In the eighth section of Andal's Nacciyar Tirumoli, a woman calls to the clouds and bids them to take a message of love to her delinquent lover, Vishnu, here figured as the lord of Venkatam. In the opening verse of the decad, she begins by plaintively questioning the clouds of her beloved's whereabouts only to end with a bitter complaint about her sullied womanhood -- pen-nirmai. Bracketed by her eager questions -- "has the lord of Venkatam come with you" -- and her bitter complaint -- "how does this bring him pride" -- is the landscape of her body. Her tears are waterfalls, her breasts mountains, and just as the waterfalls erode the soil from the mountain slopes, her tears erase her womanhood. The black mark against the unrepentant divine lover is not just her (implied) lost chastity, but the gradual corrosion of her very self.
"A Woman's Kind of Love: Female Longing in the Tamil Alvar Poetry,"
Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies:
Vol. 20, Article 8.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.7825/2164-6279.1383