Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lost in Translation

On the Volga – N.Galakhov – 1980 – Oil on Canvas

...there is something in strange words for even if you do not understand them, they still can touch you anyways...

Recently I discovered back a few classic Tamil and Hindi (yes ppl I can understand Tamil and a little of Hindi okay! pffft! :p) songs that I absolutely love. One of my all time favorite has got to be A.R. Rahman's beautiful classic from the movie Indira called "Nilaa Kaigirathu". The movie itself was very meaningfully directed, laid out and acted. To briefly sum it up, it tells the story of two villages divided by caste and how a girl called Indira decided that she had enough of all the fighting and bloodshed spilled between the two and unites these villages together. Very emotional and sends out a strong message especially to a country that still walks the lines of caste segregation. It's a very brave movie made, that questions. That is always a good sign of a good movie - one that makes you think and question society and humanity. Very sensitive issues...hmmm...

Oh yes, back to the song...so "Nilaa Kaigirathu" which translates to "The brightening moon" is a simple song about the world and life in general. It's hard to explain the entire song condensed in a few words. Here, let me write down the lyrics here and give you a rough translation of the words:

Nila kaigirathu..
neerem theigirathu..
yaarum rasikevilaiyea...
Intha kangal matoom unnai kaanum..
The Moon is shining,
The time is passing,
oh, but nobody is enjoying it.
Only these eyes watches...

Thendral pogindrathu..
sollai sirikindrathu..
yaarum suthika vilaiyea..
chinna kaigal matoom unnai theendoom..
The breeze is flowing,
The gardens are smiling,
yet, there is none enjoying it.
Only these hands will touch you...

katru veesum veiyil kaayoom kaayoom..
athil maatram ethum ilaiyea..
vaanum mannum nammai vazha chollum..
antha vaazhthu oiyavillai enendroom vaanill..
The Wind will blow, the sunshine will be there,
there is no change in that.
The Sky & Land will tell us to live.
And those wishings will be forever...

Atho pogindrathu aasai megam..
mazhaiyai keatu kolu..
itho pogindrathu kuyilil paadal..
isaiyai keatukolu..
There it is, the dear Cloud
Listen for the rain
Here it is, the bird's song
Listen for the music...

intha boomiyea poovanam...
unggal pookalai keallungal..
This world is a garden,
Listen for your Flowers in it...

intha vaazhkeiyea seethanam..
unggal theivaiyei keallungal..
This life is a Gift,
Just ask for what you want...

The trouble with translations is that some of the deeper more intense 'feelings' that the original language carries gets lost in between because you see, each language has its own beauty in its own sense and being able to feel that beauty personally is an amazing gift. This is one of the reasons I love languages so much. And if I can, I wanna learn as many languages as I can for as long as I am living because why - I don't wanna be Lost in Translation ;)


PS : Here's the original from the movie. Just in case you wanted to listen to it ;)

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