
ஆற்ற – to alleviate


Ainthinai 70 – 16

O’ my supple shouldered friend!
He who left me hasn’t come back;
Dark clouds have drawn up water from the sea
And have arrived accompanied by lightning,
Making soft stepped peacocks crow in delight;
But there’s none to ask me ‘are you doing fine?”

தட மென் பணைத் தோளி! நீத்தாரோ வாரார்;
மட நடை மஞ்ஞை அகவ, கடல் முகந்து,
மின்னோடு வந்தது எழில் வானம்; வந்து, என்னை,
‘என் ஆதி?’ என்பாரும் இல்.

He has left her to earn money. He promised her that he will be back by monsoon. She is waiting for him. Rains have arrived but he hasn’t come. She confides in her friend, “O’ my friend with long soft bamboo like shoulders! He who left me hasn’t come back yet. Beautiful dark clouds have drawn up water and arrived with lighting. Seeing them soft stepped peacocks are crowinf in delight. But I’m all alone. There is none to ask me ‘ Are you doing ok?’. “

Ainthinai Ezhupathu – 7

She comes back after a tryst with him and suddenly sees her governess. This is her friend to the governess who inquires why her eyes are red.

Don’t get angry, mother! She’s done no wrong;-
frolicking in waterfalls, that cascades down
with glorious red waters of forest river
awash with honey, made her eyes red.

காய்ந்தீயல், அன்னை! இவேளா தவறு இலள்;-
ஓங்கிய செந் நீர் இழிதரும் கான் யாற்றுள்,
தேம் கலந்து வந்த அருவி குடைந்து ஆட,
தாம் சிவப்பு உற்றன, கண்

She goes to meet him beside millet fields, made love and is coming back. Her governess comes in search of her and finds her with reddened eyes and suspects something amiss. Her friend steps in and says “Don’t be angry with her mother. She has done nothing wrong. She was playing in the waterfalls beside our field that flows down with red waters mixed with honey on the way. That’s why her eyes are red”

Ainthinai Ezhupathu (70 poems about five land scapes) is a collection of 70 poems written by Moovaadhiyaar. Some of these poems seem to have been derived from earlier works. This is generally dated to around 5th Century AD.

காய் – angry
ஓங்கு – glorious
செந்நீர் – red water
இழி – flow
கான் – forest
ஆற்றுள் – ஆறு + உள் – in the river
தேம் – honey
குடைந்து – immersed/ burrowed
ஆட – விளையாட – play

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