Tuesday, August 08, 2006

On Celestial Pachyderms

Today, I was listening to a Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi by a yesteryear vidwan. The pallavi was in Tamil and went:
ten-pazhani vaDivElanE, devayAnai maNavALanE*
The pallavi refers to the deity Muruga/Karttikeya. He is considered a bachelor in the north** but is twice-married down south. His second wife is called dEvayAni in Sanskrit and dEvAnai in Tamil. Gods and goddesses in Tamilnadu have two names - one each in Sanskrit and Tamil.

In this pallavi, the vidwan wishes to refer to the deity in relation to his wife, i.e., "O Husband of such-and-such-a-person." But he confuses the two names, dEvayAni and dEvAnai, of the goddess and ends up with the hybrid dEvayAnai, which means "Divine Elephant" (yAnai = elephant, in Tamil)!

- - - -
* தென்பழனி வடிவேலனே, தேவயானை மணவாளனே
** Whether it's north of the Vindhyas or that of Tirutthani, I am not sure.

8 comments :

Vijayanand said...

I have a small question regarding the krithi "Chakkani raja..".

In most of the sources it is listed/pronounced as "chakkani". But I also heard from a reliable source that it is "Thsakkani" and not "Chakkani". Is the latter more correct or something?

Srikanth said...

Vijayanand,

Good question!

I am not too sure when one should use "cha" and when "tsa" in Telugu or if they are interchangeable. The same character is used for writing both the sounds.

CP Brown's dictionary mentions both forms of the word (tsakkani as well as chakkani). [Link]

Vijayanand said...

ok thanks.
Yeah I can understand, even in tamil it can pronounced as 'cha' (chakkaram) and 'sa' (saalai)

Manjunatha said...

How "tsa" is pronounced there? Do both 'ta' and 'sa' have equal stress? There are many words in Tulu with both 'ta' and 'sa' beginnings.

eg.
head = tare, sare
spider = tAlye, sAlye
to correct = tirdu, sirdu
leaves = tappu, soppu

I wonder if these words had 'tsa' beginnings and retained one of the sounds.

Srikanth said...

Manjunatha,
It's written చ but sometimes (not sure when) pronounced త్స.

"...'tsa' and 'dza' are used to denote special sounds not normally found in the official Telugu. These sounds nevertheless are used in spoken language....'tsa' and 'dza' follow closely the more familiar sounds as in 'caapa/tsaapa,' 'jalleDa/dzalleDa.'" [Link]

Guy Barry said...

A very interesting blog,hope you get the semantics sorted
?

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