Women and Poetry

Indhiraiyo, ivaL sundhariyo, deiva Rambhaiyo, mohiniyo?
Manam mundhiyatho, vizhi munthiyatho, karam munthiyatho yenavE?
Uyar sandhira, soodar, kurumbala, veesurar sankaNi veethiyilE,
MaNi painthodi nAri, vasantha oyyAri, porpanthu koNdAdinaLE.

One fine day, Aravindh, my friend, put the last two lines as his status in gchat. I happened to hear it once again yesterday. The literary quality was inspiring and the wicked mind in me began wondering if any of the present lyricists are capable of such beauty. As it turns out, none of them are. Running a check, we happened to find out that this is a verse (viruththam it is called in Tamizh) from the celebrated 18th century dance drama, ThirukutrAla Kuravanji, written by Thirukooda RAsappa KavirAyar. After a day’s struggle to find the meaning of hitherto unheard words, we zeroed in on the meaning and as it happened, he translated the poem into a rough text and I improvised it into a poem in English.

The situation in the movie is such that the hero and the heroine are separated. They meet at one point and all the pent up love (viraha thAbam in Tamizh) finds a vent through this song.

The poem originally describes a woman in the poet’s imagination.

What was she- A queen, a nymph or a divine beauty of idyllic charm?
What reached out first- My enthralled mind, enchanted eyes or unsure arm?
At her services wait the cradling moon, heavenly folk and the mystic lore in an orchard lined hall.
Distinct amongst floral vine was this ethereal woman fondling a golden ball.



Filed under Rahman, Semmozhi

10 responses to “Women and Poetry

  1. BK

    It’s really nice to know the translation Of Tamil words not heard in recent times. Really good job
    Venki: BK, Thank you 🙂

  2. Very good translation.

  3. Krupa

    Hello, very nicely done. That is some good curiosity there. I didnt even know the lyrics all that well beyond the first two lines.

  4. Olivia Ceppetelli

    I really love poetry, Poetry helps me express my own feelings. I usually write my own poetry in a scratch paper and a small notebook. ‘;;””

    Many thanks

  5. Pingback: Kadhalan: An Ode to Musical Romance | Rahmania

  6. prem

    Good effort in translation. But the translation is wrong. Kuttrala kuravanji is a poem of Kurathi’s(the tribal girl) love on Lord Shiva at Kuttralam named ‘Kurumbala Eesar’.
    So the 3rd line refers to Shiva – its Kurumbala Eesar who is seen with a crescent moon and conch.
    Also 4th line – mani painthodi nari – (Nari – Kurathi) refers to the kurathi who wears a garland of beads.
    The context is the girl playing ball game in the streets of the temple of Lord Shiva.

    • aah thank you. My attempt was based on a text I read that said veesurar though the film reads it as Eesar. Mild doubt was nagging from then till now. Thanks again 🙂

      • prem

        Listen to Kannadasan’s speech on ‘Ilakiyathil Kadhal Kannadasan 4’ in youtube. This is where he talks about the rhythm sense in Kuttrala Kuravanji. He receites the poem where the poet describes the girl playing the ball and the rhythamic sound can be felt like the sound of a real ball bouncing in rhythm. I don’t think the song fits the context in movie, but music does and its good to hear, thats all 🙂

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