Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nalladhor Veenai Seidhae - நல்லதோர் வீணைசெய்தே

This is an attempt at translating another of Bharathiyar's evocative poems, Nalladhor Veenai Seidhae. It has been sitting under translation for a long time and I managed to close it today. Bharathi is pained at his weakness (a projection of the country at that time) and begs God (Shiva-Shakthi) for strength of body and soul, character, belief, enlightenment.

The original ...
நல்லதோர் வீணைசெய்தே-அதை
நலங்கெடப் புழுதியில் எறிவதுண்டோ?
சுடர்மிகும் அறிவுடன் படைத்துவிட்டாய்,
வல்லமை தாராயோ,இந்த
மாநிலம் பயனுற வாழ்வதற்கே?
சொல்லடி சிவசக்தி!-நிலச்
சுமையென வாழ்ந்திடப் புரிகுவையோ?
விசையுறு பந்தினைப்போல்-உள்ளம்
வேண்டிய படிசெலும் உடல்கேட்டேன்
நசையறு மனங்கேட்டேன்-நித்தம்
நவமெனச் சுடர்தரும் உயிர்கேட்டேன்
தசையினைத் தீ சுடினும்-சிவ
சக்தியை பாடும்நல் அகங்கேட்டேன்,
அசைவறு மதிகேட்டேன் இவை
அருள்வதில் உனக்கெதுந் தடையுலதோ?

And the translation ...
Crafted a Veena, exquisite
Cast away to rot, would I?
Tell me, ye ShivaShakthi,
Having molded me, radiant and wise;
Endow strength, wouldn't you?
For this hallowed earth to prosper;
Ye ShivaShakthi, Realize, do you?
Being encumbered, living off the land;
Like a ball propelled - I beseech,
A body, to follow the heart's quest;
A mind shorn of desire, I ask;
Anew each day, for a soul shining, I pray;
On flames that singe, regardless
A spirit to extol ShivaShakthi, I implore;
Unwavering intellect, I bid;
Hampered to bless these, Are you?

Here is a link to a rendering by Rajkumar Bharathi, the grandson of Bharathi, in a different raaga than the other renditions.

Another moving rendition of the same poem from the movie Bharathi by Mano and Ilaiyaraaja. It plays in the background during his funeral.


RS said...

Voh!! My most favorite Bharathiyar song and as usual, you rock with your translation, RaMmmm. I wonder if anybodyelse could do such justice to the translation. And, it sure evokes the emotion that the tamil version does....Thank you for sharing these. And please do more....


Matangi Mawley said...

u know- not even a day has passed without me thinking about the lines of this poetry!!

sometimes there is so much substandard stuff happening around you.. you do what you can.. but what you do is not taken in! and it gets worse.. and you feel- that you remain to be the only person in the whole wide world who realizes that whatever is happening won't do any one any good! and all i can say to myself is:

"நல்லதோர் வீணைசெய்தே-அதை
நலங்கெடப் புழுதியில் எறிவதுண்டோ?
சுடர்மிகும் அறிவுடன் படைத்துவிட்டாய்..."

amazing poetry!

the translation has come out very well!

you should try translating more bharathi's works.. :)

zeno said...

Welcome Back BOSS :P
We want more translations :)

Anonymous said...

sooberu...kalakiputeenga esamaan..semma translation


RamMmm said...

@RS-:-) Thanks. The translation took its own time with long breaks in-between. Hopefully will do more.

@Matangi Mawley-I presume that your glum feeling is at the work place. Hopefully, it is a passing cloud (:-),a cliché, but nevertheless). Thanks for the comment. Hope I pull myself to translate more.

@zeno-:-) Thanks, and yes, I'll try

@gilsu-:-) Thanks-o-thanks

Anu said...

Awesome translation, Ram. Do more of this, please.

Ramesh said...

Superb translation - knowing both languages I can see what a fine translation this is.

Great to see you back in action.

RamMmm said...

@Anu-Thanks. :-) Maybe another 2 more before Dec 11, the birthday of Bharathi.

@Ramesh-Thanks sire. :-) Will try to be regular.

R-ambam said...

how come I didnt get updates.

Beautiful ! much appreciate ur efforts.. but Bharathi and tamil wins :)
"navamena sudar tharum uyir kaettein"

RamMmm said...

@R-ambam-I am not sure. Maybe something croaked in the RSS feed. :(

Thanks. :) Definitely, Tamizh wins. Certain nuances can never be captured in translation and I tried to do it to the best of my efforts. I doubt if Wordsworth or Shelley be translated into Tamizh will retain their flair.