A LATE-NIGHT THOUGHT

In this essay, we relish a short synopsis of the fourth verse of the poem “Theertha Karaiyinile“, composed by Subramania Bharati. Categorised as Kannan Pattu“, this verse depicts the deep desires of a devoted man. 

“கூடிப் பிரியாமலே – ஓரிராவெலாம் கொஞ்சிக் குலவியங்கே ஆடி விளையாடியே, – உன்றன்மேனியை ஆயிரங் கோடிமுறை நாடித் தழுவிமனக் – குறைதீர்ந்துநான் நல்ல களியெய்தியே பாடிப் பரவசமாய் – நிற்கவேதவம் பண்ணிய தில்லையடி!”

“To not part from you, to coo over you there for a whole night, to spin and sport with you in delight, to get my grievance resolved by yearning and embracing your elegant body a thousand crore times, to attain elation and to vocalise in ecstasy, I have not performed any penance, O my lady!” this man sings, lamenting over his longings. 

The verse reveals that the man and the lady are leading a love relationship. Owing to that, they chalk out to tryst at night, away from others’ sight. The man arrives at the place, and yet the lady breaks her promise. The above lines are based on this premise. 

He starts by saying his wish of being with her. His separation kindles him to yearn to fondle her at least for a night. The man has his heart set on a chance to dance and relax with his maiden. He craves to caress her one thousand crore times straight to get the knot of affront unravelled from his heart. And the man ends with an expression that he hasn’t executed the expiation to have any exultation.

I can’t be with my lady‘ is the crux of the aforementioned verse eventually. As you know well that this is the sequel to my last article, it is apparent that this incident betides beside a temple. Although, the word ‘அங்கே‘ means the abode of his girlfriend. Unlike the other three stanzas, the bard doesn’t employ a long vowel in the word ‘அடி‘ while calling the lady as he has implied here his incapability

What astonishes me is the use of the words ‘எய்தி‘ and ‘தவம்‘ in this verse. The poet has written in a line that the man wants to attain elation instead of salvation. In addition, he has penned in another line that the man hasn’t done any atonement to obtain the love of his maiden in return for the love he has shown. Of course, in the hustle and bustle of our daily life, our hearts bypass worldly happiness. Indeed, we are ready to renounce even our lives to show that we are religious, yet we ignore losing little things to love other living beings. This verse reminds us of the primacy of being happy with love.

As the sun does rise today, we finish summarising the poem “Theertha Karaiyinile“. There can never be any delight and distress that love cannot bestow us. If the man were lucky to be with his lady at that place, he would have sung very happily perhaps. Just because he is away from her that night, his heart cries with great plight. Every emotion can affect our body and brain. The entire poem does evince this mind-body connection yet again. 

About the author

Reshma Selvaraj

Hello, my name is Reshma Selvaraj. I am a graduate with a bachelor's degree in English. I am from a village called Kombadi Thalavaipuram in Tuticorin, a southern district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil is my mother tongue. Though I studied English as a second language during my schooling, I enjoyed reading English poems and essays. As years passed by, I enrolled to study the literature of English in a college. That was when I began to read a lot of books both in Tamil and English. Thus I started to have a dream of becoming a writer. I have already written and published two short stories. The first short story, entitled “I have an interview tomorrow”, depicts the life of a disabled graduate searching for a job, and the second short story, titled “Aval Oru Maram”, defines the deforestation happening in the Western Ghats of India. This blog is to show the world that I am becoming what I wanted to become, and I hope that it will help you to become what you want to become.

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