Nobler than the Noblest!

வறுமை! நம் தேசத்தில்
  அது அறிவின் ஆபரணம்

vaRumai! nam thaesathil
adhu aRivin aabaraNam

Poverty! In our country
it is the ornament of intelligence

புலமைக்கு கிடைக்கும் முதல் விருது

pulamaikku kidaikkum mudhal virudhu

It is the first award given to poetic prowess

என்றும் பசிதான் கவிதையின் ரத்தம

endRum pasidhaan kavidhaiyin rathama

Always, hunger is the lifeblood of a poem

வறுமைக்கு பசிக்கும் போதெல்லாம்
  அது புலவனைத்தான் புசிக்கிறது

vaRumaikku pasikkum poadhellaam
adhu pulavanaithaan pusikkiRadhu

When ever hunger strikes poverty,
It feeds on the scholarly

புலவனின் கவிதையோ 
 பசியே வைக்கும் பந்தி

pulavanin kavidhaiyoa
pasiyae vaikkum pandhdhi

For the poet’s creation,
Hunger itself throws the feast,

கவிஞன் மனித ராசி என்றால் நான்
  மறுதலிப்பேன்

kavinjan manidha raasi endRaal naan
maRudhalippaen

If a poet were to be classified as being human,
I would deny

அவன் உயர்திணையைவிட
  உயர்ந்தவன்

avan uyardhiNaiyaivida
uyarndhdhavan

He is nobler than noblest,

எழுதும்போது
  வெளிச்சம் வேண்டியிருந்தால்
  அவனுக்கு
  விரல் மெழுகுவத்தி

ezhudhumpoadhu
veLichcham vaeNdiyirundhdhaal
avanukku
viRal mezhuguvathi

If there is need for light,
when penning a poem,
then his fingers
become the candle

பெருமூச்சியெல்லாம்
  அவனது
  பேனா புல்லாங்குழல்
  ராகஜாதியாய்
  ரசவாதம் செய்துவிடும்

perumoochchiyellaam
avanadhu
paenaa pullaangguzhal
raagaJaadhiyaay
rasavaadham seydhuvidum

All the deep breathes
turn melodic
due to the flute that is his pen

அவன் கண்ணீர்
  இறுகி .. இறுகி ..
  முத்துக்களாய் முதிர்ந்துவிடும்

avan kaNNeer
iRugi .. iRugi ..
muthukkaLaay mudhirndhdhuvidum

His tears, become denser by the tick,
and eventually trickle down like pearls

தன்னை
  நசுக்கி கொண்டு அவன்
  சிரித்து கொள்வான்

thannai
nasukki koNdu avan
sirithu koLvaan

He crushes himself (for his creation),
but sports a smile nevertheless,

சோகமே அவனது படுக்கை
  கவலையே அவனது தலையணை

soagamae avanadhu padukkai
kavalaiyae avanadhu thalaiyaNai

Suffering is his mattress,
Worry is his pillow,

அவனுக்கு தெரியும்
  விருச்சத்தை சுருட்டி
  விதையாக்கும் வித்தை

avanukku theriyum
viruchchathai surutti
vidhaiyaakkum vithai

He knows the art of
condensing a tree into a seed

பாரதி முதலில் பயந்தான் பிறகு
  பயம் அவனை கண்டு பயந்தது

baaradhi mudhalil payandhdhaan piRagu
payam avanai kaNdu payandhdhadhu

At first, Bharathi was afraid,
later fear was afraid of him,

தன்னை எரிக்க வந்த வறுமையை
  அவன் செரித்து விட்டான்

thannai erikka vandhdha vaRumaiyai
avan serithu vittaan

The poverty that came to burn him
Was (crushed into pieces) and digested by him

அவன்தான் சூரிய சொப்பனங்களில்
  சொக்கி கிடந்தானே
  இருட்டு அவனுக்கென்ன பொருட்டு ?

avandhaan sooriya soppanangaLil
sokki kidandhdhaanae
iruttu avanukkenna poruttu ?

For him, who was enthralled In the celestial dreams,
Would the darkness be of concern?

அவன்தான் நாளைய பூக்களின் மேல்
  நடந்து கொண்டிருந்தான்
  இன்றின் முட்கள் என்செய்யும் ?

avandhaan naaLaiya pookkaLin mael
nadandhdhu koNdirundhdhaan
indRin mutkaL encheyyum ?

For him, who was walking On the flowers of tomorrow,
What harm could today’s thorn bear?

நின்றது இந்தியா வா?
  இல்லை இருதயத்தின் ஒரு பாதியா ?
  சந்தேகத்தில் மனம் சலிந்தது

nindRadhu indhdhiyaa vaa?
illai irudhayathin oru paadhiyaa ?
sandhdhaegathil manam salindhdhadhu

Is it India that stopped?
Isn’t it half his heart?
His mind was weary with the confusion!

 தன் பேனாவை எண்ணியே
  பெரிதும் வருந்தினான்

than paenaavai eNNiyae
peridhum varundhdhinaan

He thought about his pen
and repented a great deal,

எதிரிகள் போர்களத்தையே
  திருடிவிட்டதாய் திகைத்தான்

edhirigaL poarkaLathaiyae
thirudivittadhaay thigaithaan

He was astounded
For he thought that the enemies
Stole the battlefield itself (Rather than waging war)

அவன் இமைப்பதற்கு
  இரண்டு நாள் ஆயிற்று

avan imaippadhaRku
iraNdu naaL aayitRu

It took him two days
to even blink an eye
(due to the shock)

வருமானம் வரும் வழியே
  முட் கதவுகளால் அல்லவா
  மூடிவிட்டார்கள் ?

varumaanam varum vazhiyae
mut kadhavugaLaal allavaa
moodivittaarkaL ?

Didn’t they close the path
That brought income
With doors of thorn?

வறுமை தன் வாசலை
  விசாலமாக விரித்தது

vaRumai than vaasalai
visaalamaaga virithadhu

While poverty opened up
its paths wide open

சுயலோகத்தையும் அவன்
  நாடகத்தில் வரும்
  நவரசம் போல
  நன்றாய் ரசித்தான்

suyaloagathaiyum avan
naadagathil varum
navarasam poala
nandRaay rasithaan

He enjoyed the misery in his
own life,
like the way one would enjoy the
splendid expressions of a drama,

கொடுக்க வேண்டிய வாடகை
  நகராத கூவம் போல
  தேங்கியது

kodukka vaeNdiya vaadagai
nagaraadha koovam poala
thaenggiyadhu

The rent that he needed to give (for his house),
started to became stagnant like a well

வசூலிக்க வரும்
  செட்டியாரோ
  கடன்பட்டார் நெஞ்சம்போல
  கலங்கினார்

vasoolikka varum
chettiyaaroa
kadanpattaar nenjampoala
kalangginaar

The Chettiar who came to collect the rent,
his heart was agitated like the one who was in debt,

கோவில் மாடத்தில்
  கூடுகட்டும் புறாவிடம்
  வாடகை எப்படி வசூலிப்பது

koavil maadathil
koodugattum puRaavidam
vaadagai eppadi vasoolippadhu
at the altar of the temple,
to the pigeon that was making its nest,
how can one ask for rent?

இன்று கட்டாயம்
  கேட்பதென்று கால்கள் விரையும்

indRu kattaayam
kaetpadhendRu kaalkaL viraiyum

“Today I will for sure ask”,
with this thought his feet walk briskly

பாரதியின் வாசலுக்கு வரும்போதோ
  காலணியோடு அந்த
  கருத்தையும்
  வெளியே விட்டுவிட்டு
  வீட்டுக்கு போவார்

paaradhiyin vaasalukku varumpoadhoa
kaalaNiyoadu andhdha
karuthaiyum
veLiyae vittuvittu
veettukku poavaar

But when he hit Bharathi’s doorstep,
with the footwear
even this thought
was left behind,
and the Chettiar would go in,

பாரதி சிரிப்பான்
  ஒரு வெண்கல மணி
  விண்ணில் அதிரும்

paaradhi sirippaan
oru veNkala maNi
viNNil adhirum

Bharathi would laugh,
A bronze gong would
strike in the skies,

வாரும் விளக்கெண்ணெய்வாள்
  வாடகைக்கு அப்படி என்ன அவசரம் ஒய்

vaarum viLakkeNNeyvaaL
vaadagaikku appadi enna avasaram oy

Come in! Oh know it all buddy!
What is the hurry to collect rent now?

இன்னும் பத்து வருஷம்
  சுயராஜ்ய ஜோதி
  தெரிந்துவிடும்

innum pathu varusham
suyaraaJya Joadhi
therindhdhuvidum

In ten years,
The light of Independence (swarajya),
will be lit,

பிறகென்ன ?
  அரசாங்கத்தின் கஜானாவிற்கு
  காசோலை தருவேன்
  போய்வாரும்

piRagenna ?
arasaangathin kaJaanaaviRku
kaasoalai tharuvaen
poayvaarum

Then what?
I’ll draw cheque Even to Government treasury
(For I would be that rich by then)
Come back later than now

மீண்டும்
  வெண்கல சிரிப்பு
  விண்ணை உரசும்

meeNdum
veNkala sirippu
viNNai urasum

Yet again, the bronze gong (his laughter)
will fill up the skies

ரணங்களை எல்லாம்
  ஆபரணங்களாய்
  அணிய பழகிய
  அந்த பொழுதில்
  வங்காளத்து மகான்
  வந்து சேர்ந்தார்

raNangaLai ellaam
aabaraNangaLaay
aNiya pazhagiya
andhdha pozhudhil
vanggaaLathu magaan
vandhdhu saerndhdhaar

He had learnt to wear all his debts (battles)
as his jewels
At that moment the great from Bengal
arrived

Note: An excerpt from Vairamuthu’s book ” Kavirajan kathai” Chapter 27 – உயர்திணையைவிட உயர்ந்தவன் (Greater than the greatest)

PS: Thanks to Sucheendra for the translation of this beautiful Extract.

The merger!

Water, one of the dearest subject for Ripples and for me. Here is another dimension to water.

The water, in most forms, is rarely considered as the final stage and rather used as example to seeking the destiny in next stage. Like a river attaining destiny while reaching the sea, a drop attaining destiny by becoming a pearl, the drop on lotus leaf and so on..

The crust of earth is basically split into two, surface covered by water and land.

Just like the water being omnipresent in many ways, the land / soil could be represented in many many ways. Rocks, boulders, mountains, sand, soil and so on.

When water meets many of those, the water retains its nature as water, just as the other component retains its own nature. Or the reaction happens to one of them while the other remains the same.

Whereas when water meets a certain kind of soil, the water and soil bonds together and becomes mud, where the water attains the color of soil and the soil becomes almost liquid, losing its dry and solid state.

Thus, merged the heart of two, in love, inseparable and into one, by losing itself. And together they could be created into new formations, which isn’t possible to be attained by either water or soil independently.

This is the example given by an anonymous poet to describe love at first sight. And the richness of the thought paved way to name the poet after this example.

யாயும் ஞாயும் யாரா கியரோ,
எந்தையும் நுந்தையும் எம்முறைக் கேளிர்,
யானும் நீயும் எவ்வழி யறிதும்,
செம்புலப் பெயனீர் போல,
அன்புடை நெஞ்சம் தாங்கலந் தனவே.

-செம்புலப் பெயனீரார்.

What is my mother to yours?
How is my father relatednto yours? Although you and I knew not
each other in any way,
just as red earth and pouring rain:
the love-filled hearts merged.

(Kuruntokai – 40)

[https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuṟuntokai]

Could you stop for an instance?!

Movie: Iruvar
Poet: Vairamuthu
Singers: Unnikrishnan, Bombay Jayashree
Music Director: A.R.Rahman
Song Sequence: (1)-(2)-(2)-(3)-(2)-(2)-(4)-(4)-(5)—(5)-(6)-(7)—(7)-(8)-(1)-(4)-(2)-(9)-(9)-(10)-(11)-(11)-(12)

(1)நறுமுகையே நறுமுகையே நீ ஒரு நாழிகை நில்லாய் 
செங்கனி ஊறிய வாய் திறந்து நீ ஒரு திரு மொழி சொல்லாய்

Narumugaiyae, narumugaiyae, nee oru naazhigai nillaay
Sengani ooriya vaai thiranthu, nee oru thirumoli sollaai

Oh fragrant bud that is ready to bloom, could you stop for an instance!
Open your red honey dripping lips and utter a few precious verses!

(2)அற்றை திங்கள் அன் நிலவில் நெற்றி தரள நீர் வடிய 
கொற்ற பொய்கை ஆடியவள் நீயா ?

Attrai thingal annilavil, netrith tharala neervadiya,
Kotrappoigai aadiyaval, neeyaa?

On a full moon night, with water droplets dripping down the forehead
the one bathing (playfully) in the waterfall, was it you?

(3)திருமகனே திருமகனே நீ ஒரு நாழிகை பாராய் 
வெண்ணிற புரவியில் வந்தவனே வேல் விழி மொழிகள் கேளாய்

Thirumaganae, thirumaganae, nee oru naazhigai paaraay,
Vennira puraviyil vanthavanae, vaelvizhi moligal kaelaay

Oh handsome young man! Oh handsome young man! could you look here for an instance!
The one who came riding a white horse, listen to what my spear like sharp eyes say!

(4)அற்றை திங்கள் அன் நிலவில் கொற்ற பொய்கை ஆடுகையில் ஒற்றை பார்வை 
பார்த்தவனும் நீயா ?

Attrai thingal annilavil, kotrappoigai aadiyaval, otrai paarvai paarthavanum.. Neeya?

On a full moon night, when I was bathing (playfully) in the stream – The one who laid his eyes on me, was it you?

(5)மங்கை மான் விழி அம்புகள் என் மார் துளைத்ததென்ன ?
(6)பாண்டி நாடனை கண்ட என் மனம் பசலை கொண்டதென்ன ?
(7)நிலாவிலே பார்த்த வண்ணம் கனாவிலே தோன்றும் இன்னும் 
(8)இளைத்தேன் துடித்தேன் பொறுக்கவில்லை 
இடையில் மேகலை இருக்கவில்லை

Mangai maanvizhi ambugal en maarthulaithathaena?
Paandi naadanai kandu ennudal pasalai kondathenna?
Nilaavilae paarththa vannam, kannaavilae thoandrum innum
Ilaithaen thudithaen porukkavillai
Idaiyil maegalai irukkavillai

Why did the arrows from your deer like beautiful eyes pierce my heart?
Why does my body become hysterical after catching a glimpse of the Paandian king?
The silhouette that I saw under the moon light, still lingers in my dreams!
I withered, I turned restless, and I could not wait any longer,
Even the golden ornament that adorned my hips did not stay in its place (and slipped due to turmoil of waiting for her lover),

(9)யாயும் ஞாயும் யாராகியரோ நெஞ்சு நேர்ந்ததென்ன?
(10)யானும் நீயும் எவ்வழி அறிதும் உறவு சேர்ந்ததென்ன?
(11)ஒரே ஒரு தீண்டல் செய்தாய் உயிர்க்கொடி பூத்ததென்ன?
(12)செம்புலம் சேர்ந்த நீர் துளி போல் 
அம்புடை நெஞ்சம் கலந்ததென்ன?

Yaayum gnaayum yaaraagiyaro, nenju naernthathaena?
Yaanum neeyum evvazhi arithum uravu saernthathaena?
Orae oru theendal seithaay, uyir kodi pootthathaena?
Semboolam saerntha neerththulipoal
Ambudai nenjam kalanthathenna?

Were my mother and your’s related to each other? how is it that our hearts blended together?
How did I and you meet and how did we bind in a relationship?
Just with a single caressing touch, how did you make my life blossom?
Just like the red soil (earth) and the water from the rain blend (beyond seperation),
Our hearts have blended together in love!

[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 8

8

We sing praise of Parasakthi.
How was she formed?
That’s what is not known.
Isn’t she the born mother; from the almighty “self”.
From what was she formed?
How did she form from the almighty “self”? Don’t know.
Creation is not known to the eyes.
Not known even to the wisdom.
Death is known to the eyes; But not known to the wisdom.
Life is about praising the Sakthi; The benefit of this is attaining pleasure.
For the heart to be clear; For the life force to have speed and heat; For the body to have peace and strength.
Living is getting the blessings of Maha Sakthi.
We are living.
We again praise the Maha Sakthi, who makes us live.


This is the final part of the prose-poetry Sakthi. The original version of this post will be available shortly in http://www.lyricaldelights.com. The other versions are available in the above link.

[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 7

7

Snake charmer is playing the flute.
Is the music born in the flute?
Is it born in the hole (Of the flute)?
Is it born in the breath of the snake charmer?
It’s born in his heart; Exposed through the flute.
Heart doesn’t sound by itself.
Flute can’t flow music by itself.
Heart doesn’t merge with the flute.
Heart merges with breath.
Breath merges with flute.
Flute plays.
This is the play of Sakthi.
She sings in the heart. It resonates in the holes of the flute.
Matching the unmatchable and creating harmony in it — Sakthi
Small boys* are calling out for alms.
Who created symphony between charmer’s flute and voice of those boys? Sakthi
“Jari^ for sale; Jari” a passerby shouts out, in the same rhythm.
Ah! I found the essence.
The life of charmer, life of those kids and the life of that Jari merchant is being played by the same Sakthi.
Instruments are many. Instrumentalist is one.
Appearances are many. Sakthi is one.
Hail thee!

^Jari – The border of Saree is woven with golden threads. When the Saree wears out, the Jari is reused.


The Tamil version of the above translation will be available shortly at http://www.lyricaldelights.com

Food for thought

குறள் 412:
செவுக்குண வில்லாத போழ்து சிறிது
வயிற்றுக்கும் ஈயப் படும்.

விளக்கம் 1:
செவிக்கு கேள்வியாகிய உணவு இல்லாத போது (அதற்க்கு துணையாக உடலை ஒப்புமாறு) வயிற்றுக்கும் சிறிது உணவு தரப்படும்.

விளக்கம் 2:
செவிக்கு உணவாகிய கேள்வி கிடைக்காதபோது, வயிற்றுக்கும் சிறிது உணவு இடப்படும்.

English Couplet 412:
When ’tis no longer time the listening ear to feed
With trifling dole of food supply the body’s need.

Couplet Explanation:
When there is no food for the ear, give a little also to the stomach.

Transliteration(Tamil to English):
sevikkuNa villaadha poazhdhu siRidhu
vayitrukkum eeyap padum

[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 6

Sakthi

First part: Happiness

6

Snake-charmer plays the pipe.
“Beautiful music is of sorrow” so we had heard.
But the music sung by this charmer is sweet,
yet, not of sorrow feeling.
This is like a debate by the learned people.
Like a novelist adding line after line
which are short and filled with meaning.
What is this charmer debating about?
“thaanathanthath thaanathanthath thaa-thanath
thaanathandana thaanathandana thaa–
thanthanathana thanthanathana thaa”
Like that he is playing variety in loops.
What is the meaning of this?
A child said the following meaning for this:
“I adorned flowers to Kali.
A donkey came to eat them away.”
In the name of Sakthi, I built this body.
The pain from sin is eating this away.
I surrendered to Parasakthi.
The pain vanished.
Parasakthi started to live on my soul with light.
Let her live long.


Note: Sakthi literally means Power and also the name of Goddess.

The Tamil version of the above translation is available at http://www.lyricaldelights.com

The Penance!

சூனியத்திலிருந்து சூரியனாகும் ஒரு பயணம்
பெரும் பிரயத்தனம் கொண்டே
மெதுமெதுவாக சிறு பிறையினைக் கூட்டி
சுட்டெரிக்கும் வெம்மையை அகற்றி
தண்ணென குளிர்வைக் கூட்டி
முழு தகடாய் ஒளிர்ந்த நாளில்,
சலனமற்ற தண்ணீர் உரக்கவே முழங்கியது
வெண்ணிலவின் களங்கம் கொண்ட வெண்மையினை..

கண்டு நாணி முகில் கொண்டு முகம் மூடி
வெட்கி மருகி தினம் தினம் கரைந்தது..
அத்துடன் கரைந்தது அதன் களங்கமும்..

மீண்டும் வளர மீண்டும் களங்கம்,
மீண்டும் தேய்ந்தும் மாளா நம்பிக்கை..

யுகங்கள் கடந்து பிறவிகள் கடந்து
தினம் தினம் நிகழும் ஒரு போராட்டம்..
சூனியம் சூரியனாகும் நாள் வரை
நிலவின் நம்பிக்கையும் வளரும்!

A journey from infinity to Sun..
With a tremendous effort,
Adding one crescent over another,
Removing the wrath of heat,
It glowed as a full plate
And on that day,
The undisturbed water screamed out loud,
Pointing the impurities in the white of the moon..

The moon closed its face with the clouds,
in shame, it started declining everyday..
And along with it, its impurities..

As it grew back, so did the spots,
Thought it shrunk, its hope did not..

Over eons and many births
The struggle continues everyday..
Till the day the new moon becomes full moon,
The hope too grows along with it!

 

[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 5

Sakthi

First part: Happiness

5

“Could put up a fence in land.
But is it possible to fence in sky?” Yes, you can.
Isn’t the sky filling even the land?
If you fence up land, doesn’t it mean
that the sky of that part is also fenced up?
Control Body. Then controlling soul is possible.
Control Soul. Then controlling mind is possible.
Control Mind. Then controlling Sakthi is possible.
There is no despair in being controlled by the Sakthi.
There is a cotton pillow before me.
It has a shape, a size, a purpose to it.
Sakthi looks after that this purpose is met out.
It can be preserved without being extinct,
even as long as humans exist in this world.
If it is renewed often, Sakthi exists in it for longer.
If not renewed, the form changes.
Dirty pillow, tattered pillow, old pillow —
Take out the cotton in it and use in mattress.
Throw out the outer cover as waste cloth.
It’s form has expired.
If the form is preserved, Sakthi could be preserved.
That is, Sakthi could be preserved in the same form.
Even when the form changes, Sakthi doesn’t change.
Everywhere, everything, every time, every activity exhibits Sakthi.
It is good to preserve the form.
In the name of Sakthi.
It is good to praise Sakthi, by preserving the form.
But one who preserves just the form, loses Sakthi.


Note: Sakthi literally means Power and also the name of Goddess.

The Tamil version of the above translation is available at http://www.lyricaldelights.com

The meeting

Why am I standing here all alone with a flower?
I came running to see you, my queen (of my heart)
Why else did I come, but for courting with you?
I came all alone, as companion to your youth..

In your bangle dangling hand, what gift did he give?
For your scented hair to be flustered, what did he say?
Over your shapely lips, what is the flavor he left?

As a golden beetle rushed to my face, thinking it as flower,
With my bangled hands, I closed my face slowly,
As my dark hair spread like the clouds (in the jolt when the bug hit)
I was frightened and came running to you to tell the truth

When she comes late to the meeting, he questions her as whom else did you meet on the way.. And she replies with the truth as well as poetic imagination.. The imagination is previously referred in the Tamil classic literature, Aganaanooru, where the poet compares the face of a young woman to that of flower, as a beetle keeps returning to her face..

The original version of the song and other details are available here.