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aebmfw ]gs©mÃpIÄ
kamlcn¨Xv

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Malyalam Proverbs
Complied by P.R. Ramchnader

Malayalam Proverbs Compiled and illustrated by P.R. Ramachander* aebmfw ]gs©mÃpIÄ -þ kamlcn¨Xv ]n. BÀ. cmaN{µÀ Introduction - AhXmcnI
Proverbs are called “Pazham chollugal” in Malayalam. Literally that means ancient sayings. It is well known that Proverbs reflect the culture of the people and their language. These have been coined based on centauries of human experience and are used very effectively by people to drive home very important point while they are speaking or writing. People who have lived in Kerala villages would know that effective conversation is highly regarded by all people regardless of their financial status and caste and religious differences. Most of the old people used to illustrate their conversation by using stories or proverbs, in a very effective manner .Slowly this culture is being replaced by a different culture, where people talk only, to the point and are in a hurry to end what they are trying to say. Most of the time, they leave their audience unconvinced. I am giving below a compilation of Malayalam proverbs. These popular proverbs themselves have been taken from a Malayalam book by Sri Velayudhan Panikkaseri entitled, “Pathinayiram Pazhamchollugal (Ten thousand proverbs)”. The idea of translating and explaining them was given to me my very intellectual friend and former colleague Dr.C.P.Ananthasivan. I would like to express my gratefulness to him. In every proverb, I have first given the transliteration in to English of the proverb, then English translation followed by a story to illustrate the usage of the proverb. I have used names of common people of Kerala and stories are from the Kerala context. I hope that you all , would after reading this say “Pazham chollil Pathirilla (There is no chaff among the proverbs)”

1.Akapettavannu Apathu, Odi poyavanu bhagyam.

(AIs¸«hëv B]¯v… HmSn

t]mbhëv `mKyw)
Danger for one who is caught and luck for the one who has escaped. There were two friends, Rama and Krishna. Both of them liked mangos very much and they did not have money to buy mangos. So they decided to steal mangos from farmer Paramu’s garden. One night when every body was asleep, they entered the garden and started plucking mangos. Unfortunately farmer Paramu visited the garden that night and he raised hue and cry. Rama ran fast and managed to escape, with some mangos. Krishna was caught and thrashed. When Rama later shared his mangos with his family they told, “Akapettavannu Apathu, Odi poyavanu bhagya..” 2.Akale ulla bandhuvinekkal, aduthulla sathru nallathu.

(AIsebpff _Ôphs\ImÄ

ASp¯ff i{Xp \ÃXv)
Enemy who is near is better than relation who is far away. Sankaran was a nice man who happened to go to Bombay to earn a living. All his relations were in his native village, which was very far away. He had a very morose neighbor, who always shouted at him. Sankaran always considered this neighbor as his enemy. One day, while Sankaran had gone to work, his daughter fell before a car and was injured. The morose neighbor saw this, and immediately took the girl to the hospital in his car .He also spent money for her urgent treatment. When Sankaran came to know of this he told.” Though I have lot of relations in my native place, what is the use. Akale ulla bandhuvinekkal, aduthulla sathru nallathu”

3.Ikkara ninnal akkara pacha. (C¡sc

\n¶m A¡sc ]¨ )

Grass is greener on the other side of the river. Sankunni was a poor farmer in a village near Ernakulam. He had a friend who was working in Mumbai. Whenever that friend used to come to the village, he dressed nicely and came with lot of gifts for every body including his friend Sankunni. He always painted glorious picture of his life in Bombay. Because of this Sankunni always wanted to leave his job and wanted to go to Bombay. Once without informing his friend, he arrived at the address given by his friend in Bombay. To his shock,...
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