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Bharatiyar Discussions

Miscellaneous topics on Carnatic music
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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by smala » 25 Aug 2011, 20:36

Arasi, I was feeling down after chapter 26 and searching brought up this last chapter on the net - on the death of Bharathi, confirming the deep and special bonds between Bharathi and Yadugiri. She was a remarkable talented person herself, one who tuned in and eagerly received the deep messages Bharati poured out.

No, I don't have a copy yet but Tamilbooks online has the book available for Rs 35. ... NINAIVUGAL

Arasi, you have inspired me with your lovely translation so I just gave the transliteration a try. Please do me a favor and correct post 74 - esp. the gaps I couldn't transliterate - I know you're tired but this is just a few lines. Thanks.

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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by Tamizhisai » 01 Sep 2011, 20:55

I have enjoyed Arasi's translation of Ms Yadhugiri's book. As usual Arasi has done a splendid job. The English translation is as absorbing as the Tamil original.

Several members of this forum seem to be having a lot of information about BHARATHI's family. I have read two passing references about Chellamma's stay in the house of Poet-Writer Tiruloka Seetharam's house. Bharatidasan and Kavignar Vaali have visited her during that period. Wish some member throw more light on her stay in Tiruchi.

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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by sridhar_ranga » 02 Sep 2011, 20:05

arasi wrote:PBala,
Why don't you do it?
There are several others. Rajani, sridharang, Bilahari, to start with. Wonder if they have looked at the Bharathi threads...

It is an honor to be mentioned by you. I am just beginning to catch up with your exceptionally good translations of yadugiri's work and can't wait to finish it all - I have many chapters in the middle to go throgh still. As many others have said on the main thread, only an accomplished poet like you can bring out the beauty of the original text. Many many thanks for undertaking this huge effort and showing us a rare first person glimpse of Bharati through Yadugiri's eyes. I had not read or even heard of Yadugiri's book till you started the series, but now I can't stop wondering at the felicity of her expression (and the magic of your translation too), and would love to read the Tamil original some day.

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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by sridhar_ranga » 02 Sep 2011, 20:12

smala wrote:Can someone offer a translation?

என் கணவர்

1951ஆம் ஆண்டு திருச்சி வானொலியில் ""என் கணவர்"" என்ற தலைப்பில் திருமதி செல்லம்மாள் பாரதி ஆற்றிய உரை.)
S_P, here is an amateur attempt. Hope this helps.

My Husband

A 1951 Speech by Chellammal Bharati on AIR Trichy

Soceity may think I have a celebrity’s life. My dream to live a life worthy of praise became somewhat true. Today my husband’s fame is sky-high. I am praised as the Mahakavi’s wife today, but not long ago I had to face insults of being a lunatic’s wife. In my life there are many such ironies. It may sound funny, but I lived an eternal life with a poet who could not live in conformity with society. You can be the wife of anyone else – but to be the wife of a poet is most difficult.

Poets are a breed apart. Not even in their eating and sleeping habits are they like other mortals. Can you expect someone who wants to soar high in the poetic firmament using their rich imagination as wings, to live an ordinary life in a dark tenement, earning to feed his wife and dependents?
Poverty is the exclusive preserve of poets. To a poet, nothing on this earth is more pleasureable than (writing and enjoying) poems. So it falls on his wife to find some means of feeding the family. How can a poet shine if all the time he is preoccupied with thoughts of earning a livelihood for the sake of his wife, whom he nevertheless treats as the queen of his heart?

A poet is an unconventional being – nothing matters to him. But can any woman spend her life filled with nothing but worries? Isn’t it natural for a young woman’s heart to be filled with desires and longings? But a poet’s wife is fated to find happiness only in heaven. Happy living has been a mirage for poet’s wives: this hasn’t changed from the days of yore (Right from the days of “sattimuttap pulavar” **) down to me. He (Bharati) may be sitting deep in concentration, but as the headwoman of the family can I afford to sit in yogic stillness?
There are many sorts of poets. Those who write devotional works on god, those who create epics of high literary merit – they don’t suffer from the world outside. My husband not only wrote works of fiction, but nationalist ones too. I had to suffer for this reason. The repression (by the British government) attempted to dam his creative outbursts. The whole family had to endure the consequent sufferings. But his poems gushed forth like a river in spate, breaking all shackles.

After waking up early in the morning, he loved going up to the terrace and face the crimson sky. Every day he would have a different kind of bath but he loved sunbathing the most. Standing outside facing the sun is his version of sun bath. He believed that sun’s rays helped cleanse the eyes. He loved his coffee and dosas at breakfast time. He would spread ghee, curds and fresh pickle on the dosa before eating. But whatever be the favourite food I prepare for him, three fourths of it would be consumed by his beloved crows and sparrows. Somehow I could never accept his habit of sharing his food with the birds. There was no dearth of friends / disciples (around him); (when he is around) nor has there ever been a shortage of information (news/ current affairs). His singing entered the ears like nectar and filled the whole body. But one thing would stop me from enjoying it all – my load of worries.

In a world filled with sycophancy, he ordered that we should always speak the truth. No matter what, lying was forbidden. We all know how difficult this can be.

Puduvai (Pondicherry) became my jail. What can a jail do to one? Of course it does not affect the learned/ self-realized. They have the mental fortitude to face anything. But it heaped on me, a simple woman whose only ambition was to manage the household well, newer and newer forms of suffering.

It was in Puduvai that many new things emerged: (his concept of?) new civilization, rise of the new (modern) woman, new poetry (“pudukkavidai” – the unconventional style of poetry that broke rules of established grammar) – all these were born. For many of these new discoveries, I ended up as his research material. After agonizing for a long time over whether women needed to be given equal rights or not, finally he came to the conclusion that it (equality for women) was essential, and wanted to practice it in his life with great eagerness. The hardships I went through, until he came to this decision (on equality of women), is beyond description.

Although he had no opportunity to take part in political affairs when in Puduvai, he had some peace of mind due to the chance to serve Tamil with his literary work. Most of his poems we treasure now were born there. My husband laboured to make man eternal, and went ahead bravely working for his objectives disregarding all obstacles and opposition.

The Mahakavi lived for our country and its freedom. It is no surprise that he, steeped in Tamil culture, lived a life filled with munificence, kindness and tolerance. Nor was it unexpected that he awakened the sleeping Tamils; what remains a wonder for me is that even after he passed away in the physical sense, he is a living part of every Tamil speaking person today. The best way to describe this is by using his own poetic phrase: “viNDuraikka mATTAda vindaiyaDA” (my poor translation: wonder that can’t be described in words)

**sattimuttappulavar or sattimuRRappulavar is the famed poet who wrote “nArai viDu dUtu”. It is a classic Tamil poem describing the poet’s poverty, in which he sends a message through a red-legged stork (“nArai”), that has a beak like a palmyrah root split in two symmetrical halves (“panaiyin kizhangu piLandanna pavaLakkoorvAic cengAl nArAi”), asking it to convey his abysmal living conditions in the pANDyan kingdom to his wife living in the town of sattimuRRAm, in a house with leaky roof and clicking geckos…he describes himself as staying in a choultry, with no upper garment to cover himself, clasping his hands and pressing his knees against his chest as a protection against the cold, teeth chattering, and generally miserable. Chellamma says that nothing has changed in the living conditions of poets from then till her time.
Last edited by sridhar_ranga on 02 Sep 2011, 22:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by cmlover » 02 Sep 2011, 20:44

Well done sridhar_rang
You have done a signal service by translating Chellamal's radio talk. The translation is very good and flows naturally.

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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by smala » 02 Sep 2011, 22:04

Yes, thanks a lot sridhar_rang - so glad to see you back after a long while.

Chellamal's narrative confirms my thoughts that Bharathi was looked upon as a "urpadaatha" "paithiyakaaran" during his times, especially Chellammal's family - could be one reason, I presume, why she left him behind, taking off to Kadayam with his beloved daughters, despite his pleas for her to stay back. That Puduvai was a "prison" for her may also have driven her to do this in some part...

Some key lines :
"So it falls on his wife to find some means of feeding the family...." "After agonizing for a long time over whether women needed to be given equal rights or not, finally he came to the conclusion that it (equality for women) was essential, and wanted to practice it in his life with great eagerness. The hardships I went through, until he came to this decision (on equality of women), is beyond description."

Her natal family, in particular, more than the general population, seemed to have judged Bharati's failings in terms of a provider while a fugitive at Puduvai with scant regard for his poetic abilities and his creations. That could one reason why why Bharati strongly resisted pressures to move and settle in Kadayam, from Puduvai. Prior to the move to Puduvai, in Chennai, Chellamal apparently had a good life according to Vijaya Bharathi, daughter of Thangamma.

The key to this address is the year 1951. When a lot about Bharathi had sunk in. The fact that Chellamal realized Bharathi's genius through the pouring of public appreciation for his poems - after he was gone - is seen in this talk-account of My Husband.

Yadugiri not only wrote an exceptional Bharathi Ninaivugal - she gave us vignettes of the background and context of many the gems that were born there. Her recall, some two decades after Bharathi's death, of the many conversations with Bharati is so crisp and precise that it does not cease to amaze me. Yadugiri was most fortunate indeed, a very sharp sensitive intellect herself which is why her memoirs are said to be very different from those written by Chellamal and others.

It should now be interesting, and the next logical step, to read :

1) Chellammal's 1941 tavap pudalvar - bhAratiyAr carittiram (Publisher?)

2) Thangammal's
-1946 amaran kadai
-1947 bhAratiyum kavidaiyum
-1947 piLLaip pirayattilE
-1978 endaiyum tAyum

3) Vijaya Bharati, daughter of Thangammal :

Thangammal's Bharati Padaipukal (2004, Centenary publication, Amudhasurabi, Chennai, pages 472, Price Rs.200.)

Anybody with access - please translate! This will become a mega thread, have so much to look forward to!
Last edited by smala on 02 Sep 2011, 23:01, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by smala » 02 Sep 2011, 22:49

P. Bala :

could you repost here those that you deleted from the other Bharathi-Yadugiri thread?


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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by smala » 02 Sep 2011, 23:40

By her own admission, Chellammal states that Bharati treated her as the 'queen of his heart" - so wonder how the stories of him mis-treating his wife got started.

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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by arasi » 04 Sep 2011, 02:00

Thank you for bringing Chellamma's talk to those who don't read tamizh. As CML says, you are very good (and I knew it;) )!

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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by cmlover » 07 Sep 2011, 19:53

I have started a new topic for your your new translations at ... 24#p205424
Pl continue there.
Comments/discussions relating to them can be posted here.
I am also making that thread sticky so it wont get buried in new posts!

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Re: BhAratiyAr

Post by smala » 08 Sep 2011, 00:45

CML make this discussion thread a sticky too right below the Oy Bharathiyar and New Bharathi Materials - then it will be easy to read from the top two and discuss in the third - without having to go down and search for the discussion thread - also rename this one from "Bharathiyar" to "Bharathiyar-Discussion" to make it distinct.

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Re: Bharatiyar Discussions

Post by cmlover » 08 Sep 2011, 18:27


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Re: Bharatiyar Discussions

Post by bharatanatyamrasika » 14 Dec 2011, 00:55

this piece is exquisite. would it be possible to post the second part - i would love to see how the dancer choreographs un kannil neer vazhindal en nenjil udirum kottudhdi?

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Re: Bharatiyar Discussions

Post by venkatakailasam » 11 Dec 2012, 09:01

To day is his anniversary...

A composition I liked....

ஒளியும் இருளும்

வானமெங்கும் பரிதியின் சோதி;
மலைகள் மீதும் பரிதியின் சோதி;
தானை நீர்க்கடல் மீதிலும் ஆங்கே
தரையின் மீதும் தருக்களின் மீதும்
கானகத்திலும் பற்பல ஆற்றின்
கரைகள் மீதும் பரிதியின் சோதி;
மானவன்றன் உளத்தினில் மட்டும்
வந்து நிற்கும் இருளிது வென்னே! 1

சோதி என்னும் கரையற்ற வெள்ளம்,
தோன்றி எங்கும் திரைகொண்டு பாய,
சோதி என்னும் பெருங்கடல், சோதிச்
சூறை, மாசறு சோதி யனந்தம்,
சோதி என்னும் நிறைவிஃ துலகைச்
சூழ்ந்து நிற்ப, ஒருதனி நெஞ்சம்
சோதி யன்றதொர் சிற்றிருள் சேரக்
குமைந்து சோரும் கொடுமையி தென்னே. 2

தேம லர்க்கொர் அமுதன்ன சோதி,
சேர்ந்து புள்ளினம் வாழ்த்திடும் சோதி,
காம முற்று நிலத்தொடு நீரும்
காற்றும் நன்கு தழுவி நகைத்தே
தாமயங்கிநல் லின்புறுஞ் சோதி,
தரணி முற்றும் ததும்பி யிருப்ப,
தீமை கொண்ட புலையிருள் சேர்ந்தோர்
சிறிய நெஞ்சந் தியங்குவ தென்னே! 3

நீர்ச் சுனைக்கணம் மின்னுற் றிலக,
நெடிய குன்றம் நகைத்தொழில் கொள்ள,
கார்ச்ச டைக்கரு மேகங்க ளெல்லாம்,
கனக மொத்துச் சுடர்கொண் டுலாவ,
தேர்ச்சி கொண்டுபல் சாத்திரங் கற்றும்
தெவிட்டொ ணாதநல் லின்பக் கருவாம்
வேர்ச்சுடர் பரமாண் பொருள் கேட்டும்
மெலிவோர் நெஞ்சிடை மேவுதல் என்னே!


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Re: Bharatiyar Discussions

Post by vgovindan » 25 Oct 2014, 00:16

ஈசன் வந்து சிலுவையில் மாண்டான்,
எழுந்து யிர்த்தனன் நாள்ஒரு மூன்றில்;
நேச மாமரி யாமக்த லேநா
நேரிலே யிந்தச் செய்தியைக் கண்டாள் *
தேசத்தீர்! இதன் உட்பொருள் கேளீர்;
தேவர் வந்து நமக்குட் புகுந்தே
நாசமின்றி நமைநித்தங் காப்பார்,
நம் அகந்தையை நாம்கொன்று விட்டால்.

அன்பு காண்மரி யாமக்தலேநா,
ஆவி காணுதிர் யேசு கிறிஸ்து;
முன்பு தீமை வடிவினைக் கொன்றால்
மூன்று நாளினில் நல்லுயிர் தோன்றும்;
பொன்பொலிந்த முகத்தினிற் கண்டே
போற்றுவாள் அந்த நல்லுயிர் தன்னை
அன்பெனும் மரி யாமக்த லேநா
ஆஹ! சாலப் பெருங்களியிஃதே.

உண்மை யென்ற சிலுவையிற் கட்டி
உணர்வை ஆணித் தவங்கொண்டடித்தால்,
வண்மைப் பேருயிர் யேசு கிறிஸ்து
வான மேனியில் அங்கு விளங்கும்
பெண்மை காண்மரி யாமக்த லேநா,
பேணும் நல்லறம் யேசு கிறிஸ்து,
நுண்மை கொண்ட பொருளிது கண்டீர்
நொடியிலிஃது பயின்றிடலாகும்.

*[தீய ஒழுக்கத்தில் நின்ற மேரி மக்தலேன் என்பாள் யேசு கிறிஸ்துவை அடைந்து, தனது ஒழுக்கத்திற்காகப் பரிதபித்து, தன்னைக் கடையேற்ற வேண்டுமென்று வேண்டினாள். யேசுவும் அவளுக்கு அருள் புரிந்தார். யேசு புதைக்கப்பட்ட மூன்றாம் நாள் அவர் உடம்புடன் எழுந்து விண்ணேகினதை மேரி மக்தலேன் கண்ணால் கண்டு பிறருக் கறிவித்ததாய்க் கிறிஸ்து புராணம் கூறுகின்றது. இக்கதையையே இங்கு விளக்கியிருக்கிறது.]

This poem was written by Bharatri (Bharatiar Kavidaigal - Kumaran Padippagam - 1997 - Page 92-93). Notes also from the same book.

If Bharati is alive today, will he also be classified as 'pseudo secularist'?

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Re: Bharatiyar Discussions

Post by kvchellappa » 25 Oct 2014, 09:22

Bharathi was a Hindu because he saw the same God everywhere, like Ramakrishna did in his experience. A pseudo secularist is one who finds the very mention of the word Hindu to be communal and any Hindu practice to be anti-social. If Bharathi had lived he would have realised the dream of writing a new divyaprabandham, Bible and Koran in inimitable poetry that would have enriched Tamizh literature and our minds. It raankles in my mind that the discussion of pseudo secularism should crop up in the context of Bharathi.

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Re: Bharatiyar Discussions

Post by kvjayan » 25 Oct 2014, 09:29

Mahakavi Bharati would be called a pseudo-secularist if he had practiced and propagated selective secularism, denigrating only Hindu gods and Hindu ways of worship, keeping a blind eye to the faults in other religions, calling only Hindu puranas and itihasas as"mythology", appeasement of minorities to dip into their vote bank etc. etc. etc. He attacked and criticised evil where ever he found them. But, he did not seem to have indulged in self-loathing to exhibit his secular credentials.

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Re: Bharatiyar Discussions

Post by vgovindan » 25 Oct 2014, 10:10

I understand. But then, I raised this issue in regard to some of the observations made in the parallel thread about 'Christian Kutchery'. Since I cannot post Tamil version in all threads, I chose this thread.

Bharati's explanation of 'resurrection' in the poem is a classic example of how certain words which have been given totally unscientific meanings - revival of dead body - can be explained through the prism of Indian philosophy. It is matter of pride that we belong to this rational tradition based on enquiry and not dogmas.

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Re: Bharatiyar Discussions

Post by vgovindan » 29 Oct 2014, 23:30

Here are views of Bharati on contemporary Musical scene of Tamil Nadu and his exhortations - ... _4641.html

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Re: Bharatiyar Discussions

Post by arasi » 30 Oct 2014, 08:31

I had read this before, but thanks for bringing it back for us to read.

It's amazing how what he wrote then still rings true. Well, it was bhArathi. So, no need to be taken by surprise. The intuition and brilliance in his statements are what makes this piece of writing valuable.

He covers all the rasAs he lists, with examples. This is truly a handbook for vidvAns and vidUshis, though after nearly a century, there are a few things here which
do not apply anymore.

RasikAs too have a lot to learn from him :)

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