Posts Tagged ‘classical’

azhagAna poNNu nAn

October 15, 2013

I suddenly remembered a song I’d heard in my infancy…after months of not wanting to learn new songs, Kavya is suddenly keen again, now!

The words mean,

“I am a beautiful girl;
I have the eyes for that;
The only thing I possess
Is my self-respect…”

The original song is here (from a 1956 film, imagine!)

and the lyrics are:


Azhagaana ponnu naan
Adhukkeththa kannuthaan
Engitta iruppadhellaam thanmaanam ondruthaan

I am a beautiful girl
I have the eyes for that
The only thing I have is my self-respect

Eedillaa kaattu Roja
Idhai neenga paarunga
Evarenum parikkavandhaa inimethaan maarunga
Mulley thaan kuththunga

A peerless forest rose
Do look at this
If anyone comes to pluck it, its nature will change;
It’s the thorn that will prick.

HO…. ankonnu ilikkudhu aandhai poal muzhikkidhu
Aattathai rasikkavillai aalaithaan rasikkidhu (Azhagaana)

There is one grins, that stares like an owl
Not enjoying the dance, just enjoying the dancer

HO.. hO…. hO…
Ingonnu ennaippaaththu kan jaadai pannudhu (2)
Aemaali ponnuyinnu aedhedho ennu edhedho ennuthu

Here, one is making sheep’s eyes at me
Thinking various things, assuming I’m a gullible girl

HO…. hO… hO…
Penjaadiyai thavikkavittu peyaattamaakkudhu
Piththaagi ennai suththi kaiththaalm poadudhu (Azhagaana)

Leaves the wife to suffer, and acts like a demon
Crazily follows me, clapping (to my dance)

It’s a very mid-Eastern, Arabic type of dance number…and talks about the uncaring ogling of men! So I taught her only the first four lines.

Dil hoom hoom karey, from Rudaali

September 11, 2013

This youtube video has the words and a good translation, too. What lovely music…and true to his name, Bhupen (Hazarika) has set the song to Bhup (or Bhupali) raag…

Evenings, smiles and memories

August 21, 2013


Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi,
yeh shaam bhi ajeeb hai,
Woh kal bhi paas paas thi,
woh aaj bhi kareeb hai,
Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi,
yeh shaam bhi ajeeb hai,
Woh kal bhi paas paas thi,
woh aaj bhi kareeb hai,
Woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi,

That evening, too, was special;
This evening, too is so:
That was near (to my heart)
And so is this.

Jhuki hui nigaahon mein,
kahin mera khayaal tha,
Dabi dabi hansi mein ek,
haseen saa gulaal tha,
Main sochta tha,
mera naam gunguna rahi hai woh,
mera naam gunguna rahi hai woh,
Na jaane kyon laga, mujhe,
ke muskura rahi hai woh,
Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi

My thoughts were somewhere
In those downcast eyes
In that muted smile,
There was the colour of laughter.
I thought…
She was humming my name.
I don’t know why, but I felt
That she was smiling…

Mera khayaal hai abhi,
jhuki hui nigaah mein,
Khuli hui hansi bhi hai,
dabi hui si chaah mein,
Main janta hoon, mera naam,
gunguna rahi hai woh,
Yahi khayaal hai, mujhe,
ke saath aa rahi hai woh,
Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi,
yeh shaam bhi ajeeb hai,
Woh kal bhi paas paas thi,
woh aaj bhi kareeb hai,
Woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi…

My thoughts are still
With those downcast looks
There’s open laughter
In the suppressed longing.
I know that she is
Humming my name
I feel that she is
Coming along with me…..

Such simple words… yet, such powerful poetry, and the music and voice lifts the song to further heights.

Wonderful lyrics

February 21, 2013

The lyrics:

Kuch To Log Kahenge
Of course, people will talk
Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna
That’s what they do…talk
Chhodo Bekaar Ki Baaton Mein
Forget it.. this useless topic
Kahin Beet Na Jaaye Raina
Might waste the entire night away
Kuch To Log Kahenge
Of course, people will talk
Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna
That’s what they

Kuch Reet Jagat Ki Aisi Hai
The way of the world is such
Har Ek Subah Ki Shaam Hui
That every morning has an evening
Tu Kaun Hai Tera Naam Hai Kya
“Who are you? What’s your name?” (they ask)
Seeta Bhi Yahan Badnaam Hui
Even Seeta (Rama’s wife, known for her chastity and purity) was maligned here
Phir Kyon Sansaar Ki Baaton Se
Then…why do the words of the world
Bheeg Gaye Tere Naina
Make your eyes wet?\

Kuch To Log Kahenge
Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna

Humko Jo Taane Dete Hain
Those who blame us
Hum Khoyen Hai Inn Rang Raliyon Mein
Saying, we are lost in these pleasures
Humne Unko Bhi Chhup Chhup Ke
We’ve seen them, too, quietly
Aate Dekha Inn Galiyon Mein
Visiting these same places
Yeh Sach Hai Jhoothi Baat Nahin
This is true, it’s not a falsehood
Tum Bolon Yeh Sach Hain Na
Tell me, is it not true?

Kuch To Log Kahenge
Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna

The hypocrisy of moral judgement is beautifully brought out in this song….

A wonderful short video from a friend…

January 5, 2013

Ravi Srinivasan has been my friend for a while now, but he had no way of knowing that I knew Karaikudi Mani well for a long time, before losing touch; he did not know that he was my late brother’s mAnasIka (mentally accepted as ) guru….and yet, he chose a composition by him, performed by the string quarter…and he chose my photographs for the visual part!

I am deeply honoured…and yes, Ravi, the rAgam IS behAg….

Two is better than one….

August 24, 2012

I got this lovely sight of two Thunbergia sp flowers together.


It reminded me about a very delightful song about two being always better than one….

thanimaiyilE inimai kaaNa mudiyumaa…
nalliravinilE sooriyanum theriyumaa… (thanimaiyilE)

thuNai illaadha vaazhvinilE sugam varumaa…
adhai solli solli thirivadhanaal sugam varumaa… (thuNai)
manamirundhaal vazhiyillaamal pOgumaa(2)
verum manthirathaal maangaai vizhundhidumaa…. (thanimaiyilE)

malarirundhaal maNamirukkum thanimai illai
seng kaniyirundhaal suvai irukkum thanimaiyillai (malar)
kadal irundhaal alai irukkum thanimaiyillai (2)
naam kaaNum ulagil yEdhum thanimai illai (thanimaiyilE)

pani malaiyil thavamirukkum maamuniyum
kodi padaiyudanE bavani varum kaavalarum
kavidhaiyilE nilai marakkum paavalanum
indha avaniyellaam pOtrum aaNdavan aanaalum…(thanimaiyilE)

Rough translation:

Can one find sweetness in being alone?
Can one see the sun in the middle of the night?

Is there pleasure in a life without a companion?
Can pleasure be got by going around saying that?
If there is a mind to it, will there not be a way?
Will a mango fall just by chanting a mantra?….Can one find sweetness in being alone?

f there is a flower, there is the scent…there is no solitude
If there is fruit, there is the taste…there is no solitude
If there is a sea, there are the waves, there is no solitude
Whatever we see in this world…nothing is solitary….Can one find sweetness in being alone?

The sage meditating on the snowy mountain
The army marching with its pennants
The poet who forgets himself in poetry
Even the God whom this whole world praises….Can one find sweetness in being alone?

Will you love me?

April 3, 2012

Naan unnai pirinthirukkum pozhuthu
Ennai ninaippaayaa?
En vaarthaigalin ethiroliyum
Un kaathil naan sonna kaathalum…
Ketkaamal pogumaa?
Un manathil irukkum soonyatthai
Niraitthu viduvaayaa?
Naan irunthathai
Ennik kolvaayaa?
Naan thirumbum varai
Nee kaathiruppaayaa?

Will you think of me
When I am separated from you?
Will the echo of my words,
My love,whispered in your ear,
Grow faint?
When you are faced with emptiness
Will you fill it up?
Will you remember those times
When I was there?
Will you wait
Until I return?

Has love ever changed, over the millenia? The need for two people to be together is probably the most powerful emotion of all, perhaps only exceeded by the love of a mother for her child.
I’ll write about that next….

Two “algorithm” songs….

March 22, 2012

There are many of what I call “algorithm songs” in old tamizh film music….and this beautiful, melodious song from

“pArthAl pasi theerum” (hunger will be appeased with just a look)

For the most of the song, the lines go, “Did X happen because of Y? Or did Y happen because of X?” with several things being X and Y…starting from the moving of the creeper and the arrival of the breeze.

I decided to google for the lyrics before posting a translation, and I got this hilarious link….

click here to see how much you can understand!

Superb job, wouldn’t you say? I’m sure, “nfhb mire;jJk” explains it all very well!

Oh well, here goes the transliteration and translation of the lyrics….


kodi ashainthathum kAtru vanthathA? kAtru vanthathum kodi ashainthathA?


nilavu vanthathum malar malarnthathA? malar malarnthathAl nilavu vanthathA?


pAdal vanthathum thALam vanthathA? thALam vanthathum pAdal vanthathA?


bhAvam vanthathum rAgam vanthathA? rAgam vanthathum bhAvam vanthathA?


kaN thiranthathum kAtchi vanthathA? katchi vanthathum kaN thiranthathA?


paruvam vanthathum Asai vanthathA? Asai vanthathum paruvam vanthathA?



vArthai vanthathum vAy thiranthathA? vAy thiranthum vArthai vanthathA?


peNmai enbathAl nANam vanthathA? nANam enbathAl penMai AnathA?


Odi vanthathum, thEdi vanthathum, pAdi vanthathum, pArkka vanthathum


kAthal enbathA? pAsam enbathA? karuNai enbathA? urimai enbathA?




Did the breeze arrive when the creeper moved? Or did the creeper move when the breeze arrived?


Did the flower bloom when the moon arrive? Or did the moon arrive when the flower bloomed?


Did the rhythm arrive when the song did? Or did the song arrive when the rhythm did?


Did the melody arrive when the emotion did? Or did the emotion arrive when the melody did?


Did the scene arrive when the eyes opened? Or did the eyes opened when the scene arrived?


Did the desire arrive when the phase of life did? Or did the phase of life start when the desire did?



Did the mouth open when the words came? Or did the words come when the mouth opened?


Did the shyness come because of womanhood? Or did the womanhood happen because of the shyness?


The running to me, the searching for me, the singing to me, and the coming to see me….


Should it be called love? or affection? or mercy? or taking a liberty?


The melody is delightful, but the lyrics, while sounding sweet, are like gossamer and don’t convey much.

Another “algorithm” song is “kaNNukku mai azhagu”….

“A” is the beauty of “B”….that is the algorithm here 🙂

Tere bina bhi kyaa jeenaa…..what is life without you?

March 21, 2012

I’ve heard this song so many times, and liked it a lot, but somehow, it’s become so specially beautiful, and I’d like to share it….it touched my heart so deeply.

O sAthI rE, tErE binA bhi kyA jInA…

phUlOn mEn, kaliyOn mEn, sapnOn kI galiyOn mEn
tErE binA kuchh kahIn nA
tErE binA bhi kyaA jInA

O sAthI rE, tErE binA bhi kyA jInA..
tErE binA bhi kyA jInA

har dhadkan mEn pyAs hai terI, sAnsOn mEn tErI khushbU hai
is dhartI sE us ambar tak, mErI nazar mEn tU hI tU hai
pyAr yE tUtE nA …
pyAr yE tUtE nA, tU mujhsE rUthE nA, sAth ye chhUtE kabhI nA…
tErE binA bhi kyA jInA
O sAthI rE …

tujh bin jO(gan mErI ratEn, tujh bin mErE din banjAran
merA jIvan jaltI bUndEn, bujhe-bujhe mErE sapnE sArE
tEre binA mErI …
tEre binA mErI, mEre binA tErI, yE zindagI zindagI naA….
tErE binA bhi kyA jInA
O sAthI rE…

The “extra” stanza (that usually gets only sung in the movie and is not on the records) is:

jAnE kaisE anjAnE hI, An basA kOi pyAsE man mEn
apnA sab kuchh khO baitthE hain, pAgal man kE pAgalpan mEn…
dil kE afsAnE…
dil ke afsaane, mein jAnUn tU jAnE, aur ye jAnE koI nA….
tErE binA bhi kyA jInA
O saathI rE…

Rough translation:

Oh my friend, what is life without you?

In the flowers, in the buds, in the paths of dreams,
There is nothing anywhere without you…
What is life without you?

What is life without you?

In every heartbeat is the longing for you, every breath carries your perfume
From this earth to that sky, I can see only you.
May this love never cease
May this love never cease, may you never get angry with me, may our togetherness never lapse;

What is life without you?

Without you, my nights are hermit-like, my days without you are nomadic
My life seems like burning droplets, my dreams extinguished…
With you, my life, and without me, your life…this life is no life..

What is life without you?

O friend….what is life without you?

The “extra” stanza:

Wonder how, without knowing it, someone came to live in a yearning heart
I’ve lost everything of mine, in the madness of my mad mind
The tales of the heart…
I know them, and you do…but no one else does.

Two, no, three of my favourites…

March 15, 2012

Franz Lizst is a composer whose works (I mean, those that I know of!)I like…and one of my great favourites is this wonderful cartoon of Tom and Jerry, which uses Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, S.244/2, the second in a set of 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies…the others are, alas, not very well-known.

Imagine the creativity that lets animation and all those visual gags, be set to the strict time-frame of the rhapsody…..

Many Tom’n’Jerry cartoons won Academy Awards, and they deserved them….these cartoons date back to the 40’s, I think.