Friday, February 04, 2005

Maxim # 22: பருவத்தே பயிர்செய் -- Make hay while the sun shines.

ஆத்திச்சூடி # 22: ருவத்தே பயிர்செய் (pa-ru-va-thE pa-yir sey)

Translation: Plant the seedlings at the right season.

Intended Translation: Make hay while sun shines.

Rumination: This maxim reminds me of the sagic advice given by my friend, guru, and philosopher, Dr. Lt. A. I. Edinbarough at PSG Tech, who used to very often tell us, "Imagine an object caught in the midst of an eddy. Even though it is incapable of ascending up the air on its own, the very fact that it is in the midst of an eddy lends itself to transcend to greater heights. In life, we all need to seize the opportunity of landing ourselves right into the epicenter of such eddies. Success, then lies in doing things at the appropriate time, than in capable of doing things at anytime." I don't even know if my guru still recollects this, but yet I do. Anyways, the crux of the maxim lies in identifying opportunities and doing things at the right moment without procrastination. "பருவத்தே" means "at the right season," and "பயிர்" means "crop," and "செய்" means "sow." Therefore, the maxim exhorts one to "sow the appropriate crop at the appropriate season." In English we have proverbs such as "make hay while the sun shines," "strike the rod when it is hot," and "a stitch in time saves nine." I love the Latin Maxim, which is commonly used in everyday English: carpe diem -- seize the day. One has to literally seize the day in order to stay focused in his career and personal chores, which is not an ordinary thing in this highly competitive world. It is refreshing to see Auvaiyar using an allegory that is only too familiar to the Tamils of yesteryears, whose main occupation was farming. In fact, the recent spate of suicides in Andhra Pradesh was partly related to the agrarian crisis of poor planning on the part of the farmers who sowed the costly crops at a time when the international market for those harvested crops were plummeting down. In any case, we need to be prudent in identifying the right moment as well as be alacritous in utilizing the same to the fullest extent for our betterment.

"Carpe diem." (Seize the day!)

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