Rhyme and alliterations

 

Rhyme and alliterations (known as praasa and anupraasa) are important aspects of poetry and compositions. Venkata Kavi was a master of this aspect too. He has not only used them interchangeably in both Sanskrit and Tamil, but also used refreshing words for the praasa which can be seen from several examples below. This shows his command over both the languages and his depth of knowledge in both.

Raghukulottama – Nagasvaravali (2nd syllable rhyme gha)

Maghavadaarpita ratha vaibhava marakantaanga shubhaanga sowbhaga
Agha gana haraanandaanubhava anilaja savinaya vinuta vibhava

Veekshitoham – Kedaragowla (2nd syllable rhyme kshi)

Veekshitoham dhanyoham
Vega vara tanaya kamala nayanena vidhi nuta hari pada vimala hrdayena

Sakshi bhoota tapana sanga varena
Sarvadaa shree raama naama smaranena

Sundara nataraajam – Kharaharapriya (1st and 2nd syllable rhyme – sunda)

Sundara nataraajam shivakaama
Sundari hrdayesham

There are several examples that can be seen in innumerable krtis of Venkata Kavi. But an interesting aspect to be observed is that he uses uncommon words or rare usages as rhyming words in a context where generally other composers have used only the same word as rhyme in that context.

For words like bhaja and nija that have been used as the opening words for certain krtis, Venkata Kavi has used several lovely alternative words as rhymes in the next section (anupallavi) such as aja, vraja, bhuja and gaja. Such instances throw light on the composer's matchless vocabulary for short words with only 2 syllables where repetitive usages are commonly observed in other compositions.

There are also other cases where Venkata Kavi has used Tamil rhyming rules in a Sanskrit composition such as in Satyam param dheemahi (Shankarabharanam) where he rhymes janmaadi with brahmaadi (in Tamil this would be written as brammaadi) and Sansrit rhyming rules in a Tamil composition such as in Chintittavar (Nattai) where he rhymes kaakshi with aakshi, saakshi and kaamaakshi.

The most classic example of antyakshara prasa (last syllable rhyme) that this poet has used is in the Kaavadi chindu – Kannan varuhinra neram. The lyrics of the song are given below in such a way that it visually projects the prasam. This is a fitting example to understand the composer's natural flow of thoughts and words.

kannan varuhinra neram
karaiyoram
tenral kandu kozhittadu paarum
indak-
kaanattidai monak-kuyiloshaik-kida yaanattaram
maanak-kuzhalishai kelum
pona
aaviyellaam kooda meelum

challa chalanamittodum
nadi paadum
vanam tangi tangi shuzhanraadum
nalla
tudi paadidum adiyavar manamaanadu idupolena
tulli tullik-kudittodum
puhazh
sholli sholli ishai paadum