By A. K. Ramanujan

Poet, translator, and folklorist, A.K. Ramanujan has been well-known because the world's such a lot profound pupil of South Asian language and tradition. This e-book brings jointly for the 1st time, thirty essays on literature and tradition written by means of Ramanujan over a interval of 4 many years. it's the made from the collaborative attempt of a few his colleagues and neighbors. each one part is prefaced by means of a short severe advent and the amount comprises notes on every one essay in addition to a chronology of Ramanujan's books and essays.

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Here is an example of a Tamil poem with a s n a k e in it, to be compared with the Sanskrit one above: Food for Thought: Towards an Anthology of Hindu Food-images As a little white snake with lovely stripes on its young body troubles the jungle elephant the slip of a girl her teeth like sprouts of new rice her wrists stacked with bangles troubles me. Kuruntokai 119, Catti Natanar (Rarnanujan 1967. 54) Furthermore, nature becomes the repertory of images for all the human events of a civilisation.

The kitchen is s o central that the gods too are ,ither part of the kitchen, or given a niche or room very close to it. food and faeces concerns Ayurvedic physicians, who classify the latter as *pe and unripe. Their first questions to a patient are concerned with k61apravflti, or the movements of time, which is (at least, was) their technical term for bowel movements. And to all the negative connotations of the left hand is added its association with faeces: one eats with the right, and washes oneself with the left.

For example, they are ~egetarian/non-vegetarian, ordinary/spe~ial,SaivaNaisnava. One or another of the four distinctive features may be used to justify this association: chaste-minded widows should not eat certain riijosika o r hot o r sweet foods because they are aphrodisiac. Proverbs express and play with these markings, which may also use the order of foods served (in death ceremonies, rice is served first; in weddings, never first), o r what it is served in (insiders a r e served in rnetal plates, outsiders o n leaves), etc.

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