Time whizzes by and I, I write of glimpses I steal

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Alaipayuthey

Lalita had asked me to do a translation of Alaipayuthey, Oothukaadu Venkatasubbu Iyer's composition on Lord Krishna (the same one used by Maniratnam and Rahman in Alaipayuthey). Reluctantly, I did. And though I can't say I am completely satisfied with the result, it's been good. So... do read and comment.

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My mind wavers, O! Kanna,
the joyous bewitching song of your flute.
my mind wavers, O! Kanna!
with your entrancing song

An unmoving statue I stand
time flies by and I know it not
Muraleedhara, the unknowable
my mind wavers

The clear moon blazes as a noon sun
my eyebrows arch, searching the horizon
the breeze brings your ripe melody
and my eyes dizzy, i feel strange

Delight me by granting the place in your difficult heart,
embrace mine, gift it sense and make it bloom
like the ray of the sun that merges with the roaring waves of the ocean
like the anklets in union, make merry

I call you thus with my heart wrenching cries
and you, you revel with other women.
Is this right? Is it proper?
Is it at all just?

While the flute plays, like the dancing foliage
my mind laden with sorrow
wavers, my kanna, it wavers
with your joyously bewitching song
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Lalita suggested flutters or ripples for the first phrase. 'wavers' maybe a tad inaccurate but I couldn't resist using it (given the allusion to wave). Limitations of translation, I guess. There aren't as many levels of meaning for 'wavers' , as it is for 'Alaipayuthey'. It cud be wanders (which is the fave reproof of my maths teacher before her pinched the arm). 'In turmoil' also appeals to me as does flutters and ripples. Any comments?

21 comments:

Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ah, you put it up as a post. Nice. I'd gone for ripples because that paints a word picture of moving water, waves or turbulence.

Waver on the other hand calls to mind hestitation, rather than turmoil.

Well, that's my take, anyway.

priya said...

new post when?

Vijay said...

Very good attempt...reader wouldnt get 'lost in translation...'

keep them coming....

Speech is Golden said...

priya! new post soon.

vijay! thanks mate!

lalita! ofcourse, now ripples appeal to me more.

Anonymous said...

http://www.anothersubcontinent.com/shankar3.html

belliraj said...

Thanks for the post. I was trying to find a translation and this helped quite a lot. It would be even more useful if you had given word by word meanings separately as i am not able to understand individual meanings of some words. Thanks a lot.

Krish said...

Thanks for the translation

Av - Optimus said...

That was really beautiful, i have been looking for the meaning of this song for ages, finally i got it... really can't thank you enough. Just would like to mention that i took the liberty of taking the lyrics and posting it on my blog, i have also credited the work to you. Sorry i didn't ask for permission. Hope you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

can you please post the meaning of the song snehitaney?Thanks

Anonymous said...

hi.. can u send me the lyrics for the song Alaipayuthey"

Anonymous said...

hi.. can u send me the lyrics for the song Alaipayuthey" at dronzeratdell@gmail.com

Hari said...

Wha! wat a line ... enchanting... listened it 10 times after reading the trans. Jus gr8 dear.. no more words

whoelsebutme said...

Hey karthik, Really nice......i am really fascinated by this song....thanks a lot lot lot :)

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Shamit Bagchi said...

Very nice translation!! A great song.

Anonymous said...

Just heard this song by chance, by Chitra K.S. and Yesudas. It is awesome. I googled for the meaning and found this translation of yours. Thank you so much for making this available to all. It enriches our experience. The dilemma to use the right word.... I guess there can never be a "right" word. Once gets the essence, the soul... i was reminded of Tagore's use of the word "tumult".... Might this help? Nendrigal :-)

Robin George said...

One of my favorite songs by AR Rahman... The magical western instrumental blends made this song more beautiful & peaceful to listen.

kanna said...

what is the meaning of kanna other than krishna name ..please post whats the meaning of kann
GOD Bless You

Anonymous said...

Hi, I guess rather than "My mind wavers, O! Kanna,
the joyous bewitching song of your flute" a better interpretation may be "All the waves of the ocean seem to be heaving within my heart as I listen to the joyous bewitching song of your flute".

Malavika said...

Your intentions are no doubt, good, but you should not take liberties with the lyrics of any song. If you are not absolutely sure of the meanings, please do not supply your own, however plausible it may seem to you. It does a disservice to the readers to spread false meanings. Just imagine the feelings of the writer to see his or her work misunderstood and then misrepresented and put out on the internet for all these mistakes and inaccuracies to be spread to the next generations! 'Wavers' is not the only inaccuracy - there are plenty of others that you have mistranslated. Ask any old timer who knows!But don't be sad or guilty, just remove the post and post it again after making sure of all the meanings. Then you would really be doing a good thing! God bless.

Shamanth Jilla said...

Thanks for mentioning the name of the composer.