Situation Song & Six Commandments.

I published a blog last year (What’s the Magic? You Asked Time to Stop!)  where I have written about two great lyricists of Tamil Movies namely Kannadasan and Vali. I thought I would follow that up with couple of more songs from these great poets but never got around to it.  You always need a trigger to restart something and JK provided that few weeks back.

JK sent me a stanza from a song and asked me if would translate this into English to share it with his colleagues. JK, Mohan and I made few attempts to get that as close to possible in English so that what the poet meant would come out well. The exercise made me wonder how did these poets manage to write beautiful poems in a jiffy and we struggle for hours to even get the meaning correctly.

The lines which JK sent were simple yet powerful. The music was indeed melodious. Even after making many attempts at translating the lines with the help of JK & Mohan I still feel that we could get that just about right.

The song was written for the movie ‘Babu’ released in 1971. Sivaji (Ganesan) plays the role of a rickshaw puller and sings this ode to a child (Yes Superstar of Indian Cinema in later years). He narrates how he could see ‘The God’ in one simple smile of the child. He goes on to give her some advice and a couple of lines mesmerized us. Here it is:

பல நூல் படித்து நீ அறியும் கல்வி
பொது நலம் நினைத்து நீ வழங்கும் செல்வம்
பிறர் உயர்வினிலே உனக்கிருக்கும் இன்பம்
இவை அனைத்தினிலே இருப்பதுதான் தெய்வம்
இதோ எந்தன் தெய்வம் முன்னாலே
நான் ஒரே ஒரு புன்னகையில் கண்டேனே
Roughly translates as:
‘The wisdom you get from reading many books
The wealth you give away for common good
The happiness you derive in seeing other people grow
The God is present in all these
Look My God is here, in front of me
I saw it in one simple smile.’
You can watch it here; takes less than a minute. I have put subtitles as well. You will also understand why Sridevi is born to be an actress; amazing camera presence at such a young age.
There are many gems like these. Some of my favorites are;
ஓளிமயமான எதிர்காலம்
என் உள்ளத்தில் தெரிகிறது
‘A bright future
I see in my mind’
I always wanted the first line of the following song as my ringtone. Since most of friends, colleagues, customers and my bosses did not understand Tamil, I could never do it. It would have been an apt two liner, especially if your colleagues could understand it:
வெற்றி மீது வெற்றி வந்து என்னைச் சேரும்
அதை வாங்கித் தந்த பெருமையெல்லாம்
உன்னைச் சேரும்
‘Victory upon Victory would come to me
And all the credit for these will go to you.’
It is said MGR a popular movie hero who later became a successful politician and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, assiduously made sure the songs in his films were directed at the masses, teaching them good habits and ways to lead a good life. So when he entered politics people thought he would do something good.
When he played the role of a farmer, he sang,
கடவுள் என்னும் முதலாளி
கண்டெடுத்த தொழிலாளி – விவசாயி விவசாயி
‘The God, an entrepreneur (boss)
Found out a worker –
He is the farmer.’
He sings to a bunch of poor workers in another film;
நான் ஆணையிட்டால் – அது நடந்துவிட்டால்
இங்கு ஏழைகள் வேதனை படமாட்டார்.
‘If I put an order and if that is carried out
The poor will never suffer.’
Here is another favorite of mine. I am not sure whether he sings this to the heroine or to himself, but these are definitely words of wisdom;
மாபெரும் சபையினில் நீ நடந்தால்
உனக்கு மாலைகள் விழவேண்டும்.
ஒரு மாற்று குறையாத மன்னவன் என்று
போற்றி புகழ வேண்டும்.
When you walk in amidst a huge gathering
You should be garlanded many times;
They should worship you saying –
You are a blemish less King.
You can watch here and understand how serious he is about his words. Here is the Link
Sorry I digressed far away from the title of the blog. Not only thousands of these well meaning songs were written with memorable music; they also wrote a million songs, called ‘Situation Songs.’ Since music is part of the Indian film industry, you needed an excuse to place a song. So they placed a song in every situation.
Boy goes out to get bit of fresh air (beach) and sees a beautiful girl. So he sings;
நான் காற்று வாங்க போனேன்
ஒரு கவிதை வாங்கி வந்தேன்
‘I went out to get some fresh air
But I got a poem (beautiful girl) instead.’
Like this, there is a song for every situation. If you are in love, if you have a breakup, if a baby is born, if friends fight, if they meet after many years
(அந்த நாள் ஞாபகம் நெஞ்சிலே வந்ததே – I recall the olden days).
Even if someone dies – somehow the composer and lyricist would produce a gem for that situation as well.
So far so good. What surprised me was, Kavignar Kannadasan wrote Six Commandments for life – for the hero to sing – after he buries a beloved one. The movie Aandavan Kattali (God’s Decree) was released in 1964. The song ‘Aaru Maname Aaaru’ is quiet popular even today after 5 decades and watched over more than 10 million times in YouTube.
So the hero buries his beloved one and starts on a pilgrimage. He is going to sing the Six Commandments of The God and chooses six important temples of Lord Muruga, called Arupadai Veedu, a commandment for each temple.
It is a kind of couplet with two commandments for each. The Tamil Word (ஆறு) has two meanings; It means Cool Down/Relax or it denotes the number Six. The poet has used the same word to denote – relax (oh mind) and then Number Six (Commandments).
ஆறு மனமே ஆறு -அந்த ஆண்டவன் கட்டளை ஆறு
ஆறு மனமே ஆறு -அந்த ஆண்டவன் கட்டளை ஆறு
Relax Oh Mind Relax- The God Has Made Six Commandments
Relax Oh Mind Relax- The God Has Made Six Commandments

சேர்ந்து மனிதன் வாழும் வகைக்கு தெய்வத்தின் கட்டளை ஆறு

For mankind to live together, The God Has Made Six Commandments

தெய்வத்தின் கட்டனை ஆறு…

There are six Commandments

ஒன்றே சொல்வார் ஒன்றே செய்வார்
உள்ளத்தில் உள்ளது அமைதி

People who say something and do the same thing
Will have peace in their mind

இன்பத்தில் துன்பம் துன்பத்தில் இன்பம் இறைவன் வகுத்த நியதி…

Sorrow in Happiness and Happiness in sorrow – God has made this rule

சொல்லுக்கு செய்கை பொன்னாகும்

Doing what you say is Gold
வரும் துன்பத்தில் இன்பம் பத்தாகும்

Happiness Multiplies Ten Times in Sorrow

இந்த இரண்டு கட்டளை அறிந்த மனதில்
எல்லா நன்மையும் உண்டாகும்
எல்லா நன்மையும் உண்டாகும்
People who understand these two commandments; Have peace in their minds

உண்மையைச் சொல்லி நன்மையைச் செய்தால்
உலகம் உன்னிடம் மயங்கும்….

If you speak the truth and your deeds are good

The world will be mesmerized by you

நிலை உயரும் போது பணிவு கொண்டால் உயிர்கள் உன்னை வணங்கும்

If you are polite when you grow, people will worship you

உண்மை என்பது அன்பாகும் – பெரும்
பணிவு என்பது பண்பாகும் – இந்த

Truth is love and politeness is the character

இந்த நான்கு கட்டளை அறிந்த மனதில்
எல்லா நன்மையும் உண்டாகும்
எல்லா நன்மையும் உண்டாகும்

People who understand these four commandments

Have peace in their minds

ஆசை கோபம் களவு கொள்பவன் பேசத்தெரிந்த மிருகம்..

The man who possess desire, anger and stealth is an animal who can speak
அன்பு நன்றி கருணை கொண்டவன் மனித வடிவில் தெய்வம்..

The man shows love gratitude & mercy is God in Human Form

இதில் மிருகம் என்பது கள்ள மனம்
உயர் தெய்வம் என்பது பிள்ளை மனம்

Animal character is a mind of stealth

God’s character is the mind of Child

இந்த ஆறு கட்டளை அறிந்த மனது
ஆண்டவன் வாழும் வெள்ளை மனம்
ஆண்டவன் வாழும் வெள்ளை மனம்

Those who understand and act on these six Commandments

Have noble hearts where the Gods reside

You can watch this video just to understand and appreciate Sivaji’s acting skills; as I said the best actor of Tamil Cinema. He was so dedicated to his profession and loved his craft. Whether he was paid one dollar or one hundred thousand dollars, he produced a million dollars worth of acting. He was born to act – period.

I was wondering why the hero became so philosophical after someone’s death. I have not watched the movie, so did not know ‘who’ he or she was. By sheer luck, I found out that he sings this immoral song after burying his pet dog. It just made me wonder, if the poet has produced God’s Six Commandments after the death of a pet dog, what would he have produced if it was the death of mother/father/children or spouse? Any guesses?

It is so refreshing to listen to these old songs. Not only the poets penned those unforgettable lines, they inspired hundreds of budding poets.

Compare these lines to what you get to listen these days

Hey Johnsi Rani, My Krishnaveni

I will buy you Pony, You ride and come to me

Lines written for instant gratification!

Do watch this video – the music is superb, the acting good and the lyrics immortal. And for one more reason as well. It took me few hours to add the subtitles.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Situation Song & Six Commandments.

Add yours

  1. This is the best blog of yours. Period. Next gen and those who can’t read will owe a lot to you. Even Sivaji and Kannadasan and Vaali family will owe a lot to you

    As I always say, more than the blog the effort , hard work and sheer joy in sharing what you have enjoyed may make you happy and successful

    God Bless

    Like

  2. Ramesh…mohan’s comment captures our thoughts on your writing efforts.
    What I like is the choice of songs you have made which is flowing well through your blog.
    It may be worth adding for the benefit of the next gen that what you have touched upon is just the micro tip of an iceberg.
    Besides Kannadasan and Vaali dishing out pearls of wisdom just like that, there were others who wrote well but not as many like Pattukottai.
    As we know what made these poems powerful and popular is the music. Hats off to the music directors of these songs.
    As you have rightly said, the connect and longevity of the poem is truly established because of the artists who enacted these scenes.
    a big applause to you for the excellent job

    PS..(who ever is interested in learning more, please use you tube and search “kaalangalil Avan Vasantham” ..a program hosted by isai kavi Ramanan
    .. Each episode, he invites a very knowledgeable person from various field to discuss about great songs written by Kannadasan. Like the way ‘idho enthan Deivamagal lines stuck me hard’, these speakers talk about the magic of Kannadasan’s creations.
    If you understand Tamil is worth viewing this program.
    Happy Sunday all

    Like

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