A TALKING DRAWING

In this laconic article, we relish the second verse of the poem “Chinnanchiru Kiliye“, written by Subramania Bharati. Classified as “Kannan Pattu“, this verse speaks of a man’s praise of his beloved. 

“பிள்ளைக் கனியமுதே – கண்ணம்மா பேசும்பொற் சித்திரமே! அள்ளி யணைத்திடவே – என் முன்னே ஆடி வருந் தேனே!”

“O Kannamma! The ambrosia of a half-grown fruit! The aureate drawing that does confabulate! The honey that gambols in front of me to embosom!” the man intones in enthusiasm. 

This verse reveals that the man and the lady are leading a love relationship. Therefore, it is ordinary for him to acclaim his beloved lady’s beauty to the skies. That is exactly what he does here. He honours her as the nectar of a not-yet-mature fruit, the gold-coloured portrait that does chatter and the honey that dances, coming towards him to embrace. 

Though this song is a typical tribute to the beloved from a lover, I ought to emphasise certain words employed in this verse now. Yes. Have you ever read the word ‘பிள்ளைக் கனி’ anywhere? Certainly, this is such an unusual word to me. I’ve seen many times that children’s faces have been praised as beauteous fruits by poets, but how could a half-ripened fruit be portrayed as a child? Is that his beloved or the devotion he has for his beloved? What might be the main reason behind this? Isn’t every fruit the emblem of ageing? 

Anyway, this term makes me reminisce about my beautiful preadolescence days when I, along with my younger sisters, used to collect half-ripened tamarind fruits drizzled by an aged, tall tree near the brook. The half-ripened fruits would be much more luscious than those fully ripened. Probably, Bharati might have believed the same while penning this term. Wait! Will a fully-ripened fruit’s fluid taste a bit bitter, but?

When seeing the words ‘பேசும் சித்திரம்‘ and ‘ஆடிவரும் தேன்‘, what does come to your mind? Does your tongue sing ‘Sithiram Pesuthadi‘ and ‘Valaiyosai Kala Kala‘ now? Mine, too, does so. 

“சிந்தாமல் நின்றாடும் செந்தேனே சங்கீதம் உண்டாகும் நீ பேசும் பேச்சில் தான்”

These songs have been penned by two different lyricists in 1958 and 1988 respectively. Though, K. M. Balasubramaniam and Vaali were indirectly inspired by this verse. A writer is what he or she reads, even when he or she doesn’t realize this. The same happened to me in the previous days. When I was penning the book ‘Aval Oru Maram‘ a few months back, I commenced using some words Bharati has employed in his poems, without even knowing that I was using them. At the time of editing, I came to realise how far this poet’s words have pierced my heart. 

Yes. Contrary to tablets, all good books seem to cause long term side effects. A book you read to heal yourself will lead you to write a book to heal the world. If you expect to experiment with my experience, here is the one I wrote to remedy the world.

AVAL ORU MARAM, A SHORT STORY

Just like books, love can also cause you some sort of side effects. We shall see what they’re in upcoming articles. 

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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