Another feat of Kaalamegam in his pun filled songs is the ability to compare and represent different things in the same song. He uses the words so gracefully that he describes two things in the same song, like Castor and Elephant, Hay and Elephant, Snake and Banana, Snake and Gingelly seeds, Snake and Lemon etc. This feat is really remarkable and this is what has earned Kaalamegam his reputation. Lets see two of those songs.

The first song goes like this

“Vaari Kalathu Adikkum Vandhu Pinbu Koattai Pugum
Poril Sirandhu Polivaagum Seerutra
Sekkola Maynee Thirumalai Raayan Varaiyil
Vaikolum Aal Yaanaiyaam”

The first meaning, refers to hay, Hay is being beaten in the fields after harvesting (Vaari Kalathu Adikkum) and then the hay stack is brought into the fort (Vandhu Pinbu Koattai Pugum). The bigger the haystack the brighter and better it looks and it also indicates a good harvest (Poril Sirandhu Polivaagum). The haystack is big indicating the fertile nature of the bright coloured mountain regions of Thirumalai Raayan’s territory (Seerutra Sekkola Maynee Thirumalai Raayan Varaiyil).

The second meaning is about the elephant. The elephant in the war field, thrashes soldiers on the ground (Vaari Kalathu Adikkum). After the war it goes into the fort victoriously (Vandhu Pinbu Koattai Pugum). Being a war machine, it has a very good reputation in times of war (Poril Sirandhu Polivaagum). The elephant being in the army indicates the power of the Thirumalai Raayan (Seerutra Sekkola Maynee Thirumalai Raayan Varaiyil).

So the delicate use of the words that convey different meaning that is applicable to both haystack and elephant respectively makes the poet to compare them as equal Vaikolum Aal Yaanaiyaam), because the usage of the same words to describe them

Vaari – Pull and lift by holding the legs or the bottom most part of the thing
Kalathu – Rice field (context of haystack), War field (context of elephant)
Adikkum – Beat, Thrash
Vandhu – Come
Pinbu – Later
Koattai – Fort
Pugum – Enter
Poril – haystack, War (context of elephant)
Sirandhu – Best
Polivaagum – Glitter, look better, have a reputation
Seerutra – Orderly
Sekkola – Bright looking
Maynee – Body, landscape
Varaiyil – Territory
Vaikol – Hay
Aal Yaanai – Aggressive Elephant

The comparison has nuances are seamlessly intricate, and are really out of this world.

The next song is about Snake and Gingelly.

“Aadi Kudathadaiyum Aadumbodhay Eraiyum
Moodi Thirakkin Mugamkaatum Odi Mandai
Pattril Parapara Vennum Paaril Pinnakkum Undam
Uttridum Paambu Ell Enavae Odhu”

The first meaning is about the snake. The snake dances and then goes into the pot that the snake charmer has (Aadi Kudathu Adaiyum). While dancing it makes a hissing noise (Aadumbodhay Eraiyum). When you open the lid it shows it face (Moodi Thirakkin Mugamkaatum). If you run behind it and catch its head it just curls around the person catching it (Odi Mandai Pattril Parapara Vennum). In this world, snakes have a split tongue (Paaril Pinnakkum Undam).

Now the meaning for gingelly. Gingelly will get crushed in the oil mill and will reach the pot as oil (Aadi Kudathu Adaiyum). When it is being crushed, it makes a noise (Aadumbodhay Eraiyum). When the lid of the pot is being opened, it shows face of the person opening of the lid as a reflection (Moodi Thirakkin Mugamkaatum). When you pour it in the head and rub it cools the body immediately (Odi Mandai Pattril Parapara Vennum). In this world, the oil cake remains after crushing (Paaril Pinnakkum Undam).

Aadi – Dance (context of snake), Crushing (Context of Gingelly)
Kudathadaiyum – Kudathu (Pot) + Adaiyum (Reach and settle)
Aadumbodhey – while dancing
Eraiyum – Make noise
Moodi – Lid
Thirakkin – Open
Mugam – Face
Kaatum – Show
Odi – Running (while chasing for snake, and pouring in the head)
Mandai – Head
Pattril – Catch
Parapara Vennum – Curls around for snake,
Paaril – In this world
Pinnakkum – Split tongue for snake, Oil cake after crushing
Undam – Having
Uttridum – Existing
Paambu – Snake
Ell – Gingelly
Enavae Odhu – Tell as so

Kaalamegam, truly a great poet of all times and his poems truly represent his literary knowledge and eloquence. He stands out of the crowd and his name will live for ages in the minds of all the people who read Tamil Literature.

More to come, until then…