Tag Archives: Sudalai

Song of the day – 4

Rob tagged me to this:

The rules are to post the lyrics of a favorite song five days in a row, explain what they mean to you (if you like) and add the video if available. 

I am also supposed to nominate two bloggers to carry on the meme, but I would like to leave that open.  Anyone who blogs, reads this post and wants to take it on, please do, and link back to this post so we can all read about your choices of songs. You may also leave your choice in the comment section here.


Indian movies are almost always musicals.  There are songs and dances thrown in every fifteen minutes of so.  Before the 1960s, there were as many as 50 songs per movie – Indrasabh, a Hindi movie of the 1930’s holds the world record for the most number of songs (72) in it.  The numbers have come down over the years (Hallelujah!), but even now, a regular box office movie has 4-5 songs in it.    Most of them are ridiculous, and are worthy of much mocking.  Such as this:

But on the up-side, many beautiful songs have been written for movies.  And continue to be.

I grew up listening to film music by Ilayaraja.  In clandestine, because movies were taboo in my household.  There are many Ilayaraja songs that I love (and many I seem to increasingly hate these days – Ilayaraja was very strong with melody and orchestra but was dismal at using voices well – SPB and Chitra were his best finds/fits).  Many times Ilayaraja sang the songs himself.  He sounds very nasal and earthy, but like Bob Dylan’s, his voice has a sort of irritating irresistibility.

I like the following song for (a) the lyrics and (b) the subtle use of bass guitar to compensate for the nasal voice of Raja .  The lyrics were written by the late poet-of-sorts, Vaali.  Vaali was a little temperamental.  While he was nowhere near the earlier Kannadasan, he could pull a good one now and then.  This song is one of the better songs penned by Vaali.  The song only starts at 0:50 after some cheesy, over-the-top, monologue by the actor Revathy, who, incidentally was my school senior – not that it matters to this post.

I attempted to translate the lyrics but it came out very banal.  Sudalai of Suzalgal is a bilingual poet that I follow on WP.  I love her poems, especially Tamil ones.  This morning as I read a particularly lovely piece by her, I had an a-ha moment, why not ask her to translate this song for me.  She kindly agreed, and I believe her translation has done complete justice to Vaali’s original.  It is a poem in its own right.  Thank you, Sudalai.

The lyrics are very reminiscent of the song in Pochahontas that goes “Colors of the wind“.

What  colours  in  the mind,

With the tease of the breeze,

What  colours be thoughts ,

At the moonshine,

The  thoughts that come and go,

Color my thoughts so

Changing hues with the thoughts that flow

There’s truth in what I say ,

MY lovely little girl,

{The  colours……..moon   shines]

None bids the flowers to spread sweet fragrance,

Without  kinship do  two minds  speak,

None bids the cukcoo to  sing  as sweet,

Without   reason  does the  mind  rejoice,

The  world,   like  a  stream , flows,

And  runs  its  course  as  time  melts  away,

Flighty as the  colours  of thought


Life  sprouts  with  a  drizzle,

A cold  shiver  creeps  when  love  is born,

Desire  swing  like  the   roots  of  the banyan  in air,

Like  a waving   wave,  weaving  beautiful   patterns,

The   cuckoo  flock  sings  of  eternal  beauty,

And  parrots  speak   the  stories  ,

Of Love that never   ends, unlike  a  story  or   riddle,

[The  colours …….]