Monday, June 30, 2008

Vemana 9

ఎంత సేవచేసి యేపాటు పడినను
రాచమూక నమ్మరాదురన్న
పాముతోడిపొందు పదివేలకైనను
విశ్వదాభిరామ వినురవేమ

Enta sEva cEsi yE pAtupadinanu
rAcamUka nammarAduranna
pAmutOdipondu padivElakainanu
viswadABirAma vinura vEma

ఎంత సేవచేసి = however much you serve
యేపాటు పడినను = however much you struggleరాచమూక = the royal crowd
నమ్మరాదురన్న= you should not believe oh! Brother!పాముతోడిపొందు = The company of a snake
పదివేలకైనను = even if Ten thousands are offeredవిశ్వదాభిరామ వినురవేమ
It is interesting to see how Vemana denounced the rich and the mighty.
In this verse there is not much of hidden detail to understand. The fact is so simply told that you don’t require any commentary at all. Vemana tells that however much you have served them and struggled during that service, you should not believe the royal class. It is to say that those from the class that is used to being served, there is no habit of remembering the service or being grateful for the service. Vemana compares such association with rich people with living in the company of a snake. A snake is a snake. It takes a bite when it feels like. It does not think about whom it is harming. Similarly a rich person will not reciprocate the goodness just because the person happens to be one who served them at a point of time.
The third line gives the feeling of an incomplete expression. But it is the beauty of poetry where the creator expects the readers to imagine words that he has imagined. Even if a lot of money is offered, the company of a snake is not acceptable. It is not even suggestible. This is what Vemana means by the words in the third line.
There is no royal class, now a days in the society. May be we can attribute the word to the rich people who do not think of being kind to their servants.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

వేమన 8

ఎలుకతోకదెచ్చి యేడాది యుతికిన
నలుపునలుపేగాని తెలుపుగాదు
కొయ్యబొమ్మదెచ్చి కొట్టిన పలుకదు
విశ్వదాభిరామ వినురవేమ
elukatOkadecci EdAdi yutikina
nalupu nalupEgAni telupugAdu
koyyabommadecci kottina palukadu
viswdABirAma vinurvEma

This poem is also there in another form. in that instead of toka it is said tolu.
Vemana says that change is not possible easily. He never talks of humans in the verse. To me what he means is that humans are also like the rats skin and wooden statue.
To tell the meaning straight now,
You bring the tail or skin of a rat and wash for an year.
It would remain black and necer turn white.
It is like bringing a wooden doll or statue and hitting it again and again. It would never utter a word.
What Vemana means here is that one should know to what end you are taking the trouble of doing something. Before starting a work you should know the result expected and also the possibility of such a result. If you try to achieve the unachievable, no one can be blamed for the end result or the lack of it.
Trying to change people is also like this effort of making a wooden doll speak. But here, sustained effort may give some result.
There is a lot understand in this poem.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Vemana 7

నేరనన్నవాడు నెఱజాణ మహిలోన

నేర్తునన్నవాడు వార్తకాడు

ఊరకున్నవాడె యుత్తమోత్తముడయా

విశ్వదాభిరామ వినురవేమ.

nEranannavAdu nerajANa mahilOna

nErtunannavAdu vArtakAdu

UrakunnavAdu uttamOttamudayA

viswadABirAma vinura vEma

This padyam has a different version also. In that version the last line says

UrakunnavAdu uttama yOgira

నేరనన్నవాడు = One who says he does not know or learnt

నెఱజాణ = crafty person

మహిలోన = in this world, in this earth

నేర్తునన్నవాడు = one who saya heknows or has learnt

వార్తకాడు = good at speaking, one who creates news

ఊరకున్నవాడె = one who kept quiet or kept silent

యుత్తమోత్తముడయా = is the best man

విశ్వదాభిరామ వినురవేమ.

This is one of the not so very well known padyams of Vemana.

When I narrated this to a gentleman, he immediately said, it is escapism.

I did not really think there is any escapism in it.

The padyam says, one who claims that he does not know anything is a learned man. It is because, if you say you know, you have to get into a discussion and perhaps a controversy also. It is not exactly maintaning neutrality at the time of crisis, but is pleading ignorance when you know it is not the right place or time.

Vemana says, one who says he knows is only good at talking. VartakAdu is a word which is not in much use in Telugu. In Tamil vArta is a word. Similarly vArta in Telugu is news. Was it like this in Veman's time? I believe it was. Vemana used this word , perhaps for the poetry's sake. Even then it means what exactly it has to. If you are good at creating news or talking, indulge in some discussion!

In the third line which has two versions, Vemana says, one who keeps quiet without saying either he knows, or he does not know, is the best of the best according to the Telugu version used here. The second version adds a quality and calls such a person a Yogi. Yogi is a little superior to the best man.

You know when to say yes, when to sy no, and also when to keep silent. Then you are a Yogi.

If people understand more from this padyam, I heartily welcome them to share their views.

Let me confess, I am not an expert on anything. The kind of response I am seeing makes me indulge in thsees writings.