Most Gracious ILites, In the middle of this hectic week, I do not want to burden you with something heavy like jealousy or gossip. Let's turn to literature once again. And this time let us enjoy the words of the immortal poet, Kambar. When a known story like Ramayan passes through Kambars desk, it becomes literature, a lesson for life, a psychology text and above all a source of enduring happiness. In an epic running into thousands of poems it is very difficult to choose; rather it is difficult to leave out anything. Because each of Kambar's verse is an epic in itself. But there are places where Kambar deviates from the original, from all other Ramayan texts and indelibly stamps his unique signature. This Wednesday let's see two such places. This verse is from Sundara Kaandam. Sita is in captivity, in Asoka Vanam in Lanka. Ravana has just visited her and has threatened her with dire consequences if she does not budge. Sita now thinks of Rama. She thinks of the many poignant moments of their togetherness. She also thinks of Rama's equipoise. A simple verse is enough for Kambar to bring the scene to our eyes. 'மெய்த் திருப்பதம் மேவு' என்ற போதினும் 'இத் திருத் துறந்து ஏகு' என்ற போதினும் சித்திரத்தின் அலர்ந்த செந்தாமரை ஒத்திருக்கும் முகத்தை உன்னுவாள் When told, 'May you be the King' And when in the next minute his mother's words did sting, 'May you leave these riches and go to the forest The face of Rama was at its best Like the lotus flower painted on the wall It did not move or sway, nor did it fall. Very few of us would have experienced such a change in fortune. Suppose you had planned to go to your favourite movie. You have dressed yourself up and are now having an eye on the clock and another on the driveway to see if your husband's car has come yet. You are raring to go. And you get a call from your husband cancelling the programme. There is no need that you should tell me how you will react. No need to give me the graphic details of your anger, your frustration and all. Well suppose we can measure that anger, that frustration as 1 unit. Ramas anger and frustration, when all of a sudden, he was asked to go to the forest, ought to have been at least a million units. But he remains the same. Kambar is an acclaimed expert on using similies. He says that Rama's face was like the painted lotus. He wanted to say, in the traditional manner, the real lotus. But then real lotusses sway with the wind. They sway with the water. Their petals blossom in the morning and close up in the night. So the simile will be wrong. So he switches to the picture of a lotus on a wall. Ramas face is no doubt beautiful but there is no disturbance.