Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You and me

You at the cafeteria...
My eyes have done this a thousand times now:
Wander for a while and trace back to you.
Like a ball set in motion at the rim of a funnel.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Translation of Kadhal Vaithu from Deepavali

Love Sunk

I awaited embracing all the love and desire,
trying to sieve your voice in the air…

In your mirth I realized music.
In your drift I realized direction.

I fell into the sea of love,
but remained afloat even after I was ashore.

Your moves made me move.
Alas! I vanished beautifully and seen nowhere.

Every time I heard the fairy tales,
I dismissed them to be farce.
But when my eyes met yours,
they fathomed it cannot be false.

My dainty mornings arise
with the sweet hope of seeing you.
My dusky evenings set
with the intoxication of having seen you.

The day I saw you
Mesmerizes me like the day of my dawn.
The words I spoke to you
echoes deep down inside my heart.

You made me
speak to the sea,
sham the concept of time.
You made me
bathe with the rain
celebrate the sun.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Childlike Joy

I twisted and curled in my bed.
Forget it. You are crazy, I said. 

I thought I would be able to tame, 
But my heart was not game. 

Yet again I was moonstruck. 
Could not say if it was good or bad luck. 

And when clock struck three,  
I thought I must let it free  
and stop the insane spree.  

I was so fixated that I would not rest. 
And went on as long as the joy would last, 
Till I got all the words right. 

And then when I was finally done, 
All I could say was... a-w-e-s-o-m-e! 
About this masterpiece from the maestro's son.

The above was what exactly happened just before, during, and after my attempt to translate the song Kadhal Vaithu... from Deepavali.
Coming soon... 

P.S.: After a few rounds of editing, I removed a few lines from the above piece to give it some twist... :-)

 Could not say if it was good or bad luck. 
Translation thoughts were firmly stuck.
And when clock struck three,  
I thought I must let it free  
and stop the insane spree. 
So I left the bed,
With the song looping in my head.
I was so fixated that I would not rest. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Translation of Un Perai Sonnale from Dum Dum Dum

What is in Name?

All I say is your name, and sweetness takes over me.
Please do not depart me.
All I do is walk with you, and new blooms brim my path.
Would you not go with me?

Countless thoughts of you lurk in my mind,
ready and waiting to devour my life.

I shatter down, fleck by fleck, on the floor.
Oh dear, where are you?

I forget the consonants and the alphabets too.
And sooner, I turn dumb.

Like the child that is aware but yet teases the fire,
I hark back to think of you...
And the pain creeps through.

I tremble like the base and throb like a drum.

How can life and flesh be apart?

Is this fate or a way out?
Why throw thunder on a plant?
Don’t go away. Don’t go away…

My love!
Do you say this is not the reality, or that you do not remember?
Would you say who you are—my friend forever, or just a passer?
Utter the answer, my sweeter part.

Oh sanguine sun!
Why do you torment the moon?
Won't you tell me all your pain?
Why did you stir a storm, inside this red screw pine?
Won’t you tell me, oh divine?

Disclaimer: I hope that except for ‘I tremble like the base and throb like a drum,’ I have done justice to the rest of the words. If not, do let me know!
I am yet again on translations... This time it is my long-lost love—‘Un Perai Sonnale’ from ‘Dumm Dumm Dumm’. I wonder why and how I had missed this beautiful song? And even more of a wonder is why and how Karthik Raja has been missing his trains so much after such beauties in the movie. A real sparkle, this one and the song ‘Ragasiyamai’ is! And of course, both Sadhana Sargam and Unnikrishnan's parts and versions (in the same song) are on par and brimming with the right emotions. My only complaint is that, in the movie, the song is not visually complete. If it were, then I am sure we would at least get to see the song more often on air.

More wonderings…
Like asking ‘How can life and flesh be apart,’ I think I must also ask ‘How can music and words be apart?’
My love and thirst for the song was quenched when I was able to translate the words; but what do I do to the music. Alas, I cannot translate or render it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Snack break

Just a few minutes ago, I had this urge or a kind of an obsessive compulsion to drink coffee from the new CCD vending machine. Of course, my mind and heart did not sing the same notes. My mind was mindful of the calories in the cup of coffee but my heart was with the pleasure in the sip. Just when I was leaving my seat, a conversation picked up and a while went by and I was again in two minds.

I thought aloud about my coffee thoughts and immediately, my friend offered me a box and asked me to snack it.

I looked the box-and-spoon setup eagerly. The spoon was lying supine on the chill steel box. It was resting stylishly, with its lower-head and mid-torso touching the box. The face of the spoon had some white particles and it deceived me into believing that it was a popular South-Indian snack called Puttu—not the piped version, but the powdered version. As opposed to the folks who know the Puttu that is cylindrical, I have always known it only by its powdered form. At least that is how my parents prepared it. For the unknown, whatever the shape of the Puttu is, it is primarily a steamed dish, with its main ingredients being coarsely powdered rice, grated coconut, and my version had sugar as well. If it is a rich man's version, then it had cashews sautéed in ghee.

So, I separated the couples—the spoon and the box, and went into the separation act a further beyond. I removed the lid of the box and in front of my eyes was something that looked very much like Puttu, but it was not snow-white. It was mid-way between white and cream, glistening, and it also had speckles of black sparsely placed.

As is the nature of anyone, I was first devouring the snack with my eyes, wondering how it would taste. Then, immediately, I spaded out a portion with the spoon and passed it on to my mouth. It was hard, like the cold truth as against the soft Puttu, which was like the sweet lie.
For sure it was not Puttu. But then, the glistening part was sugar and the black speckles were that of the coconut skin. So, with most of the constituents figured out, I now delved into understanding what the main part was. It was an enigma in a true sense!

As I was ruminating, the suspense was spread across, as the box travelled to the nearby bays—word-of-mouth marketing! More eyes and taste buds were now examining the make of the snack. The most common guesses of the eyes were that it was Puttu. Some of the buds said it was stale bread powered and garnished with coconut and sugar—that was certainly for the comic reliefs! More guesses came in and none came close to the actual. Finally the hands and mind that made it revealed that it was powdered Murukku (a snack made for Diwali with primary ingredients being urad and rice flour) mixed with all other constituents that most of them rightly guessed.

Later on, I checked to see how many Murukkus were powdered to make a box-full of snack. They were 25. In fact, it would make a good puzzle—how would you fit 25 Murukkus in a medium-sized box?

Altogether, the snack break was a success; kindling all the elements—break from monotony, food for mind and stomach, mild satisfaction for the taste-buds, humor, and all in the right mix.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Love and Accidents
Are all around
Seen anywhere and anytime
Has no logic
Bound by fate
Follows no rules
Respects no rationale
--Inspired from the movie Engeyum Eppodhum

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Body = Wall
Food = Plaster Mixture
Exercise = Plasterer's Float

Thanks to... 
Dr. C. Saravanan MBBS, MS, MRCS, M.Ch (paed)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Lane Story

The two-second sound and light play
Lane 2 - In my fast-car, on the highway.
Lane 2 - A lady on a bike, just ahead.

Me: Honk Honk

She: Indicated the right way, 
with her blinkers
and moved to lane 1.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Food for thought...

Just behind me,
the blender was taking the life out of the fruits.
It was not the scream of the mixer, 
the shrill of the fruits
the bleat of the butchered animals.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Wind Rogue

This time...
The rains did not rain.
It was swept off its feet.
Not by romance but by force.
The clouds budded them fine 
but it could not bloom.

This time...
The clouds did not float.
It was being shoved around.
It was being chased
and could not save its grace.

the wind played rogue
teasing and rampaging,
the clouds and the rain.

And when it was all over,
darkness loomed...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Translation of Nee Korinaal from 180

The five-minute wonder!

Nee Korinaal is yet another beauty! Alright, in terms of what this time? A lyrical beauty, a visual beauty, and a musical treat. The format of the song just swept me off my feet: each line standing on its own, with absolutely no connection between its siblings and still making it a great song. The song has the male and female voices repeating a verse, each in a normal pitch and the second time, in a high and longish pitch. Seems like someone reads a secret the first time and the next time, revives it with their vocals. This happens for all the verses, expect the opening verse. A great song structure put in action by the music director, Sharreth. It is a wonder in so many senses--you must listen to appreciate the nuances of the song. In fact, the music arrangement compliments the lyrics as well as the voice, taking the lead only where required.

And Karthik and Swetha Mohan have just made this song scintillate, in terms of the way it has been sung. Especially the brilliant Swetha for the way she emotes, playing it low and high wherever and whenever required. Though Karthik gives a great opening with his endearing questions, Swetha has the last laugh. She is relentless even in places where she has to go on a low but steady and a breathless pitch, and gradually has to flight up for the re-opening verse that she sings after that. A perfect 10, like Nadia Comaneci, I would say.

So here is me gratifying my impulse--I dont know why, I often feel I want to devour the song, everytime I listen to this chirpy song--the translation of Nee Korinal from the movie 180 (Nootrenbadhu).

If you ask for, my sweetheart,
won't the sky change, forever?
won't the clouds patter, incessantly?

You seared my soul, my sunshine,
yet I see no fire around...

Now, don't shut your windows, oh ladylove,
and shy away from me.

You run away, oh poetry in motion,
from me, steadfast yet still...

Am I of the recluse clan to not caress you,
oh beautiful,
even after I set my eyes on you?

You are my reflecting self, oh silken flower,
I pray, do not wither away.

Your intoxicating lips invite me, oh alluring!
Come, let me have a sip of you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
          ~ inaccurately attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Somehow liked this quote a lot! It makes a lot of sense but we hardly put it to practice...
The palest ink is better than the best memory. - Chinese Proverb

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mazhai Varum... from Veppam - My rendition / translation

My eyes see the harbinger of rains,
but my heart seems to be drenching,
is this love or loss?
As I see the times of our togetherness unfurl before me,
I seem to be losing grip of the ground under me,
why is this so?

My eyes that brighten as I lean on your shoulders,
now look forlorn, looking for you.
The flowers that bloom by our path,
now look dismayed, waiting for your arrival.

The seed of our juvenile love
now has grown full-blown, all by itself
And, when at the bloom of a new flower,
I wonder who has plucked it.

I came by, tracing your footsteps,
Now I seem to have lost it and heading nowhere...

I had asked for beautiful times,
and someone just blessed me with tears in my eyes.
I had asked for the magical rainbows,
and someone just blessed my journey with sorrows.

This love is excruciating,
it burns me down together with my soul.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mazhai Varum... from Veppam

Yet another warm song from Joshua Shridhar and Na Muthukumar! It has a simple and steady BGM flowing through the entire song with the violin, flute, and cello interludes adding strength. Suzanne D'Mello does her part well in creating an unrequited-love-song feel to it. A lady love's unrequited love song is of course extra-special! Suzzane's version has a mix of solitude, passion, fervency, and longing. I did understand that it is a mellowed-down voice that is singing Mazhai Varum and her voice might sound great for a power-packed song. All these were what I had with me, to write, until I Google-ed her out. After that, it was surprises all the way...

What I did not know was that she is the voice behind Latika's theme and Dreams on fire from Slumdog Millionaire, Hosanna from Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, and to my greatest surprise, Nalamdhaana from Silambattam. All these were surprises because, I have listened to each more than a thousand times; yet I could not get to appreciate her all these while. Each of these songs has a completely different genre and she has such grace in her voice in softer songs and power in the rest. But then, the inconsistency in the song credits makes an impression that they are all different people all together. The various names that appear in the credits are Suzie Q, Suzzane, and Suzzane D'Mello. Of course, she has a huge list of hit songs under the Bollywood category.

And for a singer of non-native tongue, her pronunciation of Tamil, in this song, is good. Her strengths are certainly the nuances she brings to the song and her humming just takes the song to a different plane. At the places where she goes too deeply husky, it gives the exact feel for Mazhai Varum. In this song, she supresses her popular RnB tones, and does a casual and light singing and that makes her voice sound a lot sweeter and younger. Something like how Suchitra sounded when she sang Tharai Erangiya from Eeram. Talking about Tharai Erangiya song, it was another song that I fell in love with instantly, for its simplicity, innocence, and sweetness. Anyways, I wanted to talk about just the Mazhai Varum song, giving due credits to each; but the realization of Suzzane's identity digressed the intent of this post!

Friday, January 07, 2011

How to name it?

What do I call it,
if I still feel the warmth
you bestowed on me, ages ago...,

When I have won
the war waged by
my failing memory,
fate, time, and distance,
the charm of new relationships,


life-changing events
such as marriage and parenthood...?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Quotes as Commandments for the New Year

Be fit for more than the thing you are now doing. Let everyone know that you have a reserve in yourself; that you have more power than you are now using. If you are not too large for the place you occupy, you are too small for it.
- James A. Garfield

Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe.
- Robert Service