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A simple but elegant function was organised by CYRILL  ALEX and DR, MASCARENHAS  in MRF HALL , LOYOLA COLLEGE on 1st February to honour Joe  who has got  SAHITYA ACADEMY AWARD for his novel KORKKAI..

The galaxy that applauded JOE on the occassion included well known writers like INDRA PARTHASARATHY, JAYAMOHAN , CONSTANTINE VAREEDHAIAH , JUSTIN DIWAKKAR,and JOE VAIZ,
The function was presided by A.X. Alexander former Director general of  police and the vote of thanks was proposed by Cyril Alex. IVARIUS Editor Bharather Malar conducted the proceedings.

Joe thanked the organisers for honouring hIm.
The publicity for the function was done by Britto.

One More Year

One more year has rolled by since we launched the “Global Paravar” and Now is the time to evaluate how we had fared since we assessed ourselves last year around this time.

When we ponder over our performance, we have to admit that we have been less productive than last year. We have produced only 37 articles as against 67 articles in 2012.

I feel sad about the dwindled number; and I search my soul to look for the reasons. Is it want of scholarship? Knowledge? Writing skill? Lethargy? Indifference or sloth? – I feel, it is a combination of all these. How many times, I have pleaded personally and in the website to the educated and enlightened amongst us to write? The only obligants this year had been Anton Niresh and Shilpa the lawyer girl who wrote on Perumanal.

The second reason:- our technical editor Britto is becoming pretty busy with his own work – congratulations to him — on this and therefore finds it little difficult to devote as much time, as he used to. I cannot complain about this, since his contribution to “Global Paravar” is mostly a labour of love!

The third reason:- Lack of Tamil knowing computer literate. Usually Mrs. Britto, who herself is an engineer used to typescript the Tamil articles. She was away from Chennai , and it took sometime to get on with Tamil articles.

The fourth reason:- Some of our readers, finding our readership quite wide, thought it fit to upload unsolicited advertisements into our website. Some of the advertisement ill-fitted the tenor and spirit of our pages. Hence, Britto, dismantled the website completely and reloaded it with effective protective walls. It took some time, and this also explains the dwindling in number of articles. In the bargain, we have lost some of the valuable comments of our readers on the articles.

visit-unique-gp-2013Though the number of articles has dwindled, I am happy to record the number of people who visited our website has increased. It is 5463 in 2013, whereas only 3489 in 2012. There have been 3589 new visitors out of 5463 in 2013 whereas there were only 1920 out of 3489 in 2012. The number of pages read consequently has also increased 3589 people have read 19181 times.

We had gained New readers in Finland, Norway, Pakistan, Ukraine, Maldives, Mexico, New Zealand, Bhutan, Belarus, Spain, Japan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Czech Republic, Bahamas, Ethiopia, Guam, Hungary, Nepal, Poland, Portugal, Senegal and Uganda.

In the following countries the website had been seen.

In India, in the following places our website has been seen.

Chennai has the maximum number of readers followed by Bangalore, Thirunelvely, Mumbai, Sivakasi, Coimbatore and Madurai. But Thoothukudi has only 4!

Attracted by the contents of website, an anthropology-tele shooting team, has expressed a desire to know more about the community.

I must thank Dr. Mascarenhas for his support.

Hope to do better in the current year with your co-operation.

by A.X Alexander

Kamuthy Palai 7

ஆண்டவனின் பூந்தோட்டம்

அருள் மறையோர் திருக்கூட்டம்

அதிலே ஒரு மலரானாய் !

அழகும் குணமும்

மணமும் நிறைந்தாய் !

அடக்க அன்பு அருளோடு

அனைத்துலகும் கொண்டாடும்

அந்தோனி மாமுனியே !

வேண்டிய வரமருளும் மன்னவனே ! விண்ணவனே

வேதாந்தக் கடல்கடந்த

வித்தகனே ! உத்தமனே !!

மணிக்கரத்தில் ஏசுபிரான்

மகிழ்ச்சி கொள்ளும் மர்மமென்ன ?

மழைமுகிலும் உமது சொல்லால்

மறைந்து போன மாயமென்ன ?

கமுதையும் நற்கருணையில் இருக்கும்

கடவுளைத் தொழுத கதை என்ன ?

இடி பெருங்காற்று மழையில் – ஒரு

பெண்மணி நனையாமல் இருந்த புதுமை என்ன ?

வென்னீரில் விழுந்து இறந்த பிள்ளை

பன்னீரில் விளையாடும் விதமென்ன ?

காணாமல் போன பொருட்கள்

கையில் கிடைக்கும் புதுமை என்ன ?

எண்ணிடவும் ; எழுதிடவும்

இயலுமோ இப்பாரினில் ?

நன்நாக்கு அழியா நற்றவரே !

நானிலமும் வானிலமும்

வாழ்வளிக்க வந்தாய்

வளர்கரத்து ஏசுவுடன் –

அவர் வரமருள வேண்டுவாய்

சந்த அந்தோனி மாமுனியே.

The Palai recalls various miracles performed by St. Antony and makes a fervent plea for grace of the lord on the congregation.

furnished by A.X. Alexander

Kamuthy Palai 6

சத்திய வேதமறைதனைச்

சரிவரக் கரை கண்ட

தரும நெறியான குருவே !

பக்தியுடன் திருச்சபையை

இஸ்பானிய தேசந்தனில்

பரப்பிய வேதமுனியே !

சிற்றினொரு ஏசுபாலகனை

செங்கரத்தில் ஏந்திட்ட

திருவரள் பெற்ற சீலனே !

சிற்றின்ப ஆசைதனை

முற்றும் தள்ளிய

செல்வமே ! இரத்தினமே !!

மடுத்தின் பாலா ! பத்தரை மாத்து தங்கமே !

பதுவை அந்தோனி மாமுனியே

கமுதி நகர் தங்கிய

கரை கண்ட எம் குருவே

மேகத்தின் மின் ஒளியும்

முகமது சுடரொளியும்

பவளமணி பொன்னிறமே !

மாந்தை மணிமகுட கிரீடமும்

இராச மகுடமும் அணிந்த குருவே !

சிலுவையை கரத்தினில் ஏந்திய

எத்திசையும் பேறு பெற்ற

எம் தந்தை

சந்த அந்தோனி மாமுனியே.

furnished by A.X.Alexander

On Joe D’Cruz and Korkai

We request the readers of Global Paravar to revisit our article “N.R Rajaratnam – From Kilakkarai to Edinburgh” April 2012, where in we referred to Joe D’Cruz, Korkai – a voluminous novel.

JOE_D_CRUZJoe D’Cruz has now won the much acclaimed “Sahitya Academy Award” and would be honoured in Delhi with a handsome award of one lakh rupees and a copper parchment. The Global Paravar feels extremely happy about the singular achievement of the son of our soil, and feels very proud of him.

In fact, we did feel when we read the novel longtime back that it would merit an award of this kind.

Please note what we wrote then:-

“Korkai is not only a novel but also a chronicle of the times. We must appreciate Joe, for his deep study, extensive research, versatile scholarship and graphic portrayal of the times, he presents in the novel”

We also expressed a desire that one should read this novel to have a glimpse of the trends of the time and rise and fall of the community in the last century.

We expressed further, our desire that the faculties in colleges and universities should strive to include Korkai in the syllabus under Neithal Ilakkiyam. In fact more than once, I expressed to Joe, to present his novel for the scrutiny  of universities. Now that, Sahitya Academy has honoured him, it would be easy for faculties in universities and colleges to include the novel in their syllabus. The reason for my advocacy of this novel, into the syllabus in colleges and universities is not to give material benefits for Joe but to imbue, in the minds of innumerable readers and students, the culture of costal people, who alas! languish, under very severe pressure these days. The last few pages of Korkai have good lessons for the community and many a time, I requested Joe, if I could translate those pages and upload them in Global Paravar. He willingly subscribed to it, but reconsidering I demurred, for I felt  the book must be read in totality and in original by all and not in translation and in bits and fragments.

Seeing our review in “Global Paravar” Joe, who, then not known to me, wrote “Good Day and thanks for  your review about the novel Korkai. This is the first recognition to receive from the community. I read this article with tears. Thanks and Regards . R.N Joe D’Cruz.”

Joe, now says that he has compiled materials for another novel. This time on merchant shipping. We look forward to it.

We are happy – once again we say – that he has enriched the cultural fabric of our community by his novel. Let us praise him from roof tops and conduct “vasagar vattams”, wherever possible and read his novels.

by A.X.Alexander

Our Lady of Snows Basilica Tuticorin

History of Church & the statue of Our Lady of Snows

Snows Basilica in Tuticorin is famous church in the country which also reminds us of our Paravar legacy. One of the oldest and biggest, built hundreds of years ago stands as one of the greatest churches for Mother Mary in India.

lady of snowsThe first church in Tuticorin was built during 1540 and dedicated to St. Peter. St. Francis Xavier who came here during this time used to preach in this church. Later on 5th August 1582 a new church was built and dedicated to “Our lady of Mercy”. In Rome 5th August was observed as the feast of Mother of Snows. Since then the annual feast is celebrated on August 5th and the church was gradually called as the “Church of our Lady of Snows” instead of “Church of our Lady of Mercy”.

The history of Mary’s statue – The statue was originally placed in the convent of Augustinian sisters, Manila. When St. Francis Xavier was travelling to China after visiting our coastal areas he stayed in this convent for few days. He had a strong desire to take this statue back to our coastal areas where he used to stay. The sisters refused to give this statue as they were very fond of this. Later St. Francis Xavier died on the way to China in an island called Sancian which was a Portuguese occupied island during those times. This island (Sancian) is today an island of China. Hearing this news the sisters decided to send this statue to Tuticorin as a mark of respect to the saint. In 1555 the statue of Our Lady of Snows arrived from Manila, Philippines and is the statue which we see now in the Basilica.

Construction of the latest church which we see now started in 1712 by Fr. Vigilius. This church was completed in a very short span of time and it opened on 05th August 1713. Year 2013 marked 300 years of the present church and 475th year since the first church was built in Tuticorin (since 1538). To mark this occasion “Golden Car procession” (“Thanga Ther bavani”) took place this year in the basilica.

Since the new church was very big compared to the churches in other locations it was called “Periya Koil” (big church). Even today people in Tuticorin refer this church as “Periya Koil”. The Sacred Heart church in Tuticorin is referred as “Chinna Koil”.

Arrival of Dutch in coastal regions

church-lady-of-snowsDuring late 1650’s the Dutch fought with the Portuguese and conquered Tuticorin. Slowly they captured the entire Pearl Fishery coast. Since the Dutch were against Catholicism since they followed “Calvinism”; hence they started demolishing many churches in this region. To protect the statue of Our Lady of Snows it was removed from the church by Paravar head and moved out of Tuticorin. This statue moved around villages such as Sivanthakulam, Vembar, Punnaikayal to stay away from the hands of the Dutch.

In 1699 the Dutch did not have any progress in their trade because all Paravars around the region boycotted to support them. Realising a big loss in their business the Dutch called back all Jesuits and asked Paravars to follow Catholicism again. During this time the statue of Our Lady of Snows came back to Tuticorin.

Golden Car

The golden car procession of Our Lady of Snows in Tuticorin is considered as one of the most important festivals amongst the Paravar community. In 1702 the first Car procession (“Ther” of Our Lady of Snows) took place. The initial procession had Angel “Michael” in the front followed by St. Sebastian then St. Paul and St. Peter after which came Mother Mary’s statue.

TherThe Golden Car procession first took place in 1806 and then in the years 1872, 1879, 1895, 1905, 1908, 1926, 1947, 1955, 1964, 1977, 1982, 2000 and 2007.

Logic behind finalising the years when a golden car procession should take place is interesting. Though we are not aware how the initial years were decided the later part of course had logic:

  • We should note that in 1982 this church was raised as a Basilica.
  • Year 2000 was the Jubilee year and again golden car procession took place.
  • Year 20007 marked the 25th anniversary since the church was raised as a Basilica.
  • Year 2013 marked the completion of 300 years since the new church was built in 1713.

Interesting facts on Snows church and the Golden Car

  • “Das Nevis” means Our Lady of Snows in Portuguese.
  • She has been given the unique title of “Yelu Kadalthurai” (depicting seven coastal villages) or Yega Adaikala Thai (Mother of Refuge for the seven coastal villages). These villages were Vembar, Vaipar, Tuticorin, Punnaikayal, Virapandianpatinam, Alanthalai and Manapad.
  • In 1982 the Church celebrated the 400th anniversary. Pope John Paul II raised it to the status of Basilica on 30th July 1982.
  • The basilica houses the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Snows, which is completely carved out of wood and considered a great piece of art.
  • The altar against a heavenly background has the portrait of God the Father and Jesus Christ crowning Mother Mary. Mother Mary’s statue (Snows statue) stands at the centre and to her right is the statue of St. Ignatius and to her left stands St. Francis Xavier.
  • In the Golden Car instead of a Cross we can see a star at the top. It signifies the name of Our Lady as the Star of the Sea (Stella Maris). This star has five points to signify:
    1. Divine Motherhood
    2. Immaculate Conception
    3. Perpetual Virginity
    4. Channel of Divine grace
    5. Gate of Heaven.
  • The heads of the four parrots found on the four corners of the basement in the Golden Car tell us that the Paravar people were ruled by Pandyan Kings.
  • In the Golden Car four mermaids with human heads and bodies of fish are erected standing with folded hands symbolising sea faring people (Paravars).
  • The Car’s height is 53 feet depicting 53 Hail Mary’s in a rosary.

by Anton Niresh


ஆருயிர்க்கு அமுதம் நீ !

அருள் மறை சுகிர்தம் நீ !

அகதிகள் தஞ்சம் நீயே !

அலைகடல் மீதிலும்

கடும் புயல் காற்றிலும்

ஆபத்து வேளைதனிலும்

சீருடன் வந்து

கை தூக்கியே காக்கும்

செம்மலும் நீயே !

திடமும் நீயே !

தேடிவரும் சேயர்தம்

பீடையும் பிணிகளும்

தீர்க்குமோர் வைத்யர் என்று

பாருலகோர் புகழ்பாடுதல் கண்டு கேட்டு

பாலகர் தாம் யாம் தேடி வந்தோம்.

பரமனை வேண்டி

திருவருள் புரியும் தவயோகியே !

பாருலக சேவடி

காவல் தந்தாதரி

தமியோர்களின் ஆவல் இதுவே

கமுதியம்பதி வளர்

கருணையம் புணரியே

சந்த அந்தோனி முனியே !

This is a simple request for eternal grace to be obtained from our lord and shower it on the devotees.

by A. X. Alexander

Kamuthy Palai 4

அருளார்ந்த இதயம் நீ

ஆனந்த நிலையும் நீ – எங்கள்

அனந்த வினோத சுகம் நீ –

அழகு சிங்காரம் நீ

அலகை சங்காரம் நீ

அடியோர்க்கு உபகாரம் நீ

அணிமுந்து அண்ணலின் கரமீது

தவழ்கின்ற ;

அன்று அலைமேல் நடந்த சுதனின்

அன்னையவள் பரலோகம் அடைந்த

பரிசுத்த நாள் அவதாரமான மலர் நீ

இருளார்ந்த வையகம்

இமயம் முதல் இறுதிவரை

இனிதான நெறியில் நின்று

இகபரன் அடிதொழ

நலமுற நிலவிய

இன்பமான மதுரமே!

நின் இணையற்ற நவநீத சரணாத விந்தமே

இடரோடி மறையுமென்று

இன்றுவரை பலகோடி மைந்தர் உன்

கிருபையை இரந்து மன்றாடுகிறார்.

தென்னார்ந்த திலகமே

தேவுலக கனகமே – உமது

தெய்வீக உளம் இன்று

தெளிவான் அற்புதமபல பலகோடி புரிவது

தெரியாததல்ல உலகம்!

தென்படும் அலகை தரும் துயரமும் பலவிதம்

தீங்கினும் கொடிய நோயும்

தெள்ளமுதாம் நின் உள்ளத்தின்

அன்பால் தீராமல் போவதுண்டோ?

திருவார்ந்த புனிதா! நின்

திருவடி தோத்திரம்

திசையாவும் சூழ்ந்து லாவும்

திகைக்கின்ற மைந்தர்கள் எம்

வாழ்வு நல்வாழ்வாகுக!

திவ்ய நின் விழி திறந்து

திருவருள் புரிய நின் தயவை

மன்றாடினோம் –

திகட்டாத இன்பநிலையில்

திங்கள் குல மைந்தர் பதி

கமுதி அம்பதி வளர்

அர்ச்சிக்ஷ்ட அந்தோனி மாமுனியே!

Note the appellations to St. Antony in the first 12 lines also note the reference to the significance of date of birth of St. Antony. According to the palai, it coincides with the Day of Assumption of our lady August 15. The plea in the Palai is for mitigation of diseases a sinless , and a pleasant life.

by A.X.Alexander

Kamuthy palai III

மாபெரும் பாரிலே
திவ்ய ஏசுவின் ஜெயக்கொடியாம்
பரிசுத்த சுவிக்ஷேசந்தனை
அன்புடன் ஏற்று
புது புவிமீது விளைத்த லீலி
எனும் மாசற்ற புக்ஷ்பமே!
அவிசுவாசியாம் எம் பாவம் போக்கிட
இஸ்பானிய தேசம்தன்னில் அவதரித்து
காரிருள் போக்க வந்த
நவநட்சத்திர தீபக்கண்ணாடி
ஒளி மயமே!
பாவ மாயையாம் இவ்வுலகப் பற்றற்று
பரம ஏசு பொற்பாதம் அன்புடன் பணியவே
வேண்டிய வரம் தருவாய்
கமுதி நகர் பாதுகாவலனே!
தானியம் நல்விளைவாகவும்
ஒற்றுமை வளரவும் ; தயைபுரிவாய்
பரிசுத்த அந்தோனி மாமுனியே இரட்சகன் இயேசு பொற்பாதம் பணிந்த அடியோர்க்கு
கிருபை செய்து இரட்சிப்பாய்!

As in other palais, the prayer before St. Antony is for granary full grains and unity and peace in the village. It is to be noted, that the village had feuds and consequently, the church was kept closed for some time, in the past and also in the living memory.

A. X. Alexander