Of Malayalam and today…

Today is like Malayalam.

That sentence did make sense, if you know what a palindrome is.

22-02-2022 is today’s date and reads the same forwards and backwards. Like Malayalam.

Actually, today is an ambigram as well – which means it reads the same upside down.

For all this lingual interest, I hope that your day lived up to it. In most cases, would have been a normal day, and so a dampener. And it came just once in our lifetimes, so well, that’s that.

It does get interesting if you read on though.

A palindrome is called अनुलोमप्रतिलोमपदम् in Sanskrit. There are many, some as below:

सरस – wet, poetic, elegant etc.

काक – Crow

नयन – Eye, the one that directs etc.

कनक – Datura, Gold etc.

विकटकवि – Jester poet.

In case you are wondering, नयन reads as Nayana, and not nayan. so with the others.

Ok, now consider this:

वारणागगभीरा सा साराभीगगणारवा।

कारितारिवधा सेना नासेधावरितारिका।।

In the above pada, both lines individually are palindromes.

निशितासिरतोऽभीको न्येजतेऽमरणा रुचा।

चारुणा रमते जन्ये को भीतो रसिताशिनि।।

This pada is a palindrome as a whole, and so is this:

तं श्रियाघनयाऽनस्तरुचा सारतया तया।

या तया तरसा चारु स्तनयाऽनघयाश्रितं।।

Now, look at this:

देवाकानिनि कावादे वाहिकास्वस्वकाहि वा।

काकारेभभरेऽकाका निस्वभव्यव्यकस्वनि।।

Write the syllables in an 8×8 square that is divided into 64 smaller squares, and the Pada can be read horizontally, vertically and even in reverse order to get the same verse. In a way each of the Padas are palindromes.

Now, we go to another level of palindromes.

Raghava-yadaviyam by Venkatadhvari (17th cent.) narrates the story of Sri Rama. But the pada read in the reverse is a narration on Sri Krishna:

वन्देऽहं देवं तं श्रीतं रन्तारं कालं भासा यः ।

रामो रामाधीराप्यागो लीलामारायोध्ये वासे ॥

“I pay my respects to Sri Rama, who with his heart pining for Sita, travelled across the Sahyadri Hills and returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravana and lived with his consort, Sita, in Ayodhya for many years.”

In reverse:

सेवाध्येयो रामालाली गोप्याराधी मारामोरा ।

यस्साभालंकारं तारं तं श्रीतं वन्देहं देवं ॥

“I bow to Lord Shri Krishna, whose chest is the playground of Sri Lakshmi; who is fit to be contemplated through penance and sacrifice, who plays with Rukmani and his other consorts and who is worshipped by the gopis, and who is decked with jewels radiating splendour.”

Another one:

तं भूसुतामुक्तिमुदारहासं वन्दे यतो भव्यभवम् दयाश्रीः । – ”I pay my homage to Him who rescued Sita, whose laughter is captivating, whose incarnation is grand, and from whom mercy and splendor arise everywhere.” – this relates to the Ramayana.

The palindrome – श्रीयादवं भव्यभतोयदेवं संहारदामुक्तिमुतासुभूतम् ॥ – “I bow before that Sri Krishna, the descendent of Yaadava family; who is a divinity of the sun as well as the moon; who destroyed Putana who only gave destruction; and who is the soul of all this universe.”.. – this relates to the Mahabharata!

Interesting isn’t it? Well see you (on a normal day) tomorrow!