This verse below is one of the Divya Prabhandams written by Andaal.

பைங்கிளி வண்ணன் ஸ்ரீதரன் என்பதோர்
பாசத்து அகப்பட்டு இருந்தேன்
பொங்கொளி வண்டிரைக்கும் பொழில்வாய்க் குயிலே!
குறிக்கொண்டு இதுநீ கேள்

சங்கொடு சக்கரத்தான் வரக்கூவுதல்
பொன்வளைக் கொண்டு தருதல்
இங்குள்ள காவினில் வாழக் கருதல்
இரண்டத்தொன்றே திண்ணம் வேண்டும்

– நாச்சியார் திருமொழி

(for those who can’t read Tamizh script… ) Paingili vannan Sridharan enbadhor Pasathu agapattu irundhen

Pongoli vandiraikkum pozhilvaik kuyile! Kurikkondu idhu nee kel

Sangodu sakkarathaan varak koovudhal; Ponvalai kondu tharudhal

Ingulla kaavinil vaazhak karudha(i)l; Irandaththondre thinnam vendum. – Nachiyar Thirumozhi

I happened to watch a beautiful performance of the song enacted by Anita Ratnam. The text above is lyrics from this video link.

Now, let us look at the last stanza, especially. The first three lines are pretty objective and do not convey much of who is to make what of the verbs (actions). This of course enhances the beauty of the poem, giving rise to a minimum of 4 interpretations, all of them legit. There was, however, one other meaning that came out of the way the words were sung – typically a distortion.

1. She tells the cuckoo, “Listen to me very carefully. Go to him and bring my bangle back. Or else, if he wishes to keep it, then ask Him if he wishes to come here and stay with me. Let Him choose from one of the two.”

Unfortunately, the singer in the video link mispronounced a word, or so it seems. He said vaazhak karudhal (at 8.05 in the above link) instead of vaazhak karudhil. Damn, how it changed everything!

Plausible interpretations from the verse, with the cuckoo being asked to vaazhak karudhil:

2. She tells the cuckoo, “Go and bring Him here, or else give Him back the bangle He gave me. If you want to stay in this place, you have to do either of the above, for sure.”

3. She tells the cuckoo, “Go and bring Him here, or else remind that I miss Him by showing the bangle He gave me as an identity. If you want to stay in this place, you have to do either of the above, for sure.”

4. She tells the cuckoo, “Go and bring Him here, or else remind that I miss Him by showing my bangle as an identity. If you want to stay in this place, you have to do either of the above, for sure.”

5. She tells the cuckoo, “Go and bring Him here by showing my bangle as an identity. Or else, go away from this place. You have to do either of the above, for sure.” (my interpretation)

When we can appreciate the beauty of the song in so many ways by keeping the lyrics intact, why distort it?!

Note to self – more caution on lyrics henceforth.

Your ideas?

– Until next,

Vid 🙂