28 August 2011

Ainthinai Aimpathu (ஐந்திணை ஐம்பது)


எண்
அகப்பாடல்கள்
எண்
புறப்பாடல்கள் (நீதி)
எண்
புறப்பாடல்கள் (நீதி)
1
கைந்நிலை
7
களவழி நாற்பது
13
ஏலாதி
2
ஐந்திணை ஐம்பது
8
இன்னா நாற்பது
14
ஆசாரக்கோவை
3
ஐந்திணை எழுபது
9
இனியவை நாற்பது
15
முதுமொழிக்காஞ்சி
4
திணைமொழி ஐம்பது
10
திரிகடுகம்
16
பழமொழி நானூறு
5
திணைமாலை நூற்றைம்பது
11
நான்மணிக்கடிகை
17
நாலடியார்
6
கார் நாற்பது
12
சிறுபஞ்சமூலம்
18
திருக்குறள்

The next work we take up in the series of “18 minor works” in Tamil is Ainthinai Aimpathu (ஐந்திணை ஐம்பது). As it has 50 poems on the five landscapes or tinais (Kurinji, Mullai, Maruthan, Neithal and Palai), this work came to be called as Ainthinai Aimpathu (Literally: Fifty on Five Tinais). Every tinai has 10 poems in them and thus 5x50 = 50. The authorship is attributed to Māran Poraiyanār (மாறன் பொறையனார்), but nothing is know about the author and his life.

There is hardly any poem in this work that has captivated by mind. Since the poems of Ainthinai Aimpathu is also modeled on the poems of the 10 major works of the Sangam period (comprised of 8 anthologies and 10 Idylls), there is no dearth of reference to fauna and flora in them. I would like to highlight three of these faunal and floral similes that attracted my attention.

(1) Poem 16: Kurinji landscape

கொடுவரி வேங்கை பிழைத்துக் கோட் பட்டு
மடிசெவி வேழம் இரீஇ .

A bent-eared elephant withdraws and walks away in gentle steps,
After having escaped from the grip of a tiger with curved-stripes.

There are four phrases used by the poet here worth taking note of, namely (i) “curved stripe” (கொடுவரி) & “bent ear” (மடிசெவி) and “tiger” (வேங்கை) & “elephant” (வேழம்). In Tamil literature, especially of the Sangam period, the poets depict the tiger and elephant in constant enmity with each other. Sometimes, the tiger wins the contest and on other occasions the elephant. There are over a dozen names for the tiger and at least a hundred different names for the elephant used by poets in Tamil literature. The most commonly used words in literature for the tiger and elephant are puli and yānai, which continue to be the popular words for these animals even in the present! But the poet here has preferred to employ the words ‘vénkai’ for the tiger and ‘vézham’ for the elephant for obvious poetic reasons. The ‘bent-ear’ is a reference to the folded ears of grown up elephants.
கொடுவரி வேங்கை
மடிசெவி வேழம்

(2) Poem 31: Pālai landscape

உதிரம் துவரிய வேங்கை உகிர்போல்
எதிரி முருக்கரும்ப வீர்ந்தண்கார் நீங்க

Spring is the season when the murukku trees are full of buds
Resembling the blood-stained claws of a tiger.

The mul murnkai (முள் முருங்கை) is what is referred as murukku (Erythrina stricta) in the poem. Its flowers are scarlet red and do resemble the claws of the tiger soaked in blood. Māran Poraiyanār is not the only Tamil poet to have compared tiger claws to murukku flowers. He has obviously modeled his poem based on some of the poems in Akanānūru where at least two poets have employed this floro-faunal comparison.

வாள்வரி வயமான் கோள்உகிர் அன்ன
செம்முகை அவிழ்ந்த முள்முதிர் முருக்கின்
முருக்கரும் பன்ன வள்ளுகிர் வயப்பிணவு


The old and dried flowers
Of thorny murunkai trees
With their buds red-hued
Look like the blood-stained claws
Of a mighty tiger with bright stripes.
(Akam 99)
Its pregnant mate,
whose blood-stained claws
look like the murunkai buds.
(Akam 362)
Erythrina stricta
Cassia sephora
Tiger claw


The tamil word ‘ukir’ (உகிர்) in all these three poems cited so far means ‘claw.’ The contemporary Tamil word for claw or nail is nakam (நகம்). The origin of this ‘nakam’ could be sourced to the Sanskrit word nakha (नख). There is specific tiger-claw tree (புலிநகக் கொன்றை) in Tamil which Krishamurthy (2007) considers is the njāzhal (ஞாழல்: Cassia sophera). The tip-curved stamens of this species resemble the claws of the tiger. Thus, while only blood-stained tiger claws could be compared to the petals of Erythrina stricta, the stamens of Cassia sephora could be compared to the normal claws of the tiger.

 (3) Poem 41: Neithal landscape

…………………………………………………… - நண்படைந்த
சேவலும் தன்அருகில் சேக்குமால் என்கொலோ
பூந்தலை அன்றில் புலம்பு?

What could be the reason why the female of the anril
With a red-flower-like crest on her head grieves,
Even when her loving mate abides nearby?
(Poem 41)

If rain-bird chataka (चातक) is the most commonly mentioned bird in Sanskrit literature, it is anril (அன்றில்) bird in Tamil literature. The anril bird is depicted in Tamil literature as a symbol of faithful love. It is usually a resident of the palmyrah tree (பனமிசை அன்றில், Natrinai, 360) and death to anyone of them would cause the other also to suffer and die in the end (ஒன்று இல் காலை அன்றில், Natrinai 124). Is it possible to fix the identity of this species based on the descriptions given Tamil literature? Let us look at some of the morphological features of the bird mentioned.

·         black legs (கருங்கால் அன்றில், Krunthokai, 301)
·         curved beaks (மடிவாய் அன்றில், Akam 50)
·         pointed beak (கூர்வாய் அன்றில், Akam 305)
·         fire-like red head (நெருப்பின் அன்ன செந்தலை அன்றில், Kurunthokai 160)
·         red flower-like crest on the head (பூந்தலை அன்றில், Aithinai Aimpathu 41)
Red-naped ibis (செந்தலை அன்றில்)
Glossy ibis (கருங்கால் அன்றில்)
Though many birds have curved beaks, one of the commonest of birds with curved beaks is the ibis. Which black-legged ibis has a fire-like (or flower-like) red crest on the head? The description matches the red-naped ibis (earlier called the black ibis: Pseudibis papillosa) though the legs of this species is not black. The black-headed ibis (earlier called the white ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus) and the glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) have black legs and it is possible that the poets had these anril birds in mind when they said karungkāl anril (கருங்கால் அன்றில், Kurunthokai 301).
(4) Poem 43: Neithal landscape

பொரிப்புறப் பல்லிச் சினையீன்ற புன்னை
வரிப்புற வார்மணல்மேல் ஏறி

Striped sand dune covered with the punnai buds
Resembling the speckled eggs of the lizard.

The word sinai (“சினை”) could mean embryo, flower-bud, spawn, egg or even bamboo. Since the poet is compared a lizard’s egg to the flower, the word sinai coule be taken to mean both ‘bud’ as well as ‘egg’. The plant punnai (புன்னை) is said to be Alexandrian laurel (Calophyllum inopbyllum), an evergreen tree with leathery leaves of the coastal regions. Indeed the poem also belongs to the littoral region (neithal thinai). The roundish flower buds of the punnai tree indeed resemble the eggs of a gecko.
Eggs of gecko

Buds of Calophyllum inophyllum

Reference:
Krishnamurthy, K.V. 2007. தமிழரும் தாவரமும். பாராதிதாசன் பல்கலைகழகம். பக்கம் 114



1 comment:


  1. شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة انها الاولى فى مكافحة ورش الحشرات بالمدينة المنورة رش البق رش الصراصير مكافحة النمل الابيض بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة

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