Wednesday, March 11, 2009

நல்லதோர் வீணை செய்தே - Nalladhore Veenai seydhaey (Wasted potential - poem and translation)

நல்லதோர் வீணை செய்தே - அதை 
நலங்கெடப் புழுதியில் எறிவதுண்டோ (நல்லதோர்)

சொல்லடி சிவசக்தி - எனைச் 
சுடர்மிகும் அறிவுடன் படைத்துவிட்டாய் 
வல்லமை தாராயோ - இந்த 
மாநிலம் பயனுற வாழ்வதற்கே 
சொல்லடி சிவசக்தி - நிலச் 
சுமையென வாழ்ந்திடப் புரிகுவையோ (நல்லதோர்)

விசையுருப் பந்தினைப் போல் - உள்ளம் 
வேண்டியபடி செய்யும் உடல் கேட்டேன் 
நசையறு மனம் கேட்டேன் - நித்தம் 
நவமெனச் சுடர் தரும் உயிர் கேட்டேன் ...உயிர் கேட்டேன் ...உயிர் கேட்டேன் 
தசையினைத் தீச்சுடினும் - சிவ
சக்தியைப் பாடும் நல்லகம் கேட்டேன் 
அசைவுறு மதி கேட்டேன் - இவை 
அருள்வதில் உனக்கேதும் தடையுளதோ (2)(நல்லதோர்)
--மகாகவி சுப்ரமணிய பாரதி

Nalladhore Veenai seydhaey - adhai
Nalamkeda puzhudhiyil Erivadhundo(Nalladhore)

Solladi Sivasakthi - enai
Sudarmigum arivudan padaitthuvittaay
Vallamai thaaraayo - indha 
maanilam payanura vaazhvadharkae
solladi sivasakthi - Nila
Chumaiyena vaazndhida puriguvaiyo(Nalladhore)

Visaiyaru pandhinaippOl - ullam
vEndiyabadi seyyum udal kEattaen
Nasaiyaru manam keattaen - Nittham
Navamena sudar tharum uyir keattaen ..uyir keattaen...uyir keattaen
thasaiyinai theecchudinum - siva 
sakthiyaip paadum nal akam keattaen
asaivaru madhi keattaen - ivai 
arulvadhil unakkEdhum thadaiyuladhO(Nalladhore)
--Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi


I am always weary of translations because i am always afraid that i would kill the soul of the original with my scratchy liguistic skills.This is the case even when i try to translate my own work.So when i think about translating the work of the Mahakavi himself,you can understand my mindset.But i want to do this so that non-Tamils can get a glimpse of the spirit of this great man's words and his thoughts which i admire so much.

Will Anybody make a divine beautiful veena,Only to throw it in the dust in the end?

Tell me Sivasakthi!! You are the one who created me with such vibrant intellect.
Give me the strength to use this and live for the betterment of this society
Tell me Sivasakthi!!Will I be yet another useless burden to this soil?

Like a ball in motion,i ask for my body to set into action to the orders of my heart
I ask for a mind without laziness
I ask for a soul that radiates wisdom all day,everyday
I ask for a mind that sings your glory even if my flesh is burnt with fire
I ask for a stable heart
What stops you from blessing me these basic requests?

"Nalladhore Veenai seydhey" is a very famous verse from Bharathi used in many occasions to bring out the feeling of wasted potential. In fact i came across an article about Vinod Kambli when i was googling with these words.I think that gives a nice idea abt the effect of this poem in the mind of tamils.
In this poem,the poet laments about his inability to realise his potential and to be useful for his society.One can promptly identify with the situation when we know we got the potential but just not enough to make a change.The poet has been beautifully able to bring out that frustration and guilt for not being the best one can be.The limitations can be many but the primary cause is the lack of resolve and discipline that plagues one too many.
The poem springs up in my memory many a times and the beauty of tamil and the word usage makes an indelible mark in my minds.I think the poem needs to be read in the original language to appreciate the nuances and spirit fully.
The poem has been sung with music in many tamil films whenever the situation of "wasted potential" comes into picture.Be it in love,career,or life itself.The song can also be found in the movie made on the great man(A must watch for all india/tamil/literature/philanthrophy lovers).

PS: Got the lyrics from here


இனியவள் புனிதா said...

Gud one

Preethi said...

Barathiyar is the greatest.. just love his poetry. I am from HJN.. saw your email with the pic links today.. you take awesome pics!! truly commendable!!

நிலவொளி said...

a good attempt. You captured the note of the poem....

P.Sha said...

Beautifully written. I'm Tamil myself, living abroad, but I'm not that good in reading, so thanks a bunch for making it easier. By Reading the English version first, and then the tamil version made it sooo easy!!

tamilan said...

thanks a lot for the translation, it was very useful for me. first time i searched for Tamil articles in internet and awestruck with the amount of details available in Tamil.kudos to all Tamil people in net.

plz suggest me some other inspirational Tamil songs. u can mail me at