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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ormakalkippozhum baalyam......


(the islands of memory)
Pathirulla naazhoori nellumaayennamma
Patikeriyethunna saayanthanam
Kanneeru peyyunna kolaayilennude
Shokaraamayana paarayanam

Ormakalkippozhum baalyam
Ona nilaavu pol deeptham……….

(The evening my mother returns with scant grains from the field and i sit in the verandah that rains tears reading my sad tale...
memories are still young
bright like moonlight!)

Chithalukal chithram varaykkunna chumaril
Chiri thooki achchante chhaya padam
Illaymathan kalithottililanujante
Ellam marannulla kunhurakkam

(father's smiling portrait on the termite-decked wall 
younger brother sleeps in the cradle of poverty)

Ozhiyaatha vedana theeruvan muthassi
Veruthe purattunnu dhaanwantharam
Klaavu pidichoru ottukinnam pole
Kunhechi than lola lola chiththam

(grandmother rubbing oil on her never-ending knee pain
sitser's soft heart gets moss-stricken like a bronze cup)

Ormakalkippozhum baalyam
Ona nilaavu pol deeptham………

Mundakan koyyunna maadappiraavinte
Thengalaaneka sangeetha varsham
Mangum pratheeksha than, kolaayil njaanoru
Vingum kanal poleyennu nithyam

(the only music is the wail of a bird
i sit throbbing like an ember in the yard of waning hopes)

Muthassi katha thellum pookkaaththa maavinte
Muttaththu thengiyo meda maasam
Mullatharayile anthivilakkilen
Munnaazhimizhineerin ponvelicham

(here no grandma tales bloom
the lamp at the front yard is filled with my tears)

Ormakalkippozhum baalyam
Ona nilaavu pol deeptham………

Pulluva poonkudam thengiya sandhyayil
Panchamakkuyileki swara saanthwanam
Paattinte pallavam aa naalilaadyamaay
Paathiyaval thanna nalla kaalam

(when the stringed pot of the folk singer wailed at the twilight
the nightingale gave me solace
and enriched my days)

Changaathimaaraayi aksharappoovukal
Chiththathil chiriyitta chaithramaasam
Pattiniyaale pakittu kuranjittum
Pand’avar thannathaanee sugandham

(words were my friends, they like flowers, brought smile to my mind
though the lustre lacks due to poverty,
the fragrance is their legacy)

Ormakalkippozhum baalyam
Ona nilaavu pol deeptham………

Maranaminnenne mayakkiyeduthaalum
Maayillen snehathin surasourabham
Novichavarkkum njaan hridayamaam naakkila
Thumbil vilambunnu premaamritham.

(death can't take away the fragrance of words from me
i serve love in the leaf of my tongue to those who hurt me)

(i have made a hurried attempt to translate the poem into English. Can't say whether it does justice to the poem in Malayalam as it is full of rich imagery. Please note: the refrain in the poem is translated only once. Santhosh Kumar Kana)

                                       (the anthology of poems titled NILAVILITHEYYAM)

Krishnamoorthy sir is passion embodied, a creative administrator, a bold and brilliant person with incredibe hypersensitivity. His ardent pursuit for excellence and novel ventures make him an inexhaustible receptacle of creativity which defeats his age. If you go to him with tall claims, he would rupture your inflated ego and leave your feet set firm on the ground. You would come out afresh after having a conversation with him. With him, no conversation can afford to remain futile. He oozes positive energy inspite of all the extreme hardships and challenges he had encountered, that makes you realize that your problems are too silly to make you morose. He loves his profession and makes his passion contagious among the staff and students. He proves it to perfection that the living presence of a teacher can’t be replaced by technology. Working with him is a unique man-making experience.

                                                 with KRISHNAMOORTHY sir

It was on one such evening after a rich journey through literature, movies, academics and life that he asked me about a poem which had moved him to tears in Mangalore where a student, Nandakishore, had recited it on one of the occasions at the school(KV, Mangalore).
Unfortunately, he could recollect only a line from the poem “ormakalkippozhum baalyam…” and he longed to have the poem since it had such moving lines with intense imagery in the portrayal of a poor family. I haven’t heard about the poem but I felt it an insult for a Malayalee like me to be unaware of such a powerful poem. I took it as a challenge and contacted many of my friends in Kerala to get the poem but it didn’t yield any positive result. Then my favourite website (the door to doors) came to my help. After a prolonged experiemental search for the poem putting the only available lines in different form and sequence, I found it! The poem in one of the music albums sung by Jayachandran. I took a print out of the lyrics and also mailed it to Krishnamoorthy sir. I had to wait for another five hours for the morning to share my joy with sir. He was on cloud nine! Through another source, I could get the phone number of the poet, Sri Rajeev Alunkal (a busy lyricist in Malayalam films) and called him up at once. Very simple and humble, he sounded quite na├»ve about the possibilities of technology. A sms carried my postal address to his mobile.

On the panel inspection at our school in January, 2011, Krishnamoorthy sir once again broke tradition. He said NO to the usual invocation to the almighty before the commencement of the meeting after the inspection and asked me to recite this poem that had moved him to tears. “let’s remember our roots through this poem”, He gave the synopsis of the poem before he called me to recite it.

On 25th February, 2011 a courier brought a gift for me from the poet Sri Rajeev Alunkal, his anthology of poems titled “NILAVILI THEYYAM”published by Paridhi Publications, Thiruvananthapuram. On the very first page I read a message from him in his amazing handwriting, “snehaashamsakalode….Rajeev Alunkal”. A collection of 33 poems and the 24th poem titled “Ormathuruthukal” is the poem that has brought us together. Seeing the poem was not less than seeing the poet. I called up the poet and thanked him.


I ran to Krishnamoorthy sir. I could see his hands shivering with mixed feelings as he read through the lines of the poem. Within a few minutes of rushing through the contents of the book, he could come out with fresh insights on the style of writing of the poet and the cover design of the book.

He couldn’t believe his eyes when he found that the poet was quite young. He poured out his enthusiasm over the phone to the poet himself.

The following lines were ringing in my mind all through:

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Thank you, sir. Thank you, Rajeev Alunkal.



Leena Madan said...

One of the best posts viewed in your blog.............
The entire episode is woven around the yarn of authenticity laced with
your passion for writing filigreed with your quest for excellence sans any exaggeration...............
A true to life portrayal of our principal's fervor for perfection....................

Anonymous said...

Truly a heart-warming gesture Santhosh. Though I know him through his work in Malayalam cinema, specially his Amma Ninne Thaamarakkumpilil from Sneham+Ishtam = Amma, this is a revelation.Will try getting a copy of Nilavilitheyyam now.Keep writing.

Rajagopal said...

A great effort Sir. Congratulations. You have done justice to the nuances of the poet. Younger brother's "ellam marannulla kunhurakkam" could have been modified a little to give that impact. Well done !

Hari said...

Try this link :