Sugarcane (kan2n2al)

Periannan Chandrasekaran perichandra at YAHOO.COM
Fri May 21 19:49:13 UTC 1999

--- Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD <jlc at CCR.JUSSIEU.FR> wrote:
> At 07:13 16/05/99 PDT, N.Ganesan a �crit :
> >We are indeed fortunate to have a poem by TiruJAn2acampantar
> >(7th century CE) on his hometown, cIrkAzi where he employs karunal:
> >        [....]
> >        *karunal paravai kamaz kAzi*
> >        maruvap piriyum vin2ai mAyntE.  (Tevaram 1.34.9)
> >
> >"karunal paravai kamaz kAzi" = *The town, cIrkAzi, surrounded by
> >sugarcane fields*; This meaning of Tev. taking
> >karunal as sugarcane is not hitherto recognized by Tamil pundits.
> Indeed, V.M.Subramanya Ayyar, who was a traditional scholar
> (and a disciple of U.V.S.) takes that line to be
>  "karu naR paravai kamazh kAzhi" and translates it as:
>  <<kAzhi, where the good and blue sea is issuing its fragrance.>>
>   (in an unpublished translation which he completed before his death,
>    but without revising it; it is kept in the French Institute
> Library
>    and we plan to make it available on CD-ROM some day
>    along with a concordance of Tevaram)
> One has to add that kan2n2al itself occurs several times inside
> Tevaram
>  [4-43(10), 5-38(2), 5-93(6), 7-84(10)]
> A problematic occurrence is 3-120(11):
> *VMS takes the line to be:
>   "kan2 nalam periya kAzhiyuL"
>    <<K. which is great by the beautiful workmanship
>      of the walls of fortification>>
> *TVG (T.V.Gopal Iyer) takes the line to be:
>  "kan2n2al am periya kAzhiyuL"

The sea is actually described as *stinking*.
The crowning glory of Indian literature cilappathikAram's poignant
poems in "kAn2al vari" chapter  exquisitely portray the ocean-side
scenario [kAn2al = sea-side garden or forest;
vari = a poem relating to dance].

"pulavuRRu iraGki atu nIGkap
 pozil taN talaiyil pukuntu utirnta
kalavaic cemmal maNam kamazat
 tirai ulAvu kaDal cErppa!..." (cilap:7:39:1-2)

pulavu = smell (of fish); nIGka = to rid (of the smell);
maNam = fragrance; tirai = wave; kaDal = ocean;

"...Oh my lover belonging to the sea-side town with
forests where ocean waves frequent to get rid of their
fish smell and pick up the fragrances of the sweet fruits
and flowers lying on the floor..."


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