I have started translating Thirukkural on Twitter. I have always drawn a lot from Thirukkural – now, it is time give something back to Valluvar, in whatever limited way that I can.
Twitter seems to be tailor-made to enable crisp translations of Thirukkural – the way it was originally meant to be. Here is a 140 character medium of the modern era, waiting to host the 2000-year-old 7-word kurals, which packed wholesome wisdom in 2 lines.
There are already numerous translations available in English. But I hate literal translations, which lose their charm in an alien language. So I will attempt to do my own interpretations of Thirukkural in a contemporary twitter-friendly, and yet, proper English.
I realize that some kurals, shorn of the poetic grace of ancient Tamil, will look banal in their naked forms. But that is the risk with any translation, particularly, of verses. However, there is enough depth in most kurals to shine bright, despite the services of an amateur translator. I will, as suits my style, not follow any particular order in choosing the kurals. I will start with what I know well and like; move on to what I know, exists, and I will like. I may stop here and not translate all 1330 kurals.
This is neither an academic exercise nor a commercial endeavour (not yet, as I see it). I am writing for the pleasure of writing, that too on phone, snatching every possible opportunity to think and tweet. More accurately, I am writing for the pleasure of reading Thirukkural, in greater depths than I have ever done before, and for, potentially, introducing Thirukkural to a new set of readers through a medium that they love.
Update: I am now posting the kurals on Facebook too – this is a public page that anyone can subscribe to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Thirukkural-in-English/121572627898093