It’s deplorable that in the land of Kuvempu and Bendre, the Kannada movie songs exceedingly obsessed nothing more than morning hygienic routines. Or it’s evening routine if you chose to take a bath at night. Don’t get me wrong – these are beautiful songs with great original tunes, it’s just that their poetic value is abysmal. This is not something I could tolerate easily with the unfortunate reason that I happen to know the language. Sometimes, it seems like producers never provision a budget for a lyricist and instead choose to get it done by their kindergarten kids.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
Exhibit 1: A foot-tapping item song with 61 million views translates as “Female: Planning for a Disco, I donned self payal. I used Lux branded soap and just took a bath. Male: I was relaxing after a large meal of Onions !! I washed my hands just to shake your hands.”
Exhibit 2: another viral song translates as “Put soap, scrub body, close the door and take a bath, then put on powder … “
I can go on and give you more examples, but you get the point. To make it absolutely clear, I am not an anarchist to dislike songs about human hygiene and its importance. But I am absolutely convinced that we don’t need legends, songs and epics on what we should do in the bathroom.
Generally, it could take up to a for a single fantastic song to come out of this industry with both good tune and lyrics. One of such rarities I liked very much is “Hands up” from Avane Shrimannaraya. A very classy song in all aspects. The Originality, choreography, direction, cinematography, lyrics, tune. It’s an all-round entertainment. I am sure you have seen it as it had gone viral a few months ago.
Unlike the typical Kannada movie songs, this song is actually written in Kannada, not with English vocabulary. You would definitely require a translation to understand the context. However, unfortunately, the entire Internet does not have a translation. That would be a criminal injustice!
So, I thought, why not do that service.
Disclaimer: I do not call myself a poet, or even a translator. I have tried my absolute best to do this, Hope it helps.
Note: Singer switches the roles between Narrator and Protagonist. Careful about that, please…
[Narrator] ಕೇಳಿ ಕಾದಿರುವ ಬಾಂಧವರೇ, ಭುವಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅವನ ಅರಿತವರೆ, ಯಾರಿಲ್ಲ ಬಿಡಿ, ಮುನ್ನುಡಿ, ಇದ್ದರದೊಂದು ದಂತಕಥೆ
Keli kadiruva bandhavare, Bhuviyalli avana aritavare, Yarilla bidi, munnudi, Iddaradondu dantakathe
Listen, patient Ladies and Gentlemen, and those who think who comprehend him, He is not that. What you heard of him is a pure urban legend.
[Narrator]ನಾಕು ದಿಕ್ಕಿನಲೂ ಬೇಕವನು, ಬಂದೂಕು ಹಿಡಿದ ಮಾನವನು,, ತಲೆಮೇಲಿದೆ ಕಿರೀಟ, ತೀರಾ ಹಠ, ಗುರಿ ಬೆನ್ನತ್ತೊ ನೇತಾರನು
Naalku dikkinalu bekavanu, Banduku hidida manavanu, Talemelide kirita, thira hatha, Guri bennatto netaranu
He is ‘most wanted’ in all directions, flaunting his gun, sporting a crown, a stubborn and very focussed on his goal.
[Chorus] ಗಾಳಿಮಾತಿನ ಬಜಾ಼ರು, ಸುದ್ದಿ ಸಾರಿದೆ ಸುಮಾರು, ಪಾತ್ರದ ಪರಿಚಯ ಇರೋರು, ಆ ಬಂದೂಕಿಗೆ ಇದೆ ಘನಹೆಸರು
Galimatina bajaru Suddi saride sumaru, Patrada parichaya iroru A bandukige ide ghanahesaru
You know the Rumour mill, has spread this news, Only those who know the character, must know, his gun has a reputation to keep
[Protagonist, Chorus] ಹ್ಯಾಂಡ್ಸ್ ಅಪ್, ಅದು ಅನವರತ , ಹ್ಯಾಂಡ್ಸ್ ಅಪ್, ನಾ ಅಜ್ನಾತ, ಹ್ಯಾಂಡ್ಸ್ ಅಪ್, ಇದೆ ವೇದಾಂತ
Hands up, adu anavarata , Hands up, na ajnata , Hands up, ide vedanta
Hands up, that’s infinite, Hands up, am in disguise, Hands up, its a philosophy
[Narrator] ಇದು ಚರಿತ್ರೆ ಸೃಷ್ಠಿಸೊ ಅವತಾರ
Idu charitre srusthiso avatara
This character meant to write history
[Narrator as Protagonist] ರಂಗೇರಿದೆ ಮಾಯಜಾಲ, ಅನುಭವಿಸು ಓ ಪ್ರೇಕ್ಷಕನೇ, ದೃಷ್ಟಿ ನನ್ನೊಬ್ಬನ ಮೇಲಿಡಿ, ತಪ್ಪದು ನಿಜ ಮನರಂಜನೆ
Rangeride maayajala , Anubhavisu o preksakane, Dristi nannobbana melidi, Tappadu nija manaranjane
The stage is now set, experience it oh Audience. Keep your eyes on me, and I promise you entertainment
[Protagonist] ನನ್ನ ಗೆಲ್ಬೋದು ಅನ್ನುತ ನಿಂದನು ಓರ್ವ ರಾಕ್ಷಸ, ತಪ್ಪಲ್ಲ ಆದರೆ ಅದುವೆ ಊಹೆಗು ಮೀರಿದ ಸಾಹಸ
Nanna gelbodu annuta nindanu orva raksasa, Tappalla adare aduve uhegu mirida sahasa
An evil man will face me thinking to defeat me, It is not wrong, but it’s a dare beyond imagination.
[Chorus] ಅನಿಸುತ್ತೆ, ಬಂದ ಹಾದಿಗೆ ರಚಿಸಲು ಹೊಸದೇ ಶಾಸನ, ಮೆರೆಯಲಿ ಗಗನದಲಿ ನಿಮ್ಮದೆ ಲಾಂಛನ
Anisutte, banda hadige racisalu hosade sasana, Mereyali gaganadali nimmade lanchana
It’s evident, has come here to write new rules, and to take your pride to the sky.
[Chorus] ಯುದ್ಧ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು ಓದಬಾರದು, ಕಟುಕರ ಮುಂದೆ ಭಗವದ್ಗೀತೆ
Yuddha madabeku odabaradu, Katukara munde bhagavadgite
Let’s fight the war and let’s not preach Bhagavat Geeta in front of butchers.
Okay, I had previously written about the plight of the Kannada movie industry and its literary bankruptcy, especially the lyrical value it brings to the table. You can consider this post is in continuation of that.