Nettru Illaatha Maatram Ennathu( what is this change, that wasn’t there yesterday?)

The music, the instruments, the lyrics, the lovely voice of Sujatha Mohan, the beauty of Revathi and the scenes she is in…everything comes together in this song. I often think of the late 50’s and 60’s as the heyday of Tamil film music, but songs like this are jewels!

I wonder what happened to this talented singer? I googled for her name, and

here

is information about her. Haven’t heard of here in a while, though.

Here are the transliterated lyrics:

nEtru illAtha mAttram ennathu?
kAttru en kAthil EthO sonnathu!
ithu thAn kAdhal enbadhA!
iLamai pongivittathA !
idhayam sindhi vittathA!
sol manamE….

what is this change, that wasn’t there yesterday?
the breeze whispered something in my ear
is this what is called love?
has youth blossomed?
has the heart spilled over?
Oh, my heart, tell me…

kadavuL illai endrEn…thAyai kANum varai
kanavu illai endrEn…Asai thOndrum varai
kAdhal poi endru sonnEn…unnai kANum varai

I said there is no God, until I saw (my) mother
I said there are no dreams, until affection appeared
I said love was a lie, until I saw you

kavithai variyin suvai, arttham puriyum varai
gangai neerin suvai, kadalil sErum varai
kadhal suvai ondru thAnE, kAttru veesum varai

the flavour of lines of poetry lasts until one understands the meaning
the taste of Ganges water lasts until it meets the sea
the flavour of love, alone, lasts until the wind blows (nEttru)

vAnam illAmalE bhUmi uNdAgalAm
vArthai illAmalE bhAshai uNdAgalAm
kAdhal illAmal pOnAl vAzhkkai uNdAgumA?

earth can be created without the sky
language can be created without words
if there is no love, can life be created?

vasam illAmalE vaNNa poo pookkalAm
vAsal illAmalE kAttru vandhAdalAm
nEsam illAtha vAzhvil pAsam uNdAgumA?

colourful flowers can bloom without fragrance
the breeze can play without a doorstep (to funnel it in)
can there be affection in a life without attachment? (nEttru)

***************

Some of the lines, of course, are prime examples of poetic licence. Eg. “kavithaiyin suvai arttham puriyum varai” (the flavour of poetry lasts until one understands the meaning) certainly doesn’t make rational sense to me!

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