A PHANTOM TIGER

  Author: Maalan

Translator: Dr. K.S.Subramaniam

 

The tiger wriggled and gently shook its body and looked at it with a grunt. Not quite a grunt. Possibly a clearing of the throat. It perhaps nursed a misgiving that during its time of captivity in the cage it might have lost its voice. When it was trapped in the cage, it had neither the time nor the need to roar and frighten any prey or to lunge forward and attack it. Skinned sheep or rabbit or an occasional slice of beef would be tossed into the cage. At the crack of the whip, it should jump into the ring, make a couple of half-rounds and climb on the tripod with its four legs. No other work beyond this. This may as well be done by a mere cat.

 

But, who is there to be afraid of cats? A tiger is required to impart dread in people, even to exhibit prowess. Those outside the ring should be in the grip of a fear if it would pounce on them. However large the tiger, it would bend before me — this pleasant pride should be the lot of the wielder of the whip. The logic of the man’s world is indeed bizarre. They don’t search for food only to satisfy their hunger.

 

The tiger was walking outside the tent, grazing the rope holding the tent tight. The tiger can display its strength even now. If it chose to swing its tail and  pull that rope, or pull out with its leg the peg holding the rope, the tent would come crashing down. Of what avail is this? May well get trapped again. Would get meat to drive away hunger but all for a relapse into the life of a cat?

 

The price of freedom is hunger!

***  ***

“I’m hungry. What can you give me at once?” Wiping his spectacles Arasanaayagam asked Aarumugam.

 

“I can bring you fried egg in just a couple of minutes.” Aarumugam bowed down respectfully and replied, hugging a large plate close to his chest.

 

A streak of surprise on his face. Surprise not just at the rich guys feeling the pangs of hunger. Experience has taught him that he could have his share of food only if these guys would at all feel hungry. There is no place for cooks in a house devoid of hunger. Arasanaayagam does not eat food without a swig of liquor. Even while eating alone by himself, he would savour some red wine or vodka. If there are friends, around the celebration would commence with eighteen year-old Chivas Regal.

 

That day some friends had come. Aarumugam was waiting with an ice-box containing water frozen into slabs of ice. When whisky goes in, interesting stories would start rolling out.

 

“We have been waiting for your arrival to start the concert. We were waiting for the invocatory Vaathaapi Ganapathim, but we seem to face the concluding strain of Mangalam!”

 

“Hmm…. Hereafter, instead of propitiating elephant, learn to worship tiger.”

 

“Arasu, have you had a swig somewhere else? You seem to be indulging in philosophical musings.”

 

“No philosophy this. Simple business, Man!”

 

The friends stared, not quite figuring out what he was saying.

 

“I am just now returning from a tiger hunt.”

 

“Hunt?”

The friends instinctively looked at the wall. A gun was hanging there at a 45-degree angle.

 

Aarumugam brought the fare — neatly skinned and sliced mangoes in a glass bowl, and fried eggs in silver plates.

 

“Have you killed the prey?”  One friend raised a naïve question in disbelief.

 

Clearing his throat Arasanaayagam quipped. “This is not a tiger to be killed. It is paper tiger. The agreement was signed only today. A franchise with a multi-national. Starting with a million dollars. My spider-like signature is worth a million dollars. Ha! Ha! Ha!”  He roared in laughter. The whisky has apparently started doing its job.

 

“Hey! What kind of a bloody signature is this! Esther teacher used to whack on my wrist for such scribbles. And now….its value is now a whopping million dollars! Teacher, may your soul rest in peace!” He downed one more peg.

 

“What are you going to sell? Arrack?”

“What a tubercular mind! Even in hunger tiger would not consume mere grass.”

 

“So?”

 

Arasanaayagam picked up a slice of mango with the fork. “Do you know where this mango is coming from?”

 

“India?”

 

“No. Bangladesh! Do you know the mango tree is the national tree of Bangladesh?”

 

“Oh!”

 

“In future our retail chain would distribute all over the country mangoes from Bangladesh, bananas fro Philippines or Hawaii, ladies finger from West Africa and tomato from Mexico. All for the citizens of the world.”

 

“Citizens of the world?”

 

“You simpleton! Now there is none left to be called a local citizen. The tiger called globalization first gobbles the local deer. Local food, local attire, local language, local music, local literature. Globalization starts by robbing the meaning of even your Jallikattu bullfight. Aren’t you happily wearing the jeans? In the Kentucky fried chicken shop, don’t you flirt with your Philippine girl friend in Thanglish? Why any reservation only on Mexico tomato?”

 

“It is really scary, my friend. You’ve grabbed the tiger’s tail. You cannot dismount the tiger hereafter.”

 

“The objective is not to dismount or to die. The aim is to hunt jointly. Don’t forget, I’m Moneykandan. A companion of tiger.”

 

The wandering tiger got into the river. When the cool of the water sent a thrill through its body, it raised its tail and joyously swam its way. Aahaa! What a delight! When a river is rustling past so closeby, why are these fools bathing the tiger with rubber tubes? Technology never succeeds in giving the pleasure offered by nature. Can machines produce and offer of the tenderness and aroma of rose?

 

However pleasant it is, one can’t keep swimming like this. River has no target. It simply wants to tread its path, not to reach any destination, but the tigers are born to hunt and to be hunted. By now they would have started the hunt.

 

The tiger swimming in the river returned to the banks. Walking in the slush, walking across shrubs, crossing a verandah of the palace rich with trees, it settled down under the Billiards table overlooking the river. Savouring the peace of freedom and the sheer joy of paddling in the wate, the tiger tried to close its eyelids and enjoy a wink.

 

The attempts ended in failure. Arasanaayagam did not greatly enjoy the food prepared by Aarumugam ploughing in all his talent. The intoxication had taken its toll. Not just the sway of liquor, but the stupor of tiger-hunt.

 

Aarumugam was out of any influence of stupor. There is not much of an opportunity for the local Tamil or the citizen of the world to seek out stupor beyond the bounds of his culture. While crossing the Billiards room with food plates poised in his hands, Aarumugam’s eyes landed on two pieces of cinder glowing under the table. He got goose-pimples when he realized that they were not pieces of cinder but glowing eyes. He switched on the light. There was a tiger.

 

Leaning its face on its left leg the tiger was sleeping like a mere cat, opened its eyes and looked at Aarumugam. As it was in no hunger it tried to sleep again in a mood of disinterest.

 

Aarumugam scampered, shouting “Aiyaa, tiger here.”

 

“Are you eavesdropping on all that we are talking?” Arasanaayagam fumed. “Paper tiger?” – He mocked. When Aarumugam stated that it was a tiger for real, he poked fun at him if he was also inebriated.

 

No time to reply. Aarumugam picked up the gun kept at a 45 degree angle on the wall. He tested the presence of bullets. He picked up the gun stuffed with gunpowder and loaded with bullets, and started walking.

 

The light in the Billiards Room was not switched on. Light might wake up the tiger. But the tiger was all the while very awake. Its eyes were glowing like pieces of cinder. It also realized that mansions were not its natural habitat.

 

Aarumugam aimed at the space between two eyes of the tiger. His hands were shaking out of sheer fright. The tiger moved its head on seeing the speeding bullet. The bullet pierced its way near its ear. Modern technology did not fail. The bullets had deeply hurt the tiger’s skull. The tiger cannot move hereafter.

 

The tiger slowly lifted its head and looked. As a man possessed, Aarumugam pressed the trigger once again. The screaming bullets pierced its eyes. The tiger’s tail rose 90 degrees and slumped dead. Aarumugam switched on the light.

 

On hearing the bullet sound, Arasanaayagam rose and came in. Other friends followed.

 

“What are you doing?” He asked.

 

“I had shot the tiger, boss.” Aarumugam said.

 

“My tiger cannot be shot. It is a paper tiger.” Arasanaayagam burst into a loud bout of laughter. Aarumugam dragged the dead tiger by its tail. Only he should dig the pit to bury it. Then, it would be tomorrow.

 

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tiger wriggled and gently shook its body and looked at it with a grunt. Not quite a grunt. Possibly a clearing of the throat. It perhaps nursed a misgiving that during its time of captivity in the cage it might have lost its voice. When it was trapped in the cage, it had neither the time nor the need to roar and frighten any prey or to lunge forward and attack it. Skinned sheep or rabbit or an occasional slice of beef would be tossed into the cage. At the crack of the whip, it should jump into the ring, make a couple of half-rounds and climb on the tripod with its four legs. No other work beyond this. This may as well be done by a mere cat.

But, who is there to be afraid of cats? A tiger is required to impart dread in people, even to exhibit prowess. Those outside the ring should be in the grip of a fear if it would pounce on them. However large the tiger, it would bend before me — this pleasant pride should be the lot of the wielder of the whip. The logic of the man’s world is indeed bizarre. They don’t search for food only to satisfy their hunger.

 

The tiger was walking outside the tent, grazing the rope holding the tent tight. The tiger can display its strength even now. If it chose to swing its tail and  pull that rope, or pull out with its leg the peg holding the rope, the tent would come crashing down. Of what avail is this? May well get trapped again. Would get meat to drive away hunger but all for a relapse into the life of a cat?

The price of freedom is hunger!

***  ***

“I’m hungry. What can you give me at once?” Wiping his spectacles Arasanaayagam asked Aarumugam.

“I can bring you fried egg in just a couple of minutes.” Aarumugam bowed down respectfully and replied, hugging a large plate close to his chest.

A streak of surprise on his face. Surprise not just at the rich guys feeling the pangs of hunger. Experience has taught him that he could have his share of food only if these guys would at all feel hungry. There is no place for cooks in a house devoid of hunger. Arasanaayagam does not eat food without a swig of liquor. Even while eating alone by himself, he would savour some red wine or vodka. If there are friends, around the celebration would commence with eighteen year-old Chivas Regal.

That day some friends had come. Aarumugam was waiting with an ice-box containing water frozen into slabs of ice. When whisky goes in, interesting stories would start rolling out.

“We have been waiting for your arrival to start the concert. We were waiting for the invocatory Vaathaapi Ganapathim, but we seem to face the concluding strain of Mangalam!”

“Hmm…. Hereafter, instead of propitiating elephant, learn to worship tiger.”

“Arasu, have you had a swig somewhere else? You seem to be indulging in philosophical musings.”

“No philosophy this. Simple business, Man!”

The friends stared, not quite figuring out what he was saying.

“I am just now returning from a tiger hunt.”

“Hunt?”

The friends instinctively looked at the wall. A gun was hanging there at a 45-degree angle.

Aarumugam brought the fare — neatly skinned and sliced mangoes in a glass bowl, and fried eggs in silver plates.

“Have you killed the prey?”  One friend raised a naïve question in disbelief.

Clearing his throat Arasanaayagam quipped. “This is not a tiger to be killed. It is paper tiger. The agreement was signed only today. A franchise with a multi-national. Starting with a million dollars. My spider-like signature is worth a million dollars. Ha! Ha! Ha!”  He roared in laughter. The whisky has apparently started doing its job.

“Hey! What kind of a bloody signature is this! Esther teacher used to whack on my wrist for such scribbles. And now….its value is now a whopping million dollars! Teacher, may your soul rest in peace!” He downed one more peg.

“What are you going to sell? Arrack?”

“What a tubercular mind! Even in hunger tiger would not consume mere grass.”

“So?”

Arasanaayagam picked up a slice of mango with the fork. “Do you know where this mango is coming from?”

“India?”

“No. Bangladesh! Do you know the mango tree is the national tree of Bangladesh?”

“Oh!”

“In future our retail chain would distribute all over the country mangoes from Bangladesh, bananas fro Philippines or Hawaii, ladies finger from West Africa and tomato from Mexico. All for the citizens of the world.”

“Citizens of the world?”

“You simpleton! Now there is none left to be called a local citizen. The tiger called globalization first gobbles the local deer. Local food, local attire, local language, local music, local literature. Globalization starts by robbing the meaning of even your Jallikattu bullfight. Aren’t you happily wearing the jeans? In the Kentucky fried chicken shop, don’t you flirt with your Philippine girl friend in Thanglish? Why any reservation only on Mexico tomato?”

“It is really scary, my friend. You’ve grabbed the tiger’s tail. You cannot dismount the tiger hereafter.”

“The objective is not to dismount or to die. The aim is to hunt jointly. Don’t forget, I’m Moneykandan. A companion of tiger.”

The wandering tiger got into the river. When the cool of the water sent a thrill through its body, it raised its tail and joyously swam its way. Aahaa! What a delight! When a river is rustling past so closeby, why are these fools bathing the tiger with rubber tubes? Technology never succeeds in giving the pleasure offered by nature. Can machines produce and offer of the tenderness and aroma of rose?

However pleasant it is, one can’t keep swimming like this. River has no target. It simply wants to tread its path, not to reach any destination, but the tigers are born to hunt and to be hunted. By now they would have started the hunt.

The tiger swimming in the river returned to the banks. Walking in the slush, walking across shrubs, crossing a verandah of the palace rich with trees, it settled down under the Billiards table overlooking the river. Savouring the peace of freedom and the sheer joy of paddling in the wate, the tiger tried to close its eyelids and enjoy a wink.

The attempts ended in failure. Arasanaayagam did not greatly enjoy the food prepared by Aarumugam ploughing in all his talent. The intoxication had taken its toll. Not just the sway of liquor, but the stupor of tiger-hunt.

Aarumugam was out of any influence of stupor. There is not much of an opportunity for the local Tamil or the citizen of the world to seek out stupor beyond the bounds of his culture. While crossing the Billiards room with food plates poised in his hands, Aarumugam’s eyes landed on two pieces of cinder glowing under the table. He got goose-pimples when he realized that they were not pieces of cinder but glowing eyes. He switched on the light. There was a tiger.

Leaning its face on its left leg the tiger was sleeping like a mere cat, opened its eyes and looked at Aarumugam. As it was in no hunger it tried to sleep again in a mood of disinterest.

Aarumugam scampered, shouting “Aiyaa, tiger here.”

“Are you eavesdropping on all that we are talking?” Arasanaayagam fumed. “Paper tiger?” – He mocked. When Aarumugam stated that it was a tiger for real, he poked fun at him if he was also inebriated.

No time to reply. Aarumugam picked up the gun kept at a 45 degree angle on the wall. He tested the presence of bullets. He picked up the gun stuffed with gunpowder and loaded with bullets, and started walking.

The light in the Billiards Room was not switched on. Light might wake up the tiger. But the tiger was all the while very awake. Its eyes were glowing like pieces of cinder. It also realized that mansions were not its natural habitat.

Aarumugam aimed at the space between two eyes of the tiger. His hands were shaking out of sheer fright. The tiger moved its head on seeing the speeding bullet. The bullet pierced its way near its ear. Modern technology did not fail. The bullets had deeply hurt the tiger’s skull. The tiger cannot move hereafter.

The tiger slowly lifted its head and looked. As a man possessed, Aarumugam pressed the trigger once again. The screaming bullets pierced its eyes. The tiger’s tail rose 90 degrees and slumped dead. Aarumugam switched on the light.

On hearing the bullet sound, Arasanaayagam rose and came in. Other friends followed.

“What are you doing?” He asked.

“I had shot the tiger, boss.” Aarumugam said.

“My tiger cannot be shot. It is a paper tiger.” Arasanaayagam burst into a loud bout of laughter. Aarumugam dragged the dead tiger by its tail. Only he should dig the pit to bury it. Then, it would be tomorrow.

***

To read the story in  Tamil : http://www.akshra.org/%e0%ae%aa%e0%af%81%e0%ae%b2%e0%ae%bf-%e0%ae%b5%e0%af%87%e0%ae%9f%e0%af%8d%e0%ae%9f%e0%af%88/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Creativity: A.Ayyappan

“I wet my words with my blood”

A. Ayyappan 

(27 October 1949 – 21 October 2010)

 Ayyappan was a Malayalam poet in the modernist period. He is considered as the icon of anarchism in Malayalam poetry. He won the Asan Smaraka Kavitha Puraskaram,  one of the highest literary awards in Malayalam literature, for the year 2010. Ayyappan was also a recipient of Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry in 1999.

Ayyappan’s life has been documented on a short film, Ithrayum Yathabhagam, made by Odessa Sathyan, one of the founders of Odessa Collective, a people’s film movement in Kerala

This is what Ayyappan has to say about himself:

ഉന്മാദത്തിന്റെ ഈ യാത്ര ഞാൻ സ്വയം തിരഞ്ഞെടുത്തതല്ല. കാലം എനിക്കുനൽകിയ അഭയമാണിത്. മറവിയില്ലായ്മക്ക് ഔഷധിയാണീ ഉന്മാദം. ഓരോ കണ്ണുകളിലും ഇരയുടെ വിലാപങ്ങളും വേട്ടക്കാരന്റെ അക്രോശ്ശങ്ങളും ഞാൻ വായിച്ചെടുക്കുന്നു. ആതുകൊണ്ട് കാറ്റിന്റെ ഈ ഉന്മാദരഥ്യകളിലൂടെ ഞാൻ ഒററയ്ക്ക് നടക്കുന്നു. ഞാൻ എന്റെ കാലത്തിന്റെ ബലിയാടും പ്രവാചകനുമാകുന്നു. വ്യവസ്ഥാപിതങ്ങള്‍ മിക്കപ്പോഴും നേരുകളെ അടയാളപ്പെടുത്തുന്നില്ല. ഇരയുടെ ധർമ്മസങ്കടങ്ങളോ ദാഹമോ അവയുടെ തീവ്രമായ അർത്ഥത്തിൽ ഒരു കോടതിയും പരിഗണിക്കുന്നുണ്ടെന്ന് എനിക്കു തോന്നിയിട്ടില്ല. അത്യന്തികമായി വേട്ടക്കാരന്റെ താല്പര്യങ്ങൾ തന്നെയാണ് കോടതികളിൽക്കൂടി സംരക്ഷിക്കപ്പെടുന്നതും ഉറപ്പിക്കപ്പെടുന്നതും. ഉച്ചനേരത്ത് കോടതിയിൽ വിസ്താരം കേൾക്കുന്ന ന്യായധിപന്റെ മനസ്സ് ഉച്ചഭക്ഷണത്തൊടൊപ്പം വിളമ്പുന്ന കോഴിയിലായിരിക്കുമെന്ന് ആരോപറഞ്ഞ് കേട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഞാന്‍ എന്റെ ചോരകൊണ്ട് വാക്കുകൾ നനയ്ക്കുന്നു. ഏന്റെ ചോരയിൽ ചരിത്രത്തിന്റെ ചാരം അലിഞ്ഞുചേർന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്. അതിൽ ഇന്നിന്റെ സങ്കടങ്ങളും നാളെയുടെ ഉത്കണ്ഠകളും ഉണ്ട്. കവിയുടെ മനസ്സിൽ കിനിയുന്ന ചോരയുടെ ഗന്ധം കവിതയിൽ ഉണ്ടാകണം. അപ്പോളേ കവിതയ്ക്ക് നമ്മുടെ നെഞ്ചുപൊള്ളിക്കുന്ന ഒരു വേനൽമഴയാകാൻ കഴിയൂ. ഞാൻ എന്റെ ജീവിതത്തെ ഒററക്ക് ഒരാഘോഷമാക്കുകയാണ്. സന്തൊഷം ഒടുങ്ങിപ്പോയതുകൊണ്ട് ജീവന്റെ വ്യഥകളും വ്യാകുലതകളും ഞാൻ ആഘോഷങ്ങളാക്കുന്നു. എന്റെ ആഘോഷങ്ങളിൽ ഞാൻതന്നെ കോമാളിയും ബലിമ്രഗവും ആകുന്നു.

The above  passage in English Translation: 

” This mad journey is not what I chose on my own. This is the refuge given to me by time. This madness is the elixir for lack of forgetfulness. From every eye, I read the pitiable cries of the hunted and the roar of the hunter.  And therefore I walk alone in the mad paths of the wind. I am at once both the sacrificial goat and the prophet. Establishments, most of the time, do not stand by the truth. I have never felt that any court do seriously consider the victims’ intense pleas and thirst for justice.  In a factual analysis, eventually what the courts always protect the hunter’s interests

I remember having heard that mind of the judge who hears the case during the pre-lunch time will be rooted on the plate of chicken fry to be served later.  T wet my words with my blood. My blood has the ashes of history dissolved in. It carries the pains of today too and the anxieties about tomorrow. Poems should carry the fragrance of the poet’s blood.  Only then can poetry burn your hearts like a rain in the summer. So alone, lonely, I convert my life into a celebration.  Since happiness has evaded me, I celebrate my sorrows and anxieties. In my celebrations, I become the sacrificial animal and the jester”

Ayyappan passed away at Thiruvananthapuram,  on his way to Chennai to accept the Asan Puraskaram on Saturday, 23 October 2010.

The Hindu paid the following tribute to him

He refused to live and write by the rules set by the society and the grand masters of poetry. He did both as he pleased and died the way he lived. ….He was one of those poets who never needed the props of public recognition to keep him going. …..Ayyappan was in his own school in Malayalam poetry where he spoke about a cursed life, lost innocence, forsaken love, death and sacrifice, all through dark images he dexterously wove into his poems……He died a rich man by his own personal standards, both as a poet and a human being. He has some 2000 poems collected in about 20 volumes to his credit. And when he was found unconscious by the way side, he had in his pocket a poem replete with his hallmark acidic imagery written on a scrap of paper  plus Rs.375/-, in every sense of the term, God’s Pauper

(Tribute was by Gouridasan Nair a senior editor of  The Hindu)

We are happy to publish 3 poems of Ayyappan and translations of them in Engllish. For English translation of his poems see ‘Selected Poems of A. Ayyappan published by Authors Press – translation by P.K.N.Panicker ISBN 978-81-7273-840-2. Also available in electronic format through Kindlebooks. (https://www.amazon.in/Selected-Poems-Ayyappan-P-K-N-Panicker-ebook/dp/B01I2QVT12)

An introduction to the book Selected Poems of A. Ayyappan is available in the review section:

 

Translation is born free

P.M.Girish

The Eye Said one day, “I see beyond these valleys a mountain, veiled with blue mist. Is not beautiful? The ear listened, an after listening intently a while said, “But where is any mountain?” I do not hear it”. Then the hand spoke and said, “I am trying in vain to foot it or touch it, and I can find no mountain. And the Nose said, “There is no mountain, I cannot smell it”. Then the Eye turned the other way, and they all begun to talk together about the Eye. Strange delusion. And they said, “something must be matters with the Eyes” (Eye- Khalil Gibran). Similarly, the poetry of A. Ayyappan also shows the true vision of grim reality to us.

Like this ‘Eye’ in the story written by Khalil Gibran, A. Ayyappan, a well-known poet in Malayalam, was also a prey or victim of the contemporary social structure. He was marginalized all the way of his life, by the political hegemony and social discrimination. But he reacted against the vanity culture and virtual structure of the modern and post-modern societies, by using intensified signifiers. Most of his profound signifiers refer to socio-cultural meanings in which surveillance constrains the freedom of individuals.  He fought for ‘the other’, the people who are discriminated by the power and politics.

Ayyappan’s poetry is a prism of life through which emotions and commotions, love and lust are explored. As a poet, Ayyappan has sought divergent poetic devices to ‘defemilarize’ the familiarized things. In other words, hunger for the innovative narratives by using metonymy and metaphor makes him a very dissimilar poet in Malayalam.  He has emphasized on political and philosophical symbols to depict his conceptualization of the world. The various strips of symbols from Buddhism, Marxism and existentialism are used in his poems for this purpose.  The silence of a saint and   blubber of a beggar could also be seen in some of his poems with harmonic sequence of phonemes. Using exemplary meta-language is other idiosyncrasy of his writing.

It is a fact that translating the poetry of Ayyappan is an intricate action.P.K. N. Panicker, a well-known poet, writer and translator, plays a role of a catalyst in the process of establishing and positioning A. Ayyappan in the global world of literature. He has translated fifty different styles of poems of A. Ayyppan, which have diasporic response to society, into English. The present anthology of translation also focuses on the different dimensions of the poetic and life visions of Ayyappan.  This translation is a reciprocal and creative communication between the source language, and the target language. Examples are many to prove the translator’s capability of translating   a vibrant poet like Ayyappan.

A barber to cut hair

A tailor to stitch

For me, to read or write

But it was not to be so (Flowers in the Jail court yard)

 

Athazham(Dinner),  the poem that has made Ayyappan a popular poet in Malayalam,  has been  translated it in unscrambling manner:

People

trampling over the blood

of the one who died

in the road accident

my eyes on the five Rupee Note

Slipped out from his pocket.

 

The Translator has observed keenly on the life and writing of Ayyppan and touched the oozing blood from the heart of poetry.

 

Ayyappan drinks poetry in the lap of life that he opted. For him poetry was everything. He was a beggar who throws golden coins of creativity along the pavements of the sensibility of Malayalam poetry.

The translator knows the rhythm of Ayyappan, as he says in the preface of this translation, “A. Ayyappan, a poet of extraordinary sensitivity – every movement, even the smallest aberration from the routine, from the normal was adequate to stir the poetic consciousness within him. So much so, situations that got transformed into poetry which played on the chords deep within you are plenty and extravagantly diverse. His poems, every one of them, in some way or other, a little different from the usual narrative styles, encompasses a contrasting positioning, perhaps, if I may say so, reflecting at once what goes within the reader’s mind as well as that in the poet’s. A neat, pleasant juxtaposition of a normal perception with another crafted by the poet, concealed between the words and between the lines, makes Ayyappan’s poetry different. This uniqueness makes every one of his poems contemplative in their content, inviting the reader to read again and again, to search deeper and explore the layers of meaning that unravel every time you look at them with your mind refreshed”.  Panicker has perfectly brought out the metaphorical usages of the source language into target language. The translation of Ayyappan’s well known poem, adivara consisting of intensive metaphors to refer to history and social life of the down trodden people, is an example.

When studying history

some people

underline specific lines

Missed past/is the book of history

Every line of that book

deserves to be underlined/All paths

moves along defined lines(underline)

 

P.K.N. Panicker has assumed two types of translations: (i) translation of the lexical entries of the source language (Ayyappan’s poetry) into the target language’s lexical items (English version) (ii) translation of the metaphorical usages of the source language (Ayyappan’s Poetry) into the target language (English). It means the translator is very careful to absorb subtitle tones of the poetry of Ayyappan. The present translation appears in the right context since there are not many good translations of the modern, high modern and post modern poetry from Malayalam either into other Indian languages or into English. Moreover, translation is considered as a vehicle for cultural transmission.

 

Panicker is capable of recreating the thoughts and feelings, images and rhythm in English and has also proved to pinpoint the ‘inherent heterogeneity’of the poetry by Ayyappan. The translator is faithful to the original both in form and content.

 

Panicker, the translator, proudly offers us the golden oranges and melancholic bitter guards and semantic onions from the thorny poetic garden of A. Ayyappan. The translator makes the readers in eager silence to peel them, and experience the different poetic ways of A. Ayyappan.

 

P.M.Girish

Dr.P.M.Girish is Professor of Malayalam in the Malayalam Department of Madras University. His specialisation is Linguistics. He has published several books in Malayalam and English on Linguistics of which ‘Critical Discourse Analysis: Linguistic Studies in Malayalam’, published by LAP, Germany (2010) has been appreciated by researchers in linguistics world over.

विनम्र मंदिर

मूल कोंकणी – आर.एस.भास्कर
हिंदी अनुवाद – बालचंद्रन के.बाबू

पुरातन विनम्र मंदिर
गाँव में हमारे
देवता के देह पर
नहीं कोई आभूषण अलंकृत है-
इसके कारण
ये विनम्र मंदिर बिना कोई शान का है।

नहीं आवाज़ किसी समाहारात्मक वाद्यसंगीत
पूजा के लिए सुबह, दोपहार और रात को
कोई पंडल  नहीं
किसी फ़ुसरतवाली गप्तशप के लिए
इसके कारण
ये विनम्र मंदिर बिना कोई शान का है।

पूर्णिमा के दिन कार्तीक माह में
कोई दावत नहीं दी जाती।
चैत्र माह में
दिग्विजय का त्योहार नहीं मनाया जाता।
इसके कारण
ये विनम्र मंदिर बिना कोई शान का है।

भेंट के वास्ते डालने को एक सिका
एक भंडार बी नहीं है।
दर-सूची भी नहीं दी गई है

मेंट के लिए पूजा–अर्चना देवता को
इसके कारण
ये विनम्र मंदिर बिना कोई शान का है।

कोई मंदिर की टंकी नहीं है
लेने को एक पावन स्नान।
और एक छोटी पकी लेने
नहीं है कोई प्रासाद भी मंदिर के आसपास
इसके कारण
ये विनम्र मंदिर बिना कोई शान का है।

देवता इस पुरातन विनम्र मंदिर में हमारे गाँव के
आएँगे हमारी रक्षा के लिए हमारे पुकार पर
देवता इस पुरातन विनम्र मंदिर में हमारे गाँव के
हैं बड़े दयालु
और ऐसे महान देवता के मंदिर के लिए
हैं कोई ज़रूरत शान की ?

To read the original Konkani version of this poem please visit the link :
http://www.akshra.org/देवळी

bhaskarkochi@gmail.com
bkusum50@yahoo.com

In This Issue

SPECIAL  FEATURE 

R A I N

No.  Author Title
1 RABINDRANATH TAGORE The Rainy Day
2 பாரதியார் மழை 
3 Mahakavi KALIDASA The Rains
4 பாரதிதாசன் மழையே வா
5 முக்கூடற்பள்ளு ஆடிப் பாடித் துள்ளி
6 மாலன் ஈரம் படிந்த இலக்கியம்
7 கார்த்திகா ராஜ்குமார் நனையத் தோன்றுகிறவர்கள்
8 நிலாரவி மழை நின்ற பொழுதொன்றில்
9 बी.  नवीन कुमार  भक्ता पावसाची एक राती
10 आर.एस. भास्कर पावसा तूं पड
11 ग्वादालूप डायस तरी पूण
12 एन. बालकृष्ण मल्ल्या आनी पोडोवं नाका देवा
13 उदय म्हांबरॊ पावसाचॆर आयला सांवार
14 उदय म्हांबरॊ पावसाचॆर आयला सांवार
15 अविनाश कुंकळकर परतीचो पावस
16 शरतचंद्र शेणै यो मरे पावसा ..
17 सूर्या अशोक पावसु आनी भुयारां
18 मनोज नरेंद्र कामत गोजडी

ALSO

Bodo

Poem :

निजोम नारजारि  : जिउनि जायख्लं

 Fiction :

अलिन्द्र ब्रह्म : बखालि

Konkani

Essay

सूर्या अशोक : इंटरलाकन

Sanskrit

Essay

आर् वैद्यनाथन् : भारतवर्षे बौद्धधर्मस्य प्रत्यागमनम्

Malayalam

Poems

വി. മധുസൂദനൻ നായർ : പൈതലിന്റെ ചിരി

പദ്മശ്രീ വിഷ്ണുനാരായണൻ നമ്പൂതിരി : ചിത്രം 

Essays

പദ്മശ്രീ വിഷ്ണുനാരായണൻ നമ്പൂതിരി : എമൺസിന്റെ ഗുഹ

Dr.H.parameswaran : പഠിക്കാനുള്ള കഴിവ്

 Marathi

Fiction :

 अतिशा सूर्लीकर: हारश्याचो पांयगूण

 Tamil :

 Fiction :

மாலன்: ஈரம்

சுப்ரபாரதி மணியன்முழுக்கைகள்

Essay :

முனைவர் எச். பாலசுப்பிரமணியம்: தாய்மொழி போற்றுதும் – பாரதியும் பாரதேந்துவும்

Review

முனைவர் எச்.பாலசுப்பிரமணியம் : ஆகஸ்ட் பதினைந்து :  புதினமன்று,  இதிகாசம்

Translations

English

Poems 

RAINS  (From  Konkani)

WEEDERS IN THE RAIN  (From Konkani)

WHERE IS THE FACE?   (From Malayalam)

THE CHILD  LAUGHS (From Malayalam)

Fiction :

FULL HANDS : (From Tamil)

Hindi

Fiction

नमी : (From Tamil)

Other Languages

தாய் மடி : (From Telugu)

Easter

Poet: A.Ayyappan

Translated by. P.K.N. Panicker

 

Yesterday

tasted the bread

made with blood.

 

This Friday

Commemoration day

of the death

of a good man.

And you shall weep

today.

 

Tomorrow too

you will weep.

Tomorrow

is the day

your dear little lamb

will be killed.

***

To read the original Malayalam poem : http://www.akshra.org/%e0%b4%88%e0%b4%b8%e0%b5%8d%e0%b4%b1%e0%b4%b1%e0%b5%bc/

ഈസ്ററർ.

ഇന്നലെ

രക്തത്തിന്റെ അപ്പം രുചിച്ചു.

ഈ വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച

ഒരു നല്ല മനുഷ്യൻ മരിച്ച

ഓർമ്മയുടെ ദിവസമാണ്.

ഇന്നു നീ കരയണം.

 

നാളെയും നീ കരയും

നാളെ

നിന്റെ കുഞ്ഞാടിനെ കൊല്ലുന്ന ദിവസം.

***

To read the English translation of the poem:http://www.akshra.org/easter/

Flowers in The Jail Courtyard.

Poet: A.Ayyappan

Translated by: P.K.N.Panicker

Convicted for Jail.

Four others in the cell,

hardened criminals,

condemned to life terms.

 

Charges against me,

undesirable friendship,

luxury of forgetfulness,

having witnessed,

perched on hill tops,

the fight of those in the valleys

and guiding my friends

to walk the right paths in life.

 

Destined only for few days

in the cell

I remained contemptuous

in their eyes,

‘The silly fellow, come to jail!

Not entitled or deserving’;

Their wide exposed teeth

laughed at me

without being too shrill.

 

Dreams

about a comfortable cell living

were scorned at,

ridiculed,

by the black walls

and the men in uniform.

 

Discovery of India,

Letters from a Father to a Daughter

and the Prison Notes

led me to believe of a short holiday

but that was not to be so.

 

 

For every grain that you ate

you had to toil.

 

A barber to cut hair,

a tailor to stitch,

for me, to read or write.

But it was not to be so.

 

I was ordered

to water the plants,

the marigold,

the redixora,

the hibiscus,

the tuberose,

the grass…..

 

A kiss, stealthily,

noticed by none, to the rose;

 

The white mussaenda smiles at me

through the window

in the shining moonlight.

 

Watered all the plants,

dutifully, with affection;

Noticed by none

dropped a sunflower seed

where it could grow;

 

Watered that too,

every day, watching

whether the seed sprouted.

 

The day of my release,

my name called;

the plants waved,

all flowers on attention,

eyes turned to me;

 

Yes!

My sunflower seed

did indeed sprout

***

To read the poem in Malayalam :http://www.akshra.org/%e0%b4%9c%e0%b4%af%e0%b4%bf%e0%b5%bd-%e0%b4%ae%e0%b5%81%e0%b4%b1%e0%b4%b1%e0%b4%a4%e0%b5%8d%e0%b4%a4%e0%b5%86-%e0%b4%aa%e0%b5%82%e0%b4%95%e0%b5%8d%e0%b4%95%e0%b5%be/

ജയിൽ മുററത്തെ പൂക്കൾ

എന്നെ ജയില്വാസത്തിനു വിധിച്ചു.

ജീവപര്യന്തം വിധിക്കപ്പെട്ട

നാലുപേരായിരുന്നു സെല്ലിൽ.

അരുതാത്ത കൂട്ടുകെട്ടിനും

മറവിയുടെ ലഹരി കുടിച്ചതിനും

താഴ്വരകളിൽ പോരാടുന്നവരെ

മലമുകളിൽ നിന്നു കണ്ടതിനും

സഹജരെ നല്ലപാതയിലേക്കു നയിച്ചതിനുമായിരുന്നു

എനിക്കു ശിക്ഷ.

 

സെല്ലിൽ അല്പനാളുകൾ മാത്രം

വാസമനുഭവിക്കേണ്ട എന്നെ

അവർ അവജ്ഞയോടെ നോക്കി.

ദംഷ്ട്രങ്ങളാൽ

അലറാതെ ചിരിച്ചു.

ജയിൽവാസമനുഭവിക്കാൻ വന്നിരിക്കുന്നു ഒരുത്തൻ

എന്നായിരുന്നു പുച്ഛഭാവത്തിന്റെ അർത്ഥം.

സെല്ലിൽ സുഖവാസമാകാമെന്ന എന്റെ അജ്ഞതയിൽ

കറുത്ത മതിലുകളും കാക്കികുപ്പായങ്ങളും

എന്നെ വിഡ്ഡിയായ് കണ്ടു.

 

ഇന്ത്യയെ കണ്ടെത്തലും

ഒരച്ഛൻ മകൾക്കെഴുതിയ കത്തുകളും

ജയിലിൽ വെച്ചെഴുതിയ ഡയറിക്കുറുപ്പുകളും

എന്നെ അങ്ങിനെ ധരിപ്പിച്ചിരുന്നു.

തിന്നുന്ന ഗോതമ്പിന്

പുള്ളികൾ പണിയെടുക്കണം.

ക്ഷുരകന് ക്ഷുരകന്റെ ജോലി

തുന്നൽക്കരന് തുന്നൽ

എനിക്ക് എഴുതാനും വായിക്കാനുമുള്ള

പണിതരുമെന്ന് കരുതി.

കിട്ടിയത് ചെടികൾക്ക് വെള്ളം തേകാനുള്ള കല്പന.

മസൂരിയുടെ ഗന്ധം തരുന്ന ജമന്തിക്ക്

കത്തുന്ന ചെത്തിക്ക്

ചെമ്പരത്തിക്ക്

കനകാംബരത്തിന്

കറുകയ്ക്ക്…….

ആരും കാണാതെ നുള്ളാതെ

റോസിന് ഒരുമ്മ കൊടുത്തു.

അഴികളിലൂടെ നോക്കിയാൽ

നിലാവത്തു ചിരിക്കും

വെളുത്ത മൊസാന്റ.

 

എല്ലചെടികൾക്കും വെള്ളം തേകി.

സൂര്യകാന്തിയിൽനിന്ന് ആരും കാണാതെ

ഒരു വിത്തെടുത്ത്

വിളയേണ്ടിടത്തിട്ടു.

അതിനു വെള്ളം തേകി.

വിത്ത് പൊട്ടിയോയെന്ന് എന്നും നോക്കി.

മോചിതനാകേണ്ട നാൾ വന്നു.

എന്റെ പേർ വിളിക്കപ്പെട്ടു.

ചെടികൾ കാററത്താടി.

എല്ലാ പൂക്കളും എന്നെ നോക്കി.

ഹായ്

എന്റെ സൂര്യകാന്തിയുടെ വിത്തു പൊട്ടി

***

To read the English translation of this poem:  http://www.akshra.org/?p=3043&preview=true

Dinner

Poet: A.Ayyappan

     Translator: P.K.N.Panicker

People

trampling over the blood

of the one who died

in the road accident;

my eyes on the five Rupee Note

slipped out from his pocket.

 

My wife,

forced separation from me

in spite of me living;

my children,

metaphors for hunger.

 

I celebrated the dinner

with them.

 

This night a precious one;

my children slept

relishing the taste of the dinner;

Wife and me

with half filled stomachs.

 

Last rites of the deceased

might be over;

In my half closed eyes

the crowd that tramples on the blood….;

 

He who died

leaving the means

to buy gruel for the living.

***

To read the original Malayalam Poem

http://www.akshra.org/%e0%b4%85%e0%b4%a4%e0%b5%8d%e0%b4%a4%e0%b4%be%e0%b4%b4%e0%b4%82/

 

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