Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Ainthinai Aimpathu – 38

Her friend says :

Thinking scanty water in the pond isn’t enough
and wanting his doe to drink her fill,
the buck pretends to drink – so dry’s the way
your beloved has chosen to cross, they say.

தோழி கூற்று :

சுனை வாய்ச் சிறு நீரை, ‘எய்தாது’ என்று எண்ணி,
பிணை மான் இனிது உண்ண வேண்டி, கலைமா தன்
கள்ளத்தின் ஊச்சும் சுரம் என்பர், காதலர்
உள்ளம் படர்ந்த நெறி.

This is a poem in Ainthinai Aimbathu (50 poems on 5 landscapes), one of the 18 post Sangam collections. Maran Porayanar is the author of these poems. Each of the five landscapes has 10 poems. The above poem is from Paalai (Arid landscape). The leitmotif of this landscape is separation of lovers.

In this poem, he has left her to go and earn money. For that he has to cross dry arid lands. She is upset about their separation. Her friend says the land he is crossing is dry and water is scarce. When two deer come to the pond, the buck thinks that the water there is not enough for both of them. Hence he pretends to drink and lets the doe have her fill. So dry is the land.

The implied meaning is seeing the compassionate deer, he will be reminded of his lover, change his mind and come back to her. Even if the wealth they have is very little, couples can manage with that instead of being separated in order to earn wealth.

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