In this article, we behold a concise synopsis of the third verse of the poem “Theertha Karaiyinile“, authored by Subramania Bharati. Categorised as “Kannan Pattu“, these lines characterise the incapability of a man to meet his beloved maiden in her mansion. 

“கடுமை யுடையதடீ – எந்த நேரமும் காவலுன் மாளிகையில்; அடிமை புகுந்தபின்னும் – எண்ணும்போதுநான் அங்கு வருவதற்கில்லை; கொடுமை பொறுக்கவில்லை கட்டுங் காவலும் கூடிக் கிடக்குதங்கே; நடுமை யரசியவள் – எதற்காகவோ நாணிக் குலைந்திடுவாள்.”

“There are always countless guards in your palace, Miss! Even if a slave does enter, I can’t appear there as I do desire. I can’t stand this torture. Fetters and patrols are gathered over there. Then, why does this unswayed sovereign shiver with shame?” the man says.  

The context reveals that the man and the lady are leading a love relationship, so they expect to have a tryst at night. Yet, all they do is in vain when the lady doesn’t appear at the place as per their plan, leaving the man pining with pain. Therefore, languishing after her, the lonely man laments about her manor. 

He starts to elucidate how extreme the alertness in her palace is at all times. He further says that even though it may be enterable to slaves, it is not so to this man the lady loves. Calling everything savagery, he conveys his incompetence in enduring her dwelling’s excessive security. Once he is done with regretting the guards’ acts, his heart begins to reflect a doubt at last. He wonders why even his beloved woman, even when she is unbiased, feels so shy like the one who resides in prison. 

Oh my Lord, how many escorts in your house!‘ echoes the above verse. As you all know well, this is a sequel to my previous article. Hence, it is lucid that this takes place beside a temple. As usual, the bard has called the lady, using a long vowel in the word ‘அடீ‘ in the first line to emphasise his intense, inner pain. 

The man, his lady, the slave and the guards are the four who come in this verse of the poem. We can’t suppose that the slave is none other than the man, for, after that very phrase, we can see the word ‘நான்’. As Bharati was the pioneer writer of gender equality, I believe he could not have penned about any superiority in his modern poetry

And the word ‘நடுமையரசி‘ means no one but the man’s beloved woman, although the poet has employed a third-person pronoun. Only to exhibit the man’s respect for that woman, the poet has used the phrase ‘fair-minded queen‘. No, this is not a metaphor for any French ruler. Dear readers, get ashore and rest assured! The phrase above is only to apprise us of his ardour for the beloved.  

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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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