Food for thought

குறள் 412:
செவுக்குண வில்லாத போழ்து சிறிது
வயிற்றுக்கும் ஈயப் படும்.

விளக்கம் 1:
செவிக்கு கேள்வியாகிய உணவு இல்லாத போது (அதற்க்கு துணையாக உடலை ஒப்புமாறு) வயிற்றுக்கும் சிறிது உணவு தரப்படும்.

விளக்கம் 2:
செவிக்கு உணவாகிய கேள்வி கிடைக்காதபோது, வயிற்றுக்கும் சிறிது உணவு இடப்படும்.

English Couplet 412:
When ’tis no longer time the listening ear to feed
With trifling dole of food supply the body’s need.

Couplet Explanation:
When there is no food for the ear, give a little also to the stomach.

Transliteration(Tamil to English):
sevikkuNa villaadha poazhdhu siRidhu
vayitrukkum eeyap padum

Scholar!

Not so long ago, in a not so far country, there lived our hero X.. Unlike me, he loves burying his nose under the books and get himself drenched with new knowledge every single day without caring for food nor relaxation or even some entertainment..

Though there are ways to learn about human behavior and how to interact with other beings are wide discussed and many books have been written, none of them seem to have entered even the peripheral vision of our dear hero..

The library where he had been hunting for books ran out of supply of new knowledge for him at a stage.. Thus he was compelled to look at alternative options..

The alternatives weren’t that much as his resources to attain new knowledge were limited.. Thus he was forced to look up and face humans around him..

He wanted to increase his resources to gain access to more books, and the choice made available to him is full of jobs which needed human interaction more than other skills..

He picked the job with the least probable communication and yet his skill of reaching out to people was more damaging to everyone rather than helping him secure the job..

He had to skip change multiple jobs, just because of his inter-personal skills (or lack thereof).. This multiple change in jobs overrode his reputation as scholar to a recluse..

In spite of his expertise in many areas, he was looked down by the fellow people around him.. His reputation in the elite circle also started fading and his social status was on constant decline..

Since our hero is becoming almost zero, let’s stop your imagination of cliche movies and motivational stories, where the zero hero suddenly bounces back to super hero..

And let us tear off the mask of story and get to the basic idea or the moral of the story..

உலகத்தோடு ஒட்ட ஒழுகல் பலகற்றும் 
கல்லார் அறிவிலா தார். (140)

ulaGathOdu otta ozhugal palakattRum
kallaar aRivilaa thaar

Who know not with the world in harmony to dwell, 
May many things have learned, but nothing well

. (Couplet 140)

Though learning and being a scholar is a noble thought, the basics of living in the society is much more important..

Even when you are a treasure trove of knowledge, you would be labeled as ignorant / recluse or the like, till you learn the skill of being Roman in Rome..

So let us set aside some time to learn what’s happening in the society around us, how they react to situations and then find out the best way possible to achieve our goals with the least resistance from them!

Let us be street-smart scholars, who knows to convert the ideas to action and success!

Truth!

When someone is said to be saying the ‘truth’, it is widely believed to be the fact. Here is an explanation.

வாய்மை எனப்படுவது யாதெனின் யாதொன்றும்
தீமை இலாத சொலல்.
(291)

vaaymai enappaduvadhu yaadhenin yaadhondRum
theemai ilaadha solal. (291)

Truth is defined as
speaking words that cause no harm. (Couplet 291)

But some facts are better unrevealed than revealed! For truth is not mere relaying of facts.

The sweetest melody!

குறள் 66
குழலினி தியாழினி தென்பதம் மக்கள்
மழலைச்சொல் கேளா தவர் (66)

Kuzhal Inidhu Yaazhinidhu Enpadham Makkal
Mazhalaichchol Kelaa Thavar

‘The pipe is sweet,’ ‘the lute is sweet,’ by them’t will be averred,
Who music of their infants’ lisping lips have never heard [Couplet 66]

The innocence of kids is such a beauty.
The sweetest of the music is indeed the voice of their own kids, as mentioned in the above couplet.

But the voice of other kids is no less..

I have the fortune of being the favorite person for a cute little kid. In a conversation with his mother, I said, how long is he going to be this affectionate, it would eventually fade and when he grows up, he might not even remember me this well..

The reaction of the kid was priceless as he literally closed his eyes in a peculiar way and turned away with anger.

When I felt sorry and said sorry to him, he replied in a sweet way. It’s okay for you to say this once, but never again repeat it!

I was speechless with the sincerity and innocent beauty of it. And here it is recorded for eons to come and I selfishly wish that we stay so for that long.. 😉

Righteousness

என்பி லதனை வெயில்போலக் காயுமே
அன்பி லதனை அறம். (77)

enpi ladhanai veyilpoalak kaayumae
anpi ladhanai aRam.

A life without love will be stung by the righteous conscience
like a body without bones that is burnt by the sun. [Couplet 77]

This is one of the oft-quoted couplet. The usual explanation to this goes as given in the English version.

But I have recently heard a better explanation to this couplet on its nuance. And I just wanted to share it here for I loved the explanation.

The righteous virtue burns away the soul of the loveless people. But why is it compared to that of the Sun burning the boneless? Because, it has a special unique feature.

The Sun burns the boneless only when the creature attempts to stay in the Scorching sun. As Sun never goes in search of boneless to burn them..

Similarly, Righteousness doesn’t burn the loveless as long as they stay confined within their solitude.. It starts punishing only when the loveless people come out to stay in the society without having the least compassion for the society.

So being Loveless is not a crime by itself to deserve the punishment of righteousness.

Share your love and let the World be a better place to live upon.

Failure isn’t always a failure!

The joy of ticking off a to-do list,
The joy of scoring out a pending task,
The happiness of achieving some target,
The happiness of getting appreciated for timely completion,
The happiness of shelving a project after completion,
And every other joy of accomplishment,
Takes up the level of self-confidence a bit ahead!

And that little more confidence helps you to achieve even more..
And there is another kind of confidence that helps us to accomplish things, which we might otherwise find beyond our capability..

The confidence that you have nothing to lose, but could gain anything to everything..
Also, there is the confidence that comes with the knowledge of having every possibility a success!

Is there ever a possibility of having every try a success??

Yes!
Though the success from each chance is not the same, some failures are worth more than the success and hence, the failure can’t be classified as failure!

Wondering how failure is better than success?
Here’s the formula as told in Thirukkural by Thiruvalluvar..

கான முயலெய்த அம்பினில் யானை
பிழைத்தவேல் ஏந்தல் இனிது. 772

kaana muyal_eydha ampinil yaanai
pizhaitha_vael aendhdhal inidhu

Better to bear the spear that missed the tusker
than the arrow that got the rabbit. [Couplet 772]

This couplet says that it is better to hold the spear that missed the target of a massive elephant, which symbolises a not easy target, than to hold the victorious arrow, which pierced the aimed, easier target of, rabbit!

So is that really a failure, when you have a not-so-easy target, give your best efforts and yet not achieve the target?

And when you are sure that there is no way to fail, won’t you be tapping more and more success?

Be carefree for there is no failure and win more laurels as you are carefree and content with what you do!!

Will you judge a friend?

Did you think no?

Well that’s interesting.. Let us see whether you stick to the no at the end of this post.. 😉

But did you think yes? I might think you are mean at some level, but as long as the judgements are reserved for few certain things, you have already earned my respect!

Judging is necessary! As long as it is within limits of necessity..

So what is necessity and what is not?

Not every other person you talk to daily is a friend and Not because you haven’t talked to a person in ages, remove that person from your friend list. They might even have a permanent place in the inner most circle and nothing, yes, nothing could shake them off from that place..

Now, letting someone have such a place requires judging..

Don’t be shocked that I am saying to judge your best of best friends.. That is what I am saying.. Judge them..

When and For what?

Before letting someone hold the detonator to your bomb or the key to your darkest dungeon stashed with secrets, hitherto known only to you and the ever persistent almighty or that superior force, by whatever name you would call that.

Yes, it is not love and you are not giving them the strings to shatter and hoping against hope to not be shattered by them..

It is something more..

There is a hearsay custom amidst the folks of people diving underwater for pearls. They will tie a rope around them and hand over the other end of the rope to a person, who should pull out this guy, as and when he receives a signal to pull out. Any delay or any slip would cost the life of the diver.

Letting someone be the best of best friend requires the level of trust between the diver and the holder.

Is it too dramatic?

Maybe. And you might also argue that not letting someone be close could cost your life.

Please do read on..

The dear friend is shaping your future even without your conscience. A thought by a random stranger might be brushed off inspite of the richness of that idea. But even a silly thought from a dear friend goes a long way and has the power to change your future.

Many success stories of the start-ups has a crazy conversation with a friend. That is when the idea is actually implanted in your thoughts that might even change  the world. Even if many of us do not acknowledge the fact of the same, it is still having a good chance.

And now you could argue the same could fit to a random conversation with an acquaintance.. Accepted without buts.

So where are we.. I started saying you must judge and went on to ramble about the sparkle of idea from randomness.. Let us get back on track to the judging part.

Here is a hypothetical situation.

You have achieved a very big thing or crossed a remarkable milestone in your life. You are so filled with happiness and the euphoria of achievement that you start blabbering the tales to everyone who would listen. Still you know that one particular person / group to whom you want to share it first.. Is that not judging?!

Another scenario:

You are in middle of disaster / life-crisis and you need a partner to get you out of it. Out of the hundreds of contacts on our address books, only one name pops up at that moment. You call them up and you are out of the disaster in no time at all.. Now do you mean to say that none other could have done the job? Still why that particular one? That is what I meant by judging!

Fine, there is the possibility, that ‘one’ did not turn up and let you go down another layer of the crisis. Now you would have a doubt and yet call up another and might get out of the trouble. But, would you be calling that ‘one’ as your friend still? That is what I meant by judging!

Know the worth of your friendship by seeing which one turns up during the depth of crisis and rescues you! They do deserve a special place in our hearts.

I am summing up with the quote “Friend in need is a friend indeed” along with another quote from Thirukkural.

கேட்டினும் உண்டோர் உறுதி கிளைஞரை
 நீட்டி அளப்பதோர் கோல். [796]
kaettinum uNdoar uRudhi kiLainjarai
neetti aLappadhoar koal.
There is a gain in grief: it is a tool
 to stretch and gauge a friend. [Couplet 796]