[It's been a long time that I've written about Lyrical Love, and so this is *still* the 4th installment in a series, after 1, 2 and 3 - even though there have been 100 others written in my head . Nevertheless, I'm pretty kicked to be writing this, because as a post, this is what I LOVE writing about]
Some of the most beautiful poetry about love, I realize, has been written in Malayalam film music. Particularly, those 80s classics for which the poet ONV Kurup wielded his pen, and got immortalized in beautiful music by masters.
Having grown up with these songs, it’s pretty easy for me to get lost in the nostalgia of its music as soon as I listen to them. But as I discovered a few years ago, and keep discovering each time I listen to these songs now, they have a completely different prospect for a listener with a good ear – particularly someone who has a fair understanding of the words (though some are cloaked in a maze of poetic expression :/).
The ease with which ONV is able to navigate the nuances of love, and create a tapestry of emotions that come very close to invoking the actual feeling within you – is incredible. Being an intensely romantic person (yeah, I have rose-colored-glasses ), all I have to do is to sit still and listen. If I ever called love “sublime”, this would be when I understand what it means to be sublime.
Today morning, as I listened to these songs, and discovered yet more layers in these songs, I decided I’d post them today – not just with the Malayalam lyrics, but with my crude English translation *grimace*.
This is still not quite effective translation, since much of the language specific constructs get destroyed in a literal translation. However, I’ve tried my best to write it so that it makes *some* sense (and seriously, there’s not a single other decent translation available online!).
[Interestingly, all 3 songs - though from 3 different movies, feature the same actor - Vineeth, who btw, used to be quite the heartthrob (AND a temporary crush of yours truly) right from the very early age that he began acting in a lead role (14 yrs!). Lucky guy - to be the face for these songs, I mean.]
Song: Aathmavil Mutti Vilichchathu
Music: Raghunath Seth
Lyrics: O.N.V Kurup
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNsG2-A2dOE
Song Context: First kiss – the song plays in the background while a girl mulls about how a boy kissed her in a fit of (err..)passion, albeit without her consent. The song’s more of a play on adolescent love…and about the realization of love itself – the “awakening” of the emotion.
Kanni poonkavilil thottu kadannupokuvathaaro
Kulir pakarnnu pokuvatharo
Ninne kandu kothichchu paadiya
Thazhampoo kaattu thalodiya pole
Noorathirathan rakkuliraadiya pole (2)
Kunnathe vilakku thelikkum kayyaal
Kunjuppoovin anjanathil chaanthu thottathu pole
Chanthu thottathu pole
Aathmaavil mutti vilichathu pole
Snehaathuramay thotturiyaadiya pole (2)
Manninte ilam choodaarnnoru maaril
Eeranaamorindu kiranam poovu chaarthiya pole
Poovu chaarthiya pole
Who’s run away, having touched (your) virgin cheeks, and causing a chill (to rise in you)…
Was it the breeze? Was it a honeybee?
Or was it your lover, hiding behind the banyan tree,
(and) looking at you, singing with desire?
Like the wind has caressed the falling flower,
Like a hundred stars dancing in the chill of the night, and
Like the hand that lights the lamp on the hill
ouches (and thereby adds color) to the purity of a small flower…
Like (someone has) knocked on your soul,
Has gently touched you, and spoken,
Like a moist ray of moonlight has graced
the warm body of the earth…
(Who’s run away…)
Song: Kevala marthya
Music: Bombay Ravi
Lyrics: O.N.V Kurup
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVpXFyFz2yo&feature=related
Song Context: The protagonist (a young boy) is around a beautiful girl who’s deaf and mute; the song plays begins as an indication of his thoughts about her as observes her, lost in her own silent world, growing to admire and fall in love with her. (Read the poet’s interpretation of the “silent universe” – it’s pure brilliance).
Kevala marthya bhasha kelkkaatha
Deva dhoothikayanu nee, oru deva dhoothikayanu nee
Chithravarnnangal nritthamaadum nin
Ull prapanchatthin seemayil,
Njangal kelkkaatha paattile
Swaravarnna raajikal illayo, illayo…
Antharashru sarassil neenthidum
Hamsa geethangal illayo
Shabda saagarathin agaadha
Nishabda shaanthatha illayo, illayo…
You are a messenger from the Gods,
a woman who doesn’t hear the languages of all mortals…
Vivid colors dance in your inner universe.
Don’t the extents of this universe conceal
a myriad of music that we are unable to hear?
(Aren’t there) the songs of swans that
swim in the lakes of your countless tears?
In the ocean of sound, isn’t there
a bottomless ocean of silent peace?
Song: Vaathil pazhuthilooden munnil
Movie: Idanazhiyil Oru Kaalocha
Music: V. Dakshinamoorthy
Lyrics: O.N.V Kurup
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-TH-aG4-hE&feature=related
Song Context: The protagonist (a guy) falls in hopeless adoration-love with a beautiful dancer, who’s older than him. The lyrics convey the intensity of his infatuation for her – and yet, does not for a moment transcend into a crude or obvious description of her. The word play is just on what he feels when he listens to her footsteps and is a clever use of words to evoke imagery.
Vaathil Pazhuthilooden munnil kunkumam
Vaari vitharum thrisandhya polae
Athilolamen idanaazhiyil nin, kala madhuramaam kaalocha kaettu
Madhuramam kaalocha kaettu
Hridhayathin thanthiyil aaro viralthodum
Mridulamaam nisvanam polae
Ilakalil jalakanam ittu veezhum polen
Uyiril amrutham thalicha polae
Tharala vilolam nin kalocha kettu njan
Ariyaathe koritharicchu poyi
Ariyathe koritharicchu poyi
Himabindhu mukhapadam chaarthiya poovine
Mathukaram nugaraathae uzharum polae
Ariya nin kalocha cholliya manthrathin
Porulariyathe njan ninnu
Nizhalukal kalamezhuthunnoren munnil
Mattoru sandhyayai nee vannu
Mattoru sandhyayai nee vannu
The evening sun goes by, scattering redness before me, through the gap of a door
as I hear your sweet footsteps reverberating across the sublime passage (leading to me)
Like the tender sound that emanates because someone touched the strings of my heart,
Like droplets falling softly on leaves, someone showered upon my being, the nectar of immortality…
Unbeknownst to me, a shudder of pleasure went through me, as I listened to your sacred footsteps.
Like the bee that circles a flower that’s been decorated by a drop of snow, without touching it,
I stood, unable to understand the meaning of the mantra that your footsteps spoke (to me)
While shadows drew columns in front of me, you arrived in the form of yet another sunset…