Archive for October 7th, 2008

My friend Mr. Palaniappan Vairam, is a true gem. The right words to describe his work would be unique, being without a like or equal,unusual. I chanced on his initial posts by accident and we chatted up and thus began our almost daily interaction. One look at the subject of his blog is enough to convince you as to why i choose the above lines to describe him and his work - on Tamil Sangam works.

Vairam’s Karka nirka blog

This is not a guest post in the correct sense, for he has already posted this in his blog. But since this style suited mine, i kind of high jacked the post and arm twisted him - for how else do you showcase a key event in Ramayan, sung so beautifully by the king of tamil poetry to be so aptly sculpted in far off Parambanan ( Jog Jakarta - Indonesia) - there are many more lovely Ramayan sculptures in parambanan, which we will see in subsequent posts. Over to Vairam

I choose just a single stanza of Kamban’s Ramavatharam today:

The stags and all the other deer who saw it
came toward it with desire as great as the ocean,
like all those who fall to whores without love,
skilled at elaborately deceiving heart.

Poet: Kamban

Translated by George L. Hart and Hank Heifetz

The Situation:

Marichan, an uncle of Ravana is disguised as a golden deer to woo Rama and Lakshmana out of the way, so that Ravana can capture Sita. So Marichan takes a form of a golden deer.

The Beautiful Simile:

When the golden deer appears, all the stags and other deers around it just flock towards the golden deer with great desire/lust /passion. He employs a brilliant simile here to describe the situation. Men in old times used to visit courtesans who were well versed in all arts. They knew how to satisfy a mans need. The men usually think these women really love them and pour their wealth on them. From the courtesans perspective, they just use their art to deceive the man and earn the riches. Kamban gives this simile to make us understand that the golden deer was too beautiful to believe, a beauty that will attract every one who sees it without any doubt and yet it was deceptive beauty. When some thing seems to be too good , surely something must be suspicious about it, eg. share market, when shares sky rocket in their value suddenly there comes a jolt of a market scandal. But most
people fall for the too good to resist offer. Kamban gives you this stanza to point out that even great mind of Rama had fallen for ‘the too good to resist’.

And some thing in the style of my good friend Mr.Vijay Kumar, a sculpture from Prambanan, Java , to end my post today. Such a loively depiction of the Rama chasing the deer, letting fly his arrow and in his dying moments Maareecha gaining his true demonic form.

maareecha slaying parambanan java.JPG

dont follow the ‘too good to resist’!


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