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Lighter …

April 22, 2016

One of the best from 1991: love the slow motion picturization, the traditional family wedding everything:

So this is my dream song 🙂 always!

Kamal Hasan lends his voice to Ilayaraja’s music. Kamal gets the Palakkad slang very correct – the way he pronounces ‘naan’ as ‘nyaan’ – typical. Palakkad is a border town between Tamil Nad and Kerala and those who are from Palakkad and surrounding areas therefore speak a kind of mixed slang of Tamil & Mallu langauges (actually both are mostly similar. if you can master one south Indian tongue, you can understand all the 4 dravidian languages with ease).

The subtitles do not do justice to the verses: for instance, ‘thiruvonam’ does not literally mean ‘festival.’ Thiruvonam is one of the 27 celestial stars in Tamil/Hindu astrology – considered to be very auspicious. Weddings fixed on the star date are supposedly very lucky. What is said here is, the bride and the groom are to unite under the star of ‘Thiruvonam’ in a ritual wedding ceremony (which is a festive celebration). So there is no way what we express in Thamizh can be exactly translated into English. There are very fine nuances in Tamil – for every single English word there can be a dozen tamil words interpreting various degrees of the same verb/adjective. And every regional language in India adds its own stamp to the lingo – that is impossible to decipher unless you are a local exposed to the traditional, native culture. English language is universal and thanks to our exposure to way of life in the west via media, books etc., most of us can get nearly up to 100% of what really artists want to say in English in the other part of the world.

The same way ‘mohana raagam’ in the song refers to the carnatic tune ‘mohanam’ which is an ecstasy by itself which cannot be matched with an equivalent English term. “Keerthanam’ refers to ‘Kirtan’ again and is hardly just another catchy tune.

The lyricist (?) qualifies simple marriage/union of two into something very special and unique and not so routine and insipid as the translation portrays. Not blaming the interpreter – he has done a great job with what he could. Is it Vaali who penned this song?

So much of substance capsuled in my all-time favourite hit. ‘Pulari’ is another weighty tamil word not many might have heard of . It means ‘dawn’ – and the word generally can be found only in Tamil literature.  Or sometimes we may say ‘pozhudhu pulargaiyil’ meaning ‘when it dawns’ – but I have not come across ‘pulari’ directly in our everyday command/use of the language. I had to google and double-check.

‘Manmatha yogam’ is one more phrase – It means the Cupid rules (as per horoscope/kundali) (on which basis generally arranged marriages are fixed in India/south).

Beautiful dreamy one. You cannot put it better.


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