Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tamil Calligraphy

Being my mother tongue, I have a facination for the tamil language and its script. Tamil script is different from all other languages - it has very few alphabets. The pronounciation of the alphabet changes with reference to the context. Though this may sound a bit difficult for a beginner, practice over a period of time familiarises a person to the nuances of the pronounciations.

In my abstracts here, I have taken quotes from the Thirukural, a remarkable book of couplets in tamil dealing with all aspects of life. The book 'History of Tamil language and literature' by Prof. Vaiyapuri Pillai describes this great book with these words - "Never before nor since, did words of such profound wisdom issue forth from any sage..."

The quote in this painting is translated thus:

A as its first of letters, every speech maintains;

The Primal Deity is first through all the world's domains.

In simpler words,

As the letter A is the first of all letters, so the eternal God is first in the world.

The quote in this painting is:

The twain that lore of numbers and of letters give

Are eyes, the wise declare, to all on earth that live.

In simpler words,

Letters and numbers are the two eyes of man.