Kamban vizha

Topic started by bb (@ siebel200.siebel.com) on Mon Jun 18 01:56:37 .
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

I had the pleasure of attending the first kamban vizha in US. This was organized by bay area
thamizh mandram today.
It started off with a few kids singing "neeraadum kadaluduththa" in a mediocre manner.
Then, Prof. Ilango talked in detail about the various aspects of kamba ramayanam. It was an
enlightening talk with lots of examples. It was exciting to listen to kamban's kavi nayam
and rich expressions.
The piece that stood out in the whole programme was the vazhakkaadu mandram and the
kalandhuraiyaadal following it. Mani M. Manivannan and Prabhakaran argued on whether Ramar
was right in testing seethai's purity. Both sides made good points in this shortened piece.
Was Ramar right in asking seethai to jump into a fire? Was he a male chauvinist? Should we
consider Ramar to be a character in a story and look at it from a literary point of view
or should we consider from religious and philosophical points of view? Finally, are we right
in criticizing an action in an earlier society from our societal values? Are our current
ethical considerations a good standard to judge old legends? I felt that a couple of other
lacklustre programs should have been discarded and this should have been given more
prominence. The kalandhuraiyaadal was also interesting.
A malar was given with the show, having an interesting essay by Harikrishnan (Is it available
online? If not, Hari, Can you post it here?). Also had a samosa and I got to meet Manivannan.
On the whole, this was a great effort and I hope there are more such literary events in the
future. A couple of suggestions: There was no proper introduction to Kamba ramayanam,
information about Kambar and about good thamizh books to learn kamban. The speeches were
prepared (sometimes read) and to fully appreciate the poetry, slides could have been used.
This way we could have read and listened to the presentation as well. We couldn't get the full
import of the lines described and a powerpoint presentation is always a good add-on.
The housekeeping was also lacking. People in the audience were talking all the time (eppadidee
irukkE, innikku macy's sale pOttirukkaan etc), with noisy kids and ringing cellphones. This was
a big deterrant to a good quality program.
A couple of snippets:
Apparently, Mu.Va stated that the practice of worshipping Ramar came only
after Kamban, and valmiki did not consider Raman as god.
Kamban incorporated naattupurap paadal (ulakkai paattu) format in one of his poems (the one
where Kumbakarnan wakes up).
And finally, software engineers who have an interest in literature are "kaNingars":)


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