Lyrical Love


Love is an endearing emotion. Its seeds are sown young and sometimes we spend our entire lives in pursuit of the eternal love that we may probably never get on earth.

What makes love totally paradoxical is that the more we love, the more we want to possess, but the more we try to possess, the more love escapes from us.

By its very nature love is pure, divine and free. Its the acme of all emotions on this earth, and a riddle for anyone who’s been in its midst. Poets wax eloquently about love; yet no poetry fully characterizes it.

Recently I came across a site that had English translations of popular Hindi songs, and I realized that some of our Indian film lyricists did really try to infuse poetry in their songs, and most of the beautiful lyrics came from songs about love.

I then thought I’d blog about some Indian love ballads and their translations as a precursor to better poetry in film songs, and many more beautiful love songs to come, and as a tribute to this wonderful emotion called love…

Song Translation
Film: Gangster 
Language: Hindi 
Lyricist: Sayeed Quadri   

Tu hi meri shab he, subah he, 
tu hi din he mera. 
tu hi mera rab he, jahaan he, 
tu hi meri duniya... 
Tu waqt, mere liye, 
mein hoon tera lamha, 
kaisa rahega bhala, 
hoke tu mujhse juda...
You are my night, my dawn 
you are my day. 
you are my god, my universe, 
you are my world... 
To me, you are time 
and I'm every moment for you. 
How can you ever live 
apart from me...
Film: Ayudha Ezhuthu 
Language: Tamil 
Lyricist: Vairamuthu   

Yakkai thiri 
Kaadhal sudar                

Jeevan nadhi 
Kaadhal kadal                

Piravi pizhai 
Kaadhal thirutham    

Irudhayam kal 
Kaadhal sirpam                

Jenmam vidhai 
Kaadhal pazham                

Lokam dwaitham 
Kaadhal advaitham                

Sarvam soonyam 
Kaadhal pinnyam                

Maanudam maayam 
Kaadhal amaram.
Body is a wick 
Love is the flame                

Soul is a river 
Love is the sea                

Birth is a mistake 
Love is the correction                

Heart is of stone 
Love is the sculpture                

Birth is a seed 
Love is the fruit                

The world is dual, 
Love is singular                

Everything(sarvam) is zero(soonyam) 
Love is infinite                

Life is an illusion 
Love is immortal.
Film: Summer in Bethlehem 
Language: Malayalam 
Lyricist: Gireesh Puthenchery   

Oru raathri koodi 
Oru paattu mooli 
veyil veezhave, 
Pathiya parannen 
arikil varum, 

hridayam thiranja 
priya swapname, 
mizhikalkku munpil 
ithalaarnu nee, 
viriyaanorungi nilkayo    

pularaan thudangum 
oru raathriyil, 
thaniye kidannu 
oru nertha thennal 
nerukil thalodi 

malarmanju veena vana 
idayante paattu 
oru paazhkinaavil 
manassinte paattu 

nizhal veezhum ente 
kanivode poottha 
mani deepame, 
oru kunju kaattil 
thirinaalam ennum 
As one more night 
bids adieu, 
and the sunlight falls 
whilst humming a song, 
You are the feather of 
beauty that wafts and 
settles next to me...      

In my travels that have 
gone on for many days, 
oh dear dream that has 
sought my heart, 
are you, draped in petals, 
waiting to blossom 
in my eyes?                       

As the night was giving 
way to dawn, 
and I lay alone, 
with my eyes open, 
A breeze came with love, 
and disappeared after 
caressing my forehead...      

On a path in the forest 
decked with mist, 
as you're straining your 
ears to listen to the 
shepherd's song, 
did you hear the song 
emanating from my mind 
which is melting in a 
futile dream...                

In my corridor which is 
filled with shadows, 
You are the lamp that has 
flowered with mercy, 
Forever, I will protect 
you from every  breeze 
that tries to blow your 
light out.

These are of course just a selection of three different songs from Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam… I got the lyrics for the Hindi and Tamil from other websites, but the Malayalam song translation is solely mine 🙂 [I think it may be a bit crude here and there, but then this was all I could come up with in the short duration of time I had to write the post].

There are thousands of Indian film songs written on love, and some are sheer classics in terms of their poetic excellence… all written and inspired by the most beautiful emotion in this world: Love. 

31 thoughts on “Lyrical Love

  1. Well your translation seems to be good, but as I dont have much knowledge about poetry, may be i should refrain from making comment on ur abilities.

    I normally dont bother to find out the meaning of Malayalam songs, coz most of them use hardcore poetic words which are bouncers for me. I have found Tamil songs relatively more easier to understand if i can find out the word meanings. Malayalam songs require more than that. Hindi songs are all the same most of the time.

    I really liked your selection of the tamil song, as we all had once discussed about it and the wicked Vairamuthu. I just love the verses.

    I remember once translating the song “Vaseegara” into english and sent to a girl coz she loved the song, and the day she read my translation she hated the song. 🙂

  2. As far as the earlier generation of Malayalam songs were concerned, yes, I used to love them without really knowing the meaning, cos the words were all hardcore poetry, and I’d be clueless about them. But the songs of today are easy… “Kalla Kalla Kochchu Kalla ninne kaanaan enthoru style aanu”, “Pineapple penne chocolate piece-e premichchu valakkaathe” being some cases in point 🙂

    The Yakkai Thiri selection was on purpose, when talking about lyrics on love, its difficult to ignore this song. I really love it too… and was totally excited during our discussion on your blog 🙂

    The Vaseegara incident is really funny :)… enthaanu maashe. You sent Vaseegara to a girl ;). Send it to me too… let me see if I can hate the song.

  3. Athu Veno? Mera Reputation……???!!!!

    Yes you guessed it right. I was trying to “valakkafy” this girl and as i know that i’m a fundastic poet. i thought i would better translate Vaseegara and impress her. It back fired though.

    Dont have the translation with me now. But I would better copy paste the “yakkai thiri” translation and send it to u if i want to “valakkafy” you…. 🙂

  4. Love, as experienced by the young, is different from love experienced by the old. So love, or perception of love, is something that is highly subjective. Feelings/emotions are primarily due to hormonal effects on our body systems. It might appear that I am trying to vile-ify the emotion. Let the years take their toll and you might have a different perception of love.

    PS:My definition of love, in the above comment, refers to that between lovers.

  5. Visitor: Hmmm. Experience speaking there? 🙂

    “Perception of love is highly subjective”: Totally agree there. I’m the voracious book reader, raised on a fill of romantic books and movies. I’m a die-hard romantic, a sucker for the ‘perfect, wholesome and unconditional love’. I would love to believe that it exists in this world, but life is slowly crushing my rose-tinted glasses, with time. I’m becoming a realist.

    “Feelings/emotions are primarily due to hormonal effects”: Agree partially there too. Why partially you may ask. Well, I agree that the frequency of the exalted ‘lost-in-love’ moments have decreased with time. The rush of emotions, the frantic heart beat, the blushing cheeks and the feeling of being tongue-tied, or wide-eyed – all those were definitely part of my adolescence. But in my heart I am a very emotional person. Was like that from childhood, and 26 yrs on the planet hasn’t changed the way I feel inside of me – so I can’t say I’m like that only because of hormones. [Other reasonable explanations could be that I haven’t grown or maybe I have too much of hormonal activity ;)]

    As for whether I’ll change my opinion on eternal love as I grow old – well, I don’t think I’ll change my opinion about love itself. Love does exist, eternal, unconditional, pure and divine. However, I’m pacifying myself with the thought that it just doesn’t exist in this earthly plane, and to expect it from humans is burdening them a little too much.

    I guess my approach is only because I don’t ever want to feel bitter about love, and not finding the perfect version of it, as the years take its toll. When I have kids, I want them to still dream and experience the ecstasy and magic of love … Nothing really beats it.

  6. I did leave an earlier comment on a post to visit regarding Love.
    Yes the online community has really grown – across interest groups, across countries; it feels nice, but the growing responsibility is frightening; I am not sure that I’d be able to do justice to all. I still enjoy the work :). Wonder if it’d be a good idea to chuck my job and do this full-time 😉
    PS: Did you find time to visit some of the links that I’d suggested?

  7. Visitor: Yup, you’ve entrusted me with a gigantic task 😉 reading so many interesting blogs that is… I’ve been reading some of your regulars, and I really like all your selections! Been recommending them to others too…

  8. Well poetry is a hard subject for me to discuss here beign a person who loves and like humor all the time.Let me put it smile.

    50 most romantic things to do w/ your b/f or g/f..
    1. Watch the sunset together.
    2. Whisper to each other.
    3. Cook for each other.
    4. Walk in the rain.
    5. Hold hands
    6. Buy gifts for each other.
    7. Roses.
    8. Find out their favorite cologne/perfume and wear
    it every time you’re together.
    9. Go for a long walk down the beach at midnight.
    10. Write poetry for each other.
    11. Hugs are the universal medicine.
    12. Say I love you, only when you mean it and
    make sure they know you mean it.
    13. Give random gifts of flowers/candy/poetry etc.
    14. Tell her that she’s the only girl you ever want.
    Don’t lie!
    15. Spend every second possible together.
    16. Look into each other’s eyes.
    17. Very lightly push up her chin, look into her eyes, tell her you love her, and kiss her lightly.
    18. When in public, only flirt with each other.
    19. Put love notes in their pockets when they aren’t looking.
    20. Buy her a ring.
    21. Sing to each other.
    22. Always hold her around her hips/sides.
    23. Take her to dinner and do the dinner for two deal.
    24. Spaghetti? (Ever see Lady and the Tramp?)
    25. Hold her hand, stare into her eyes, kiss her hand and then put it over your heart.
    26. Dance together.
    27. I love the way a girl looks right after she’s
    fallen asleep with her head in my lap.
    28. Do cute things like write I love you in a note
    so that they have to look in a mirror to read it.
    29. Make excuses to call them every 5 minutes
    30. Even if you are really busy doing something,
    go out of your way to call and say I love you.
    31. Call from your vacation spot to tell them
    you were thinking about them.
    32. Remember your dreams and tell her about them.
    34. Tell each other your most sacred
    35. Be Prince Charming to her parents.
    36. Brush her hair out of her face for her.
    37. Hang out with his/her friends.
    38. Go to church/pray/worship together.
    39. Take her to see a romantic movie and
    remember the parts she liked.
    40. Learn from each other and don’t make the
    same mistake twice.
    41. Describe the joy you feel just to be with him/her.
    42. Make sacrifices for each other.
    43. Really love each other, or don’t stay together.
    44. Let there never be a second during any given
    day that you aren’t thinking about them, and make sure they know it.
    45. Love yourself before you love anyone else.
    46. Learn to say sweet things in foreign languages.
    47. Dedicate songs to them on the radio.
    48. Fall asleep on the phone with each other.
    49. Stand up for them when someone talks trash.
    50. Never forget the kiss goodnight and always
    remember to say, “Sweet dreams.”

  9. One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.

    A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.

    Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, “Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.” The crowd and the young man looked at the old man’s heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn’t fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people stared — how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought?

    The young man looked at the old man’s heart and saw its state and laughed. “You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.” “Yes,” said the old man, “yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love – I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren’t exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared.

    Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn’t returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges — giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?”

    The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.

  10. A girl and a boy were on a motorcycle, speeding through the night.
    They loved each other a lot…..
    Girl:”slow down a little.. I’m scared..”
    Boy: “No, it’s so fun..”
    Girl: “’s so scary..”
    Boy: “Then say that you love me..”
    Girl: “Fine..I love you..can you slow down now?”
    Boy: “Give me a big hug..”
    The girl gave him a big hug.
    Girl: “Now can you slow down?”
    Boy: “Can you take off my helmet and put it on? It’s uncomfortable
    and it’s bothering me while i ride.”
    The next day, there was a story in the newspaper. A motorcycle had
    crashed into a building because its brakes were broken. There were two
    people on the motorcycle, of which one died, and the other had
    survived…The guy knew that the brakes were broken. He didn’t want to let the girl know,because he knew that the girl would have gotten scared. Instead, he was told the last time that she loved him,got a hug from her, put his helmet on her so that she can live, and die himself…

    Once in a while, Right in the middle of an ordinary life, Love
    gives us a fairy tale…

  11. Sid: I think you’ve probably broken a record for the largest comments in any blog :). If I wasn’t a selfish person ;), I’d tell you that you should start writing a blog so that you could take more credit for posting such lovely stuff. I really enjoyed reading them!

    “50 Romantic things to do with your g/f, b/f”: Whoa. Amazing list. If any guy bothers to do even one-fourth of that, I’m sure lots of girl would pledge eternal love for him :). But being so nice all the time seems humanly impossible, so I don’t know if people can manage it throughout their relationship… anyhow, I had fun reading it, and I’m sure it gave me and maybe some others a couple of ideas 🙂

    “Most Beautiful Heart story”: Surprised that this should come in as a comment to my post, because this is one story I’d heard long ago, that left a lasting impression on me… I agree with the moral of the story – Love in any form, irrespective of whether it is fulfilled, is a thing of beauty.

    And as for the motorcycle story, *Sniff* 😦 I was so touched by the ending – never really expected it. Guess I’m gonna remember this one for a long time too…

  12. The following is a very touching love story as narrated by a girl……..

    I have a boyfriend who grew up with me. His name is Jin. I always thought of him as a friend until last year, when we went to a trip from a club. I found that I fell in love with him. Before that trip was over, I took a step and confessed my love for him.
    And soon, we became a pair of lovers, but we loved each other in different ways. I always concentrated on him only, but by his side, there were so many other girls. To me, he was the only one, but to him, maybe I was just another girl.
    Jin, do you want to go watch a movie? I asked.
    Jin “I can’t”
    Why? You need to study at home?I felt disappointment grabbing me.
    No I am going to meet a friend
    He was always like that.
    He met girls in front of me, like it was nothing. To him, I was just a girlfriend. The word “love” only came out from my mouth. Since I knew him, I had never heard him say “I love you” before.
    To us, there weren’t any anniversaries at all.
    He didn’t say anything from the first day and it continued till 100 days,200 days. Everyday, before we say goodbye, he would just hand me a doll, everyday, without fail. I don’t know why. Then one day…
    Me Um, Jin, I…
    Jin What?don’t drag, just say..
    Me I love you.
    Jin you…um, just take this doll and go home.
    That was how he ignored my three words and handed me the doll.
    Then he disappeared, like he was running away.
    The dolls I received from him everyday, filled my room, one by one. There were many…
    Then one day came, my 15th year old birthday. When I got up in the morning, I pictured a party with him, and stranded myself in my room, waiting for his call.
    But …lunch passed, dinner passed…and soon the sky was dark he still didn’t call.
    It was already tiring to look at the phone anymore.
    Then around 2am in the morning, he suddenly called me and woke me from my sleep. He told me to come out of the house. Still, I felt joy and I ran out happily.
    Me Jin…
    Jin Here…take this…
    Again, he handed me a little doll.
    Me What’s this?
    Jin I didn’t give it to you yesterday, so I am giving it to you now. I’m going home now, bye.
    Me Wait, wait! Do you know what today is?
    Jin Today? Huh?
    I felt so sad, I thought he would remember my birthday. He turned around and walked away like nothing had happen. when I shouted…”Wait…”
    Jin You have something to say?
    Me Tell me, tell me you love me…
    Jin What?!
    Me Tell me
    I put my pathetic self behind and clung on to him. But he just said simple cold words and left.
    “I don’t want to say that I love someone so easily, if you are desperate to hear it, then find someone else.” That was what he said. Then he ran off.
    My legs felt numb…and I collapsed to the ground. He didn’t want to say it easily…How could he!.
    I felt that… Maybe he is not the right guy for me…
    After that day, I stranded myself at home crying, just crying. He didn’t call me, although I was waiting. He just continued handing me a little doll every morning outside my house.
    That’s how those dolls piled up in my room… everyday
    After a month, I got myself together and went to school. But what made the pain resurface was that… I saw him on a street…with another girl…
    He had a smile on his face, one that he never showed me…as he touched the doll… I ran straight back home and looked at the dolls in my room, and tears fell… Why did he gave these to me??
    Those dolls are probably picked out by some other girls. In a fit of anger, I threw the dolls around.
    Then suddenly, the phone rang. It was him. He told me to come out to the bus stop outside my house. I tried to calm myself down and walked to the bus stop. I kept reminding myself that I am going to forget him, that it’s going to end.
    Then he came into my sight, holding a big doll.
    Jin Jo, I thought you were pissed, you really came?
    I couldn’t help hating him, acting like nothing had happen and joking around. Soon, he held out the doll as usual
    Me I don’t need it.
    Jin What?.why?
    I grabbed the doll from his hands and threw it on the road.
    Me I don’t need this doll, I don’t need it anymore!! I don’t want to see a person like you again!
    I spitted out all the words that were inside me. But unlike other days, his eyes very shaking.
    “I’m sorry…” He apologized in a tiny voice. He then walked over to the road to pick up the doll…
    Me You stupid! Why are you picking up the doll?! Just throw it away!!!
    But he ignored me and just went to pick the doll.
    Honk Honk
    With a loud honk, a big truck was heading towards him.
    “Jin! Move! Move away!” I shouted….
    But he didn’t hear me, he squatted down and picked up the doll.
    “Jin, move!”
    *Boom!* That sound, so terrifying.
    That’s how he went away from me.
    That’s how he went away without even opening his eyes to say one word to me. After that day, I had to go through everyday with guiltiness and the sadness of losing him.
    And after spending two months like a crazy person
    I took out the dolls. Those were the only gifts he left me since the day we started going out.I remembered the days I spent with him and started to count the days- when we were in love..
    “One…two… three…”
    That was how I started to count the dolls…
    “Four hundred and eighty four… four hundred and eighty five…”
    It all ended with 485 dolls.
    I then started to cry again, with a doll in my arms.
    I hugged it tightly, then suddenly…
    “I love you, I love you”
    I dropped the dolls,shocked.
    I picked up the dolls and pressed its stomach.
    “I love you I love you”
    It can”t be!
    I pressed all the dolls’ stomach as it piled on the side.
    “I love you”
    “I love you”
    “I love you”
    Those words came out non-stop.
    “I love you”
    Why didn’t I realize that???.
    That his heart was always by my side, protecting me.
    Why didn’t I realize that he love me this much…
    I took out the doll under the bed and pressed it’s stomach, that was the last doll, the one that fell on the road. It had his blood stain on it.
    The voice came out, the on that I was missing so much….
    “Jo…Do you know what today is? We’ve been loving each other for 486 days. Do you know what 486 is?
    I couldn’t say I love you….. Um… since I was too shy. If you forgive me and take this doll, I will say that I love you.. Everyday…till I die.. Jo… I love you!”
    The tears came flowing out of me. Why? Why? I asked
    god, why do I only know about all this now?
    He can’t be by my side, but he loved me until his last minute.
    For that.. and for that reason… to me….. it became courage… to live a beautiful life…

    It’s better to lose your pride with someone you love rather

    An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death’s agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed.

    Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.

    With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out upon newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

    Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

    Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted; the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth; seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand, shakingly made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.

    “Stay out of those,” she said, “they’re for the funeral.”

  14. Visitor: 🙂 That was a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing it… You know, I’ve had similar feelings at times. Being too attached is at times dangerous, you cling onto your comfort blanket, and never allow yourself to enter new dimensions and bloom in a different way. I guess, only experience teaches man the lessons he needs to learn from life.

  15. Pingback: An end to the hiatus - Part II « Lonely In Space

  16. Pingback: Lyrical Love – Part IV « Lonely In Space

  17. Pingback: Lyrical Love – Part V | Lonely In Space

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