Monday, May 28, 2012

MANIMEKALAI ON THE MOVE… A play in English by latha ramakrishnan


A  play in English by latha ramakrishnan

Venue _ a dim-lit Theatre with rows of seats. Soft Music floats.

Characters : Manimekalai, Anaamikaa and a bunch of viewers.

(The end portion of the Play Manimekalai is being enacted on the Stage. The chief protagonist Manimekalalai, a young and beautiful woman,the daughter of Madhavi, the dancer for whom the hero of the great Tamil Epic Silapadhikaram fell for, is seen in the garment of a saint of sort holding the small container called ‘Atchaya Pathiram’ which Goddess Manimekala had just then given her with the instruction that she should not let her heart pine for carnal desires and material gratifications but focus her mind on serving Mankind to the best of her ability, with the help of that ‘divine container’. After offering food to a few persons on stage Manimekalai alights from the stage and moves on in the midst of the audience, offering food to some here and some there of whom Anaamikaa is also one. Thus, reaching the entrance, Manimekalai goes out and disappears. Voices are heard from among the audience expressing agiation and surprise.)

 Oh, where is she? Where is she?

A Male voice: Is the taste of the food any different from the usual one..?

A Female Voice: Has she vanished into thin air?

A child : Oh, how I wish that she had given me the divine vessel.. I will play with it throughout the day!

Anaamikaa, a middle-age woman sitting in the midst of the audience looks into her palms, dumbstruck with wonder and awe.

Another voice: Hey see, there is nothing in her hands..!

Anaamikaa: But, there is everything in my hands, your hands, their hands… it is indeed sad that we are not able to see ….for, if only we can see we can use it for our own good and for the good of others…

(She murmurs to herself and slowly moves towards the exit)

                  (Scene 1 comes to a close)


Venue : Anaamikaa’s residence with a cot , book shelf, a chair and a table. A pot is placed in one corner. Raga of Early Morn, sounds of screeching birds, etc. ,being thinly heard form the background Music.

Characters : Manimekalai, Anaamikaa

(Early Morning. Anaamikaa, deep in sleep gets up, hearing a knock at the door. She gets up, goes to the door and calls out in a small voice, growing apprehensive)

Anaamikaa: - Who is that?

The voice from outside responds in a whisper : It is me. Manimekalai. Please open the door..

Anaamikaa: What? Manimekalai! Oh god-

(She swiftly opens the door and Manimekalai comes running inside)

Anaamikaa: (Looking at Manimekalai in sheer amazement) Oh, Thanks for coming! Thanks indeed Manimekalai…but, where did you go yesterday?

Manimekalai: I went to the seashore to pray. By the time I finished my prayer It had grown dark and there were quite a number of men standing by my side, eyeing me lusciously and viciously. Somehow I managed to get away from them and left the place…

Anaamikaa : (Looking bewildered) – But, how come you are here..!

Manimekalai : (Smiling softly) –Why, don’t you want me here..? I thought you would..

Anaamikaa : (Hurriedly) –Of course, you are welcome..! it is just that I am at a loss to know what made you come here…seeking me..

Manimekalai : The seeking in your eyes, may be.. Yesterday when I offered you food from this divine container (pointing at Atchaya Paathram) there was an overwhelming hunger in your eyes which couldn’t be for one single person… how you longed to grab the divine container from my hands….! (smiles again affectionately) So, I thought that if I take you along with me I would be able to serve the right persons… will you accompany me Anaamikaa..?

Anaamikaa : Oh, I will definitely come, my friend… but, how come you know my name!

Manimekalai : I called you Anaamikaa, the Nameless..! After all, what is there in a name…

Anaamikaa : (Shaking her head) – We can also say that everything is there in a name…! Anyway, can you be in more than one place at the same time..?

Manimekalai : Oh,no – that is not possible. Why ?

Anaamikaa : (as if speaking to her own self) – Because, there are too many have-nots all over the world… If you take our country we spend crores on cricket, missiles and rockets. But, there is no decent shelter for the poor… no clean public- toilet…the gap between the rich and the poor keeps on widening… (as if remembering suddenly) and, one more thing… your divine container can give food alone or other things also…? ( sad tune heard from afar)

Manimekalai : Food only. Why do you ask..?

Anaamikaa : Because, there are several other basic needs to be realized.. Like true love, for instance…by the way, it is good that the prince Udhayakumaran and yourself parted ways… at the budding stage of love itself…

Manimekalai : Oh, no, the pain is killing at times, you know…(looks anguished)

Anaamikaa : Exactly.. and it is because you couldn’t come together… so, each one’s expectations of the other remain intact… like the tightly closed palm which keeps the expectations and speculations of what would be inside, alive… so, there is no room for disillusionment… also, you are still young and beautiful and also rich, in possession of that divine container of yours… you have saved yourself from the pain of being cast away once your body is sucked to the core, once its secret spots have all been thoroughly scaled and you become old and bankrupt…(the lights turn grey and the Music turns into a mourn)

Manimekalai : Are you crying Anaamikaa..?

Anaamikaa : Don’t we all, at times…? not just for one particular person but for the whole lot of time lost in such a hide and seek game called Love… oh, come on, I will get you something to eat..Wonder whether you had anything all these hours…oh, hoiw stupid of me- you have your divine container and..

Manimekalai : No, I can’t get food from it.. it is to feed others…

Anaamikaa : Is it so! How nice it would be if such mechanisms are available to act as a check on our selfish and greedy rulers..!

(Both of them have a hearty laugh and disappear into the kitchen)

                 (The scene comes to a close)

Venue : Roadside

 : People, media-men, foreign tourists,Manimekalai, Anaamikaa, a child, poor woman, old man, others.

(Manimekalai and Anaamikaa are standing at a roadside, surrounded by all sorts of people. Poor people, politicians, children, foreign-tourists …Media persons vie with each other to get a word from Manimekalai… questions come from all sides.. (The tunes of various advertisements that we come across in T.V.Channels and Radio shoud form the background music)

Media Person 1 _Manimekalai Madam… what for you have come here..?

Media person 2 _ Where do you go from here…?

Reporter of a Newspaper _ What are you future plans?
(Reporters’ queries should be in the tone and manner of the T.V. News Readers)

A child _ Will you give me that beautiful toy in your hand..?

A poor woman _ ( In a pleading voice) Do you have another one of that sort…? if only I can have a bellyful everyday I need not go to that rotten work, facing all sorts of abuses, sexual and otherwise..(Manimekalai wipes away the tears that roll down the hapless woman’s cheeks)

An old man with a walking stick _ You get cooked food only in that, no? For, at this age my sons are not willing to keep me with them… and, If only I have such a container as this, half of my problem will be solved…(speaks in a trembling voice. Manimekalai takes hold of his hand compassionately).

Manimekalai is seen crushed in the midst of the suffocating crowd. Anaamikaa drags her out of it all and makes her sit in an auto. The vehicle goes off at great speed with the ocean of humanity in hot pursuit.

                         (Scene 3 comes to a close)

Venue : Three spot-light spots on the stage

Characters : Two or three thugs, two or three greedy political big-wigs, a few good samaritans.

On stage three different locations are shown with the help of flash-lights in three different colours. In each spot there are two to three persons deep in discussion.

I Spot : First Person :_ So, it is decided. We are kidnapping Manimekalai.

Second Person _ And, we are to kidnap her along with the divine container. If we fail to do so, then we are demanding the vessel as ransom. Got it?

First Person : - Perfect!

(Both of them leave the spot and the spot turns dark slowly, leavingits side of the stage vacant)

II Spot : First Person _ Don’t say “I will try my best’ and that usual stuff. You are bringing Manimekalai into our fold. If we can make her our Public Relations Officer our Party would fare extremely well in the coming Elections..

Second Person _ (Irritated) You fool, I am thinking on the line of forming a new Party having her at the helm of affairs… and the symbol is that divine container.! How is that!

Third Person _(vigorously clapping) A real sixer! I will go and bring her by hook or crook , Master… and, what to do with the other lady…?

Second Person _ That good for nothing woman.. if needed we have to take her also into our fold… or, better still, intimidate her so that she would stay away from Manimekalai…

(The men leave and the place grew dark with the flash-light switched off)

III Spot :- A group of men and women are seen to be debating something all too intently.

A Woman : We should somehow save Manimekalai and that woman… After all this is what we have been fighting for, no… that one and all should get access to their basic needs…

A Man : And, this lady has come all the way, crossing centuries and the great abyss of time to feed our people ..isn’t it our duty to protect her…? We should waste no more time.. let’s go in search of her…come what may… we should support those two…

(The people leave and the spot grew dark with the flash-light switched off)

                  (Scene 4 comes to a close)

Venue : A hide-out kind of place.

Characters : Manimekalai, Anaamikaa, prince Udhayakumaran, News-Reader, some people on the seashore.

The T.V is on. News Time.

News Reader : It is unanimously decided that Manimekalai should not be allowed to go on her own and feed the people. As it is bound to create a Law and Order problem, the Government has decided to take up the matter. Political parties vie with one another to get Manimekalai into their fold. As she looks beautiful and as she is a very good dancer the movie-makers are marching towards her place to book her. Historians and Archeologists also are hurrying to meet her to collect information pertaining to the period in which she lived.

Manimekalai : (Looking up sadly) Now, what are we going to do Anamikaa..? I don’t want to give you any trouble.. Let me go…it is just that I don’t want to waste this divine container… I want to put it to good use here…but, it seems that I will not be allowed to do so…(looks above, thoughtfully)

Anaamikaa : Don’t lose heart Manimekalai… let’s find out some way…But, we have many free meals scheme today… true, that despite all those there are still a sizeable number of people who die without food.. also, for the sake of getting at least one square meal a day there are a lot who have to toil hard all the thirty days of a month… to relieve them of their burden and to give them a chance to enjoy life, your divine container is very much needed here… but…(looks at Manimekalai with real concern)

Manimekalai : I know I cannot remain here for long… They wont allow me to get along with my work.. and they won’t spare you too…Further, the traffic and pollution here prove too much for me… in my place, during the period in which I lived, it was not this bad… let me pray to Goddess Manimekala .. she will show me some way… ( closes her eyes and sits erect )

After a few moments Manimekalai opens her eyes and smiles at Anaamikaa. The latter looks at her questioningly.

Manimekalai : She is such a good soul Anaamikaa, who is always there when I am in need of help…you know what! she has asked me to leave the divine container here itself and leave the earth at once.. if someone comes to you , just give this letter of mine where I have made it clear that it should be in your custody.

Anaamikaa : (Looking apprehensive) But.. if someone takes it away by force.. if someone smashes it…?

Manimekalai : you need not worry on that score. No one can break this divine container. And, thousands of hands can feel it or hold it, but only those hands that are genuinely concerned about the hunger of others can get food out of it. Whoever wants to feel it, let them do so. If they come with some hidden motives, the container would remain empty. And, if someone takes it away by force, or, if the State orders you to surrender it to the Government Exchequer, it will come back to you, wherever you are..One more thing, I have also appealed to Goddess Manimekala to modify it suitably so that you can relieve people of their hunger and also fulfil their numerous other unsatiated but fair needs. You are the deciding authority in this… Happy..?

Anaamikaa - (with tears welling up in her eyes, going towards Manimekalai and holding her hands) My dear girl..

Manimekalai : (giving her an affectionate hug) – Do you want to test it for your self..? Try it. For, I have to leave in a short while..

Anaamikaa : What !

Manimekalai : Yes, Please try for yourself whether it works..

Anaamikaa : Please, you must also close your eyes!

(Manimekalai obeys. Then Anamikaa closes her eyes and prays. After a moment she raises her head towards the sky and does a gesture with her hands, as if calling somebody to get down)

The stage turns completely dark for a moment and the next instant amidst the flash of bright colours prince Udhayakumaran stands in front of Manimekalai!

Manimekalai : ( Looking shocked but at the same time extremely happy, she exclaims) –Udhay!

(Then, she turns towards Anaamikaa. Anaamikaa nods her head with a smile full of affection and empathy)

Anaamikaa : (Walking here and there slowly, utters these words softly) True, Love has its dark side, but, it is not all dark Manimekalai. And, don’t you know those golden words.. IT IS BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST THAN TO HAVE NEVER LOVED AT ALL.. Go on, Love him, give him your all and have him lock, stock and barrel..! This is the only befitting way of conveying my thanks to you for your immense trust in me.. Such an affectionate person you are, and why should you remain hungry, depriving yourself of the love that you long for..? I will help as many as possible, in all possible ways, I promise. My best-wishes to both of you,my friend..!

Like a child so full of joy Manimekalai hugs and kisses Anaamikaa on the cheeks . Then , the lovers whirl and swirl in an ecstatic dance , accompanied by romantic tunes, on the vast stretch of the sand-bed of the beach before getting into the Sea and as they wave happily to the people on the shore, there Anaamikaa is seen standing amidst them, allowing the children to touch the divine container in her hand and slowly taking out all kinds of toys and distributing them to the kids, all the while casting a sad, affectionate look on the sea and its ceaseless waves.

(The Play comes to an end)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

CAME THOMAS A Novel in Thamizh by KA.NAA.SUBRAMANIAN Translated into English by Latha Ramakrishnan


A Novel in Thamizh by KA.NAA.SUBRAMANIAN

Translated into English by Latha Ramakrishnan

1. Thiruvalluvar (Tamilதிருவள்ளுவர்Tiruvaḷḷuvar ?)was a celebrated  Tamil poet and philosopher [1] whose contribution to Tamil literature is the Thirukkural, a work on ethics. Thiruvalluvar  is thought to have lived sometime between the 2nd century BC and the 8th century AD.This estimate is based on linguistic analysis of his writings, as there is no archaeological evidence for when he lived.He is sometimes also called Theiva Pulavar ("Divine Poet"), Valluvar,   Poyya mozhi  PulavarSenna Pothar, or Gnana Vettiyan.

2. Thomas the Apostle, also called Doubting Thomas  or  Didymus (meaning "Twin," as does "Thomas" inAramaic") was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is best known for questioning Jesus' resurrection when first told of it, then proclaiming "My Lord and my God" on seeing Jesus in  John 20:28. He was perhaps the only Apostle who went out side the Roman Empireto preach the Gospel. He is also belie ved to have crossed the largest area, which includes the  Parthian Empire and India.

3. Ka. Naa. Subramanyam (b. 31 January 1912 - d. 18 Dec ember 1988)[1] was a Tamil writer and critic from Tamil Nadu,  India. He is also popularly known by his Tamil initials as  Ka..Naa.Su. Subramaniam was born in Valangaiman  in  Thanjavur District. His first noted published work was the novel Poithevu (1946). He also wrote poems using the pseu donym Mayan. He published many literary journals like  Ilakkiya vattamSooravali and Chandraodayam. He became a literary critic in the 1950s. His reviews first appeared in the magazines Swadesamitran and Saraswathi. In 1965, he moved to New Delhi and started writing articles for English language newspapers. For the next twenty years he lived in Delhi and moved back to Chennai only in 1985. In 1986, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil for his literary criticism Ilakkiyathukku oru Iyakkam (lit. A Movement for Literature). Pondicherry University made him an honorary professor. He died in 1988. The Government of Tamil Nadu nationalised his works in 2006.
 [*courtesy: wikipedia]

I] down memory lane….

latha ramakrishnan

I am never good at undertaking ‘down memory lane’ journeys. And, twenty years is a long time. Still, a few reminiscences about this book seem inevitable…

Two or three years before his demise, in December 1988, veteran writer Ka.Naa.Subramaniam had come to Chennai and was living in Mylapore, with a failing eye-sight. Learning this I wrote a card to him saying that I would consider it an honour to be of some help to his literary activities. Shortly afterwards I met him and started going to his place almost everyday. I was one of the few who could read his handwriting (it would be too small but so neatly aligned with no corrections, addition, deletion etc.) and so was able to be of some help to him. I could feel a sense of peace in his presence.

When he asked me to translate into Tamil his novel ‘Avadhuthar’, originally written in English by him I thought he was kind of evaluating my literary capabilities and nothing more than that. But, he did get my translation published. So, when he asked me to translate his poignant novel ‘Thomas Vandhaar’ into English I set out to do it in right earnest.

Sad indeed that when I was half way through the translation assignment, Ka.Naa.Su breathed his last. Nevertheless, I finished translating Thomas Vandhaar, giving it the title ‘Came Thomas’, in the next six months. And, when his wife left for Delhi I gave my typed manuscript to her, thinking that in Delhi the prospects for its publication would be far better.

Nothing happened in the next twenty years for which no use blaming any body, including my own self. Recently, when I came to know that writer Ka.Naa.Su’s books and works were handed over to Kalachuvadu for preser vation, I contacted the son-in-law of Ka.Naa.Su, Mr.A.R.Venkatachalapathy and the head office of Kalachuvadu in Nagarcoil asking for my manuscript. They made arrangements for the manuscript to reach me within a month for which I genuinely thank them.

Seeing my manuscript, the white-sheets having turned grey and brown, after almost two decades, with the covering letter written by me, in fact, I experie nced an eerie feeling, to say the least.

We can perceive a general trend around us, the ‘in-thing’ so to say, whereby if one echoes our views he/she is hailed and approved of, and, if not, abused and subjected to class-based and caste-based castigation. But, Ka.Naa.Su belonged to that clan of writers who write what they feel right no matter whether they get accolades or brickbats and who would never be the mouth-piece of any particular individual or group.

When this novel was serialized in a small magazine for several months it gave considerable food for thought. I sincerely hope that this English version of it would also prove that poignant. Whatever be the merits of this translation of mine, they truly belong to Ka.Naa.Su and the lapses are entirely mine. Hope they are few.

There are a round 25 chapters in this novel, comprising some 230 pages. I would be uploading my English rendering of this novel chapterwise in this blogspot of mine once in every week. I sincerely wish to have my English rendering of this very thought-provoking novel published in a book form. I sincerely hope that there won't be any need for me to remind anyone that though writer Ka.Na.Su's works are nationalized my English translation of his Thamizh novel 'Thomas Vandhaar[Came Thomas] is not!


Latha ramakrishnan

Chapter 1

Can anyone claim for sure that Thiruvalluvar lived thousand and nine hundred years ago or thirty, fifty or hundred years earlier or later only, from hence?

How can anyone say with absolute certainty? Apart from the fact that there lived a man called Thiruvalluvar and he wrote Thirukural, the rest like when and where he lived, which religion he belonged to , what educational qualifications he possessed are things not known to us clearly, we should admit.

Still, stories afloat such as Thiruvalluvar Year, that he lived in Mylapore, had a virtuous woman by name Vasuki as his wife… All these are…?

Should be mere tales only. It is man’s tact to fill in those gaps when nothing is known for sure, as suits his whims and fancies. There is nothing wrong in it.

Of course, nothing wrong. But, will that become true?

What at all is Truth? Usually, we accept things if we feel that accepting that which is accepted by one and all would be good to us as well as to others and also to the society.

Don’t we tend to think on the line that accepting stories in the place of History has been the Indian Custom?

But, History, Fiction, Mythology, Novel are all, in a way, the Truth that all have accepted for convenience sake. Aren’t they? Instead of saying that this was ‘The Truth’ I came here to ask whether it was a lie. But, I changed course. Isn’t believing History as nothing but facts and accepting it in stories, Mythology too, just a Custom?

Viewed in that light we can accept that more or less thousand and nine hundred years ago form hence – it can be fifty or hundred years earlier or later too – in a place called Mylapore, lived a man called Thiruvalluvar. When nothing is known as to whereelse and in what other period he lived, what is wrong in accepting the available information regarding the time and place of his being? We can say with conviction that though not exactly known it looks like it might have been so _

The nativity of Thiruvalluvar and the period in which he lived are not known. Does one know at least the religion to which  he belonged…?

Even that is not to be. Hindus, Saivas, Vaishnavaites and many other sects and also Jains, why – even the extremists claim him to be of their clan. But, by and large, there is more room to consider him a Jain.


From things like such terms as that appear in the very first Kural ‘Aadhi Bhagavan’ [the Prime God] and ‘Malarmisai Aeginaan’[He who is atop the floral seat]. Vaiyapuri Pillai and others consider him a Jain. Seems like, we can also consider him so, thus.

Will that alone suffice?

Ofcourse not. Taking into account the prestigious place to which Justice is raised aloft and also the atmosphere of non-violence in the Universe of Thiruvalluvar also, we can consider him to have been a Jain. In one Kural he says that as long as there remain men who eat the flesh of the killed animals, there will exist the practice of killing animals. This was an argument of the Jains in those times to checkmate to the Buddhists. Likewise, it is very clear that he regarded Agriculture in the same vain as like the Jains who considered it holy, high and noble. Having come to agree that he did not belong to the religion of Buddha, taking into account the fact that he had dealt with at length many thoughts common to both the Schools – the Boutha and the Jaina also , there is room enough to think of him as a Jain.

What about the practice of describing Thiruvalluvar as a ‘so-called’ low-caste born, which is in vogue?

Isn’t there room to speak of him as a ‘low-caste’ born, even if he was a Jain?

It is believed that he belonged to the ‘Valluvar’ caste. The reason for such a notion is not known.

In his work one can find several views and sayings of Christianity. Which gives room to consider him a Christian. After Rev.G.U.Pope voced his opinion that he was to be viewed at least as a person who was familiar with the views and ideology of Christianity, such a viewpoint has come to stay.
That  Jesus himself had engaged his immediate, chosen disciples in the mission of converting the whole humanity as Christians, holds the history of Christianity. It is said that according to the Bible the task of converting the Indians as Christians was assigned to one called St.Thomas. I don’t know with what evidence they claim so. And, the eleven  disciples of Jesus known as Apostles divided the world between themselves and toiled hard to spread the gospel of Jesus throughout the  world. This seems to be a veritable historical fact.

Then, would he, called St.Thomas who was one of the eleven, who came to India thus, have met Thiruvalluvar and spoken to him elaborately about the Christian views and outlook of life?

Who can say that such a thing  should not, could not have taken place? We can think on the line as to whether it could have happened. On the other hand, one can also say that some of the noble Christian concepts of life would have become known to Thiruvalluvar from within. None can say for sure that they couldn’t have been taken shape like that, from his own inner light.

Then, what are the possibilities of a meeting between Thiruvalluvar and St.Thomas? For, don’t we need some proof to believe…?

True, we do. There exists an age-old story, age-old and widespread among the Christians, which says that the disciple of Jesus called Apostle Thomas came to India for the first time during 40 B.C. and propagated Christianity in the North-West region of India, with the support of King  Kondaberns and, either after his death of dethronement , went away from the place for want of help and support, and, for some time worked in Kerala, and, somewhere around 50 B.C., a little earlier or later, initiating the fishermen into Christian ideals, he went along with them in their boat and along the eastern coast of Indian Ocean reached the seashore of Mylapore during 52, 54, 55 B.C., most probably 62, 63 B.C., was killed by a Brahmin, and attained the status of a martyr.

One set of people might tend to ask whether a Brahmin could have killed him.

The opposite section, in keeping with today’s trend might say that a Brahmin alone could have murdered as the rest have come and journey through the Path of Love and Brotherhood. Don’t know whether the story is real or not. But, St.Thomas Mount, St. Thomas Cathedral and so on, possess evidences to show that this story was indeed believed as true. The fact that exist today lend credence to the thought that St.Thomas might have come to Mylapore.

Thus, if St.Thomas had indeed come to Mylapore, Thiruvalluvar might have had the opportunity of listening to his religious-speeches; gospels.

Of course, he would have listened to the speeches of St.Thomas that were spreading Christianity. Because, for those like St.Thomas who had belief in conversion, only those among the Hindus who were considered ‘low-caste’  born could be won over. Several wealthy and powerful men might have also lent ears to his speeches. These men would have been slightly indifferent and angry toward the approaches and style of and functioning of their own religion. But, indeed Thiruvalluvar, who was in a way a saint and a seer, must have lived in pride and glory during his period, in the then prevailing social atmosphere. And, would such a person have gone to meet St.Thomas?

Then, how could there have been a meeting between the two?

Before proceeding on that line we should think of another aspect. We do not know for sure whether Thiruvalluvar was a Jain or not. We can only say that there is scope to view him as one. He was one who tried to preach to the world through his work, something beyond the mere Jain concepts of Life, Humaneness and a set of ideals would be acceptable to one and all. If the Apostle who was trying hard to make the world accept the thoughts and ideals of Christianity would have met such a person there is room to think that he would have tried to steer him toward Christianity.

Indeed, it is funny to contemplate so. If both of them had indulged in converting each other to their respective religions who would have succeeded? And, we feel that one who won or lost is not what is important, but the meeting and its consequences.

Both of them were men of great mental strength and will-power. St.Thomas was one who came to India with the prefix ‘Doubtful’. Though his suspicion or disbelief was there in him regarding the incarnation of Jesus Christ only, still it goes to show that he had a mind of his own. And, it seems indeed a matter of great interest to imagine how both the wise men would have met and what all they would have talked.

Ok. But, how and under what circumstances both of them would have been thrown together?

Someone called Vaadhoolan in his capacity of an associate of Valluvar, is telling about the historic meet between the two learned men and their dialogues and association. Shall we listen?

Who is this Vaadhoolan?

Someone. Someone like you and me. After some thousand years who would believe that You and I did exist? He is someone like us. He is required to narrate this story.

Isn’t it that through him the story should take place in our perception only? But, what is wrong in that? The perception of the narrator is one; that of the reader, listener, viewer is yet another one and the fusion of the two which gives rise to a wholesome perception. All indeed all of these, have a place in this. Don’t they?

Shouldn’t we know something about Vaadhoolan?

He himself will tell- Let’s listen.

Are we to believe this too? Everything should be believed. Isn’t it a known fact that, in this vast world there are very many things which we refuse to believe, but are bound to believe.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

போகிறபோக்கில் ரிஷியின் 8வது தொகுப்பிலிருந்து

ரிஷியின் 8வது தொகுப்பிலிருந்து
[ஷாலினி புக்ஸ் வெளியீடு] 

கவிதை என்பது இலக்கியத்தின் ‘சபிக்கப்பட்ட பிரிவாகப் பார்க்கப்படும் காலகட்டம் இது. குறிப்பாக தமிழில். இலக்கியமே கவிதைவடிவில் இயங்கிவந்த மொழியிதில் இன்று அரசு நூலகங்கள் கவிதைத்தொகுப்புகளை ‘பீச்சாங்கை வீச்சாக’ புறமொதுக்கிவிடும் போக்கு நிலவுகிறது. [கடந்த சில வருடங்களாக அரசு நூலகங்களுக்கு புத்தகங்கள் வாங்கப்படவில்லை என்று கேள்வி] இருந்தும் கவிதை எழுதுகிறவர்கள் எழுதியவாறே... வாசிப்பவர்கள் வாசித்தவாறே....

அப்படி கவிதையில்- எழுதுவதிலும், வாசிப்பதிலும்  என்ன இருக்கிறது?

கண்டவர் விண்டிலர்; விண்டவர் கண்டிலர்


1]  தொடக்கப்புள்ளியிருந்து வெகுதூரம் வந்தாயிற்று-
போகவேண்டிய தூரம் அதிகம் என்ற தெளிவோடு.
சிறுகற்கள் மலைமுகடுகளாய் வழியடைத்த நிலை மாறி
பெரும்பாறைகளும் இன்று துகள்களாகிவிட்ட
கண்டவர் விண்டிலர்; விண்டவர் கண்டிலர்!!
கருத்துப்போர்வையில் கற்களைச் சுருட்டியெடுத்துவந்து
கைபோனபோக்கில் என் ஆறெங்கும் இறைத்துக்கொண்டிருக்கும் நீ
ஐயோ பாவம்!

உன் உன்னும் என்னும் முன்னும் பின்னும்
ஒடுங்கும் ஒருமைக்குள்
எதிர்வினைக்கும் அறவுரைக்கும் இடையே நிறையும்
அகழி மறைத்துக்
கவியும் காரிருள்.
என் என்னும் உன்னும் இன்னும்
புதிரவிழ்க்கும் எல்லையின்மைக்குள்
இல்லையாகிவிடும் உன் எல்லாமும்!

ஒரு காலாதீதத் தூக்கத்திலிருந்து விழித்துக்கொண்டு
வேர்த்துவிறுவிறுவிறுத்துப் பாய்ந்துவந்து
வழியெங்கும் ஆர்ப்பரித்துக் கொட்டி முழக்குகிறது
அறியாமை புரையோடிய அந்த வரி:

இருண்மை தமிழுக்குப் புதிதோ புதிது

சங்ககாலம் தொட்டு நவீன தமிழ்க்கவிதைவெளியெங்கும்
வாயார வயிறுகுலுங்க கவிகள் சிரித்துக்கொண்டிருப்பதைப் பார்க்க
எத்தனை மகிழ்ச்சியாயிருக்கிறது தெரியுமா?
காயப்படுத்தும் சூழலிலேயே வாழப்பழகியவர்கள்;
கழுவேற்ற மேடை வெகு பரிச்சயமானவர்கள்;
வதைமுகாம்களே வசிப்பிடமானவர்கள்
வடிகட்டிய பாழ் கண்டு
விழுந்து விழுந்து சிரிக்காமல் என் செய்வார்கள்?

இறந்துபோய்விட்டவர்களில் புதைக்கப்பட்டவர்கள்
கல்லறைகளில் புரண்டு சிரிக்க,
எரிந்துவிட்டவர்கள் திரும்ப எழுந்துநின்று
குதிக்கிறார்கள் “ஹே, இது என்ன புதுக்கதை என்று!

இருந்துவரும் கவிகளின் செவிப்பறைகளை அந்த உச்சபட்ச அபத்த வரி
சென்றடையும் நேரம்
நிச்சயம் சீறத்தொடங்கும் சில எரிமலைகள்.

சிறுமை கண்டு பொங்குவாய் வா வா வா!

சொன்ன பாரதியாரை வெறும் பிரச்சாரக்கவி
‘கல்லுக்குள் தேரை கவனித்துக் கொள்ளும்.

சன்னமாய் என் காதுகளுக்குள்ளும் ரீங்கரிக்குமாறு
சில்வண்டிடம் வேண்டிக்கொண்டு
தொடரும் என் பயணம்.


சாலையோரங்களில் சில வீடுகள்
சிலவற்றில் வெளியே அமர்விடங்கள் உண்டு.
இளைப்பாற வரும் வழிப்போக்கர்கள் பலவகை.
அடுத்தவருக்கு இடம் தராமல் தம்மை விரித்துப் பரப்பிக்கொள்ளும் சிலர்
‘அதனாலென்ன பரவாயில்லைஎன்று தரையமரும் சகபயணியை
சீடராக வரித்துக்கொண்டு சிட்சையளிக்கப் புறப்பட்டுவிடுவார்கள்.
[பீடம் கிடைக்க வேறேது கதி?]
இதற்கு கால்வலியே மேல் என்று எழுந்துகொண்டுவிடுபவரை
வழிமறித்து பிடித்திழுத்து செவிப்பறை கிழியக்கிழிய
சொல்லித்தருவார்கள் -
சொல்லும் சொல்பழகாதவர்கள்.

சொக்கப்பித்தளை யிளிப்பை
சொல்ல வல்லாயோ கிளியே...


அகழ்வாரைத் தாங்கும் நிலம்.

அதுதானோ திண்ணையும்?


செல்வழியெங்கும் பாய்ந்தோடிக்கொண்டிருக்கிறது
சிந்தா நதி யொன்று!
நீந்தத் தெரியாது,
ஏழு கடல் ஏழு மலை தாண்டி
அந்தப் பச்சைக்கிளியைக் கண்டடைவதுதானே
வழிச்செலவின் வரவு
சுழித்தோடியவாறு அறிவுறுத்துகிறது ஆறு!

தெம்மாங்குப் பாட்டு தெரியாது.
கர்நாடக இசை படித்ததில்லை.
இந்துஸ்தானி, ஜாஸ், ராக், கஸல்
 என்று எத்தனையெத்தனை  உலகில்!
எதிலுமே பயிற்சியில்லை.
ஆனபோதும், குரலெடுத்துப் பாடவேண்டுமாய் எழும்
இந்தத் திருத்தினவை என்செய்ய....?
மெய்யோ பொய்யோ
உளதாம் குரல்வளம்;
உறுதியாய் கிளம்பும்தான் சுருதிபேதம்.
உச்சஸ்தாயியை எட்டமுடியாது;
பிசிறு தட்டும்.
நிச்சயமாய்த் தெரிந்தாலும்
இச்சமயம் வனாந்திரத்தில் எதிரொலிக்கும் குரலாய்
விரியும் இந்தப் பெருங்கனவை என்செய்ய?

அதெப்படியோ தெரியவில்லை
அயர்வையெல்லாம் மீறி
அவ்வப்போது என் நடையொரு துள்ளலாக
அவ்வளவு ஏன்
சற்றுமுன்னர் தான் சிந்நேரம்

 உனக்கு நீயே என்ன பிதற்றிக்கொண்டு போகிறாய்?
_தாழப்பறந்துவந்து அன்போடு என் தலைதட்டிக் கேட்டது கொக்கு.
மழலைப்பேச்சு மற்றவருக்குப் புரியாது மக்கு! மக்கு!
என்று செல்லமாய் அதன் நீள்மூக்கை நீவிவிட்டபடி கூறினேன்.
இன்னுமா பாதைக்குப் பக்குவப்படவில்லை? என்று கடிந்துகொண்டது
கரையோர முதலை.
காத்திரு என்று வேண்டிக்கொண்டேன்.
நாளை மற்றுமொரு நாளாகாத நாளில் தருவேன்
நல்லதோர் பதிலை.

 அருகேயொரு வண்ணத்துப்பூச்சி பறந்துகொண்டிருக்கிறது-
அற்புதச் சிறகுகளோடு!
ஆனால், எனக்கு ஆறறிவு இருக்கிறது!.
அந்த அசோகமரம்தான் எத்தனை உயர்ந்தோங்கி
ஆனால், எனக்கு ஆறறிவு இருக்கிறது.
வழியில் காணக்கிடைத்த ஆமையின் ஓடு
அத்தனை உறுதியானது!
ஆனால், எனக்கு ஆறறிவு இருக்கிறது.
கருங்கல்லின் சொரசொரப்பும் கூழாங்கல்லின் வழுவழுப்பும்
தொடுவுணர்வின் நல்வினைப்பயனாகிறது!
ஆனால், எனக்கு ஆறறிவு இருக்கிறது.
நாயின் மோப்பசக்தி எத்தனை நம்பிக்கைக்குரியது!
ஆனால், எனக்கு ஆறறிவு இருக்கிறது.
சிலந்திவலையின் தொழில்நுட்பம்
ஆனால், எனக்கு ஆறறிவு இருக்கிறது.
ஆனால்... ஆறறிவில் என்ன இருக்கிறது.....?

வீதியெங்கும் சிதறிக்கிடக்கின்றன _
வறுமையின் பரிமாணங்கள்;
பலியான நீதிநியாயங்கள்
பிய்த்தெடுத்த நகக்கணுக்கள்;
பொய்த்துப்போன வாக்குறுதிகள்;
வெறியின் விரிவுகள்;
வேறுபலவும் நிரம்ப
உலர்ந்தும் உலராமலும் பெருகியவாறிருக்கும் குருதியில்
மொய்த்திருக்கும் ஈக்கள் நோய்க்கிருமிகளைப் பரப்பியவாறு...
கடந்துசெல்ல இயலவில்லை-
நினைப்பிலும் நடப்பிலும்.
பயணத்தில் இந்தக் கையறுநிலை நேராதிருந்தால்
எத்தனை நன்றாயிருக்கும்....
ஆறாது ஏங்கிச்சோரும் பித்துமனதைக்
 காக்க காக்க கவிதை காக்க.....