• On achcham, madam, naaNam and payirppu

    From palani.ora@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Sun Aug 6 04:52:42 2017
    Simple post from below link which I felt more appropriate :


    4 Kunas of Girl(s) => Girls MUST read this :) know the meaning..

    இவன் புதியவன்
    31 August 2012 ·
    Friends! 4 Kunas of Girl(s) - Its MISTERIOUS to found on them now-a-days. Coz, many of them DONT KNOW what are these ?!! Funny. Atleast MEN knew about it, please explain to your Girl/WIFE. About these atleast once in your whole lifetime ;-)

    Acham (Fear / Timidity):
    Acham does not mean the sense of emotion when one feels during fear rather it means being alert taking into consideration the fear of strangers, unrelated men, offending others and others.

    Nanam (Coyness / Shy):
    Coyness in intimate settings, shyness which is the shyness which women possess.

    Madam (Innocence):
    Innocence, as few say does not mean stupidity, but completely believing the man who marries her. This do not only apply to women, but also do apply for men.

    Payirpu (Aversion):
    Aversion towards other men. This does not mean that you should not talk with other men.

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  • From varunkumarj@gmail.com@21:1/5 to Sundara Pandian on Mon Dec 16 14:39:00 2019
    On Saturday, 10 October 1992 04:57:36 UTC+5:30, Sundara Pandian wrote:
    I like to give a few comments on the subject - achcham,
    madam, naaNam, payirppu and say a few words on what they
    acham, madam, naaNam and payirppu are considered as the
    four feminine qualities in the Tamil tradition. This tradi-
    tion dates back to the Sangam period of Tamil culture and
    when addressing the word `payirppu', Tamil grammar books say `makatooukkvuNaNnaankinonRu' meaning `one of the four fem-
    inine qualities'. `MakaLir' means `women' in Tamil and ac-
    ham, madam, naaNam, payirppu are to be taken as the four
    principal qualities of women in the Tamil tradition. Some
    readers have tried to incorporate `karpu'[ chastity] as one
    among these four principal feminine qualities. I like to
    point out that these four feminine qualities applies to all
    women - girls, monks, etc., and not necessarily to married
    women. As one would see, `kaRpu' is implicitly contained in
    `payirppu' when it is applied to married women or virgins.
    Also, the word `kaRpu' is essentially conjuncted with mar-
    ried women of good chastity. Tamil culture respects KaNNagi
    as `kaRpukkarasi' but it views MaNimEgalai who becomes a
    Buddhist monk when she is young itself as a monk only,
    though she is of very high chastity. These words may be ir-
    relevant to some readers, but I like to remind them that
    `varaivin makaLir'[ prostitutes ] also held a position in
    the ancinet Tamil culture and that they are no exception to
    the four feminine qualities in the subject. Silappathikaaram
    talks about these `varaivin makaLir' in its first two parts
    . It is my opinion that acham, madam, naaNam and payirppu
    applied to all women in the ancient Tamil culture and not
    just to chaste women.
    Regarding one poster which commented that women of
    `payirppu' can't travel in a crowded Pallavan bus, I request
    the author to wake up from our male-dominant society. Not
    all traditions are followed to the letter and we are not
    living in the Sangam period when these four feminine quali-
    ties were put forth. We are living in `Bharati yugam' and we
    witness many changes in our society - women education, one
    among them. Bharati writes in one of his poems,

    Ettaiyum peNkaL thoduvathu theemaiyen
    Renni yirundhavar maayndhuvittaar
    VeettukkuLLE peNNaip poottivaippO menRa
    Vindhai manidhar thalai kunindhaar

    We see male chauvinism in the Sangam period itself. Au-
    vaiyaar of Sangam period says in his/her `aaththichchoodi',
    "thaiyal sol kELeL."
    [ Don't listen to women.]
    [ Some Tamil scholars like T.M.C.Raghunadhan believe that
    Auvaiyaar of Sangam period is the pseudonym of a male poet.
    However, the Auvaiyaar, the court poet of Adhiyaman is be-
    lievedly a female poet. There are two Auvaiyaars in Tamil
    literature! ] Bharathi changed this line to
    "thaiyalai uyarvu sei"
    [ Respect women.]
    in his new "aaththichcoodi". Also worth mentioning is
    Bharathi's view regarding the much talked chastity of women.
    Our Tamil poet says,

    kaRpu nilaiyenRu sollavan dhaariru
    katchikkumakthu podhuvil vaippOm
    [ People talk on women's chastity. Let us keep
    it common to both sides- men and women. ]

    A question that one might ask is what about those women
    in the ancient days who didn't have the four feminine quali-
    ties in the subject. How did the society regard them? I
    refer to the Kamba Ramayana to consider this question. The
    scene is Rama and his younger brother Lakshmana walking with
    the rishi Viswamitra in the forest. They are encountered by
    a demon Thaadakai, a woman, on their way. The rishi orders
    the young prince Rama to kill the demon, but the prince re-
    fuses saying that he can't kill her as she is a woman. Then
    the rishi explains Rama that she is not a woman (!) and as
    such, the prince is not committing evil by killing her. Also
    we see the `asura' woman SurppaNagai taking the form of a
    beautiful woman in a later part of the same epic to attract
    Rama. Kamba describes her walk towards Rama in a verse of
    beautiful `sandham', the popular one beginning `panchiyoLir
    vinchukuLir..'. This verse posted first by Kathiravan Krish-
    namurthy has been already discussed in the net and I just
    like to point out that SurppaNagai exhibits the four femine
    qualities in the subject outwardly to Rama, though she is
    evil in her heart. Kamba concludes the verse reminding us
    that she is a `vanchamakaL' , an evil woman.
    Having said that I like to say a few words on what do the
    four words in subject mean, as the four feminine qualities
    in Tamil tradition. All these are Tamil words and they are
    not derived from any Sanskrit word to my knowledge.
    1.achcham : A common meaning for `achcham' is `fear'. Tamil
    poet Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram writes on one of his
    "achcham enbathu madamiyadaa
    anchaamai dhraavidar udamaiyadaa.."
    Here he means `fear' when he uses the word `achcham' in
    his song.
    Can we take `fear' as the first feminine quality addressed
    in the Sangam culture? I like to refer to the Tamil epic
    Silappathikaaram and consider the}i case of KaNNagi who is
    respected as `KaRpukkarasi'[ the queen of chastity ]. When
    she gets to know that her husband is executed by the Pandi-
    yan king for a crime he did not commit, she becomes very
    furious and she walks to the court of Pandyan king with a
    boiling anger for the injustice committed her - the execu-
    tion of her beloved husband. She has no fear at all in ad-
    dressing either the gate-keeper of the king's court or in
    talking with the Pandya king. I can't take the word `achc-
    ham' meaning `fear' as a feminine quality. It means some-
    thing else and for that we have to consider other meaings of
    the Tamil word `achcham'. One of the meanings of `achcham'
    is the tree `agaththi'. This tree is marked with its thin-
    ness. It is easy to cut these trees. Actually,`thinness' is
    yet another meaning for `achcham'. From this meaning, we
    deduce that `achcham' means `gentleness' as the first fem-
    inine quality.

    2. naaNam : `naaNam' means `shyness', `delicacy' or
    `modesty'. We take `shyness' as the second feminine quality.
    To quote a Tamil song with this word in usage, we have the
    KaNNadasan's song in `aayiraththil oruvan',
    "naaNamO ? innum naaNamO ?
    indha jaadai naadagam enna ?.."

    3. madam : A common meaning for `madam' is `monastery'. It
    should be obvious that this meaning can't be taken as the
    third feminine quality. So we look for other meanings of the
    Tamil word `madam'. An another meaning for `madam' is `ig-
    norance'. This meaning, `ignorance', is the third feminine
    quality . That `madam' was considered as a feminine quality
    indicates the primitiveness of the Sangam culture.

    4. payirppu : This word is not in usage and I don't know of
    any common meaning of this Tamil word. This word really
    means `a state of uneasiness at the sight or hearing any-
    thing offensive - abhorrent feelings'. We take this to mean
    `delicacy' or `high chastity' or `shrinking from what is
    mean or vile' as the fourth feminine quality.

    Thanks for reading,
    - Sundara Pandian.
    [ sp2@cec1.WUSTL.edu ]

    I learnt that accham, madam, nanam and payirppu are related to thanjavur thalaiyatti bommai. Is that so? If yes, then how?

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