Paradise Lost

கண்ணிலான் பெற்றிழந்தான்..
I don’t remember where I heard this first time, but I’m so grateful for the one who introduced me to this line..

What’s it about this line?
Transliteration – kaNNilaan peRRizhandhaan..
Translation – A blind person, got sight and lost it back..
Conceived by – Kamban
Verse – 325 of Kamba Ramayanam

This is an epitome of agony and pain undergone by a person at times of loss..

Context:
The mighty king Dasarathan was blessed with his children after several prayers..
He was asked, of his son Rama, to be of service, to a hermit in the forests, a hazardous job for a Prince..
The mentality of the king is portrayed as that of a blind, who had enjoyed the blessings of the vision and has gone back blind..

Why the line pops into my mind and blows me off every time?
The loss could have been described in so many ways..

Why not simply say that as a person gone blind?
When one is gifted with vision at birth, it’s taken for granted..
But if one is born blind, he would have an thirst for vision..
The gift of vision can only be contemplated at it’s best, only by a blind..
He treasures the power of vision..
When the sight is taken back, he simply has to return to his former state..

When a person is born with vision and has gone blind in between, has to learn a new way of complementing his visionary power..
But for a person born blind, that’s his natural state..
He evolves and grows with the absence of vision..

So isn’t it easy to restore to someone’s natural state?
What’s the harm in it?

The person could have led his whole life without vision and even could have achieved something in his life..

It’s always easier to acquire, grow, multiple the resources we start with..
As the resource grows, the person evolves along..
But when the resources begin the downfall, there’s no going back of the evolution..

The evolution is like carvings on a stone..
When the resources are taken back, it shatters the heart into shrapnel..
You could live with a blank stone, but not with a shattered piece..
Whether the person stays still or move forward, it hurts the person..

Nothing ever could heal the hurt of the heart..
Even if someday the vision is once again restored, still the void, the pain exists..
Nothing could ever conceal it from one’s own conscience..

A few of you might have experienced this:
Desired something for so long,
thought about it day and night,
gone in search of that treasure with all your heart,
Foregoing every other pleasure for it,
Dedicated the mind, heart and soul for it,
And the success knocks on your door..

The happiness is just divine and is something to be felt and could never be put into words..

Then comes the tragedy,
Even before you could completely embrace your happiness,
The result of success is to be borrowed,
Not a giveaway, Not distorting it,
Just a borrowing,
Still you know the usage by the borrower might lead to anything…
You may or may not get it back,
You might not be the same without it again,
You are to relinquish the treasure voluntarily..

That’s the exact feel of
கண்ணிலான் பெற்றிழந்தான்..

எண்ணிலா அருந்தவத்தோன் இயம்பிய சொல் மருமத்தின் எறிவேல் பாய்ந்த
புண்ணிலாம் பெரும் புழையில் கனல் நுழைந்தால் எனச் செவியில் புகுதலோடும்
உண்ணிலா வியதுயரம் பிடித்து உந்த ஆருயிர் நின்று ஊசல் ஆடக்
கண்ணிலான் பெற்றிழந்தான் என உழந்தான் கடும் துயரம் காலவேலான்

(கம்ப.328)

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