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Thirukkural-On Wealth-On Ignorance-Kural-402

Kallaathaan sorkaa muruthal mulaiyirandum

Illaathaal pen kaamut ratru

The ignorant person aspiring to speak in the councils of the learned,

Is like the woman without breasts seeking the charms of love.

A person of no learning wanting to display his knowledge and skills to an assembly of learned men, would be like the joyless emptiness attendant on a woman, without both her breasts and femininity, seeking the fullness of love.

Parimel Azhagar gives this interpretation, with which Manakudavar and Kalingar concur. This obviously is the straight-forward interpretation of the Kural, with which all of us agree.

But Paridhi gives a different interpretation, which is that, falling for the empty words uttered by an ignorant person is like falling in love with a breast-less woman. This implies that in the same way, there are some speakers, who captivate unthinking persons, with just words with no meaning or underlying ideas.

Many of the latter-day politicians, who make attractive alliterative speeches, of all words and no deep sense, would belong to this category of Paridhi"s delineation.

In a discerning society, they cannot continue hoodwinking all people, all the time. At some stage their ignorance will get exposed.

“A fool"s mouth is his own destruction" (Proverbs 18:7)

'inna Narpathu', apparently borrows from this Kural, when it says:"

“Innaa, mulaiyilaal penmai vizaivu"

Story first published: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 14:12 [IST]
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