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more on madal

From: Badrinarayanan Seshadri (
Date: Fri Mar 29 1996 - 20:12:49 PST

We have seen that the person performing madal ERudhal attempts
to spread some gossip about his/her lover. parakaala naayaki,
in siRiya thiru madal (STM) merely threatens what she is
planning to do:

.... thaamaraip pOR kaNNaanai eNNarum seerp
pEr aayiramum pidhaRRip perum theruvE
ooraar ikazhilum ooraadhu ozhiyEn naan
vaarrar poom peNNai madal.

I will hurl thousands of unimaginable insults 
at the lotus eyed one and thus blabbering,
I will ride the beautiful palmyra stem
through the big streets
even if the whole town speak ill of me!

We have heard of the 'sahasranama' about Him, and in fact every
aazhvaar seems to have mentioned about these complimentary
epithets (aayira naamam solli, naamam aayiram Eththa ninRa
naaraNaa, etc.)  but this is a novel concept, this 'sahasra

parakaala naayaki gives us some hint about what this novel
sahasranama is, in periya thiru madal (PTM). Let me attempt to
translate the relevent portions here:

The threat:
than aruLum aakamum thaaraanEl thannai naan
min idaiyaar sEriyilum vEdhiyarkaL vaazhvidaththum
than adiyaar munbum tharaNi muzhudhu aaLum
kol navilum vEl vEndhar koottaththum naattu akaththum
than nilaimai ellaam aRivippan ...

If he refuses me his grace,
I will expose him and his misdeeds
to the young women with narrow waists,
to the brahmins who chant the vedas,
to his very own devotees,
to the kings who rule the entire world,
to those brave soldiers with sharp spears,
and to the people in every city!

Now, we are intrigued. We can not stand the suspense anymore. We
want the juicy bits of gossip. We beg parakaala naayaki for the
inside scoop! What did He do?

The scoop:

                     ....   thaan muna naaL 
min idai aaychchiyar tham sErik kaLavin kaN
thunnu padal thiRandhu thayir veNNey
than vayiRu aara vizhunga kozhum kayal kaN
mannu madavOrkaL paRRi Or vaan kayiRRaal
pinnum uralOdu kattuNda peRRimaiyum

Once upon a time, stealthily, this thief
jumped the fence into a cowherdess' house.
While stealing and eating butter and curds,
the women with fish like eyes caught him redhanded. 
They grabbed him and tied him tightly
with a small rope to a wooden mortar.
He was not even able to free himself!
Shame! Shame!

And then,

annadhu Or bhoodhamaay aayar vizhavin kaN
thunnu sakadaththaal pukka perum sORRai
mun irundhu muRRa thaan thuRRiya theRRenavum

Another time, during Indra's festival,
carts and carts piled up plenty of food.
Taking the shape of a huge imp, this man,
gobbled the entire lot of food!
Others didn't get even a single bite!
Shame! Shame!

And then,

mannar perum savaiyuL vaazh vEndhar thoodhanaay
thannai ikazhndhu uraippath thaan muna naaL senRadhuvum

Once upon a time, he was running
little errands for the mighty Pandavas!
The world laughed and made fun of him,
when he went as a messenger boy
to the courts of the Kauravas
full of proud Kings!
What a shame!

And then,

mannu paRai kaRanga mangaiyar tham kaN kaLippa
kol navilum kooththanaayp pErththum kudam aadi
en ivan ennappadukinRa eedu aRavum

To please the aayar women, he danced the kooththu,
with pots in his hands and a noisy little drum
tied to his waist! 
The women laughed at him and his dance.
Oh! How shameful it was!

And then,

then ilangai yaatti arakkar kulp paavai
mannan iraavaNan than nal thangai vaaL eyiRRuth
thunnu sudu sinaththuch choorppaNakaa sOrvu eydhi
pon niRam koNdu pularndhu ezhundha kaamaththaal
thannai nayandhaaLaith thaan munindhu mookku arindhu
manniya thiN eNavum ....

When SoorppaNakaa, the beauty from Lanka,
Ravana's fond sister, with teeth sharp like daggers,
who is always angry at her enemies,
with uncontrolled passion and lust approached him,
this angry man cut her nose off!
He even thinks that is a great achievement!
How shameful!

And then,

                      ..... vaayththa malai pOlum
than nikar onRu illaadha thaadakaiyai maamunikaath
then ulakam ERRuviththa thiN thiRalum maRRivaithaan
unni ulavaa ulaku aRiya oorvan naan
munni muLaiththu ezhundhu Ongi OLi parandha
manniya poom peNNai madal.

Just at the merest excuse, when Vishvamitra asked him,
he immediately dispatched the mountain like thaadakai
to the land of Yama! He does excel in killing and
maiming the women. What a brave kshatriya he is!
His brave acts like this are too many to count!

I will make these deeds known all over the world
riding on a beautiful palmyra stem!


Badri Seshadri
Graduate Student
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Cornell University