Saturday, March 17, 2012

Perariyathoru Nombarathe - Sneham

This is probably a song which has not got its due. 
As simple as it may appear, the song conveys a strong sense of pathos - it's hard not to be moved by the undercurrent of pain that prevails. I just love the simplicity of the lyrics - have you noticed?
The entire poem that is this song follows a single pattern -
<Metaphor>-ne <Subject> ennu vilichu.

That's it - whether it's the Pallavi or Charanam. Actually, there's just six sentences - that's all of it! And in spite of the same structure, the tunes are different. And what metaphors! 
  • A nameless (or indescribable) pain is Love.
  • The pot of honey that breaks as it falls is a Tear (And just think it through - we'd say tear is saline, at best. And yet the lyricist calls it sweet - by comparing it to honey! And the imagery - a tear drop breaking is compared to a pot breaking - just superb!)
  • The golden, ephemeral sun's ray is Imagination (It probably hints at how attractive and yet fleeting imagination is - here before, gone now.)
  • The injured bamboo that cries is called a Flute (here, I love how the lyricist compares the sound of the flute, i.e. the music that comes from it as a painful plea; possibly also indicating that the bamboo goes through pain as it transforms into a flute - and the music that comes out of it is indicative of that pain).
  • The colours mixed into the tears of the clouds forms a Rainbow (I think this metaphor is sheer genius - it's like combining Science and Art! We know that light when refracted and dispersed by moisture droplets in the air causes a rainbow. He draws the metaphor in such a way that it looks poetic, and yet is logical in some ways).
  • The unforgettable 'silent' song (note the oxymoron) is the Mind (I am not sure I've got the essence of this comparison - maybe the lyricist is trying to say that the mind remembers all - and yet it holds all of the memories, which remain in our hearts like an unforgettable song).
This song is indeed a case of less is more.

Credits -
Movie: Sneham (1998)
Song: Perariyathoru Nombarathe
Lyrics: Yousuf Ali Kechery
Music: Perumbavoor G Ravindranath
Singer: K J Yesudas

Lyrics -
Perariyathoru nombarathe Premam ennaro vilichu,
Mannil veenudayunna thenkudathe Kannuneer ennum vilichu.

Thankathin niramulla maayamareechiye Sankalppam ennu vilichu,
Murivettu kezhunna paazhmulam thandine Muralika ennum vilichu.

Manimegha bhaashpathil chaalicha varnathe Maarivil ennu vilichu,
Marakkuvanavatha mouna sangeethathe Maanasam ennum vilichu.


Anonymous said...

Awesome incredible superb.... i don't know how better to describe this post of yours. The best translation of a music i have seen. Send it to the lyrisict, he would also be surprised to see this...

Vinitha Valsalan said...

That's a very generous comment, indeed :)
I don't know about sending it to the lyricist - the minimum I can hope is that I got what he wanted to convey right!

BaD Coders said...

paranju arriyikkan akathe oru feeling aanu ee pattu kelkumbol eniku undakunnathu.
Your effort to translate the real essence of the feelings conveyed by the lyricist is worth appreciation. Great job. Expecting more from you.
All the best.

BaD Coders said...

Have you considered translating the song "Anju sarangalum porathe" from the movie Parinayam?

Vinitha Valsalan said...

@ Bad Coders - Thank you. More for reminding me of my own blog here! It's been a long while since I wrote anything here. Glad you found this post interesting.

Normally, I don't select a song and then go about writing. I hear it or get reminded of it, and then when that 'feeling' hits me, I go on to write. The song you have suggested is indeed a really good one (especially the lyrics)- good choice! I can't promise it, but it may come up here ;)

Thanks for stopping by, once again!

Anonymous said...

I like this song and ur explanation is simply superb !

Gopal M said...

I came across this song only 3-4 years ago (after being away from Kerala for a big part of my life) and I was, for lack of a better way to put it, astounded by the lyrics.

In reference to your third bullet, if I may take the liberty to add my thoughts (which could be completely wrong), Wikipedia takes pains to distinguish between Mareechi (son of Brhama, with the meaning of his name being "ray of light" exactly as in your elegant translation), and Mareecha (son of Thataka and uncle of Ravana), but at least in some contexts I came across, "Mareechi" is used in place of "Mareecha". I cannot claim to know what Yusuf Ali's thoughts were, but if he meant in the latter sense, then "thankathin niramulla maya mareechi" would refer to the appearance of Mareecha as the illusory golden deer in the ashrama to entice Seetha (the abduction plot) - i.e., as Seetha's sankalpa or fantasy or imagination, which was only to bring her perpetual distress, for the rest of her life... Or, could this be a case of deliberate poetic obfuscation... Either way it is amazing how so much of mythological classism and its metaphorical implication are packed into these three seemingly simple words !!!

And he concludes the few mighty lines thus - "Marakkuvan aavatha mauna sangeethathe maanasmennum vilichu" (our sense of self being that continual melody which is silent, yet which we feel) - I think this is the most touching...


Vinu said...

@Gopal M, Mareechi here probably refers to marreechika - Mirage.

Vinitha Valsalan said...

Thanks Anon. My reply is (very) late. Thanks for dropping by!

Vinitha Valsalan said...

Hello Gopal and Vinu - Thanks for stopping by. And indeed, now that I think of it, in light of what you both said - I realise it could be a pun of sorts!

Coz 'Mareecha' the Deer was indeed a 'Mareechi' (as transient as a ray of light) and hence in essence is a 'Mareechika', a mirage. It's that imagination that lured Sita after all! Ironically, I am seeing these comments on this post and replying after the man who wrote this has left all of us!

Vinitha Valsalan said...

Thanks Anon. My reply is (very) late. Thanks for dropping by!

SREEHARI P V said...

Yes it is very sad that the lyricist has left us. But I'm so sure that as long as malayalees exist he will be remembered for the wonderful words that he penned. I was doing a Google search to get the meaning of"anju sharangalum porathe" lyrics, again by the legendary Yousuf Ali Kechery when I came across your blog post. To be very honest I have never felt more happy after reading a blog post and also never have I ever felt compelled to comment on a blog post. I hope one day you will do the explanation for "anju sharangalum". I find it amazing that this song was released in the year I was born and yet here I am searching the internet to understand the essence of it's lyrics. Such is the greatness of the work done by these legends. Thank you for this blog post.

Vinitha Valsalan Rakesh said...

I'm more happy that you commented than you were in finding this! Thanks for doing it and making it a point to let a humble author know. Thank you for that. I am touched that my inactive blog garnered your interest, even though you didn't find what you were looking for.
You're the second person who put a comment here requesting translation "anju sharangalum".
And I also found your quest interesting, because of the reason you stated. Looks like I may have to take you up on it!