Apr 22, 2002


Was idly browsing through a copy of silapathikaram. The epic poem starts off with a beautiful prayer. Or perhaps praise or celebration would be a better translation than prayer. Ilangovadigal, the author for the benfit of those who have not heard of it, begins by praising the moon, the sun and the rain. He intelligently slides in some praise to the King as well, by comparing these to the various things that the king possesses. One thing that was interesting to me was the moon comes before the sun in his list. First it is the moon, then sun, then rain. I would have expected the sun to be the first.

The climate does have an influence in the language does it not? In my language, you'd rather not have a 'warm' welcome. A few cool words are a good thing. And if you had spent some time under the hot scorching tropical sun you'd know why. So maybe the sun was too harsh that day when our good old Ilango started his poem and the bright moon bringing some relief was a welcome sight?

April 22, 2002