NaLLendRandRe Yaamam (நள்ளென்றன்றே யாமம்) – A Translation

Inspired by a post by @kurunthokai on Twitter, I have translated a poem that I really liked when I read it. Part of the reason I did it is that I identify with that poem. A lot of us will, I guess.

It’s amazing how the emotions of people are the same regardless of the time in which they live in – love, anger, envy, anxiety, happiness. Someone, hundreds of years ago, felt the same things you and I feel today – it’s quite overwhelming. It’s also quite interesting to note that, when each of us goes through an emotional struggle, we feel that we are the only ones to suffer such a pain- the fact of the matter is, we are not alone. To each of us, our struggles seem so huge to us, that we assume that everyone else is doing just fine and they have no idea.

In short, to say it in Twitter lingo, #ThatThatManThatThatTrouble.:D

But that is what this poem brings out. It beautifully brings out the emotional struggle that a woman goes through when she is away from her beloved in a simple yet honest manner.

Needlesss to say, it’s even more beautiful and convincing when read in iniya thamizh.

Here is the poem:

நள்ளென்றன்றே யாமம் சொல் அவிந்(து)
இனிது அடங்கினரே மாக்கள் முனிவு இன்று
நனந்தலை உலகமும் துஞ்சும்
ஓர் யான் மன்ற துஞ்சாதேனே

எழுதியவர் – பதுமனார்
திணை – நெய்தல் திணை

Here is Kurunthogai’s excellent illustration on it:

Inspired from this, I have attempted to translate it too. Though it’s not an exact language translation and it’s near impossible to do justice to the original, I have tried. Do feel free to read and share your thoughts.


Oh, the dark, dense night is here!
And with it comes a quiet,
That envelopes the air
As daylight clears

The day is at its close
With its every sound dead,
For every living soul
Has retired peacefully to bed

The whole wide world
Is blissfully asleep
Free from the wretched claws
Of bitterness and envy

Alas, but here I am
The only Cursed One, I think –
For I am just unable
To even sleep a wink.

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A Fresh Start

I had always wanted to write.

Somewhere along the way God dropped a slate into my hands. I was not supposed to sketch. Yet I did. I scribbled. The ugly scribble affected the slate as well. What mistake did the slate do? The slate deserved a painting and not meaningless scribbles. I was guilty of starting to scribble but in life you cannot erase what you started out to scribble and so I tried to make a decent painting out of my scribbles. It only became uglier. I paused. Took a second chance at painting. It only became worse.

Reached a point where it became clear that the slate had to go. And it went. I cried for the slate. I couldn’t sketch anyway, so it shouldn’t make a difference that the slate went, right? But it did. I cried for a year over the lost slate. Still sometimes do.

Did I “discard” the slate? Or did the slate just slide away from me? I don’t know. But the slate is no longer with me anymore. I don’t sketch anymore.

Then I remembered, I had always wanted to write. When I first chanced upon the slate, I ignored the fact that I liked to write. Big mistake. “Let me write at least now”, I thought. So I went out to buy a pen and paper. Thought I’ll write a story about my slate. As Fate would have it, the shop I went to did not have pens and papers right then. They would take some time. A year or two, he said. He asked me to get them somewhere else. But I loved the stationary in the shop. Was always my favorite.

The shopkeeper did not seem to want to help me. He did not seem to understand that they stocked some of my favorite pens. Should I tell him I’ll wait till they restocked? Would he think I was crazy to wait a year for a few pens? Or should I just leave the shop?

Or should I JUST give up writing and sketching and maybe…sing instead? My family always wanted me to sing.

Something new? A fresh start?

But if I did that, I will have forever lost the slate. I will have forever lost the chance to write. But I may, just may, sing well. Should I cry forever over the lost slate? Should I wait for a pen and a paper?

Or should I start afresh with a song, maybe?


கேளாய் பெண்ணே!

உன் உள்ளத்தைப் பற்றிக்கொண்டு
முகத்தில் நீ அணிய புன்-நகையும் தந்து
பற்றிய கையை விட்டு விலகி
உன்னை பிரிவதற்காகவே பிறவி எடுத்த
இந்த ஏழைக் காதலனின் மனதைக் கேளாய்!

என்னைப் பிரிந்து வாடி நீ படும் பாட்டை
நான் அறியேன் என்று நினைத்தாயோ?
உன் மனதைப் பாலைவனமாக்கிய
பாவியை மன்னிப்பாயோ?

உன் ஆனந்தக் கனவுகளுக்குப் பாத்திரமானவன்
உன் கண்ணீர் வெள்ளத்திற்குக் காரணம் ஆனேன்
என்று எண்ணும் ஒவ்வொறு கணமும்
நரகத்தில் நான் கழிக்கும் யுகமாகத் தோன்றுதம்மா!

உன் கண்ணீரைத் துடைக்க இயலவில்லை
உன் கோபத்தைத் தணிக்க வழியொன்றில்லை
மீண்டும் கண்டு காதலித்து உன்னை மணக்க- மறு
பிறவியும் என்னிடம் இல்லை!

எனினும் ஒரு சொல் கேளாய்!
நான் உன்னிடம் கொண்ட காதலைப் பொய்யெனக் கொள்வது
பக்ஷிகள் இசையிடம் கொண்ட காதலையும்
மழைநீர் மண்ணிடம் கொண்ட காதலையும்
ஆகாயம் நிலவிடம் கொண்ட காதலையும்
பொய்யெனக் கொள்வதாகும்.

என் மனதை ஆளும் என் செல்வமே!
அலைபாயும் மனதில் அமைதி காண்
என் மனம் என்றும் உனக்கு சமர்ப்பணம்!


நிறைவேறாத காதலை எண்ணி தன்னைப் பிரிந்து வாடும் தன் காதலிக்கு காதலன் கூறும் கூற்றாய் கற்பனை செய்து தமிழில் எழுத முயற்சித்த முதல் கவிதை. பிழைகள் இருந்தால் மன்னிக்கவும். பிடித்திருந்தால் ரசிக்கவும் 🙂

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The Big Joke

Who else but she
Who cries herself to sleep
Knows the meaning of joy

Who else but she
Who fights battles in her head
Knows the relief of peace

Who else but she
Who let herself be fooled
Knows the pain of the truth

Who else but she
Who has been cast away forever
Knows the need for love

Who else but she
Who has killed her own heart
Knows the power of hope

Who else but she
Who fell for an illusion
Knows the big joke called Life


Why didn’t you know?

Didn’t the night always know
That the Sun would be back
To give it the light
It was meant to have?

Didn’t the earth always know
That the rain would be back
To quench its thirst
After a spell of drought?

Didn’t the rock always know
That the tide would be back
To embrace it again
Despite kissing it Goodbye?

Then I wonder why you didn’t know
What the night knew
What the earth knew
What the rock knew
And what I knew



She stood, alone and small, with the vast ocean at her feet. The gentle breeze teasing her hair was no match for the raging storm tearing at her heart.

A huge wave beckoned to her. She took a step toward it, arms open, as though to take back all the steps she wished she hadn’t taken.

She looked up at the stars sprinkled across the sky. A lone, familiar star seemed to smile down at her, as if in recognition. She smiled back. She would soon join the wise old star and gaze down at the ocean, too.

She inhaled sharply, hoping to trap, in one last breath, those beautiful words uttered by her beloved. She never found them again after they vanished in thin air.

She took that final step into the sea.

But stopped. For the waters that always took away her last grains of hope with the sand, now gave her something new instead.

She bent down. And picked up a beautiful white shell.

Tomorrow was another day.

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Where are you?

Corners of my heart
That I never knew existed
Are being ripped apart
Where are you?

Memories haunt me
Night and day
My mistakes do too
By the way

I’ve been talking to walls
I am at the end of my rope
I’ve lost myself
And all hope

It’s been ages
Since the heart
Felt the smiles
That the lips now feign

Would this suffice
Or would you like
To see me in more distress
So you can show up,
My elusive “Mister Knight
In shining armour”?

What are you doing?
Where are you going?
Why aren’t you here now,
While I am in pain?

I cannot wait
For you to wipe my teary cheek
So shall we stop playing
Hide and Seek?

Throw my coffin open
Light up my heart
And you will mean
The world to me


A Present Wrapped in Moments from the Past

Here is a humble present
Wrapped in moments
That are forever lost
In a blurry past

I sit lost in thought
I know not what to gift
I wonder if it matters at all
I wonder…

I wish I could wrap that donut
But you know I lost it forever.
Like a fool I dropped it
And never found it again

I wish to grab those fleeting seconds
From that very surreal morning
But they slip through my fingers
Not willing to be trapped in a box

I would give my heart
But the last time I tried that
It was sent right back
Unopened, undesired

So here I am
Wrapping a silent prayer
For your health, happiness
Love and peace

I wrap this humble present
Which I know is cursed to go
Undiscovered or just discarded
Like many a cry of pain before


“A Step You Can’t Take Back” from “Begin Again”

I watched a movie called “Begin Again” recently and fell in love with a song. Love every word of it. Just felt like including it in my blog as one of my favourites. Here you go:

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A Familiar Stranger

I went back to wipe a little child’s tears
Tears that I thought I had caused
But in his place was a familiar stranger
Who made me weep instead

(Continued from “The Donut Wasn’t Mine)