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This is a pot-pourri journal for brainstorming and jotting down thoughts, ideas, and stories on various topics, including Śrīvaiṣṇava scholars, texts and practices;, Tamil and Manipravalam literatures; Sanskrit tidbits; Indological miscellany, and so forth, and sharing them with like-minded people.

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Overconfident poets and their cheeky verses

While reading verses, I find some of them more memorable than others, for their beauty, alliterations, emotions, the effects they produce on the reader/listener, the way they inspire. But also sometimes, for their cheekiness. Of course, I enjoy a poet who gives a good set down to the king or god, as we can see in the following stray verse attributed to Kampaṉ, at being turned down by a (Cōḻa) king.

Why one ought not to cross a poet

Tamil poets (and not just them, I guess) are notoriously touchy and short-tempered. One had better avoid crossing them, or else, one might end up being immortalised for the wrong reason. Or worse. Going through the solitary verses of a 15th century Tamil poet, Kāḷamēka Pulavar, I found many good […]

Āṇṭāḷ’s Tamil and Telugu weddings

Āṇṭāḷ is often represented in her bridal look, and other than the Tiruppāvai, her most well-known decade is the Vāraṇam āyiram from her other composition, the Nācciyār Tirumoḻi. In the decade, she tells her friend that she had a dream, in which she married Kṛṣṇa. Many a wedding rite is mentioned in these verses.

[Book] Ponniyin Selvan comics

Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Poṉṉiyiṉ Celvaṉ is my favourite novel in Tamil. Actually, it has a fan following just like Jane Austen’s novels do. There still are people who have chat groups dedicated to it, and those who visit together with like-minded people the places mentioned in the historical novel. This post is especially for those who are fellow enthusiasts of Ponniyin Selvan.

The journey towards Vaikuṇṭha

While looking for some papers, I bumped into this magnificent picture that I bought in Śrīraṅgam a few years ago. It’s roughly 50cm X 30cm, possibly a copy of an older, bigger print. I find the fortuitous reappearing of this picture opportune, as I’m working on the journey to Vaikuṇṭha for a couple of papers, which is what this image represents.

The woes and joys of a Tamilist reading Pāṇini

This post is entirely about my personal experience and impressions, which may not interest most people. But I felt I had to write them down as it might interest fellow Tamils and (non-Sanskritist) Tamilists, and be useful to them if they feel like taking on Pāṇini.

Translating valam varutal – doing pradakṣīṇa

Working extensively on Tamil Vaiṣṇava texts, I’m often confronted with this expression, either because Kṛṣṇa walks valam (‘right’ -> rightwards) when walking to the place where He is to marry Āṇṭāḷ, or because Āṇṭāḷ and Kṛṣṇa go around the fire (tīvalam ceyya) as part of the wedding rites (Nācciyār Tirumoḻi). […]

The five manifestations of Viṣṇu

We were reading the following verse from the Periyāḻvār Tirumoḻi, and a question popped up in mind, which had been disturbing me for a while now: I was trying to explain that the first line may be a reference to Viṣṇu being accessible to the gods in the Milk Ocean, […]


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