all towns are
one, all men our kin.
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Journey Down Memory Lane To Reach 'tamiz Izam'
tamiz and murukan are almost synonymous. murukan is sometimes referred to as, maly NinRa tirukkumarA mAl marukA, tamiz taNta tavap putalvA vEl murukA.
It is not surprising tamizar get into a trance at the quick repetition of the word murukA. This may be the basis of veRijAdal tiruppukaz by Arunakirinathar is a collection of songs set to music very easy to sing. The speed and foot work of untrained dancers given a kAvadi and to the accompaniment of tavil forces onlookers to join in the dance. It has happened to me several times.
kAvadi dancers adorned with silver spears pierced through their tongues, cheeks and hooks passed through the flesh on either side of the backbone. The free end of the hook is tied to a rope and all the ends on the left are knotted separately from the right together. They serve the purpose of a rein. As the tempo builds, the dancing gets vigorous and the driver or the cedil kARan has his hands full. It also helps the AddakkAran to respond to the command of the cedil kAran who is in many cases a good kAvadi dancer himself.
jAzppAnham was, according to legend or is it history? is that mass of land given to a blind musician for his professional handling of the jAz. tavil is also an ancient tamiz percussion instrument along with udukku. udukku is a double ended small drum tapering in the middle to be held in the hand and played either by fingers or by a hanging string. The pitch is varied by tightening or loosening the rope that gives tension to the playing surface leather. Gypsies or snake charmers known as kuRavar use this during their mind reading performance. It is also called kudu kuduppyc cAttiram.
I had a positive answer to a question that was a dilemma. I wished that I had outside help with the answer. It was a Sunday, and I had returned from my routine check up visit to the workshop. I was reminded that we had to give a definite reply whether we wanted the annex we were interested. The annex we were staying was a little inconvenient and had a severe water problem. The land lord was on the other hand a very amiable and I liked him a lot. As I was thinking about it, I heard the familiar udukku beat and the accompanying, yjAvinry manacily oru ymiccam unhdu, vIdu mARuvatA illyjA? Now here is a gypsy from nowhere telling exactly what was in my mind. I took out all I had in my wallet and gave tit to the kudu kuduppyc cAttiri. I wished I had more.
The udukku is also played as an accompaniment to karakam. This karakam dance was traditionally associated with amman vazipAdu The song goes something like this: karakam karakamadi mutumAri, engkaL kavaly jellAm tIrt taruLvAj muttu mAri.
I have also heard udukku played in a kodum pAvi procession. The American Indians invoked the clouds to shower rains. tamizar believed in tiru vaLLuvar:
- "tejvam tozA aL kozuNan tozutezuvAL
- pejjenap pejjum mazy." KURAL 56
(It was my intention to mix tamiz texts in my writings in the internet, and since cyberspace is not yet equipped to accommodate tamiz in the internet, I had to devise a simple method to overcome this deficiency. tamiz through English alphabets. Table.)
My interpretation of Kural 56 goes like this:
- leasing wife commands rain
- Praying wife demands in vain!
So successive monsoon failure is attributed to either the absence of pleasing wives or as avvyjAr expounds,:
- Nelluk kiRytta Nir vAjkkAl vazi jOdip
- pullukkum AngkE pocijumAm- tollulakil
- NallAr oruvar uzarEl avar poruddu
- ellOrkkum pejjum mazy.
Let me try this in English.
- water in the channel to rice
- seeps to water weeds-man nice
- in this troublesome world
- enough to bring rain to all.
So in a so called civilized world, human sacrifices by individuals are not permitted. Governments can take away human lives in the name of law and order! For the comfort and pleasure of one group massacre another group? Effigies were invented. At times of drought, an effigy of the not so nice a guy or the not so husband pleasing woman called kodum pAvi is pulled on wheels along affected areas and finally burnt to ashes.
The accompanying song goes something like this:
"kodum pAvi cAkALO kOdi mazy pejjAtO?
AvvYp PAddy was a devout muruka pakty and atamiz pitty The story about how murukan showed his appreciation of avvy by playing a practical joke on her. avvy implored piLLyjAr to give her old age to escape the demands of youth which was an impediment to her life purpose of singing praise of murukan and tamiz. She undertook a walkathon through out tamiz land singing and extolling the virtues of murukan and beauty of tamiz.. She is the one who bribed piLLYjAr with her pngkal of milk, clear honey, caramel and lentils in exchange for the three tamizkaL.
- "pAlum teLi tEnum pAkum paruppum ivy
- Nalum kalNtunakku Nan taruvEn-kOlagn cej
- tungkak kari mukattut tU manhijE NI jenakkuc
- cangkat tamiz mUnRum tA."
I do not think any interpretation is necessary. avvy was very fond of children. Those of you who are interested in knowing more about avvy may get a look at avvy in K.B. Suntharambal, in the film avvyjAr a Gemini production. It is available in video. During such a journey, after a long walk in the sun, she was tired and sat under the shade of a NAval tree. It is a berry with a dark skin and almost crimson colored fruit. They fall off the tree when ripe. murukan thought that was the best time for his childish pranks on avvy. avvy saw murukan on the tree eating the berry. She asked murukan to throw a fruit or two. murukan asked her if she wanted warm or cold fruit. murukan dropped a fruit in the sand.
The tired thirsty avvy retrieved the fallen fruit and blew away the sand. murukan had a hearty laugh. avvy wanted to know what was so funny? murukan told her that she just tasted a warm berry because she cooled it by blowing into it. avvy knew then that her idol and tamiz tejvam was playing with her and begged murukan to show himself instead of a prankster boy. The story is murukan obliged her by transforming into the murukan we see in paintings. Mounted on a peacock, with his crown and spear in one hand and the blessing pose with the open palm of his right hand. K. B. Suntharambal turns into a real avvy and the song that follows is hair raising!
avvy in her days renounced her youth to be effective as a messenger. There is no need to renounce anything to send the message to the world today.
I leave you with a song by kAryc cittar.
- "jukamARip pOccutadA kalijukattil
- jOkijavan Nily mARip puranhdu pOvAn
- cakamARip pOccutadA cakatti luLLOr
- tamy maRaNtAr poruL NinyttE tavikka luRRAr
- akamARip pOccutadA kAmam kOpam
- aRuvakyjAm pEjk kunhangka Latika mAccE
- pukaz mARip pOccutadA manitaR kuLLE
- pUranharkaL maRyNtuLLa ravaryk kAnhE."
About cittar and my struggle to get the message across next.