"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." —Mahatma Gandhi
This is the only and last video of my mom - Anantharani Thangaraj - from a zoom session on 26-April-2021, where she delivered a guest lecture to MVM Government Arts College students Dindigul.
In this, she speaks about the role of translators. She contracted Covid shortly after that and died after an extended period of hospitalization. Inspired by her words, I have taken it upon myself to complete her translation effort of Thirukkural. I post them daily on my social media handles.
Today is the 100th day since my mom passed away. One of her last wishes was to take Thirukkural to the younger generation. She had painstakingly spent over five years of her life translating Thirukkural to English.
She felt that the existing translations are of two kinds - by English-speakers who had learnt Tamil or by Tamil scholars who didn't have excellent command over English. The result was either a westernized interpretation or a hard-to-read one. She wanted to publish a version that is simple to read and worth giving it a try, whether you know Tamil or not.
When we read a quote from Plato or Confucius, we seldom remember that we are reading the English translated version. We don't worry about the lost meaning during translation or parts where the translator inadvertently brought in his own biases. She wanted to have a similar version of the Thirukural.
I am not a scholar, and I would have loved to limit my role to a critical reviewer and help my mother complete her work. But here I am, trying to complete it for her. I have worked on top of my mother's translation, with limited insights I got from her just days before her untimely death. I have tried my best to stay true to the original work. I tried my best to stay true to my mother's intent.
I have tried carrying the idea forward, not the references or examples. I am aware that whenever I aimed for simplicity, I lost some part of the meaning. There are better sources for people who look for that. This one is for the uninitiated.
Starting today, I plan to publish one verse each day in my social media handles and consolidate everything into a blog and a book at a later date. If you like this work, please do share it with your family and friends. If you have feedback, please reach out to me via https://lifelessons.me/contact.
If you want to access all 1330 verses at once, see my mom's blog at: https://dailyreads.life/.