Sarayu reaches the farm lands

கதவினை முட்டி, மள்ளர் கை எடுத்து ஆர்ப்ப எய்தி,
நுதல் அணி ஓடை பொங்க நுகர் வரி வண்டு கிண்டத்
ததை மணி சிந்த உந்தித் தறி இறத் தடக்கை சாய்த்து,
மத மழை யானை என்ன மருதம் சென்று அடைந்தது அன்றே.

Knocking down (sluice) gates, making farmers whoop excitedly,
filling streams to the brim, bees buzzing around,
strewing pearls, breaking down barriers –
like an elephant in heat, did Sarayu reach the farm lands.

An elephant in heat (musth) knocks down the gates, makes the bystanders run around excitedly, makes the ornamental head wear push forward, bees buzz around its temporal secretions, the ornamental pearls it wears are thrown around, breaks down the log it is tied to. Similarly the flood knocks the sluice gates, makes the farmers shout excitedly, fills streams to the brim, bees buzz around, the flood carried pearls and other gems from the forest and breaks down the barriers built to control it. So the flood is similar to an elephant in heat. The tamil phrase – நுதல் அணி ஓடை பொங்க – means both “the ornamental head wear pushed forward” as well as “the streams upfront filled to the brim”. I am unable to match Kamban in English for this.


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