Wednesday, November 25, 2009


My first weeks in Chennai were spent drawing Tamil letters. I managed to find a children's reading book with pictures. It was like learning to write all over again. Most days I had the book out working my way through. Like Sanskrit, when consonants and vowels combine the letters change shape. As well as that, to the untutored eye, some of the letters look exactly the same - and so I spent hours comparing and trying to remember. It's very strange how some letters take root immediately, while others keep on puzzling you. About five weeks after I arrived, one day it seemed to make sense. It wasn't every combination, but enough to get some words sounding in my brain. I realised on that day that the strange ear shaped design on the temples was Tamil for Om. The outer ear is the O sound the little inner ear is the mm. And the dot above the mm is a signal to end the word with the consonant. I don't know the precise meaning of the staff, but it is a sign of power.

Tamil dp302

how the letters land
might be an indicator

in Tamil
the letter on all the temples

is the same sound
aum om

in Tamil
it looks like

a giant ear
at the centre of the universe


to the music


  1. The dot on top of mm is not the end. Because in chanting the sound continues and as you said you continue to hear the rhythm of the universe that is all permeating... mmmmmmmmmm

    The OM symbol in Sanskrit is a variation of Tamil OM letter - what a great way to picture of the ever present sound of the soul.

    Keep up your postings and poems...

  2. A cow voice is tamil.The children is very cute and tracheal in one or more information in the many apps.Thetamil languageis one of the popular language.TheTamil lettersusing the read,written and speak is easy to language.more using the many places in tamil.