Pachaimani, pavalamani, pasimani
Beads, precious beads,
she cries in a sonorous cheerful voice.
Her family of four all wear
beads hanging from their necks.
I invite them in, splendid in their vibrant coloured
clothing, rustic in a way yet noble.
They sit on the thinnai and set up shop,
spread a coir mat and display a dazzling
array of beads. I examine carefully.
The man cries,
aiyoo, amma “
Why are you so fussy?
they are ordinary beads, not diamonds
you would look pretty with pavalams
they would go well with your complexion.
Bowled over by his charm,
my interest aroused
I decide to buy
His son danced around merrily.
His woman adored him, shown by her coy stare.
[Normally these people practice casual relationships.]
I am struck by their love and contentedness
I bought pavalams paying over the odds.
The gypsies, in general, are not disciplined,
the women in check multicoloured skirts and high cholis
they tell fortunes, often with a kol(cane) in their hands
while the men tie a loin of cloth around their waist
and a thalaipagu (a headgear) around their head
catch snakes, rats, and frogs burn them
a sumptuous dinner for the family.
They care not for our institution, our culture
they shun learning gain knowledge by hearsay
excel in mental arithmetic
veritable computer-like in their swiftness to compute.
Eat raw be it fruits, vegetables
One man and one wife are not in their code
meet and mate whomever they like, be they bold
wanderers of lands called as Narikuravas.
they bid goodbye in a chorus of giggling
the man, for sure, is a born salesman
caught me at the right moment
and made good of my weakness earning a profit.