(Last Updated on : 24/01/2013)
Cirupdndrruppatai is a Tamil poem touches every nook and corner of extraordinariness having a line break up of 269 lines depicting poverty stricken lives of the minstrel's family in the akaval metre. "A guide of the Minstrel playing the small lute" has been sometimes acclaimed as the best of the guidance poems." Typical of the guide poems, it contains all the necessary attributes of the genre with the conventional imageries and especially the munificence of the hero.
The account of the minstrel's residence reveals the distress and suffering of the family. The walls of the house are dated and is ravaged by termites is rather evident. This symbolise the images of decadence and breakage and rotten condition of the beings around. The roof beam appears weak and is almost falling down. The kitchen of the minstrel's home is enclosed with fungus and dust. Thus the basic need of the mortal being too is denied and is barricaded by the forces of nature plus the circumstial mishaps. The miserable poverty not only affects the family of the minstrel but it also adversely affects their pet dog. Apparently the dog has given birth to a litter of puppies in the kitchen and when the puppies approach the pet dog for milk, the mother dog barks out in order to chase them away and refuses to suckle them.
In a way the poem celebrates the ruthless reality of the human and the animal worlds thus making at par both of them. The refutation of the female dog to her created being foreshadow the crucial instinct of the living, the most pure form of love between a mother and her baby too is tinted by the shackles of poverty. The motherly instincts are eradicated from the feline heart of the female dog.
Even though the state of the house lies in ruins and encompassed in a gloomy and miserable atmosphere, the housewife realizes her duties and responsibilities towards providing food to the family members. She is only able to get some basic vegetables that are available from the backyard. The housewife gathers the vegetables and cooks a meal for her family, but without salt as she is unable to afford the same. Before serving it to the members of the family however she closes the door as the neighbours might get to know the state of their poverty.
As the minstrels have a great sense of honour, they have never opted for begging despite experiencing abject poverty and compelling desire. Even when the minstrels encounter a generous patron, they refrain themselves from asking for anything from him. Neither have they asked for anyone else's help.
Only when they have known from their fellow minstrels about the kindness of the patron, the minstrel family visits him. They sing about the prominence of the patron's forefathers and praise the scenic natural beauty of his country. The patron also realizes and identifies their needs, compliments their self-respect and offers them gifts which are suitable to their great skill and talent. The poem is allegorical in nature and didactic in tone which clearly throws light showing that all good work, Karma or deeds are rewarded and the justice awarded may be late but never denied.
Cirupdndrruppatai is one of the renowned classical poems of the Tamil literature
that was composed during the Sangam age