Appendix — Ducked & Dumped




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Pongal festival

Pongal (பொங்கல் )is a multi-day Hindu harvest festival of South India, particularly in the Tamil community.It is observed at the start of the month Tai according to Tamil solar calendar, and this is typically about January 14.It is dedicated to the Hindu sun god,the Surya, and corresponds to Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival under many regional names celebrated throughout India. The three days of the Pongal festival are called Bhogi PongalSurya Pongal and Maattu Pongal.

Masimaham is an annual event that occurs in the Tamil month of Masi (February–March) in the star of Magam. Once in twelve years, when the planet Guru (Jupiter) enters the sign Siṃha (Leo), the Kumbh mela festival of South India is celebrated at Mahamaham tank.Vast crowds gather at Kumbakonam to have a dip in the tank, along with saints and philosophers. All the rivers of India are believed to meet at the tank on this day and a purificatory bath at this tank on this day is considered equal to the combined dips in all the holy rivers of India.Festivall deities from all the temples in Kumbakonam arrive at the tank and at noon, all the deities bathe along with the devotees – it is called “Theerthavari”.The purificatory bath is believed to remove sins and after the dip, pilgrims offer charitable gifts in the hope of being rewarded in the current life and subsequent lives.The temple cars of major temples in Kumbakonam come around the city on the festival night. During the Mahamaham of 1992, the number of devotees reached 1 million.

Kaveri (also known as Cauvery, the anglicized name), is a sacred Indian river flowing through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Kaveri river rises at Talakaveri on the Brahmagiri range in the Western Ghats, Kodagu district of the state of Karnataka, at an elevation of 1341m above mean sea level and flows for about 800 km before its outfall into the Bay of Bengal. It is the third largest river – after Godavari and Krishna – in South India and the largest in the State of Tamil Nadu which, on its course, bisects the state into North and South. The Kaveri is sacred river to the people of South India and is worshipped as the Goddess Kaveramma. The Kaveri is also one of the seven holy rivers of India.

Topics in Tamil literature
Sangam Literature
Five Great Epics
Silappatikaram Manimekalai
Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi Valayapathi
Cilappatikāram (Tamilசிலப்பதிகாரம்,“the Tale of an Anklet”),[1] also referred to as Silappathikaram or Silappatikaram is the earliest Tamil epic. It is a poem of 5,730 lines in almost entirely akaval (aciriyam) meter.The epic is a tragic love story of an ordinary couple, Kannaki and her husband Kovalan.The Silappathikaram has more ancient roots in the Tamil bardic tradition, as Kannaki and other characters of the story are mentioned or alluded to in the Sangam literature such as in the Naṟṟiṇai and later texts such as the Kovalam Katai. It is attributed to a prince-turned-monk Iḷaṅkõ Aṭikaḷ, and was probably composed about 5th- or 6th-century .

The Cilappatikaram is set in a flourishing seaport city of the early Chola kingdom. Kannaki and Kovalan are a newly married couple, in love, and living in bliss.[11] Over time, Kovalan meets Matavi (Madhavi) – a courtesan. He falls for her, leaves Kannaki and moves in with Matavi. He spends lavishly on her. Kannaki is heartbroken, but as the chaste woman, she waits despite her husband’s unfaithfulness. During the festival for Indra, the rain god, there is a singing competition.Kovalan sings a poem about a woman who hurt her lover. Matavi then sings a song about a man who betrayed his lover. Each interprets the song as a message to the other. Kovalan feels Matavi is unfaithful to him, and leaves her. Kannaki is still waiting for him. She takes him back.[11]

Kannaki (above) is the central character of the Cilappatikāram epic. Statues, reliefs and temple iconography of Kannaki are found particularly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Kannaki and Kovalan leave the city and travel to Madurai of the Pandya kingdom. Kovalan is penniless and destitute. He confesses his mistakes to Kannaki. She forgives him and tells him the pain his unfaithfulness gave her. Then she encourages her husband to rebuild their life together and gives him one of her jeweled anklets to sell to raise starting capital.Kovalan sells it to a merchant, but the merchant falsely frames him as having stolen the anklet from the queen. The king arrests Kovalan and then executes him, without the due checks and processes of justice.When Kovalan does not return home, Kannaki goes searching for him. She learns what has happened. She protests the injustice and then proves Kovalan’s innocence by throwing in the court the other jeweled anklet of the pair. The king accepts his mistake. Kannaki curses the king and curses the people of Madurai, tearing off her breast and throwing it at the gathered public. The king dies. The society that had made her suffer, suffers in retribution as the city of Madurai is burnt to the ground because of her curse.[11][12] In the third section of the epic, gods and goddesses meet Kannaki and she goes to heaven with god Indra. The royal family of the Chera kingdom learns about her, resolves to build a temple with Kannaki as the featured goddess. They go to the Himalayas, bring a stone, carve her image, call her goddess Pattini, dedicate a temple, order daily prayers, and perform a royal sacrifice.

The Silappathikaram is an ancient literary masterpiece. It is to the Tamil culture what the Iliad is to the Greek culture, states R. Parthasarathy. It blends the themes, mythologies and theological values found in the Jain, Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions. It is a Tamil story of love and rejection, happiness and pain, good and evil like all classic epics of the world. Yet unlike other epics that deal with kings and armies caught up with universal questions and existential wars, the Silappathikaram is an epic about an ordinary couple caught up with universal questions and internal, emotional war.


Thei  silappathikaramg is a part of the Tamil oral tradition. The palm-leaf manuscripts of the original epic poem, along with those of the Sangam literature, were rediscovered in Hindu monasteries in the second half of the 19th-century by UV Swaminatha Aiyar – a Shaivapundit and Tamil scholar. After being preserved and copied in temples and monasteries in the form of palm-leaf manuscripts, Aiyar published its first partial edition on paper in 1872, the full edition in 1892. Since then the epic poem has been translated into many languages including English.

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