The Story Of An Embarrassed Elephant

Have you ever seen an elephant embarassed to the pink?

Well, we find a story about one in Kalithogai (an anthology of poems, part of Sangam literature spanning from c. 300 BCE to 300 CE)!! Yes, you read it right, that’s some two thousand years ago.

Here it is:

கொடுவரி தாக்கி வென்ற வருத்தமொடு
நெடு வரை மருங்கின் துஞ்சும் யானை,
நனவில் தான் செய்தது மனத்தது ஆகலின்,
கனவில் கண்டு, கதுமென வெரீஇ,
புதுவதாக மலர்ந்த வேங்கையை
அது என உணர்ந்து, அதன் அணி நலம் முருக்கி,
பேணா முன்பின் தன் சினம் தணிந்து, அம் மரம்
காணும் பொழுதின் நோக்கல் செல்லாது,
நாணி இறைஞ்சும் நல் மலை நல் நாட!

Corbett National Park

Translation (not strictly word by word):

It was a do-or-die fight between the two arch enemies: the elephant and the tiger.

As the vanquished tiger made good its escape,

the elephant rested at a place on the slopes of the high mountain range

and quickly fell asleep, thoroughly exhausted.

The onslaught, however, continued as fiercely as ever, this time in its slumber.

In the process, the freshly blooming vaengai tree (nearby) took a beating of its life.

Finally, fully awake and anger abated, the elephant saw it was not the tiger it had thrashed.

It walked away feeling too embarrassed to look at the poor tree!


 

I wonder what made the poet think this one up. Did he see an encounter first-hand or hear about it from others? A flight of fanciful imagination poets are given to?  Is it an allegorical riddle wherein he is alluding to some incident and persons? Mocking at his king for some sorry misadventure? Or, merely a piece of subtle humor at the expense of a man returning home late, senselessly drunk, beating his wife and waking up next morning to monumental shame and remorse?

Luckily the intrigue endures till this date, feeding our speculative imagination endlessly. Like, of much more recent vintage, the enigmatic gaze of the lady in Louvre.

 

End

 

 

Source: Thanks to Bala of Tamizh Amudham (facebook.com/profile.php?id=100024567173978) for his post. Image from Jim Corbett National Park

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We Grew Up…

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Somewhere between
“8 toffees for 1 rupee”
and
“1 toffee for 8 rupees”,
we grew up!

Somewhere between
“Ground mein aaja” <“Come to the playground”>
and
“Online aaja”, <“Come online”>
we grew up!

Somewhere between
“stealing chocolate of our sister”
and
“buying chocolate for her children”,
we grew up!

Somewhere between
“Just five more mins, Mummy”
and
“pressing the snooze button”,
we grew up!

Somewhere between
“crying out loud just to get what we want”
and
“holding our tears when we are broken inside”,
we grew up!

Somewhere between
“I want to grow up”
and
“I want to be a child again”,
we grew up!

Somewhere between
“Lets meet and plan”
and
“Lets plan and meet”,
we grew up!

Somewhere between
“Yes, Mom, haven’t forgotten the lunch-box”
and
“Mom, the pills are still on the table”,
we grew up!

Somewhere between
“being afraid of our parents”
and
“praying for our parents”
we finally grew up!

And one day we realize…well, here we’re…

End

 

 

Source: facebook.com/gul.advani.9 and image from soundcloud.com

When Men Of Words Play Pass-The-Ball…

the outcome is a delightful read! It’s amazing how one takes off where the other leaves it! Enjoy:

(English version follows)

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Mirza Ghalib: ‘Permit me to have my drink in the Masjid (place of worship). If you don’t approve of it, show me a place where I could with no god around.’

Iqbal: ‘A Masjid is where god resides. It’s no place to have your drink. Yes, there’s one place where you could…the heart of a non-believer.’

Ahmad Faraz: ‘I’ve returned precisely from there, finding the place not of the kind you’re alluding to. It’s not without god – only the non-believer is not aware.’

Wasi: ‘There’s no place on earth without god. Make your way to the heavens where you’re within your rights to enjoy your drink.’

Saki: ‘When I have my drink, it’s for nothing but keeping sorrow at bay.  With no sorrow around, it’s no longer fun to have one’s drink in the heavens.’

Meer: ‘We drink for pleasure and blame it unfairly on sadness and sorrow. Have a jug full…you’ll see the heavens right here on earth!’

End

 

 

Source: Pinterest

PS: The translation is not word-by-word. Attribution not checked for authenticity.

Swatchha Bharat (Clean India)

Swatchha Bharat

He asked the old man for some advice.

The old man turned to him: ‘Have you ever washed utensils?’

What an odd thing to ask! Mildly irritated he said, ‘Yes, what of it?’

‘What did you learn?’

‘What is there to learn from it? All that one does is to scrub it clean.’

The old man smiled at him: ‘Yes, you’re right…but it’s done harder on the inside than on the outside.’

 

End

 

 

 

Source: Strictly not a word-by-word translation of the original from Pinterest, possibly a zen story.

Autumn

(English translation of these beautiful lines follows)

एक वृद्धाश्रम के गेटपर लिखा हुआ एक अप्रतिम सुविचार :

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एक वृद्धाश्रम के गेटपर लिखा हुआ एक अप्रतिम सुविचार :

“नीचे गिरे सूखे पत्तों पर

अदब से चलना ज़रा …

कभी कड़ी धूप में तुमने

इनसे ही पनाह माँगी थी. ”

 

A ‘near’ translation of a sign outside a senior citizens’ home:

“Walk gently over the fallen leaves,

for you had sought their shade once up on a hot summer.”

End

 

 

Source: via Gopalaswamy, image from pixabay.com

Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars

‘Josyam parkaliyo josyam,’ her booming voice

offered to foretell life’s many sorrows and joys.

Strongly vouched for by lawyer’s m’am –

his success rightly told before its time.

 

‘Why not this once? None will be wise about…’

– lady of the house all by herself thought,

Men battling at the court on the day of reckoning –

surely the end for them, their evil designs of usurping.

 

Them – would learn not to covet the house,

that lit a fire of greed difficult to douse.

Where it was sited, long ago, in town outer,

now in the midst of a bustling pricey center.

One married to a girl of city mayor,

held himself above laws of commoner.

 

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So the woman was called in and asked what the stars said.

Mantras chanted, cowries rolled, eyes closed–

a smaller house is an inexorable destiny, she pronounced.

‘What came over me to ask?’ the lady regretted teary-eyed.

 

Hours later…

She was pulled out of swirling thoughts.

Men came in with raucous rejoicing and welcome sweets,

Finally, truth would prevail, she always knew. .

She must tell the lawyer’s wife…what a day, phew!

 

Outside the door, lay an envelope unopened yet

from the office of the mayor, the seal on its face said

 

Its contents –

About his initiative on congestion far gone

and plans to widen a road over their pretty lawn.

 

End

 

 

 

 

Image from keyword-suggestions.com

 

The First Story Of Undying Romance

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End

 

Source: Web