Duty of Women

பெரும் தடம் கண் பிறை நுதலார்க்கு எலாம்
பொருந்து செல்வமும் கல்வியும் பூத்தலால்
வருந்தி வந்தவர்க்கு ஈதலும் வைகலும்
விருந்தும் அன்றி விழைவன யாவையே.

Women with broad eyes and crescent shaped foreheads,
bestowed with stable wealth and wisdom –
providing succour to needy and hospitality
to guests, what else is their duty?

Women are bestowed with wealth and wisdom, which they should use to provide for those in need and take care of guests.



Filed under பாலகாண்டம்

5 responses to “Duty of Women

  1. anon

    I think it would be better to give bagam/verse number these rather than introducing titles.

    I appreciate your giving the original along with your translation, but I’m not sure why you are giving a prose rendering that strays even further from the text than your verse rendering. (Translations from poetry are rendered into prose to facilitate greater fidelity to meaning than is possible in maintaining a metrical scheme in another language, I don’t know what use it is here.)

    I dont see that there is a question at the end… and which word is “women”? I can’t read Kampan with facility so I hesitate to write the other choices I would question but on the other, I don’t trust your fidelity either.

    • Anon – Agree with using verse number in title. I use காண்டம் as category and படலம் as tag.

      I follow Vai. Mu. Gopala Krishnamachariyar’s commentary as base for my translation. It is not online though. You can check http://tamilvu.org/library/libindex.htm (click on தமிழ் நூல்கள் and scroll down to கம்ப ராமாயணம்). It has the Tamil verse and commentary (done by a group of Tamil scholars). I try to stick to the original as much as possible. Can you point out where I stray further from the text?

      பெருந் தடங் கண் பிறைநுதலார்க்கு – பெரிய அகன்ற கண்ணும் பிறை போன்ற நெற்றியும் உடையவர்க்கு is Kamban’s description of women of Kosala country. He doesn’t use the word woman but describes them.

      அன்றி விழைவன யாவையே – what else do they have to do . He doesn’t use a question mark but it is implied.

      Thanks for the comments.If you can use atleast an alphabet as a handle it will be easy to address you instead of anon.

  2. anon

    If you are trying to stick the original as closely as possible, and the original text doesn’t say “women”, why are you introducing “women”? The poet begins with a description of large, wide eyes and defers the subject, while you begin with the implicit subject. Perum and thadam are two words for the eyes, which you collapse into broad — I would expect a faithful translator to give each word a gloss unless it’s an idiomatic phrase or it’s a metrical translation. I might be wrong about the last line, as I said I can’t read Kampan with facility but that’s what makes me hesitant about reading your translations and introducing errors into my innocent head.

    ps. Do Mullaippattu and Nedunelvaadai instead of Kampan and help me with my homework, lol.

    • Anon- perum and thadam are not two words for eyes but big and broad. I can still help you with your homework though. Google for Vaidehi Herbert – she is translating those two in her blog.

  3. anon

    Lol. a) I wrote “large, wide eyes” in the previous sentence, and b) in that sentence I wrote “two words…which you collapse into broad”, so I think it’s pretty clear I meant two adjectives for eyes, not two synonyms of eye. How can I trust you to read Kampan when you can’t even read me? 🙂 🙂

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