Friday, March 05, 2010

Mannippaya ? Translation & Commentary

I just had to translate this song from Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaya. I think Kavingyar Thamarai has produced an incredible piece of poetry that defines the characters Goutham Menon has created. In my humble opinion, she has joined the league of Kavingyar Vaali, and Variamuthu, in poetic brilliance and metaphorically conveying the feelings and emotions of the characters.

I felt that I cannot do justice to the poem, without a commentary. So I have put the interpreted-translation within [square brackets], the lyrics are in italics, my commentary in normal text.

I have not seen this movie at the time of writing this commentary & translation.

AR Rehman, what can I say ? except Thank you god !

Girl:

kadalinil meenaga IrunthavL naan

unakkena karai thaandi VanthavaL Thaan.

Thudithirunthen Tharaiyinile

Thirumbivitten Kadalidame.

[I am a fish in the waters,

Yes, I crossed the shores, for you

Now I (Realize that) am (suffering like) a fish out of water!

(Alas) I had to go back to the waters]

The above stanza tells the complete story; the story of the girl & the boy, from the point of view of the girl.

It exposes the dilemma of the girl. It also talks about the character of the girl. She liked something, She even goes to get it, Now that she actually has got it, she realizes that the cost of having it is too high and she can’t afford it, and with a heavy heart she decides to go back, leaving something that she wanted (wants) ; a practical, mature lady, who gives priority to logic than to emotions. I think you can almost say it the other way, i.e. – she is logical and practical but gets influenced by emotions too, that’s the reason she came out of the sea/waters. It’s lose-lose situation for her, and she chooses to minimize the impact by choosing the lesser loss. Another dimension to that is, the fact that she is able to sacrifice something that she wanted to honour some values.

A very gray and complex character – Is she bad? Is she good? – I think she is just human.

I can almost bet, her sun sign is Scorpio J

OrunaaL Sirithen

MarunaaL Veruthen

Unai Naan Kollamal Kondru puthaithen,

Mannippaya ?

[ One day I smiled

The next day, I hated (myself)

I killed you...softly,

Will you be able to forgive me?]

The second line is the best one since, it does not say explicitly whether she hated the fact that she smiled in first place? Or She hated him ? Or she hates herself for smiling ?

– a question that is left to the reader/listener to figure out – I feel that the character of the girl is such that she hates herself for smiling (accepting the fact that she is smitten by him)

Boy:

kanne thadumaari nadanthen
noolil aadum mazhayaagi ponen
unnal thaan kalaignaai aaneney
tholai thoorathil veLicham nee
unai nokkiye enai eerkiraaye

[I’ve lost my sense of balance,

I‘ve become a marionette (like) rain (that rains tears at every yank of the string),

You made an artist out of me,

You are my distant light,

You draw me closer to you]

The boy feels he is completely lost his sense of balance, direction without his love.

The second line literally translates to “I have become rain that swings by a string” – I am unable to convincingly interpret this line. Does Thamarai mean that he is hanging on by the last string, and his collapse/breakdown is imminent, should the string break?

An interpretation is that, he feels like a marionette, being manipulated, with no control over his own self, helpless, and rains tears at every yank of the string ? – I am tempted to go with this.

melum melum urugi urugi
unai yeNi yengum
idhayathai enna seiven ?

[My heart melts, Yearning for you

What can I do (to my heart)? I am clueless!]

Girl:

odum neeril ore alai thaan naan
uLLey uLLa eeram nee thaan
varam kidaithum naan thavara vitten
mannippaaya anbey

[I am a wave that makes up the water flow,

(But) you are the moisture that makes up the water,

I ruined my chance of using the boon, (that I got)

Will you pardon me, dear?]

Boy:

kaatrile aadum kagitham naan
neethaan ennai kaditham aakkinaai
anbil thodangi anbil mudikkiren
en kalangarai vilakkamey

[(I was like) A piece of (worthless) paper, caught up in a breeze,

You transformed me into a letter (purpose and direction)

Started with love, Want to end up with (my) love,

Oh, my beacon (of hope)]

Again, the boy says it in no unclear terms that, she gives meaning and purpose to him and his life.

He says he was a piece of paper, floating about in a breeze of air, without any direction.

He says that the girl has given him a meaning and sense of direction by comparing himself with a letter.

He started out his journey with love in his heart, and he wants to end his journey with his love, and he sees her as a beacon of hope.

Girl:

oru naal sirithen
maru naal veruthen
unnai naan kollamal kondru puthaithene
mannippaaya? mannippaaya?
mannippaaya? mannippaaya? mannippaaya?

[ One day I smiled

The next day, I hated (myself)

I killed you...softly,

Will you be able to forgive me?]


Thirukkural :

Thamari has managed to pull off a good surprise by using couple of ThirukkuraLs to give some context that underpins the mood and the story.

anbirkum undo aazhaikkum thaazh
aarvalar pun kann neer poosal tharum


[There is no lock that can hold back true love,

(Even if you find such a lock) the tears rolling down the cheeks, exposes the real feelings.]


anbilaar ellam thamakkuriyar anbudayaar
enbum uriyar pirarkku


[Loveless people are Selfish,

(On the contrary) Those who love are selfless to the core]

pulambal enasendren pullinen nenjam
kalathal uruvadhu kandu


I am working on these two lines J any help is welcome. I am not even sure if these lines are correctly captured.

charanam 2

Girl:

yen en vaazhvil vandhaai kanna nee ?
povaayo kaanal neer pole thondri ?
anaivarum urangidum iravenum neram
enakkadhu thalayanai nanaithidum neram

[Why, oh dear, why did you happen in my life?

How I wish, if you were a Mirage?

My nights are spent in silent tears.]

Again the second stanza is simply superb. Usually, we use Mirage to imply something that appears to be true, but here Thamari uses it other way around and wishes that something that is true, to go away like a Mirage. This stanza is poetically describes the state of denial the girl is in.

Girl:

oru naal sirithen
maru naal veruthen
unnai naan kollamal kondru puthaithene
mannippaaya?

[ One day I smiled

The next day, I hated (myself)

I killed you...softly,

Will you be able to forgive me?]


Boy:
kanne thadumaari nadanthen
noolil aadum mazhayaagi ponen
unnal thaan kalaignaai aaneney
tholai thoorathil velicham nee
unai nokkiye enai eerkiraaye


[I’ve lost my sense of balance,

I‘ve become a marionette (like) rain (that rains tears at every yank of the thread),

You made an artist out of me,

You are my distant light,

You draw me closer to you]


melum melum urugi urugi
unai enni yengum
idhayathai enna seiven

melum melum urugi urugi

unai enni yengum
idhayathai enna seiven
ohoho unai enni yengum
idhayathai enna seiven

[My heart melts, Yearning for you

What can I do (to my heart)? I am clueless!]

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