Thamizh Culture- A humorous look (Part 4) Corrected version

Topic started by rjay on Mon Feb 14 11:30:19 .
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Thamizh Culture - A Humouros look (Part 4)
(Due to incorrect use of < > symbols inside the article,
most browsers did not show the article incorrectly. I have
corrected them in this version)

Difficulties in becoming a Govt Approved Poet

To write a poem, one first had to become a Govt-approved
Poet (Sanga-ppulavar). Only then you would be allowed to
sit on the Sanga Palagai - or Group Desk. Until then, you had
to sit down on the floor and listen.

To become a Govt -approved Poet by self study, you really had to dig deep into old
literature(which were numbered volumes called: einthohai (collection of five things),
paththuppattu (ten songs), ettuthogai(collection of eight things), pathinenkeezhkkanakku

(mathematics under eleven numbers). That was too much. Most people who attempted
to do this on their own became insane. The others went back to selling cotton-candy or

seedai-murukku, depending on their mother's specialization.

There was, however, another slow but sure way to become a poet.
If you wanted to become a Government-approved Poet,
you could study for at least 12 years under a master, during which you
really have to wash his veshti, sattai and his newbornbaby's nappies and
cook food for the entire family and school and clean the leftovers.
The proof , for the etymologically interested folks,
is from the word palli-kkoodam. Palli- means kitchen, as found in
madappalli which means monastery-kitchen or temple kitchen and koodam
which means koodam. So Palli-kkoodam is the place where you learn
cooking, which, according to Thamizh Philosophy,
is worlds most useful skill (see installment 1 for

Why 12 years of study? Because that is the time it takes for the vaadhyar's kid to
finish PLus-12 and leave hometown for college. This way, you can take
responsibility for his entire childhood(while he sings, "Payya Ingae vaa vaa")
and he can grow under one-hand. (oru kaippada)

Missing emotions

There was yet another big problem with dictionary-based construction.
If you take sentences from dictionaries at random,
(please see part 3 for the detailed technique description)
how can you make sure that they mean something emotionally true?
Actually not many people bothered themselves with writing or
reading meaningful poetry, but the Masters wouldn't leave that
as a trivial issue. They had some solutions, too. We will discuss
two such solutions: (a) The technique called reverse engineering
(b) template-based construction. If you are a software engineer,
I can see your surprise that Ancient Thamizh Fathers had
invented these modern techniques in Software Engineering!

The Birth of Reverse Engineering

Some poets would translate a (guess what) nattupattu, which is guarateed
to have a common context and therefore a meaning, into Great Words
and quietly translate back into a natural song.

Example, take this poem from Agam 101.

Kamagikkul padaragikkum maniyoottam tazharagam.

Dont work hard on the words now, here comes the translation:

Padavurai: Kamagi : Poo, also a word for harvest sickle (in Puram songs)
padaragi : Maraindhiru, Olinthiru, can also mean 'take off a person's head

mani : pazham, kani, can also mean in strange circumstances, 'run fast'

tazharagam : Acharyam, athisayam also means 'cops are coming'

What a surprise! Even a small
flower carries in it a whole bunch of potential

Translation to Thamizh:
Poovukkul Olinthirukkum Kanikkootam Adisayam.

Footnote1: My Japanese friend Kawasaki's student T.V.S. Suzuki tells me that
even this example of mine has been already copyrighted.
What to do?

Footnote2: Such new-word poems were very generic and could be
interpreted in any way the poet wanted. For example, in a Puram
context, which often happens when the Great
Poet needs some money and has to sell the poem urgently to a king.
Simple, he has to find a king who has recently come back successfully
from a war, the same poet
would quietly translate the same song above, as follows,
this time, taking the alternative, Puram meanings:

Take the Thiruppachi harvest sickle, And come man, come,
And let us take off our enemy's head in one seevu,
In other countries or even states, the cops would come
And you would run off or else face murder charges

But this being Thamizhk < King XYZ > 's territory,
Under whose generous patronage
Even average poets are living fairly decently,
This is nothing but pure Valour.

FootNote to Footnote 2: The notation < > means anything
can be substituted there as long as it belongs to the same
class as the label within < > . You can see how
ancient Thamizh's invented the idea of templates
and even augmented transition networks (whatever
it might mean!) For more explanation, please
see the box: Templates - below.

Footnote3: You might be annoyed to see so many footnotes.
But what to do, when you sit down to write a research
paper, you end up with more hyperlinks than plain text.

The problem of meaningless words

You might ask that what if the poets used newly coined words
instead of the real, tough old, uncrackable Thamizh literature words.

For example, You may be surprised to know that you can create
new words yourself using nonsense syllables like the babbling kids do.
In fact you will be more surprised that such poems and songs can even
become hits without any Government Sponsorship!

Example Song 1:

Hipcuptoomi Dipcuptomi Yaaaaa
DipCuptomi Hipcuptomi Yaaaaa

Hik Kik Roomiya
Hin Dhach Chamiya

Hoo Bali Holi Bali
Hoo Aayee Holi Kaalee

and goes further..

I am not making this up. This is an authentic Poem written by Enga-Kaala pulavar,

Pannaipuraththar Thirukkangai Amaranar around 1983 A.D. to suit an African Song situation.

And became a hit song in a Thamizh Kaviyam "Vikram". This poet has
mentioned in his unwritten autobiography that he developed
his ability to write such poems by 'an intense study of ancient
and modern Thamizh poetry'.

Footnote: Our friend Lumumba GntGntoonda tells me that this indeed
has inspired a series of new wave poems in Somalia, and the Africans
have by now forgotten their original language. This phenomenon
is not new either. We all know that popular success of 'Muthu' has now made

'Kuluvalile' as an official Japanese word and 'Saivakkokku' a popular
bird-variety in their Budhhist temples. This suggests us an easy way to spread
Thamizh to other uncivilized countries. Kalaignar gavanipparaga.

Example Song 2: A recent song:

"Ayi Hum Aeshee Moooakshee
Aasa koyle, Aasha koylae"

(There may be one or two spelling mistakes, or one or two o's this way
or that way. please forgive. it is indeed
tough to accurately transcribe this wonder - Author)

which was used as a prelude to the song, "Akkadannu Naanga udai potta" in
yet another Thamizh, actually, Three-language Thirai-Kaviyam "Indian"! The beauty
is that this song can start the same way in any World Language dubbing of the
movie. See the beauty of our Thamizh brains!

This is no surprise to us - because we have read Tholkappiyar:

Porulutra Sollirku mozhi yellai
Porulatra Sollukku adhu illai, kaaN.

"Words with meaning have limited scope, Words without meaning
have no limits, you see."

The question of meaning

You may say this writing of meaningless words, undermines the whole idea of poetry

as a communication of
meaningful things. What man, if you want meaningful things, go read Mu.Va.'s
essays, visit Ramanashramam, why do you listen to movie songs? Whatever you want,
why don't you go searching after that?

Sorry, koncham unarchivasappattutten.

Nobody goes to a temple and says,
"Show me God". Everybody knows they are there to enjoy evening breeze,
seeing some fresh faces and eating some special foodstuff and even,
obtaining new footwear. Likewise, people who need instruction in living, should
study respective books such as 'Learn how to breathe' or 'how to eat
full-stomach and still avoid a ponch-belly', or '30 foolish things to
avoid during sleep'. This is the first
and final Thamizh answer to the question of benefitting from literature.
So dont ask this again, OK?

Templates : an ancient Thamizh innovation

While new-word poetry was a neat idea, it involved definite work, because
you still need to study the new words created by other poets and make sure
you give them the same meaning or else both of you will get found out, sorry.
So we needed an easier and fail-proof ways to create meaningful poetry
as quickly and automatically as possible.

The famous poet Kakkaiththalaiyaar was
the one to compile most effective templates of
his time and publish, "7 template and word habits of highly
effective poets". This book was restricted for circulation within ThamizhNaadu,

The following exerpt is an expert template that demonstrates
his unbeatable genius in template creation:

< Template Begins Here >
< /copyright: KT >
< /Publication Rights: RJAY >

In the < PastTimeFrame > ,
when < wild animal > s were < HorrificAction >
in < PlaceInATown > ,
Our < WeakPeopleGroup >
were even afraid to < WeakPerson'sSimpleAction >
on the < CommonPlace >

Then came our < SponsoringKing'sName > ,
< King'sAction > on a < RegalAnimalDescription/CarrierDescription > < RegalAnimal/Carrier >
And < DestructiveActionPastTense > all the < same wild animal used above > s
Using His Highness's < UniqueWeaponThatWorksWell >

And we all rejoiced over the valor of < SponsorKing >
Under whose generous patronage
Even average poets are living fairly decently.

< /Template Ends Here >

The all powerful word-lists

A template, you might see, if of no value, without a corresponding word-list.
Even though the template might look a little confusing
at first sight, the power comes with the following Power-words word-lists.

Past Time Frame Wordlist : Olden Days, Whole of Last year, Duration of yesterday, Past

Million Years
Wild Animals : Wild elephants, Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles, Hungry Mosquitoes, Dynasors
Horrific Action: Trumpeting, Gnawing away, Pecking for blood, Ravaging
Place of a town : City center, Subways, My kitchen floor, Vessel Store
Group of people: Scientists, Beggars, Wives, Old ladies
Weak person's action: calculate, beg, cook food, buy vessels and pay for them
Common Place Word list: calculator, train, floor, kallapetti

Well, enough examples, you get the drift. I leave it as an exercise
for you to try at least one poem for your favorite King or Movie Actor or
current Life Sponsor.

You can easily observe that this one single template could give rise
to innumerable poems for every possible situation. While lesser
mortals are hunting for words to describe real emotions,
our Poets could churn poetry by the dozens to suit any given poem situation and
earn their daily bread or idli or idiyappam or whatever was their < DailyBread > .

Protection against humor

Well, one has to be careful to choose, and sometimes if you use the wrong
word list, you could end up creating humorous poems (for example)
dynasors in a vessel store. And humor is actually
banned from our Thamizh culture and especially from Maths professor's classes.
You might ask why humor was banned. I will take it up in a separate
instalment, just remind me.

So, inspite of all these aids, you can see how difficult it still was to
write a poem. The poet, now had to validate the poem once it is composed, by actually
reading it once or twice or until he sees what it means!
We must remember that these ancient forefathers did not have
any syntax and semantics checking C++ tool and Java applets at their

No one can argue when I proclaim proudly that the whole idea of template based programming

languages is an original Thamizh idea. We just did not have the right resources
(for example, proper compiler, or even a simple computer or even a decent
technical education or big buildings) to implement these ideas
at that time.

And Now you see what is happening, this ungrateful Microsoft(TM) or

< LatestSoftwareGiantName > < (LatestTrademarkSymbol) > ' is stealing away of our intellectual

What to do?



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