This is in continuation of my earlier article கீதையின் கண்ணன். Okay, not exactly continuation in literal sense :-)! But, I myself was not convinced with my last paragraph of the earlier article which states that I like Bharathi because he too likes Krishna like I do! That statement kept peeping into my mind sometimes with a grin and sometimes with a sad smile. I think, that statement is only partially right, the other half is I like Krishna because I like Bharathi & he was one of the people who introduced Krishna to me strongly.
The schools I studied had close association with Bharathi! The village I was born and brought up was his wife's native village and he lived there for many years. The names of the schools had his name as a result; there were a lot of opportunities to read his poems and learn about him as a person. There were a lot of events around him in the school. His birthday and death anniversary day had all types of events a school will host. There were taluk, district level events and events hosted by other literary associations too.
The college where I did my graduation, though it did not have his name, was proud of being associated with him (who is not proud to be associated with him anyway!!!); and gave me more opportunities to know him better and deeper by means of competitions and other events. It got into a nice virtuous cycle! The schools influenced reading, reading made me understand the beauty of his poems & created an appreciation for the fact that there is at least one poem to suit every single emotional state one would go through in life, that appreciation created affinity, affinity influenced reading! He became one of the role models for me! To me, he is one of the people who represent almost all of my value system: value others as people, respect other culture but celebrate and cherish your own, fight for justice and freedom, take responsibility but give room to others to be themselves, enjoy nature, all art forms and be cheerful at all times!
In other words, he is the only poet with whom I do not have disagreements yet!! Sure, I am not a literarian! But I read the works of Thiruvalluvar, Avvai, Bharathiar almost every week and Gnasambandar, Maanickavachakar, Sundarar and Kambar every now and then; have started reading "Naaladiyar" by the Jain saints. Except Bharathi, I don’t seem to agree with all the other poets fully! There is at least one point I strongly disagree! I used to wonder if his poems are like the food cooked by my mom - I will never feel that I don’t like the taste, ever! Do you like your mom's cooking because that is what you are used to or because she and you share same tastes or because she knows what exactly would you like! Hmm… He was not alive when I was born, so the third option is ruled out!! I started reading the other poets about the same age and I do not agree with them fully now; so first option is also ruled out!! So I feel it is the second option - that we both have same taste or values!
I questioned the views of Kambar even as a small girl though I liked his language (I should say I was deeply fascinated by the linguistic beauty of his work) and as I grew up I strongly resisted his views on many aspects of life. Sure, he would have been restricted by the original story written by Valmiki! But I do not think I can take his views light because of that. Thirukural is one of the most translated work in the world and it is praised as a universal book of principles. Surely, Valluvar is one of my favourite poets and I consider him a genius. But I disagree with some of the principles described in thirukural! Good example is about the description of a good wife! One who worships (!) the husband can command the nature even if she does not worship God or has not done any penance to get such power; if she asks for rain, it will rain! There are similar examples for every poet!!
When I think about the reasons, more and more I am convinced that it is the second option - alignment of value system! There is a recent example to prove that. As a person, I never considered renunciation as a better virtue; performing one's duties with utmost sincerity & commitment is much better than renunciation has been my view always. In fact, many times, I despised renunciations! I read recently that he too did not appreciate renunciation; though he respected Swami Vivekananda, considered him as the chosen man for propagating Indian Philosophy, he did not like the fact that Vivekananda became a sanyasi. It was a new thing and surprising to learn that he condemned Swami Vivekananda for renouncing! Hmm… Surely, it is not the other two options at all!
I am still reading his work - 30 minutes once or twice week! I randomly open some poem and read. Interestingly, the randomly picked poems match my frame of mind on most of the days. Kindness, love, anger, disgust, cheerfulness, agony, curiosity, firm belief in future, courage… think of any possible emotion! He has at least one poem!
The poem I read today is on Krishna and it starts with the following lines! Hmm…
வேத வானில் விளங்கி அறஞ்செய்மின்
சாதல் நேரினும் சத்தியம் பூணுமின்
Do what is right and just. Even if death comes as a result, be honest and remove all evil! Why would I not like him so much!