Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Suttum Vizhi Chudar Thaan - சுட்டும் விழிச் சுடர்தான்

After a long time ...

One more translation of a 'soaring poem' from Subramanya Bharathi.

If emotions had arms and legs of its own, they would be dancing a perpetual ballet to the way Bharathi plays with them and his use of words of imagery.

Kannamma is his muse and there are quite a few poems addressed to her.

Here is a rendering of this poem by Hariharan in Kandukondaen Kandukondaen, with the background score by A R Rahman. It is an external link to Raaga, which may or may not work.

சுட்டும் விழிச் சுடர் தான் கண்ணம்மா சூரிய சந்திரரோ
வட்டக் கரிய விழி கண்ணம்மா வானக்கருமை கொலோ
பட்டுக் கருநீலப் புடவை பதித்த நல்வயிரம்
நட்ட நடுநிசியில் தெரியும் நட்சத்திரங்களடீ

சோலை மலரொளியோ நினது சுந்தரப் புன்னகை தான்
நீலக் கடலலையே நினது நெஞ்சின் அலைகளடீ
கோலக் குயிலோசை உனது குரலின் இனிமையடீ
வாலைக் குமரியடீ கண்ணம்மா மருவக்காதல் கொண்டேன்

சாத்திரம் பேசுகிறாய் கண்ணம்மா சாத்திரம் ஏதுக்கடீ
ஆத்திரம் கொண்டவர்க்கே கண்ணம்மா சாத்திரமுண்டோடீ
மூத்தவர் சம்மதியில் வதுவை முறைகள் பின்பு செய்வோம்
காத்திருப்பேனோடீ இது பார் கன்னத்து முத்தமொன்று

And a translation below, that evokes maybe no more than a quarter of what the original does.

The blazing radiance of your eyes, Kannamma
    Do the Sun and the Moon derive thence?
The round black pupils of your eyes, Kannamma
    Do the dark skies imbibe whence?
The silken saree, hued a midnight blue,
    With glittering stones embedded bright;
Are the twinkling stars seen,
    In the darkest hour of the night;

A bright floral garden,
    Reflects in your lovely smile.
The blue waves of the sea,
    Resonates like your heart.
The gay koel's notes
    Likens to the sweetness of your voice.
On you, the young maiden, Kannamma
    Envelops my encompassing love.

Ideology, that you talk, Kannamma,
    You need it not!
For those in a tearing haste, Kannamma,
    Credo is sought not!
With the elders assent,
    The wedding rites, we shall follow yonder.
How can I wait till then?
    Look here!, a kiss on your cheek, I wonder.


zeno said...

Gajini la vara sutrum vizhi sudare eppa translate pannuvinga?

On a serious note, why not a garage project of translating all bharathi songs. ??

Srivats said...

Love it! I love bharathiyar songs and esp this one, the rendition in the movie was so soul stirring. What a treat when I opened ur blog after so many days! Thanks Ramm :P ok secret wil not be revealed.

R-ambam said...

Wow ! konnuteenga poanga :) Actually I tried matching these words to the tune .. that kinda rhymes too.. or thats how u derived these ?!

but neria words english la irukka illayanu thaan me the confeeson :))

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Just today I was listening to Bharatiyar's Kakai Chiraginile...I love the song and his rendition.


A journey called Life said...

Thanks so much for posting this.. one of my top Bharatiyar picks this is.. try getting ur hands on (if u r interested in Carnatic Music) Smt Bombay Jaishri's rendition of Bharatiyar's songs.

Ramesh said...

Completely true - poet par excellence and a real genius. Your translation is good RamMmm - really very very good.

Swaram said...

Really nice of u to translate these masterpieces for us RamMmm. Thatz one of my fav songs. Thanks for sharing :)

RamMmm said...

@zeno - suttum vizhi chudarevai translate pannalaam, eppo mudiyumo, appo. :-) I can try a personal garage project, maybe start with a few other poems of his and see how my weekends go.

@Srivats - Thanks. It was indeed stirring in that movie. And more so, when Hariharan sings it impromptu with minimal instrumentation. Lovely, it is. While looking for MP3s of this song, found a version from an amateur singer do a mindblowing rendition (almost exceeds Hariharan's) with just tamburaa as the background.

Secrets are anyway to be kept, until they are no more. :-)

RamMmm said...

@R-ambam - Thanks. The rhyming was to an extent unconscious. Tried to set the translation to an ending rhyme meter, but left it.

Yaenga appdi sollitteenga (confeeson)? Agmark English words (some are medieval English) thaan use panniyirukkaen. (Reference: Merriam-Webster www.m-w.com) :-)

RamMmm said...

@My3 - I translated that song sometime back. Lovely one, it is. That rendition is from the movie Aezhaavadhu Manidhan. Lends itself to so many raagams.


RamMmm said...

@AJCL - Thanks for the note. I have heard Unnikrishnan's album and a few songs from Bombay Jayashree, but not the full album. Will do so sometime when I find it.

@Ramesh - Thanks. Surely, Bharathi energized and revolutionized Tamizh poetry. Some of his poems are so evocative. I am doing my smallest bit by translating them into English trying to keep the original emotions intact in the translation as well.

@Swaram - Thanks to you too for sharing your thoughts.

chennaigirl said...

I was nostalgic for a moment. It brought back my memories of preparing for tamil elocution (bt win pannale athu vera vishayam).
You are at ease both with english as well tamil. I really adore u.

Anonymous said...

last rendu line thaan konjam literal translation mathiri aidichi..michamelaam super..romb nalla words set agiruku..kalakitel pongo

RamMmm said...

@chennaigirl - Thanks. Indha Bharathiyaar paatai use panneengala appo? Winning is secondary to participation. Naan padichchittu irundha kaalaththula non-techie event participationna opposite sidela ohdi poyiduvaen. :)

@Anonymous (gils) - Thanks. I'll see if I can de-literalize/re-word those lines. :) (but then almost all lines are close to literal). There are some transcreations of this song (interesting word combining translation+re-creation, putting your own mood/view/touches/interpretations to it while translating) that are very good.

Ennanga ungala [anony] aakkittaanga? Firewall bypass / proxy site ellaam nallaa vaelai seyyudhu pola! :-)

Matangi Mawley said...

very nice translation.. being an ardent bharathi fan- i loved it! i strongly believed that had only bharathi translated his works into english like tagore, he d hav also got the nobel! such imagination..! my most fav. words of bharathi is panchali sabatham- for the sheer strength in his words.. "peyarasu seithaal pinanthinnum saaththirangal"(if a rich man does things nt suppose to be done, even the saasthraas wd lie, to bend in his favour...).. also this comapritive poetry by him-- "Paayum oli nee enakku.." in that he says- "veeramadi nee enakku, vetriyadi naan unakku.."(the meaning in the gr8er sense is- u'r love does nt make me weak, it makes me strong!)--> this, is the power of bharathi!

Thanks for translating!

RamMmm said...

@Matangi Mawley - Thanks. Maybe he could have won a Nobel, had he done that (at least could have saved him out of his penury). What I love about Bharathi is the wild swings of emotions across his poetry and the man himself, fiery to mellow, soaring to depressive, fluid to rough, commanding to meek, acceptance to dismissive. I can't classify him into any specific style.

ambulisamma said...

First time in your blog and a lovely translation of my fav Bharathi.This song is one from that legend.My all time favorite is "thedi soru nitham thindru,pala chinnam chiru kadhaigal pesi",an excellent piece of lyrics.

RamMmm said...

@ambulisamma - Welcome. Thanks. There is a translation for that as well at http://thoughtrickles.blogspot.com/2009/10/blog-post.html. Slightly weak translation, but could be improved better.

Click on the "Subramanya Bharathi" tag and you'll get two more translations. :)

Uttara said...

was my caller tune!

RamMmm said...

Now it isn't, I presume, from your wording. ;-)

Uttara said...

Now it is "Give me some sunshine, Give me some rain, give me another chance, I want to grow up once again"

Will change it in an hour after the bugging viva gets over :-/

Anonymous said...

mesmerizing song! thanks for translating..god bless!

Basudeen said...

மிகவும் அருமையான ஒரு காதல் பாடல்,காதல் உணர்ச்சி மேலிடும்

Prasanth Rajendiran said...

Below is the rendition by Maharajapuram santhanam


Anonymous said...


Pavithraa Swaminathan said...

Wow this is too beautiful RamMM or ram! This is one of my favourite songs and i was looking for a translation and google shot out your link to me. Right in the first (Go all yayyy) and this is so beautiful! Keep writing more. will visit this space a bit often from now on! :P Good day!

Tulasi Ramachandran said...

Here is my version of this beautiful Bharatiyar Poem scored by ARR- https://youtu.be/eNMd3JQvSf0

Sen Maran said...