Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A wanderer's wish....

I happened to read this pasuram while I was wiling my evening in clinic..It is said that Thiruvaasakam by Manikkavasagar is supposed to be rich in devotion and human craving towards God..Though I had a book of thiruvaasakam I  never had  read beyond few verses. But this pasuram by Nammazhwar in tiruvaaimozhi immediately made my heart sink in melancholy. I read those tamil verses several times with my eyes filled up. I believe that there is an English translation of tiruvaimozhi by A.K.Ramanujan . Don't know the exact publishers or the year of publication and availability of the book.I thought I couldn't translate the poem though I slowly attempted  to do that. I have done some translation of meanings.But I don't know whether I have captured the heart of the poetry. Sometimes translations  become dry if we try to overdo it, especially the way it starts in this poem - " NaNNaathaar muruvalippa,  naLLutraar karainthu yaenga..."Hmm.. what can I substitute for karainthu yaenga?..( in despair writhe my dear ones is an understatement..).  eNNaraath thuyar vilaivikkum ivai enna ulagu iyarkkai?!. is it ? or !.This statement attains significance if we consider the solitude in  which Nammazhwar spent his whole life. Never he was the Prince-heir for his desperate parents, nor did he marry and foster a family during his life!.

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A wanderer’s  wish....
In quest of you death- leveler,
Long awaited and worn- Ye deliver
my soul unto his feet -A gift
to my dear, my lord – adrift
I sway in this uncertain world – countless
are the sorrows,its nature – ruthless
and uneven  its spirit-  for in despair
writhe my dear ones – with cheer
do my foes smile- I pray
death, hasten, for i loathe further to stay....
Nammazhwar..( 8th century)

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