Friday, November 26, 2010

Vaendum - வேண்டும்

An interesting poem from Bharathi, from the collection ஞானப் பாடல்கள் (Poems of Wisdom), titled வேண்டும் [Vaendum, Need (or) Want, loosely translated]. The word வேண்டும் can be interpreted to be either a need, in a mellow sense (as in 'You need these') or as a pre-requisite requirement, in a stricter sense (as in 'You should have these').


மனதி லுறுதி வேண்டும்,
வாக்கினி லேயினிமை வேண்டும்;
நினைவு நல்லது வேண்டும்,
நெருங்கின பொருள் கைப்பட வேண்டும்;
கனவு மெய்ப்பட வேண்டும்,
கைவசமாவது விரைவில் வேண்டும்;
தனமும் இன்பமும் வேண்டும்,
தரணியிலே பெருமை வேண்டும்.
கண் திறந்திட வேண்டும்,
காரியத்தி லுறுதி வேண்டும்;
பெண் விடுதலை வேண்டும்,
பெரிய கடவுள் காக்க வேண்டும்,
மண் பயனுற வேண்டும்,
வானகமிங்கு தென்பட வேண்டும்;
உண்மை நின்றிட வேண்டும்.
ஓம் ஓம் ஓம் ஓம்.

The translation of mine is as follows. I blurred the distinction between connecting and separating clauses in the original sentences and hopefully kept the meaning intact. I have played with the dichotomy of the word Vaendum (வேண்டும்) to translate it, as some lines could be looked at in both ways.

Thou shalt

Thou shalt require
    strength of mind,
Thou shalt require
    pleasantness in words,
 Thou shalt require
    fairness of thoughts;
Thou shalt achieve
    what you set out to,
Thou shalt achieve
    what you dreamt of,
Thou shalt achieve
    ownership by agility;
Thou shalt possess
    riches and joy,
Thou shalt possess
    pride for this Earth,
Thou shalt possess
    an openness of mind;
Thou shalt value
    the belief in your work,
Thou shalt value
    the freedom of womanhood,
Thou shalt value
    the auspices of the Supreme;
Thou shalt have
    an impact [a use] on this Earth,
Thou shalt have
    a view here of the heavens,
Thou shalt have
    the truth to stand;
Om Om Om Om

The following is a rendition of this poem from the movie "Sindhu Bhairavi" by K J Yesudas in his own inimitable way. [You may need to click twice]


Ramesh said...

Such wise words from Bharathiyar. If we shall have a "use in this earth" , we would have led a fulfilled life indeed.

RamMmm said...

Yes. Such a clarity of thought in some of his poems. Immortal!

gils said...

mannn payanura vendumna...bountiful land venumnu thaana artham varum?? illayo? use in this earth unga view of it a?

RamMmm said...

Could be looked at that way as well. :-) I would have associated the sentence the way you looked at it (as bountiful), if I had seen any of the words sezhumai, valamai (செழுமை, செம்மை, செழித்தல், வளமை, வளம்) or derivatives thereof. My look at it was that the earth (world) should benefit from your presence as the word payan (பயன்) relates closely to usefulness, value, impact etc, and ergo my interpretation. I could have used impact there instead of use.

Madhusoodhanan said...

good work..
keep it up.
Your choice of words are good in doing justice to the original. But a little more effort could make your translation stand on it's own.

RamMmm said...

@Madhusoodhanan-Welcome and Thanks. I'll first do something with translation and then move towards transcreation where the translation would be an interpretation of my own and with similes, keeping the meaning the same. :-)

R-ambam said...

isnt that a beautiful song?? is it composed by 'Mahakavi' too? or is it Ilayaraja? :)

nice translation .. I felt a few lines on liberation of women, pride of the land sound non-sync.
Bharathiyar a kekrathukku dil illa, avarum illa..athaan ungala kekkrein :D

RamMmm said...

:-D Thanks. That tune must have been set by Ilaiyaraaja. Bharathi's song didn't seem to have a raagam listed along with it (as he did for some of his songs)

Bharathi must have used those female emancipation comments more as a generalization in those times. He did have Chellammal suffer for no fault of hers with his quirks. I didn't find anything wrong in his pride for motherland attitude, though he moved to Pondy to escape being charged with treason. Yaedho kaetteenga, sonnanen. :-)

Matangi Mawley said...

"mann payanura vendum"...

"an impact [a use] on this Earth,"

i really loved this bit of translation here! bharathi sure knows what he was writing about... u know- before, when i read this poetry, this line escaped my mind.. but this translation here was like a jolt back.. as though saying "woov... see.. this is what he meant!"

i used to take "mann payanura ..." for something like "make use of..." like tht... bt this is good! Very good!


RamMmm said...

@Matangi-:-) :-) Thanks.

RS said...

Boss, nice literal translation. Somehow, I donot get the emotion in the original. Like they say in ASS, "everything was perfect, your shruti, the lyrics etc, but the feel is missing" :D :D :D

PS: This is my humble opinion, boss. I'm sure I would not even manage to do half of what you did :D :D

RamMmm said...

@RS-Nothing to feel about. :-) I am aware that this poem doesn't lend itself to a translation easily, keeping the emotions intact. It was an exercise in interpretation. Maybe it is meant to be transcreated rather than being translated to hold the mood. Let me see. :-)

Neenga romba ASS paakkareengalo? I don't follow it much these days. But it is fun to predict and at times annoying to see that they all utter the same thing irrespective of how good or bad the singers do. :-(