Poetry Section #4

Have you seen the lyrics to the song Sisirakala yet? (I believe it's from the movie Devaragam?) Well, if you haven't, you better, because...that's EXACTLY what this site is about!!

Oh, so you have, eh? A rather long poem, isn't it? I tried to sing it all in one piece, but it didn't work! And besides, it's probably best to learn such a poem in sections...I don't know all of the words myself!

So, for all practical purposes...I'll just give the lyrics for, and translate, the first part of the poem (and thus learn new words myself!) :) Well, here goes...Listen to this part of the popular, well-known song!

θ ޷


{W Bv ߵ


dwB{W c

wB{W c



Wow! What a long song! Follow me through this song, and we'll translate it together, step by step (with the help of my dad and my Malayalam-Imglish Nighandu, that is!)...


/SiSirakaala/- a very poetic word, certainly not heard during conversation (unless they're talking about this song, perhaps!) Made up of two words: /SiSira/, a poetic word I never knew until recently meaning "cold" (M /thaNupp/ in everyday Malayalam), and ܢ /kaalam/, a more colloquial word (but also used in literature) meaning "time," or a certain period of it. Listen!

θ /mEgha/- from θ /mEgham/, written & col. for "cloud." Megham is also the name of another Malayalam movie. Listen!

/mithuna/- written & col. for coupled, paired. Listen!

޷ /rathiparaagamO/- "(or) the fragrance of love." Listen! The literal meaning of /rathi/ is a little stronger than "love"! (I think you get the idea, right?...No?...Well, good!) ޷ /paraagam/ is another more poetic word meaning "fragrance," but colloquially, you'd normally hear â /maNam/. Kind of like our words, "smell" and "fragrance." Let's say you were going to some extremely formal occasion and had put on some cologne or something. Which would you most likely hear: "Hmm, that smells good!" or "Ah, such a lovely fragrance it is that waveth through yonder air!" ?

θ ޷ /SiSirakaala mEgha mithuna rathiparaagamO/- [Is it] the fragrance of the coupled clouds' love during the cold season? Listen! Remember, the "oh" () at the end of the word ޷ can either mean "or" or (!) it can indicate that the sentence is a question, not a statement! (In other words, the singer is asking, "Is it the fragrance...?" not stating, "It is the fragrance...")

޷ /athO dEvaraagamO/- Or [is it] God's love? Listen! The word /athO/ means "or" in Malayalam; however, it's not ALWAYS used, though it is both a colloquial and a literary word! ޷ /dEvaraagam/ means "love of God"; բ /daivam/ means "God," and ޷ /raagam/, in this case, means "love." 

{W Bv /kuLiril mungngumaathmadaaha/- "my soul's thirst diving into the cold." Listen!  Be warned; long explanation coming up! :) {W /kuLiril/ means "in the cold." {V /kuLir/ is another written & col. word meaning M /thaNupp/; that is, it means "cold(ness)," as in, I'm not going out in the freezing COLD, just like that! And, if you've visited the other Poetry Sections (or you already know Malayalam), then you might remember that the suffix - W /-il/ indicates "in." Listen! The second word is made up of the separate words B /mungnguka/ "to dive," v /aathma/ "soul" (hence "Mahatma" Gandhi, or "Gandhi of the great soul"), ٢ /daaham/ "thirst." 

ߵ /mrduvikaaramO/- [Is it] a charming feeling? Listen! I would call this a very poetic word, mainly because of the adjective /mrdu/ which, like several Malaylam words, can mean all sorts of things: "soft, slender, mild, charming, agreeable." ߵ /vikaaram/ basically means "change, feeling, expression." I'm not sure how poetic and/or colloquial this word is, but I have a feeling it is both. 

dwB{W c /indriyangngaLil Saithyaniilima/- literally "the blue-colored coldness in the sense organs"; really this means something more like, "I feel a cold blue (in my body)." Doesn't it tend to be cold sometimes when it's cloudy, especially during winter (or the slightly "cold" season in the tropics)? Listen! Lots to be explained here, too: dwBZ /indriyangngaL/ is the plural for dwϢ /indriyam/, a written (and possibly colloquial) word which apparently indicates one of the five sense organs (you know...ear, eyes, nose, hands, mouth). It can also mean something a lot nastier, but for the sake of decency, I won't get into that for now! So dwB{W /indriyangngaLil/ means "sense organs" in this case. c /Saithyaniilima/ indicates the blue color of the skies when it's cold. c /Saithyam/ means {V/M /kuLir, thaNuppu/ (Did you remember that these words mean "cold(ness)" ?) /niilima/ means "a blue color," from the word /niila/ which means "blue." 

wB{W c /spandanangngaLil Saithyaniilima/- Listen! It's the same as the above, only this time the coldness is wB{W /spandanangngaLil/, that is, in the heart(beats). /spandanam/ in this context means a heartbeat. (I'm not sure whether it's colloquial, but it probably is.)

W E /muuTal manjnjala/- (written & col.?) foggy clouds. Listen! Both of the above words seem to mean "fog(gy), mist(y)."

VJ /niirththi/- spread out. Listen!

Z /SayyakaL/- lit. for "beds." Listen! Finally, a word I actually know! It's the plural of the poetic word /Sayya/, which means a bed.

W /dEvadaaruvil/- in the "Deodar" tree (written & col.). Listen! A /dEvadaaru/, of course, is a tree written in English as "Deodar" (aka Lebanon cedar)!

E /virinjnju/- literally "blossomed" but actually blossoming (written & col.). Listen! From the verb /viriyuka/ "to blossom." 

BZ /mOhanangngaL/- written & col. for "fascinating things." Listen! From the noun Ȣ /mOhanam/, which means "something fascinating/interesting/attracting, etc."

So, our translation so far is, roughly:

Is it the fragrance of the coupled clouds' "love" during the cold season,

Or is it just God's grace?

Is it the charming feeling of my soul's thirst diving into the cold,

Or is it just God's grace?

My body feels a cold blue,

My heartbeats feel a cold blue.

The clouds are foggy and beds spread out,

And fascinating things have blossomed in the cedar tree.