Quotes, the essential part of every Tamilian on this planet. There are very few or even no one who hasn’t used a quotation/aphorism. We already saw a few of them that got transformed in different ways especially the meaning during the course of time. I found a few others that were quite interesting in their original interpretations and the new and transformed ones. Lets see what those quotes are

This quote would have been uttered by every mouth that knows to speak Tamil

“Nalladhukku Kaalam Illai”

The meaning nowadays is, Good deeds would not be recognised so it is not a time for them. Which also means, that if any good deed is done, it is not only interpreted wrong sense, but also the person performing such a deed will earn a bad name. Though many incidents like this happen in the lives of every one of us. The actual meaning is hidden behind those untoward happenings. It is different and even might sound opposite too

Usually conducting auspicious events, doing good deeds, acts that benefits every one or at least the needy is done by looking at the almanac charts to see if the time is ripe to do those activities – like wedding, temple festivals, providing free food to the poor etc. It is done so because it would be beneficial for many. But the actual meaning of the quote is that, if any act however big or small is to be done and if it will help someone in some way, you should not look whether it is a good time to do that or not. So the actual meaning is – For doing good things, there is no specific time. Those deeds are not bound by time for the person to derive maximum benefit.

“Pon Kidaithaalum Budhan Kidaikaadhu”

The transformed meaning, You may even get lots of Gold, but you wouldn’t get a Wednesday. This might make most of us wonder, about what has Wednesday to do with Gold and why is it even important. There seems to be some missing clue that we might find how our ancestors made such unrelated statements. Maybe it could be a psychological reason that Wednesday falls in the middle of the week so it has to be a balanced day adding to the good things. Even nowadays, people prefer to do things on Wednesdays considering it as auspicious. But the actual fact is that in astrology Budhan (Mercury) is the deity of knowledge and wisdom. He is the one who bestows people with their education. And so even if one has a great deal of wealth, he might not be educated or even knowledged. The quote thus signifies, wealth can be acquired by different means, but education is very difficult to attain.

“Aathula Pottalum Alandhu Podanum”

Aathula – In the river
Pottalum – Throw, put in
Alandhu – Measure
Podanum – Throw, put in

The meaning nowadays is, Even if you throw your belongings into the river have an account of what you throw and how much to throw. It might be baffling, that throwings our belongings into to river is itself a foolish act, but having an account or measuring them is even foolish. Some even interpret the meaning as one needs to be frugal and should not waste unnecessarily.

The actual quote goes like this

“Agathula Pottalum Alandhu Podanum”

Agam – Home

meaning, Even if you give the money you earned to your very home, have an account of how much you give. Usually, people in business earn money, but they don’t keep an account of how much they withdraw from the business, as their purpose of earning is just for their home. So they don’t keep account of money withdrawn from business for their homely needs. But what this quote emphasises is that to have control of the expenses and money earned, you need to maintain proper accounts even in case of private use.

The next one is quite intimidating for children. It is used to frighten children to ward them off from water resources so that they don’t get sick after playing in the water for long. The quote is

“Sani Neeraadum”

meaning Saturn, who is dreadful planet feared for the bad times he causes to a human, will play in the water. So anyone playing in the water for long will be cast by the Saturn’s spell that they will have to suffer for 7.5 years. This was to frighten children from playing too much in the water. But actually the quote is

“Sani Neeradu”

meaning, One should take Oil bath during Saturdays. Because Saturday being a weekend, one is expected to take rest after taking an oil bath, so Saturdays are the right days for taking oil bath. And to maintain a good health, it is quite necessary to keep the good health and keep the body temperatures low in a tropical country like India.

The next one talks about the very own Tamil Language and Civilisation

“Kall Thondri Mann thondra Kaalathae
Munn Thondriya Mootha Kudi
Engal Tamil Kudi”

meaning, even before stone and sand was formed, the Tamil Language and Civilisation existed. But logically, it might be questionable how a language used by humans could have formed before stone and sand was formed in this planet.

The actual interpretation is quite different, it actually means that some form of Tamil Language existed even before the Stone Age, where humans started using tools and utensils made of stone. Historically, man started using stones as tools and later learnt to make utensils out of mud like pots etc. So, this statement is about a communication language, Tamil, that existed even before the stone age and even before man started making tools and utensils out of mud. Of course, Tamil is a very old language and it is possible that it existed in some form, but its existence has to be made somewhat logical and not even before anything formed in this planet.

The quotes become very valuable if their real and in-depth meanings are understood and propagated correctly to the next generations to come. This is the rich heritage we have in our hands to be safeguards for the days ahead.

More to come, until then…