Dhoddaru Shloka – Badaga Proverbs

One of the fascinating and interesting aspects of Badaga [both people & language] is the free use of delightful but deep meaning proverbs called “DHODDARU SHLOKA”. When you engage an elderly Badaga into any conversation, you are sure to hear a lot of these proverbs thrown in to make / emphasise a point. Prof. Paul Hockings, probably the most authentic researcher on and of Badaga lists nearly two thousands Badaga proverbs, 1730 to be precise. He feels that 1730 could be a complete figure containing all the proverbs there are. See his book,’Counsel from the Ancients: Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses’. He has given the meaning in English as well as making it easy to understand, in a beautiful manner.

Though I find his collection extremely interesting and educative, I do not agree with some of the conclusions he draws on certain proverbs. For example, on the proverb, ‘Odhidhama Niddhana, Oddidhama Erandina’ Prof.Hockings interpretation is quite different to what I feel is the correct meaning. I think ‘a person who spends time learning and ponders (over a problem) is better than the one who runs away (in a hurry) and thus trips over. [Odhidhama – one who has learnt (spent time learning), Niddhana – stops to ponder over[think], Oddidhama – one who runs, Erandina – trips over]. We can hear mothers telling their young children ‘Oda beda , Erandire’ – Donot run, you will trip over (a stone or any obstruction). That is ‘ do not be in a hurry and take a hasty decision’.

Another one is ‘Michidhavaga Morande Kolu Bangara’. In my opinion . the lady who does not listen to any one (Michidha Hemmathi) is bound to land up as a widow (when ‘Morande Kolu – a small stick of morende tree – replaces her jewellery (bangara) during the Ole Kattuva ritual of husband’s death / funeral ceremony). Prof.Hockings feels Mechidhavaga (see the difference between michidhava – one who does not listen- and mechidhava – one who is appreciated by all – even a morende kolu is enough as jewellery. Is it a case of wordplay (pun) by our ancestors??

I have listed a few of the proverbs below and hope to add more in future.

[Sources : Interaction with Fellow Badagas, ‘Naakku Betta’ monthly (1979) –Edited by K H Madha Gowder, Achanakal, Ketti Post , ‘Naakku Seeme’ monthly – May 2006, Edited by K.M Nanjan, Kil Cowhatty Village, Muthorai Post,

Counsel from the Ancients: A Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses By Paul Hockings]


  • 1. Akka Ghandana koda dhukka hegile, Makka maria buttu baa ennana (When the girl shares her sadness/ thoughts with elder sister’s husband, he advises her to come to him)
  • 2. Aandama ellade Haandi Beya, Ullama ellade Gulla beya
  • 3. Kiviga elladadu kombuga aeththaga
  • 4. Guttige [Kuttige?] bathavu arai aaga beda, kunna thammanu mella aaga beda
  • 5. Kumbala kaaya [Kumbakkeya] saaki handiga kottenge (Growing pumpkins only to feed wild boar)
  • 6. Gumbunda Mola edda enge[Eragi holaga mola huggeda enge]
  • 7. Sadiga madi elle
  • 8. Saththu biththa kaaye
  • 9. Saththaduga hinde etha holae eana ? (After death, how does it matter where you go?)
  • 10. Saththa Koye baththa mukkirava ? (Can a dead hen feed on grains?)
  • 11. Gollaru mada kattida enge
  • 12. Ghandu gundu, hennu helavu
  • 13. Ghandu kulidu ketta, Hennu thirigi [hisithu] ketta
  • (The boy spoilt his life by idling(sitting), the girl spoilt her life by smiling (turning around)
  • 14. Ghanda thoorile, kandamanu thoorina
  • 15. Ghanda ebbane buddi elle, buddi bappane ghanda elle (Wisdom did not come when husband was alive, when wisdom came husband was not there)
  • 16. Gana ellade sande aaga, sangadi ellade daari sameya (Evening does not come without gossip, way does not end without some news)
  • 17. Koyigu kothigu maake (Like a hen and a cat [always fighting])
  • 18. Koy(iy)a Kaethaa maasu arappadhu (Do you ask the hen for grinding the chilli paste?)
  • 19. Kona neeruga baagiravo, neeru konaga baagiravo
  • 20. Kothi aatta eliga prana sangada (The antics of a cat are matters of death to a rat)
  • 21. Kothi kaala baase denge (Like the cat licking its leg)
  • 22. Savi kanda kothi attalu hathidenege
  • 23. Koduva cooli nodu, kathuva ole nodu
  • 24. Kodalia kaave kolava kedu maadira
  • 25. Kotta hennu nela arige
  • 26. Kotta saalava kaeyade ketta, bithida holava nodade ketta
  • (Suffering by not asking the loan to be returned, nor looking after the planted [with seeds] fields)
  • 27. Kai yoge kannaadiya beethindu neeruna moga nodidha enge (looking for the reflection of the face on the water when there is a mirror in the hand)
  • 28. Kai eelu aaga gudigilu masiya
  • 29. Kaiga bandadu bega elle (What came to the hand did not reach the mouth)
  • 30. Ketta arasa buda beda mikka kannava eda beda
  • 31. Kulidhu athamaga kulidhu avvu, niddhu athamaga niddhu avvu (Cry sitting with the one who cried sitting with you, cry standing with the one who cried standing) – proper and equal reciprocation
  • 32. Kuradaga hagalu ena eru ena (How does it matter whether it is day or night for a blind man?)
  • 33. Sandhe jaamana meiyu, saaku hoththu bandha nattanu hoga (The evening rain and the guest who had come with a hesian cloth[bag] covering will not leave)
  • 34. Sappodu saare, Haagottu doora
  • 35. Chiikkavanaalenu Sivana buddi (Even though he is very young, has lot of wisdom like Lord Siva)
  • 36. Ollitha ethi hollava thallu, olagodho ellava gellu (Take only the good leaving behind the bad and win all in this world)
  • 37. Hallana neeru hattaleyu baavi neeru hechu
  • 38. Thaaya palichileyu neera pallicha beda
  • (Even if you [have to] show scorn to mother, never do it to water [the source of life])
  • 39. Kasa aaleyu rusi maadi thinnu (Even if it is rubbish, eat it after making it tasty)
  • 40. Natta maneye hattaleyu, ghanda mane hesara ethu
  • 41. Kicha muttile attira (If you touch the fire, it will burn you)
  • 42. Hottiya kitcha beethale kettara
  • 43. Aaru kaasuna sambuva aaleyu, aranmaneya gelacha maadu
  • 44. Adhista mooru p(b)aala, harakke aaru paala
  • 45. Kitcha thindama karia Hedana (One who eats fire, excretes charcoal)
  • 46. Nanga belli holladale thattana koda horatta ena
  • 47. Ghandana ollithundhu undia dhottadhu ekka beda
  • 48. Maneya nududhu mandhaga hogu
  • 49. Maathu hetchi mane ketta, bithu hetchi hola ketta
  • 50. Aadindu holae maathu, agadundu holae mannu [Agadhale mannu, Nudidhale maathu]
  • 51. Hanja theedhara(theegira) maathu niddara
  • 52. Thandeya koddamana paadhava hidi
  • 53. Thindhu santhosha aappadhuna, nodi santhosha aagu
  • 54. Avvaiya halladha nodile magava nodudhuga mane enaga
  • 55. Huttone anna thamma, hoppane dhayada kaara
  • 56. Sandhe aappile endhu hoga beda, baaga aappile endhu era (oraga) beda
  • 57. Kathu potti, hethu baradi
  • 58. Ethu elladhamaga edha elle, makka elladhamaga mane elle
  • 59. Nangaga bandhale allu thundhu, Ooruga bandale opedha kai
  • 60. Hasanooru haala kudipadhuna, Neelagiri neera kudhi
  • 61. Moladha kanna neera, bettai kara aradhaneya
  • 62. Hadadhe endhu hatta maada beda, kette endhu kaeda thora beda
  • 63. kette endhu kaeda thora beda, baddendhu bava thora beda
  • 64. Sikkanuna badakku batta baiyilu
  • 65. Niri chikkira, hari chikka
  • 66. Huttu daridharaga kottu dhandodhu daara
  • 67. Thale thatty nela nodi nade
  • 68. Aandama illade aandi bethadava, ullama illadhe gulla bedharava
  • 69. Hitta andhu kondu, battaya nidhu kondu
  • 70. Balla beethu baddiga hoga beda
  • 71. Arasana makkaga hurikallu muthu
  • 72. Aeye pyla moyae nodu
  • 73. Anai koodi halla, theni koodi batha
  • 74. Thitta thevara otha beda
  • 75. Anna thammana agala maada beda
  • 76. Thaaya maatha kethu nodadhey nyaya hadadheya, thandhya maatha kethu nodadhey handhi hadadheya
  • 77. Madi buddu maaruga sedhara, hennu buddu nattaga sedara (Madi buddale maaruga, ele buddale meduga)
  • 78. Badagava makka huttu , Badegega Athu AAgha Beda
  • 79. Hothu Banda Kathiya , Ooruna ebba Kathe othara
  • 80. Badavaga Badukku Bandale, Thinguva Beesiluna Kode Hidithana
  • 81.Bendhamana Hunna, Nondhama Ariyakku
  • 82.Usara Kotta Kothi , Nosala Nakkira
  • 83. Thalaiyamana Maathu, Mundhuga Uppu – Hinduga Bella
  • 84.Appana Maathu, Aneya Bala
  • 85. Bae Aadileyu Bae ga Kedu, Seegi Aadile yu Bae ga Kedu [A word play-pun- on Bae which means both the mouth and crop [vellamme]
  • 86. Mundhileyu Mookku Hagga, Hindileyu Kaal Kanni
  • 87.Akka Ellade Natto, Avare Ellade Uttavo
  • 88.Agala aalay haridhara, uddha aalay muraddhara

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

################################

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s