Monday, April 24, 2017

Maruvaarthai - An ode to the incomplete

Every once in a while there are melodies that are unheard when they first surface in the music scene, and then suddenly the rendezvous takes place at the opportune moment. Maruvaarthai Pesaadhe is one such melody that captured my imagination a little late. A mysterious Mr.X composes a tune that showcases the romantic oodal of Reetigowlai and Desh raagas... skillfully written by Thamarai, soulfully rendered by Sid Sriram. As the melody grew on me I just had to celebrate the lyrics.

Maruvaarthai Pesaadhe is an ode to incompleteness. I mean notice the opening lines:

மறு வார்த்தை பேசாதே!
மடிமீது நீ தூங்கிடு!
இமை போல நான் காக்க
கனவாய் நீ மாறிடு !
Maruvaarthai Pesaadhe madimeedu nee thoongidu. Imai pola naan kaakha, kanavaai nee maaridu...

Words are interrupted, all she needs to do is place her head on his lap and sleep, she would become a dream which is probably the most experienced motif of incompleteness.

மயில் தோகை போலே விரலுன்னை வருடும்!
மனப்பாடமாய் உரையாடல் நிகழும்.
Mayil Thogai Póle Viral Unnai Varudum! Manappaadamai Uyraiyadal Nigazhum.

His hands would touch her, not like the way hands should but like a peacock's feather, ever so gently without the completeness of a human touch but just enough caress to invoke love's passion.

விழிநீரும் வீணாக
இமைத்தாண்டக் கூடாதென..
துளியாக நான் சேர்த்தேன்..
கடலாகக் கண்ணானதே..!
Vizhi Neerum Veenaaga Imaithanda Koodathena… Thuliyaga Naan Serththen… Kadalaaga Kannaanathey…!

The conversation is a ritualistic one, not focussed, there is a trance that invokes tears that cannot cross the threshold of the eyelids and the eyes become an ocean. Take a moment... visualise it. Beautiful incompleteness right?!

மறந்தாலும் நான் உன்னை
நினைக்காத நாளில்லையே ..!
பிரிந்தாலும் என் அன்பு..
ஒருபோதும் பொய்யில்லையே !
Marandhalum Naan Unnai Ninaikkadha Naal Illaiye Pirindhalum Yen Anbe
Orupodhum Poi Illaiyae!

Incompleteness is taken a notch above with the unabashed hero saying there isn't a day that he doesn't remember her despite forgetting her. Forgetfulness is also unable to complete the task at hand.

விடியாத காலைகள்..
முடியாத மாலைகளில்..
வடியாத வேர்வைத் துளிகள்..
பிரியாத போர்வை நொடிகள்!
Vidiyadha Kaalaigal… Mudiyadha Maalaigalil…. Vadiyadha Vervai Thuligal…!
Piriyadha Porvai Nodigal…!

The song tugs at your heart as images of a newly discovered love are woven by Thaamarai as he talks about mornings that are not dawned and evenings that don't end. As he quickly alliterates the previous line with Vadiyaadha vervai thuligal, Piriyaadha porvai nodigal... the listener smiles secretly imagining the lovers in embrace. Every image suggests the closure that's amiss; poetry thrives.

மணிக்காட்டும் கடிகாரம் தரும்வாதை அறிந்தோம்..
உடைமாற்றும் இடைவேளை அதன் பின்பே உணர்ந்தோம்!
மறவாதே மனம்..
மடிந்தாலும் வரும்..!
முதல் நீ...! முடிவும் நீ...!
அலர் நீ...! அகிலம் நீ...!
Manikaattum Kadigaram Tharumvaadhai Arindhdhom! Udaimaattrum Idaivelai Athan Pinbe Unarndhom…!
Maravathey Manam… Mudindhalum Varum!

I don't know if any other language can describe lovemaking in such a poetic manner. Look at the use of words like vaadhai and the beautiful rhythmic quality of arindhom and unarndhom and again showing us the perfect incompleteness by saying mudindhalum varum :)

The next two lines and the word Alar in particular is what I suddenly realise is the literature connect. Whether deliberately or not Thamarai uses the word Alar. This word appears in சீவக சிந்தாமணி, if reading aids me right, to describe the face of the beloved. Alar is simple terms means just blossomed... but subtitles in the official single translate it to happiness. Either ways it is the ecstatic state of her face that he describes and extending that noment of ecstacy he says agilam nee... aptly preceeded by mudhal nee mudivum nee... juxtaposing the beginning and the end with the beginning of ecstasy at the fully bloomed face of the beloved which then is dispersed into the entire universe.

Mudhal Nee! Mudivum Nee! Alar Nee! Agilam Nee!

தொலைதூரம் சென்றாலும்...
தொடுவானம் என்றாலும் நீ...
விழியோரம்தானே மறைந்தாய்..
உயிரோடு முன்பே கலந்தாய் ...!
Tholaidhooram Sendralum… Thoduvaanam Endralum Nee… Vizhioramthaane Mataindhai! Uyirodu Munbe Kalandhai…!

And then as if to contract the joy of calling her the universe he goes on to say even if she is afar or if she be the horizon itself, she is no more distant than a corner of the eye, infact she has disbursed into his life life itself. I mean who writes like this? Who sings praises like this?

இதழ் என்னும் மலர்கொண்டு..
கடிதங்கள் வரைந்தாய்!
பதில் நானும் தருமுன்பே
கனவாகி கலைந்தாய் ..!
Idhal Ennum Malar Kondu Kadidhangal Varaindhai…! Badhil Naanum Tharum Munbe Kanavaagi Kalaindhai…!

Almost as if complaining that about her impulsiveness, he brings in the image of a letter and an unsaid response. I simply loved the use of the word idhazh here... idhazh meaning lips and paper or letter.

பிடிவாதம் பிடி !
சினம் தீரும் அடி!
இழந்தோம்.. எழில்கோலம் !
இனிமேல் மழை காலம்..!!
Pidivadham Pidi! Sinam Theerum Adi! Izhandhom Ezhilkolam! Inimel…. Mazhaikalam….!

After the praise comes the plea. Poetry serves the cause of the pining lover. I simply cannot translate the last stanza and let the outstanding imagery and imagination fall prey to something less meaningful. For reasons unknown I was reminded of Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" as the song reaches refrain. The lover effortlessly has his way through his song, the lyrics leave you with a world of imagination thrown open and the MONSOON and its aftermaths are HERE TO STAY. 

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