Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A search comes to an end…

It was sometime in mid 1998…almost out of one college, and on the verge of getting into another, also a time of great moral/economic crisis that the country was going through. We, though were old enough to herald a revolution or at least choose to learn, chose to sit in student conferences that gave a ‘platform’ to become undergrown arm-chair intellectuals!

It was one such conference/meeting on globalization and how it affects the ‘poor,’ which was organized in the pristine Yelagiri hills, where we munched beef and mutton and talked about what can be done to combat globalization! Of course the person who sat through those conferences has hardly anything common with the person typing this, but, yes, something that happened in that camp/conference has its relevance today.

After one the usual ‘awareness raising (read as hair raising)’ speeches, each college was told to present something creative on globalization; could be a skit, a song, a poem, etc. There must have at least been a dozen presentations on that day, but I distinctly remember a guy and girl (from a not-so-hep college), who confidently take the mike and sing a Tamil song on globalization. It wasn't the people who sung the song, but the song itself that stirred and unsettled me! Today, I wish, I had overcome certain hurdles and walked up to them and asked how and who taught them the song! Their answer might have been a definite turning point, but I did let go that moment, and lived to regret it for a very long time. In all these intervening years, I must have hummed a couple of lines of that song each time I would come across Coke or Pepsi. In a way, that song has been a very strong reason to why I quit drinking cola! But, my search continued...And, today, purely by chance, I check my reader, and what awaits me! Bingo, the same song; a search of almost 11 years comes to an end…in some ways, it feels like homecoming…

Hear the song here!

For those of you, who don't understand Tamil, I have tried to translate the words for you! All of you know am no authority on translation or on Tamil, but still I have attempted so that you all share what I felt as I heard this song!

The country’s developing!

The country’s developing, says he
mmmm….jim jim jim (just for the rhythm, and also connoting to glitter)
In the path taken by Germany, America, and Japan?
Country, our country’s, developing, says he

Coca-cola to quench your thirst
Foreign ‘goods’ to heighten your spirits
Mix up Pepsi and Lehar
The rest of the tasks will be taken care of by mineral water
There’s dearth of water, and you want rose water to rinse your mouth
Slipper him, and his cheeks will puff up

The TV shows a smiling complan girl
As the doctor commands you to give fruits and eggs and milk every day
His child eats voraciously and bloats
As our child only sees the ad and desires
And runs with the plate to get the free meal at school before its over
And, what are his nonsensical schemes swatting?

Morning coffee at Meenambakkam (the Chennai airport)
He goes to ease of (to shit!) at the great city, London
In a private jet, which is fly-like
You need a police delegation for this
When just the rains have washed away our roads
And, the big-mouthed fellow comes talking about country development

The school is hanging with its nameboard
But, what you see is just three walls
The students are hanging on the trees
As the teacher sleeps
The moneyed-man’s child goes to the convent
While only liquor flows in our corporation schools

The government hospitals are at hand
The disease starts right from there
He says he’s operating
He cuts open and says there’s no thread to stitch back
The moneyed man’s crowd goes to Apollo
And, the government in its great mercy conducts postmortems for us

Within the AC cage, the doll stares
As the golden bordered saree glitters on its body
The coffers of Nalli and Sarathas are bursting at the seams
Only white buffaloes are loitering inside
The charka is laying in wait for the cotton thread
Your silk’s glittering in our hunger deaths

Forests, trees, seas, fish are private
Even electricity and telephone are private
All government plants have been divided
And auctioned off thrice
What’s left to be called our country?
He’s dancing and the director is jungle-raaj



Jai said...

Translate no. I am sorry that I do not know Tamil. We were made to learn Hindi and Sanskrit in school. It would have made no difference if we were made to learn at least one Indian language as well, besides of course, English. But then...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful...I can imagine how you would be feeling. Happy for you and yes I would love to hear and understand the song (giving ideas for your next post..translate in Hindi/English).

Ta'fxkz said...

1- you cannot be tone deaf if you hummed a line all these years
2- that was one hell of a romance you had with that song
3- what a bloody awesome song
4- can i hear the tune somewhere
5- you have improved as a writer
6- don't stop
7- i am hereby a follower of your blog\\

honestly when i was in school i wondered what the hell people were against Globalization for, but those were the days i did not speak up as much

Ta'fxkz said...

just hearing it

Nithya said...

You are an awesome writer, darling. Over the few posts, you have improved by leaps and bounds. There is a lot of depth in your writing. I am not saying you were a poor writer earlier. Nah! Your thoughts have attained a very mature clarity that needed to be polished earlier. Now, you have attained it. Way to go, sweetheart. :)

me1084 said...

Comrade, It's really tough to translate a song. You have really done a decent job!

Happy heart said...

Jai: You can't be as sorry as I am for not being able to read/write Tamil! In anycase, hope you are hapy now. :)

Gunjan: Thank you and do go through the translation.

Ta'fxkz: Thanks, thanks, thanks. :)

Nithu: That's a heartfelt appreciation; but dearie, do take time to read the translation as well. :)

me1084: Thanks, comrade.

Anonymous said...

It feels like a powerful song! :D
Of course, I am sure something would be lost in translation. But still if the translation is powerful enough, imagine the original!


Destination Sikkim - Till we meet again

On the third day, we went to the Sikkim Himalayan Zoo. It was day of little rain and much mist. The walk into the zoo was surreal because o...