Friday, January 28, 2005

Maxim # 15: ஙப்போல் வளை -- Be a gregarious person.

ஆத்திச்சூடி # 15: ப்போல் வளை (nGa-pOl va-lai)

Translation: Be amenable as the alphabet 'ங'.

Intended Translation: Be a gregarious person.

Rumination: The term "ஙப்போல்" refers to "like the alphabet ங" and "வளை" to "amenability." Literally, this maxim asserts what John Donne wrote in his wonderful poem, "No man is an island." In the previous maxim, Auvaiyar exhorted one to not twist facts, whereas in this one she exhorts one to twist one's very self. She wants people to be amenable with one another. By "twisting" she alludes to the innate deficiencies of a human mind that needs to be uprooted. Ego is one such malaise. A person with ego cannot befriend others easily and cannot enjoy their camaraderie. This maxim must not be overstretched to religious brothers and sisters who detach themselves of all earthly chores and settle down for an eremitical lifestyle to seek God and Supreme Knowledge. However it must be applied for the hoi polloi who are tossed in between the frenzy of privacy and the stresses of everyday life that have almost made building rock-solid friendship a thing of the past. Understanding this maxim to lead an active lifestyle of bonhomie will help nourish friendship. In Tamil, the alphabet ''ங" never gets the primacy. No word starts with this alphabet, save this maxim as it is used in an ironic sense. However, its raison détre is to vivify the other alphabets. It is only seen in the company of others. Similarly, one must be gregarious to discover his own self in others.

  • The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship -- Francis Bacon.
  • Two are better than one. If one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man! For if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up. So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? -- Holy Bible (RSV), Ecclesiastes 4: 9-11

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