Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering a Remarkable Poet

"We will destroy the idiocy
Of denigrating womanhood
" ~ Mahakavi Subramaniya Bhaarathiyaar, (11 December 1882 ~11 September 1921), (Tamil Poet, Reformer and Freedom Fighter who supported the women and their rights)

Statue of Great Tamil poet Mahakavi Subramaniya Bhaarathiyaar stands tall in Jaffna Peninsula, North of Sri Lanka

Today is Mahakavi Subramaniya Bhaarathiyaar’s 90th death anniversary. He was very well known for his passionate poems and his active role in Indian independence movement. He was and still known as people’s poet and freedom fighter. Bharathiyaar has written many poems on women’s freedom, caste and patriotism.

Bharathiyaar was prolific and adept in both the prose and poetry forms. Bharathiyaar was a symbol of courage, knowledge and resilience. He was born on 11th December 1882 into an orthodox Brahmin family in Ettayapuram in Tamil Nadu, India and died on 11th September 1921. Bharathiyaar’s father wanted him to learn English, excel in Arithmetic and become an Engineer. But, Bharathiyaar had another dream to discover. He became a poet and activist. His poetry expressed progressive and reformist ideas. He was very passionate about Tamil language. He did not believe in caste system. His thick black mustache and neatly worn white turban are permanent symbols of மகா கவி மக்கள் கவி (Great Poet = People's Poet).

மகாகவி சுப்ரமணிய பாரதியாரின் தமிழ்க் கையெழுத்து
Signature of Mahakavi Subramaniya Bhaarathiyaar in Tamil

He got married to his cousin Sellammaal at the age of 14 in 1897. Bharathiyaar composed an instant poem for his wife Sellammaal.

"You are the veenai to me; I am the finger that strums the tuned string,
You are the pendant adorning my neck; I’m your new diamond sparkling.
Wherever I look, what do I see but the blazing lustre of your regal eye?
Your esteemed highness, my QUEEN, you are the bedrock of my life

He has penned many patriotic poems

His KuyilPaattu is still famous among many of us:~

In the crow’s black feather, Nanda Lala,
I see your duskiness, Nanda La La.
In every green tree that I see, Nanda La La,
I see your divine colour, Nanda La La.
In every sound that I hear, Nanda La La,
I hear the sound of your music, Nanda La La.
In the touch of a fire, Nanda La La,
I feel the thrill of touching you, Nanda La La

A Crow sits on a Cow in the Nallur temple vicinity early in the morning

Flocks of crows neatly sit on power cables in Jaffna at dusk

ஆயிரம் உண்டிங்கு சாதி, எனில் அன்னியர் வந்து புகழென்ன நீதி? ~ We may have thousand of sects; that, however, does not justify a foreigner to come and preach us justice! He is dearly loved and his passionate poems are often remembered remarkably by many Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Flocks of crows dance in the skies of Jaffna at dusk


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