Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stupendous work

Over a span of six years, N. Gopala Sundaram has translated the entire Tiruppugazh.

“When I completed the translation of around 475 verses of Tiruppugazh into English, I approached the nonagenarian writer Chitti, whom I knew closely, with a request to write a foreword for the book. He asked me why I had stopped with 475 songs when there are around 1,300 surviving out of more than 16,000 the saint-poet is said to have composed. I replied that they were the only ones sung in public, the rest bordering on eroticism. Chitti frowned and asked me not to sit in judgment on Arunagirinathar's work and declined to give the foreword unless I completed the translation of all the verses of Tiruppugazh.

“He then threw a challenge to translate the lines ‘Na Veru Pa Manaththa Paadhaarame Ninaindhu' (‘I am thinking only about your feet carrying the fragrance of the flowery poems emanating from my tongue') which he considered were very difficult!” said N. Gopala Sundaram, who has translated the entire Tiruppugazh into English in a span of nearly six years.

Full report here Hindu

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