If life permits me to read more, I would prefer to read ramayanam by Kamban who’s thousands of verses portray the best of tamil literature’s finest poetry. It is a sad fact that a poet of his caliber was omitted in the original theme song of tamil classical status celebrations, and had to be reminded of his contribution to tamil.Oh ! I don’t want to start a political controversy. Though I couldn’t be unmindful of the fact that our regular supply of patients were cut off during those days of tamil classical meet., our area being close to coimbatore and people were more inclined to get their packets of biriyani there rather than tomato rice here.
I do not want to condemn the recent practice of thrashing all religious and mystic writings as junk by learned people. ( could be substituted as atheist/reformist/ our new class of politicians who seem to be the authority of tamils).Poetry is something which strikes a chord between the poet and the reader. So it is no one’s business as to what makes my heart soften and what should be preferred by me. It is to be noted that Bharathiyar exclaims “ I haven’t come across in all languages that I’ve learnt, A poet who’s merit equals that of kamban, valluvan or ilango”
The situation of Kamban was no good when he was alive. In fact,he had to support himself making manual labour in his old age. His only son , according to legend was killed for falling in love with the king’s daughter. I remember walking in the streets of chennai last year with my friend to get a copy of Kamba Ramayanam . The publisher’s content was that it will be printed only if there are quite a number of enquiries. So, that put an end to my quest for Ramayanam for a while. Probably I should’ve google searched for other publishers or should’ve gone to coimbatore literary meet to get a copy for me,much to my chief’s astonishment as to why I colour myself in political hues.
What triggered me to write this?? A recent question by my better half..now truly better.. which made me raise my one eyebrow( i can write this, no one is going to ask for a demonstration)." Is it true that no one passes beyond the steps of kulashekarappadi?”. Hmm! That was quite something which made me ponder about the original pasuram. Kulashekarazhwar wanted to become the stone which all the devotees, gods and nymphs passed to see 'HIS' glory.
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Unto the doors of thy altar , I come
My father, towering over the hills of Venkatam,
wishing to stay as a stone where reigns
The glory of gods, nymphs and saints
Weeding my vice , at the behest of thy word
I stay put savouring the ruby lips, my lord..
Ultimately I have zeroed on the 4000 verses.That’s why initially I wrote “if life permits to read more....”.Hmm... religion is the opiate of masses.. Who cares ..As long as I’m not arrested for possesing illicit drugs..( why have I become so much cynical?)