Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Naaladiyaar – 115

Calf of a fine cow will fetch a high price even if young;
Words of the rich will be valued even if they’re ignorant;
Words of poor (scholars) will be skimmed over,
like ploughing insufficiently wet fields.

நல் ஆவின் கன்றுஆயின், நாகும் விலை பெறூஉம்;
கல்லாரே ஆயினும், செல்வர் வாய்ச் சொல் செல்லும்.
புல் ஈரப் போழ்தின் உழவேபோல் மீது ஆடி,
செல்லாவாம், நல்கூர்ந்தார் சொல்.

A calf will fetch a high price if it is of a pedigreed cow. Similarly words of the wealthy are valued highly because of their wealth. Words of poor scholars are heard superficially and have no value. It is like ploughing insufficiently wet paddy fields. Only the top surface is ploughed and the required depth is not achieved.

The original poem only implies scholars. The word used – நல்கூர் – means only ‘poor’. The commentaries expand it to poor scholars. Hence I’ve used it in brackets.

நல் – good / fine
ஆ – cow
நாகு – young
புல் – less quantity
மீது – top surface
நல்கூர்தல் – to be poor

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One thought on “Naaladiyaar – 115

  1. yeah what you’ve told is true…maybe the world is changing nowadays..anyway..everyone hopes for the best.
    good meaningful write.

    Like

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