Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I was in primary school when I first watched Mani Ratnam's Nayakan. The movie begins at a funeral, where a little boy knifes the policeman responsible for his father's death and runs away. Well, this post isn't really about the movie (rated amongst The Top 100 Movies of all time by TIME). Ilayaraja did some really good work for this movie, and the title track "Thenpandi Cheemayile" still brings a lump to my throat like it did all those years ago. The beauty of the song is primarily in the lyrics - about a lost little boy - that readily appealed to a little girl who was watching the movie. The lyrics are something like this:

Thenpandi cheemayile, therodum veedhiyile
Maan pola vandhavnai yaar adithaaro
Yaar adithaaro, yaar adithaaro...

Valarum piraye theiyadhe
Iniyum azhudhu thembadhe
Azhudha manasu thangadhe
Azhudha manasu thangadhe

A rough translation:
In the southern realm of the Pandiyas
In the streets where chariots race
He was skipping along like a fawn
Who could have hurt him?

O waxing moon, please don't wane
Don't sob your heart out
For your tears will break my heart
For your tears will break my heart

You can watch it here.

The little boy goes on to become one of the most feared mafia dons in Mumbai (based on a true story). In one of the last few scenes in the movie, his little grandson asks the don "Are you a good man, or bad?". For a moment, the old man weighs all his actions and replies, " I don't know, son. I don't know."


ahiri said...

Diviya ,

Thanks for bringing memories back.
The translation is good.

Venky said...

I know what you mean..Maniratnam and Kamal are an explosive combo with the one and only Raja...on that note what do you think of the Cheeni Kum songs? Especially the way the sombre Mandram Vantha has been remastered to a peppy Cheeni Kum?

Diviya said...

Well, I kinda liked the song. Can't say if I prefer the original though. I guess Balki picked his fav Raja songs and asked him to remix them :).

CYCO said...

Thanks for the link. My all time favorite was "Nee Oru kathal sangeetham", especially when it rains inside the house in this song....

Cool translation....Maybe I will watch this movie this weekend !!!

Aravind Ruthvik said...

Thanks a lot :)

I do not have any clue on Tamil language and I watched movie with sub-titles in English. I liked this song and picturization.

Hats off to Kamal and Maniratham not to forget "Ilayaraja"

Finally thanks a lot for you for posting translation in English. Wonderful!

Pratheepan said...

I like your translation! ... and this movie was a classic...

Yours Truly said...

There are two versions of this song in the movie, the full song and a sad version at the end. Can you please tell me who sang the sad version?

Marshall MatthersIII -Slim Shady said...

the sad version of it was sung my kamal himself..sure he has a gifted voice..listen to anbesivam's soundtrack yaar yaar sivan for proof!

poorNOdayam said...

Thanks much for the memories , excellent translation