Tuesday, 20 June 2006

Chapters 121 to 133


Tirukkural: Getting close to the original
In Spirit, Content and Style
The 'choicest' of all translations in English

Division III. Love (Continuation)
121
Nostalgic memories
Translators
Notes
1201
Love is sweeter than wine;
Its mere thought intoxicates.
PS
Yes
1202
Nothing better than sweet memories of love
To overcome the pain of loneliness! *
KV

1203
Is it because of my lover’s incomplete thoughts
That my sneeze passes off incomplete?
NV

1204
No doubt my lord abides in my heart.
Do I also likewise abide in his?
NV

1205
Having kept me out of his heart,
Is he not ashamed to enter mine?
SI, KV

1206
You know why I live? To live in remembrance of the days
I lived in union with him.
SM

1207
What will happen if I forget him,
When his memory itself burns my heart? *
SB
Yes
1208
He never resents, however much I think of him.
Isn’t it an honor from my lover? *
MS
Yes
1209
My dear life wastes thinking of his cruelty;
For once he said we are not different. *
DL

1210
Hail Moon! Set not till I set my eyes on him
Who left me but not from my heart.
SB, KV


Notes:
1201. Compare with: 1090: "Wine won't delight unless imbibed, but love with a look delights!" - PS and with 1281 "To please with the thought and delight with the sight, belongs not to liquor but love" –PS
1207. Compare with 1165. "If his friendship can bring so much misery, how will it be in enmity?" * - GV, PS
1208. An explanatory translation: "The greatness of my love is that he never finds fault with me for remembering him often" - KK

122
Dream remembered
Translators
Notes
1211
How shall I feast this dream which brought
A message from my lord?
 PS

1212
If only my painted eyes could sleep,
I will tell him in my dream of my true predicament. *
 KV

1213
Though I miss him when I am awake,
My life lingers on as I see him in my dreams. *
 JN

1214
Dreams sustain my love for in it I seek him
Who visits not while I am awake.
 DL, KV

1215
The very sight of him is joyous.
Be it in dreams or while I am awake.
 NV

1216
Save for that thing called waking,
My dream-lover won't leave me indeed.
 PS
Yes
1217
Why does he haunt me in my dreams
When he cruelly deserts me when awake? *
 VS

1218
Asleep he is round my shoulders.
Awake he hurries back to my heart. *
 PS

1219
Only those starved of love dreams,
Rue missing their beloved in wakefulness. *
 JN
Yes
1220
He is a deserter, people say.
But how can they see his visits in my dreams?
 NV, PS


Notes:
1216. In other words: "But for this state of wakefulness, I would have my beloved always in my dreams" * - KV, DL
1219. A good alternate translation is given by SI: "They blame him for not visiting me; they know not what dreams can do"

123
Evening sorrows
Translators
Notes
1221
Farewell, evening! You are no more just,
For you devour the souls of brides!
GU, DZ

1222
Bless you, muddled, lack-lustre twilight!
Is your love too heartless like mine? *
PS

1223
The evening that once sighed with unease,
Now comes with growing hatred causing pain.
NV

1224
There goes my love and in strides the evening,
Like slayers at the slaughter *
PS, JN

1225
What good did I do to dawn?
And what harm to evening? *
PS

1226
When my love was with me, I did not know
How cruel evening could be.
PS

1227
Budding at dawn and growing all day,
This disease blooms by evening. *
SB

1228
The cowboy’s flutes now sound as envoys of death
Forecasting the fiery evening.
NV

1229
This place will all be dizzy and grieved
When the evening spreads and smothers me.
PS

1230
Longing for him who left longing for wealth,
The evenings take toll of my undying soul.
NV
Yes

Notes:
1230. Compare with 1263. "He parted from me longing for conquests; and if I live yet, it is longing for his return" * - VS

124
Wasting away
Translators
Notes
Her friend to her
1231
To lift us from want, he left us afar. Brooding over him,
Your eyes now quail before flowers.
SB, PS

1232
The pale and tear-filled eyes seem to convey
That your lover has been unkind.
*
KK

1233
Sagging shoulders that once stood firm on the bridal day
Seem to clearly point to parting.
PS, NV

1234
Your lord away, your think shoulders droop,
Beauty and bracelets lost.
PS

1235
Drooping shoulders, its fading beauty
And slipping bracelets declare his cruelty.
NV

She
1236
Drooping shoulders and slipping bracelets,
These I bear; to call him cruel, unbearable.
*
PS

1237
Can you, O heart, gain glory by relating that cruel man
The woes of my fading shoulders?
*
DL, JN

He
1238
For once I relaxed my hugging arms,
This poor girl’s forehead turned pale.
*
PS, KV

1239
Cool breeze crept between our embrace;
Her large rain-cloud eyes paled at once.
SB

1240
Seeing the once bright forehead grow pale,
Her eyes too suffered and grew pale!
DZ, KV


125
Heart to heart
Translators
Notes
1241
My heart, can't you suggest any remedy at all
For this incurable sickness?
PS

1242
O my heart! How foolish you are to grieve for him
Who has no love for me!
KV, PS

1243
O heart, what use to stay here and pine
When he who caused this sickness is heartless?
PS

1244
Rid me of these eyes, O my heart! For they,
Longing to see him, wear my life away.
GU
Yes
1245
O heart, can I call him a foe and dump him
Who longs not for me though I long for him? *
GU

1246
My heart that pretends to be angry will at once
Yield and jell seeing my lover.
NV

1247
O my good heart! Either shed shame or shed love
For I cannot bear both. *
KK

1248
O my poor soul! You persist in pursuit of the departed,
Longing for his favours! *
JN

1249
Where are you searching my heart
While you know my dear one is within? *
KK, PS

1250
To retain the deserter still in my heart
Is to suffer losing more charm. *
KK


Notes:
1244. Compare with 1170. "If eyes could also reach him like the heart, they won’t be swimming in a flood of tears" - NV

126
Loss of modesty
Translators
Notes
1251
The axe of love can break open the door of chastity
Secured by the bolt of modesty. *
 DL, JN
Yes
1252
That pitiless thing called Love
Exploits my heart even at night. *
 PS

1253
Fain would I hide my love, but it breaks out
Unawares like a sneeze. *
 PS

1254
In modesty I deemed myself beyond assail;
But love has now cast away the veil. *
 GU

1255
The dignity of not pursuing the indifferent
Is one thing unknown to the love-sick. *
 MS

1256
What sort of passion is this that induces me
To follow the very one who deserted me?
 KV

1257
When the lover does all we desire,
We forget all shame unawares.
 SB

1258
Are not the enticing words of this wily fraud
Weapons that break my feminine reserve? *
 DL

1259
Determined to sulk I went, but when my heart merged,
I too went and clasped him. *
 JN, PS

1260
Can they ever think of refusing to be reconciled,
Whose hearts melt like fat in fire?
 VS


Notes:
1251. Compare with 71. "Can love be latched and hidden? A trickling tear will proclaim it loud" - PS
1259. Compare with 1284. “My friend, I went all set to quarrel, but my heart forgot and clasped him”. (PS)

127
Mutual longings
Translators
Notes
She
1261
My eyes have lost their glow and my fingers worn out
Marking the days of his absence. *
KK

1262
What if I forget him now, my bright jewel?
For it costs my beauty and armlets! *
SI, DZ
Yes
1263
He parted from me longing for conquests;
And if I live yet, it is longing for his return. *
VS
Yes
1264
The thought of reunion when my love returns
Makes my heart burgeon higher and higher.
PS
Yes
1265
Pallor will soon disappear from my slim shoulders,
Once my eyes feast seeing him.
NV

1266
Enough if he returns for a day,
I will gorge him till all my ills vanish.
NV

1267
When he, dear as my eyes, returns,
Should I frown or embrace him or do both? *
SI

He
1268
May the king succeed in his efforts!
I can then join my wife and party in the evenings.
NV

1269
Even a day will seem seven to those
Who long for the day of their mate’s return.
NV

1270
To one dead of a broken heart, what avails my return,
Meeting or even embrace?
VS, PS


Notes:
1262. Can be translated differently based on how the word "
என்" is being interpreted, whether as "what" or "mine". The phrase "மறப்பின் என்" could therefore mean either "What if I forget" or "If I forget, my" and thus giving different meanings. SI, SB, VS, DZ and KV have preferred the first one, while PS, KK, JN, MS, GU and DL have opted for the second interpretation. The first one has been preferred here. If the second rendering is chosen, then the couplet would be taken to mean: "My bright jewel, if I forget him now, bracelets will slide off my shoulders, losing its beauty" *- MS, JN. On the contrary, bracelets should actually slip and shoulders lose their beauty only when the lady keeps remembering her lover, not when she forgets!
1263. An alternate good translation but not close to original: "With his mind set on conquests he left, while I live here with my eyes set on his return" - KV. Compare this with 1230: "Longing for him who left longing for wealth, the evenings have their toll on my undying soul" - NV
1264. The phrase "
கூடிய காமம் பிரிந்தார்" has been taken to mean differently. As [i] "One who embraced and parted" by MS, DZ, VS and [ii] "reunion when my love returns" by SB, PS. Both views seem to be correct, but KV and DL take somewhat a middle path "the lover returning with enhanced love" by taking the word "கூடிய" as enhanced. But the context of the buoyant heart going higher and higher at the thought of the lover’s return imply that she is thinking about the reunion of love.
128
Sign language
Translators
Notes
He
1271
Even if you hide, your divulging eyes reveal
That something lurks your mind.
NV

1272
Her eye catching beauty and bamboo shoulders
Simply enhance her feminine reserve!
NV, JN

1273
Something shines in her jeweled charm,
Like the thread shining in a crystal bead.
PS, SB

1274
Something lurks behind her half smile
Like the fragrance in a flower bud. *
PS

1275
The trickery caused by the braceleted one
Carries the medicine to cure my ills as well. *
KV
Yes
She
1276
The lack of love in his embrace implies that
More sufferings are in store for me. *
KV

1277
Even before I could, my bangles figured out
The immanent separation from my lord.
NV

1278
My lord left only yesterday,
And I already have a week's pallor. *
PS
Her friend to Him


1279
She did no more than show me her loose bracelets,
Slender shoulders and swollen feet.
KV, JN
Yes
1280
They say a woman is most womanly
When she makes her eyes declare and plead. *
PS


Notes:
1275. Compare with 1102. "The cure for a disease is always different. But this jewel is both disease and cure" - DL, PS
1279. This statement is made by the lady drawing the attention of the now returned husband to the changes her physique has undergone owing to separation.
129
Yearning for union
Translators
Notes
1281
To please with the thought and delight with the sight,
Belongs not to liquor but love.
PS
Yes
1282
Where love is as large as a palm tree,
Even millet of sulk is misplaced. *
KV, PS

1283
Let him neglect me and do what he will.
My eyes will not rest till they see him.
PS

1284
My friend, I went all set to quarrel,
But my heart forgot and clasped him.
PS
Yes
1285
Like eyes that can’t see the painting brush,
I don’t see his faults when I see him. *
MS

1286
When I see him I see no faults, and when I don't,
I see nothing but faults! *
PS

1287
It is folly to plunge into a known raging stream.
Likewise, why sulk and plumb known lies? *
PS

1288
The drunkard seeks wine knowing well its shame;
So does your bosom to me, O thief! *
SI
Yes
1289
Love is more delicate than flower;
Not many handle it properly. *
JN

1290
Though hostile in the eyes, she was faster than me
To break down and unite.
KK


Notes:
1281. Compare with 1090: "Wine won't delight unless imbibed, but love with a look delights!" - PS and with 1201: "Love is sweeter than wine; its mere thought intoxicates" – PS
1282. Compare with couplets 104 & 433 for the use of same similes “Millet” and “Palm tree”. “To the discerning even millet of aid is as big as a palm tree.” and “To those ashamed of wrong doings, even a millet of fault is as big as a palm-tree”
1283. Compare with 1178. Five of the seven seers (metrical feet) between these two couplets are same!
பேணாது பெட்டார் உளர்-மன்னோ மற்று அவர்க் காணாது அமைவு இல கண்.
1284. Compare with 1294. "Who will consult you hereafter, my heart, having failed to sulk before yielding?" * - MS, PS. Also with 1259. “Determined to sulk I went, but when my heart merged, I too went and clasped him.” * (JN, PS)
1288. Through disgraceful, drunkards seek to drink again. Even so, I long for your bosom in spite of your trickery.
130
Complaint to the heart
Translators
Notes
1291
My heart! You see his heart and stand by him,
But why don’t you stand by me? *
DL

1292
My heart! Having seen his indifference,
Why do you go after him in hope? *
PS, KV

1293
O my heart! Is it because the fallen have no friends
That you madly run after him?
SB, NV

1294
Who will consult you hereafter, my heart,
Having failed to sulk before yielding? *
MS, PS
Yes
1295
Anxious of not getting, and of losing when got,
Either way my heart is always anxious.
NV, PS
Yes
1296
If my heart stays with me here,
It is to devour me when I am musing alone. *
PS, VS

1297
Even modesty I have forgotten,
Due to my meek and foolish heart unable to forget him. *
DL, PS

1298
My dear loving heart decrees, my lord is not to be shamed
And thus hails only his glory. *
SI, SB

1299
Who will help one in distress,
When one’s own heart refuses to help? *
DL

1300
When one's own heart behaves like a stranger,
Why talk of strangers?
PS


Notes:
1294. Compare with 1284. "My friend, I went all set to quarrel, but my heart forgot and clasped him" - PS
1295. Compare with 1179. "Sleepless when he is not here, sleepless when he is, either way my eyes never rest" - PS

131
Coyness
Translators
Notes
1301
Let me feign to be angry
And see his pain of suffering for a while.
NV
Yes
1302
Sulking is the salt of love. To prolong it
Is like salt a little too much. *
SB, DL
Yes
She to Him


1303
To leave a sulky woman alone
Is to cause more pain to the suffering.
PS, NV

1304
To ignore a lady in pout is to cut
An already withering climber at its root. *
SB

He to Himself


1305
The beauty of her feigned anger has an attraction
Even for the spotlessly pure men.
NV, VS

1306
Without frowns and sulking,
Love is like a fruit unripe or overripe. *
KK, JN

1307
Coyness has this one drawback.
That is the worry of delayed union. *
PS, NV

1308
Why grieve when the lover is not there
To know whether you are grieving? *
PS

1309
Just as the refreshing water in the shade,
Pouting has its charms only between lovers. *
KV

1310
Only my desire makes my heart pine for union
With one who keeps on sulking.
PS


Notes:
1301. Compare with 1321. "Though he is not to blame, I feign sulking to bring out the best from of him" - NV
1302. An alternate translation, easy to comprehend, but not close to original: "Love's salt is sulk. A pinch of it is welcome but too much will ruin the taste" - PS

132
Lovers’ quarrels
Translators
Notes
She
1311
I won't clasp your broad chest,
A common dish for all women's eyes to gorge! *
PS
Yes
1312
When I sulked, he sneezed: hoping
I would forget and say "Bless you".
PS

He
1313
If I wear a wreath, she cries enraged:
"For which woman's sake is this?" *
PS

1314
If I say "I love you more than any one",
She frowned asking, "Than whom, than whom?" *
KV

1315
The moment I said we won’t part in this life,
Her eyes were filled with tears.
DZ
Yes
1316
"I remembered you", I said;
"After forgetting?" said she withdrawing herself! *
PS

1317
She blessed as I sneezed, but soon recalled it crying:
"Thinking whom did you sneeze?" *
VS

1318
When I suppressed my sneeze, she wept saying,
"Whom are you hiding from me?"
DL, NV

1319
If I try making up with her, she would ask enraged,
"Is this how you coax others as well?" *
PS, JN

1320
If I gaze at her in silence, she would fume and ask,
"Thinking of whom this comparison?" *
SI, PS


Notes:
1311. SI’s translation, though not literal, would explain this scenario: "All women graze on your breast, O false one! I reject your advances"
1315. ….. thinking of next birth

133
Joys of sulking
Translators
Notes
She
1321
Though he is not to blame, I feign sulking
To bring out the best in him.
 NV

1322
The pinpricks of sulking do not discourage
But strengthen love.
 PS

1323
Is there a heaven higher than love’s sulk
With hearts that join like earth and water?
 SB, VS

1324
From this prolonged pout arises the weapon
To break the defence of my heart.
 JN, NV

He
1325
Even for the guiltless it is a joy to forgo briefly
The shoulders from one’s clasp. *
  PS

1326
More joyous than the meal is its digestion.
So is sulking more joyous than union.
 NV, VS

1327
In lovers' quarrels the loser wins,
As shown when they make up.
 PS

1328
Will she sulk again to bring back the pleasure
Of that union drenched in sweat? *
 KK

1329
May the bright-jewel sulk,
And may the night be prolonged for me to implore her! *
 DL

1330
The joy of love lies in sulking, for that joy is realized
While embracing in union.
 NV


Notes:
1321. Compare with 1301: "Let me feign to be angry and see his pain of suffering for a while" - NV
 

Key to the initials of different translators:
CR - C. Rajagopalachari
KS - Kasthuri Sreenivasan
SI - K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar
DL -W.H. Drew and  J. Lazarus
KV - K. Krishnaswamy & Vijaya Ramkumar
SM -S. Maharajan
DZ - S.M. Diaz
MS - M.S. Poornalingam Pillai
SS - Satguru  Subramuniyaswami
EL - F.W. Ellis
NC - Norman Cutler
TD - S. Thandapani Desikar
GU - G.U. Pope
NV - N.V.K. Ashraf
TK - T.K. Chidambaranatha Mudaliar
GV - G. Vanmikanathan
PS - P.S. Sundaram
VC - V.C. Kulandai Swamy
JN - J. Narayanaswamy
SB - Shuddhananda Bharatiar
VR  - V. Ramasamy
KK - K. Kannan
SD - S.D. Rajendran
VS - V.V.S. Aiyar
KN - K.N. Subramanyam
SG - G. Siromoney, S. Govindaraju & M. Chandrasekaran,


No comments:

Post a Comment