Most of the Tulu words are becoming dead, mainly because of disuse. When elderly people speak, we feel like hearing a classic language. Words like 'Madipu' (both request made to the Spirit and assurance of faith given by the Spirit Oracle in annual Spirit-worship ( Nemas / Kolas' ) show the richness of Tulu language. The mammoth Tulu Lexicon has done a great favour to Tuluvas by documenting and preserving many of the forgotten words. Tulu is vibrant in spite of onslaughts - then and now.
On the western part of NH 17 we find a modest seasonal stream running parallel to the beach along the fields between Surathkal and Chitrapura. This stream was debauching into Gurupur River near Panambur before it was by-passed to sea near Chitrapur (Baikampadi) at the time of creation of artificial all-weather harbour at Panambur.The stream is called Bayalare in local parlance. The origin and meaning of this word is quite interesting. The frequently used Tulu word ‘bailu’, the low lying arable field, is equivalent of the Kannada word ‘bayalu’.
In the word 'Bailare', the suffix 'arae' does not mean ‘stone’, as in common Kannada. It is a shortened form of 'aruve' that has been reduced to 'are', i.e. bayala+aruve > bayala+are. 'Are' also means brim, border, side and edge. Considering the 'Bailu/Bayalu' as expanse or vastness of low lying wet land (water-holder), 'are' means sides of it. 'Aruve' means flow of water, which has a natural course. There is a 'aruve kola' where channelised rain water enters Hosabettu Bayilu. 'Aruve' may also be a modified form of the word 'Aluve' that means an estuary or arm of the river in the proximity of Sea.
Here it is Gurupur River, which joins the sea soon thereafter. Before the interference of man, the 'aruve' would have been a natural course ('sariya/ sarita' ) for rain water, which formed a lake because of 'aruve kattuni', which is caused by blockade by land-mass or sand dunes near the bend of the River Gurupur before flowing southward (at Panambur). This bund might have breached by the force of water or might have been removed by man when water dried up in summer. Early settlers might have made canal in middle of the Bailu to run through upto Panambur in order to reclaim land for cultivation and to conserve receding water.
Farmers used to dig up or block this canal (passing near their fields) to store water (after monsoon) to irrigate by using "kontu". A ' kontu' is a contrivance for lifting water from a water-body. This contrivance is made of three poles, which are tied crosswise (at the top) to form a tripod and a trough-like appliance is suspended so as to lift water from pond/reservoir for irrigating fields.
Note the following idioms under 'kontu' in the Tulu Lexicon:. "Suggida (i.e. second crop) aaja nir (drying up water), Kartida (Enelda - first crop) tale nir (pouring water from above), Kolakeda (third crop) aDi nir (oozing out water under the soil)."
Also consider the word: 'arachattu', which means a channel for irrigation.
'Bailare' is a time-honoured word, coined by first settlers of this land, when they found perennial source of water, though fed by seasonal streams. With the rapid growth of industries in Tulunadu and disappearance of 'bailare's, yielding place to concrete jungles, the word 'Bailare' may also go out of currency.
Contributed by Hosabettu Viswanath
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