Wednesday, October 21, 2009

அக்கினிக் குஞ்சு (The fireball)

This poem was my introduction to Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathi (மகாகவி சுப்பிரமணிய பாரதி). Some things in life are never forgotten, for me, this is one. This is a fiery poem for a call to Indian freedom wrapped in an idiom. This is the man who can be termed as the one who brought about a renaissance for modern Tamil poetry and literature.

அக்கினிக் குஞ்சொன்று கண்டேன் - அதை
அங்கொரு காட்டிலோர் பொந்திடை வைத்தேன்;
வெந்து தணிந்தது காடு; - தழல்
வீரத்திற் குஞ்சென்று மூப்பென்று முண்டோ?
தத்தரிகிட தத்தரிகிட தித்தோம்...

A loose translation of the poem follows, but some aspects do get lost during the process.

I found a small fireball
And placed it in a forest burrow
The forest burned and smouldered
     The daring fire in its wake, knows not the old or the young
     Thath-tharikita thath-tharikita thath-thOm
     (The sound of a Shiva Thandavam)

There was a Tamil movie on the life of Bharathi (2000) where Bharathi was enacted by Sayaji Shinde, a Maharashtrian actor. I am not sure if anybody else could have been a better fit. Sayaji lived and breathed Bharathi as we know him, throughout the film - the gait, the energy, the turban, the eyes, the attitude, the desperation. Some of Bharathi's beautiful lesser known poems brought to life by the brilliant musical score of Ilaiyaraaja. A movie worth watching as it is shorn of all jingoism with brilliant acting and effervescent music.


gils said...

nicepost and yeah..lovelymovie

RamMmm said...

Thanks Gils. Loved பாரதியார் songs from old days. In Doordarshan of long time back, they used to put some of his songs of which one was "காக்கைச் சிறகினிலே", which had beautiful visuals and a brilliant rendering (don't know who) causing always a 'lump in the throat' moment at the end of it.

gils said...

atha barathiyaar peran rajkumar barathi paadi ketrukeengala..taap kilaas

RamMmm said...

illai. I'll look out for it and definitely hear it. Rajkumar Bharathi paatu veru sila kaettu irukkaen, but not this one.

Uttara said...

Suttum Vizhichudar dhaan Kannamma Sooriya Chandirano AND Chinnanjiru Kizhiye Kannamma

If I have to give credits to my mother for something, I will give it for making me mug Barathiyar Poems. It didn't make sense much then, but right now, it is really really nice to see a line, (like the heading of your post) recall and relish the rest of the poem reflexively!

Great man.

I have Hariharan's Suttum Vizhichudar thaan in Kandukondein Kandukondein as my caller tune. Amazing music and amazing lyrics. So bold!

RamMmm said...

Those are beautiful songs Uttara! Mothers can always be credited for lots and lotsa things, but usually left uncredited or taken for granted. :-) Nice that you could relate to this post.