sinAre's viSwamBara - II

Ramarao, Ram (
Fri, 7 Nov 1997 12:31:40 -0600

Now some specific parts of this work that I liked:
1. In chapter 1, while describing the situation on the earth before
humans arrived, he says:

"appudeppudO nEnu puTTaka munDu---
cilakala mukkullO ciguru todigina palukulu;
sudigAdpula rekkallO / padagalettina roDalu - okaTEnEmO!
... podupukonda mIDa / Sirassu jendA etti /
adugEsina uDayam; / padamaTi urikambam mIDa /
veluturu talanu vElAdaDIsina / astamayam - okaTEnEmO!"

and so on it goes. What I liked here is the thought that while humans
were not there, there wasn't anyone to distinguish between these
combinations of events and "feel" that one is good and the other is not.
Thus until humans came along, nature didn't have anyone to admire its
beauty and wonder at its power. Of course the actual descriptions he has
chosen are far from likable. Apart from questions like whether parrots
talk with their noses, the image of plants (of palukulu) growing inside
a nose or a mouth is not appealing. Similarly, comparing those plants to
snakes (padagaleTTina roDalu) rising from some bird's wings isn't. The
other combination also implies that if you walk with your flag up, then
you are bound to be hanged - rather ridiculous thing for a progressive
poet to say. It may sneak out somewhat ok if we interpret it as saying
that "udayam" is the one who walked and is different from the one who is
hanged. Unfortunately for a poet with his popularity, sinAre appears to
be remarkably sloppy in understanding what he is saying (or I wonder if
he thinks that anything he says is poetry). 

When the man, looking around him, finds that all life comes to an end at
sometime and wonders if it is the same with himself, the poet says that
the nature shouted to him that it is not so by showing that all death is
followed by birth:

"Dikkulni kabaLincE edArulu / edArulni maccika cEsE paccikaDArulu; /
kommalanu korikEsE mamcukOralu / padda gATlalO paccaDanam nimpE /
vasantapavana DhAralu /" and so on.

For once, I see that the first image remains consistent throughout the
two lines: the animal "edAri" eats away "Dikkulu"; it is being
domesticated by the use of "paccika"; another animal with "mamcukOralu"
is eating branches making gaps where it bites them; those gaps are
filled with greenery by "vasantapavana DhAralu". There is a disconnect
here - DhAra is of vasantapavanam; how can it fill greenery, unless the
pavanam itself is green? But I think poets deserve some leeway.

Describing how the man moved from caves into homes, and the developments
that took place in the process, he says:

"nadicAdu kadali amcupaina / padavala arikALLatO;
corabaddAdu girula gundellO / sUDi kamTilO DAramlA;
tegabaddAdu gahanATavullO / segavirisina bANamlA"

Good thinking to say that the man has grown so big that ships are but
his feet. The second one is problematic: you cannot get through the eye
of a needle if it doesn't exist in the first place; in the case of
"girulu", man has actually made those holes - he didn't just go through
holes that already existed. In the last one, he says that the man has
burned down the forests by calling him a "segavirisina" arrow. I am not
sure that's what he wanted to say, but at least it remains partially

In describing the viSwAmitra's "tapOBangam", he says, as the apsara
danced around him, 

"mUtavadina ceviki vEsina / mudi sadalimDi citramgA /
talakegasina kamTicUpu / velikubikimDi AtramgA"

I am not sure this description is original (so many times was this story
told) but still at least he shows that he knows something about the
state of a 'tapasvi' - with his ears closed to the external world and
eyes seeing the inner world. A subtle drawback is that it is not
supposed to be "kamTicUpu" but "manODRshTi".

Few more in the next (and last) post of this series.

K.V.S. Ramarao