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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

19 September, 2007

The Anthadi

As the name suggests (Antha- End, Adi- Beginning), the last word of the first verse forms the first word of the second.

An example is a famous poem in Tamil composed of 100 verses, Abirami Anthadi, dedicated to the goddess Abirami, the deity in the southern temple of Thiru Kadayoor in Tamilnadu.

Found a translation of the verses in a site (as usual, something is lost in translation, but it suffices as an example):

First two verses:

She who has the reddish sun as a tilaka,
She who is the red gem for those who understand her and worship,
She who is like the tender bud of pomegranate,
She who is the first ray of lightning,
She who is the reddish liquid made of saffron,
She who is like the Lakshmi sitting on red lotus,
She only is my life�s all help.

Help thine is needed from thee,
Oh, most beautiful one in the three cities,
Who has the cool flowers as her arrows,
Who uses the sweet cane for her bow,
And who has the rope and the ankusha in her hand,
To know that you are in the Vedas,
And in its different branches,
And as holy drops in Upanishads,
And as Pranava in its roots,.
And Oh mother, make me realize.

The same form of the word need not be used; as in if "help" is the last word in the first verse, "helped" can be the first word in the next. This serves to give some latitude for composition.

The last word of the last verse, will be the first word of the first, completing the entire cycle.

There are other Anthadis, dedicated to other gods will try to find those examples too.

Someday, a medium would be found, where we can translate everything, the beauty, the piety without losing those essential qualities. Till then...

Link to Sridala's anthadi.

© Sruthi Krishnan.