A Taste of Tamil Literature
Waterfall, as Bharathidasan Saw It
TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 2001 (ID.2001-12-02)
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Nature is a favorite subject of poets. Millions of lines of poetry have been written about the beauty of nature in every language. Tamil is no exception. From the oldest available Tamil literature of the Third Tamil Academy (Third Tamil Sangam or Third Tamil Kazhagam), some 2000 years ago, to today's emerging poets, volumes have been written of nature. One favorite of this writer is Bharathidasan's description of a waterfall. In just two words he captured the beauty of a waterfall dazzling in the morning sun.
He described a waterfall as a diamond necklace ("vayira thongal") Visualize in your mind's eye a waterfall flowing from a majestic mountain in the morning hours and a diamond necklace dazzling on the chest of a beautiful woman in a well-lit room. You will see the remarkable similarities. As the crystal clear unpolluted water falls off the mountain, sunlight dances on it reflecting all the colors of a rainbow, in very much the same manner as light reflects on the diamond crystals of the necklace dazzling the onlookers. All such elaborations and more are indeed unnecessary, just the two words "diamond necklace" (vayira thongal) say it all. That was what Bharathidasan did. Succinct and superb!
NOTE: Bharathi Dasan is also known by Pavaenthar (Paaventhar), Puratchi Pavalar (Paavalar) and Puratchi Kavinjar (Kavingar). Also, some authors spell his name as Bharati Dhasan or Bharathi Thasan.
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