Tuesday, September 28, 2021

எத்தனை முத்தங்கள்

 எத்தனை முத்தங்கள்

என்னைத் திருப்திப் படுத்த உன் செவ்விதழால் 
எத்தனை முத்தங்கள் வேண்டும் என்று கேட்கிறாய் லெஸ்பியா;
முதற்கடவுளின் உறைவிடத்திற்கும் 
மூதாதையரின் நினைவிடத்திற்கும் இடைப்பட்ட 
மூலிகை மணக்கும் ஆப்பிரிக்க நிலத்தின் 
மணல்துகள்கள் எத்தனையோ அத்தனை;
ஊருறங்கும் நள்ளிரவில் மனிதர்களின் 
உள்ளார்ந்த ஆசைகளைக் கண்கொண்டு பார்க்கும் 
விண்மீன்கள் எத்தனையோ அத்தனை;
வேவு பார்க்கும் கண்கள் எண்ணமுடியாத அளவுக்கு,
புறம்பேசும் நாக்குகள் தடுக்கமுடியாத அளவுக்கு,
அத்தனை முத்தங்கள் வேண்டும்; 
அதற்கு மேலும் வேண்டும்,
உன் மேல் பித்தாய்த் திரியும் இந்தக் காட்டுலஸுக்கு.


Catullus -7

Lesbia, you ask how many kisses of yours
would be enough and more to satisfy me.
As many as the grains of Libyan sand
that lie between hot Jupiter’s oracle,
at Ammon, in resin-producing Cyrene,
and old Battiades sacred tomb:
or as many as the stars, when night is still,
gazing down on secret human desires:
as many of your kisses kissed
are enough, and more, for mad Catullus,
as can’t be counted by spies
nor an evil tongue bewitch us.


Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84 – c. 54 BC), often referred to simply as Catullus was a Latin Poet of the late Roman Republic. In 25 of his poems he mentions his devotion to a woman named Lesbia, who is widely believed to have been the Roman aristocrat Clodia Metelli.

Translation notes : 

Oracle of Jupiter - முதற்கடவுளின் உறைவிடம்

Sacred tomb of Battiades - Founder of town of Cyrene - மூதாதையர் நினைவிடம்

Libya - was the word used for Africa in Roman empire - ஆப்பிரிக்கா

Resin - Silphium , unidentified plant that was used in as a seasoning, perfume, aphrodisiac, contraceptive and medicine in antiquity - மூலிகை



Monday, March 01, 2021

An experience like no other

F: 

An experience like no other
Did I find with him
Oh all the naughty thoughts of that day
Oh my reddened cheeks pinched by his graceful hands

M:
Tottering on her feet did she appear
Without any warning I approached her
"Don't do this" she said "I cant handle it"
Then I gave her a kiss
"One's not enough" she said,
"One's not enough" 

F:
"What beautiful eyes" he said as he came closer
"What a wonderful lass",
And plied me with more sweet nothings
"I've found my girl, it is you"
he pleaded with his eyes
"I'm the one for you" he intoned, "I'm the one"
 

M:
Like an elegant chariot does she move and sway
My thoughts caress her top cloth and play
"Where" she asked, "here" I replied
Near she came, Elsewhere we flew
 

F: It was nippy like a drop of dew
And sweet like a forbidden fruit
It fell as drops of rain
And bloomed as a flower
There was no sleep for us
Nor were we unfulfilled
And till others came
We weren't apart, we weren't apart!

No marks for guessing which Tamil Song this is.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The Girl in The Car Ahead

I've traveled in this highway for decades. Every curve of the road and every denuded hill and every dry riverbed is imprinted in my memory. Muscle memory takes over driving now a days. Everything is same old. Nothing new. Scorching sun at noon. Air-conditioning inside. Dreary landscape outside. Trucks that I overtake. Sporty European cars that overtake me. The car in front of me is going at a steady speed. I don't wish to overtake him. Am just following monotonously. Suddenly the girl next to him lifts her arms, sways with the music she is hearing and wiggles her arms to the tune. I can't hear the music. Nor see her face. All I see is frizzy hair and two arms swaying to the music in the car in front of me. All dreariness vanishes. Her joy sparks a smile in me. Life looks better. I don't try to go along side and look at her. No need. Just the fact that she was happy at that moment and passed on the joy to me is enough.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Almost there

All my efforts
Are almost there,
but not quite.

Not that anyone cares
But it gives me nightmares

My translations almost work
My breads almost hold their shape
Yet
I miss the dots when I write
I don't brown the top when I bake
Even vessels I wash
Are left with water spots

In everything I do,
I'm almost there,
but not quite.

Almost a writer,
Nearly a runner,
An almost translator,
A spotty dishwasher.

Almost there,
But not quite
Will be my epitaph.

Monday, December 30, 2019

QUIT 2019. Day 6


Started early morning from Bijapur. Today's plan was to visit Bidar fort and then proceed to Hyderabad.

You know you are properly into a road trip when you can't remember what day or date it is. For the first two days you are still connected to your real world. Then gradually the road starts taking over. Getting up, hitting the road, finding a place to sleep for the night - that's all there is to life. Kilometers of tarmac and open space. The main purpose of the road trip is to hit that zen state. Destinations matter to an extent, but the journey is the real reason.

As we hit the road, my mother called me and informed us that today is Solar Eclipse and not to travel or eat during the next three hours. Like a dutiful son I ignored my mother's advice and proceeded. Since we planned to reach Hyderabad by late afternoon, we didn't stop anywhere for breakfast. Kept munching biscuits through out the solar eclipse time.

Bidar was the last capital of Bahmani Sultanate. Bahmani Sultanate broke away from Delhi Sultanate of Muhammad bin Thuglaq and established a separate state in 14th century. They ruled for  about 200 years before being defeated and disintegrated by Vijayanagara Empire in 16th century. The sultanate broke into 5 - Ahmednagar, Bijapur, Bidar, Berar and Golconda (Hyderabad)- collectively called as Deccan Sultanates.

Bidar is 30 km from Hyderabad - Mumbai highway. It is a motorable road except for a few stretches. We reached the fort by 11.00 AM, with the Solar Eclipse at its peak. This helped us as the temperature was down a bit. There was no one around in the parking area. No guides were available.

The first look at the fort is impressive. The massive gates and ramparts and moats transported one back in time. There are three levels of fortification in the fort. The second entrance was massive. There were a few boys clicking selfies in ramparts.

Entrance to Bidar Fort

Spiked doors of the fort


We had read up on the fort and were looking forward to visiting the Rangeen Mahal, Tarkash Mahal and the labyrinths of Hazar Kothri. But every thing is under lock and key. ASI office here was not interested in giving us any information other than saying restoration work is going on. It didn't look like any work was going on though.

Hazar Kothri

Gagan Mahal (?)

So we walked inside the fort clicking pictures of whatever we could see. The Solah Kambh Mosque (16 pillored Mosque) looked amazing. Behind the fort is the ruins of Delhi Darwaza (Delhi Gate). We walked till there with no one in sight.
Solah Kambh Mosque

View of the fort 


As we came back, crowd was starting to trickle in. Bidar is a popular destination for one day trips from Hyderabad, 3 hours drive away. There weren't many people from Karnataka, though the fort is technically in Karnataka.

We wanted to have lunch at the Gurudwara Langar in Bidar. But I was wearing shorts and had to change to trousers to go to Gurudwara. So decided to check out other restaurants in Bidar. Nothing seemed to be open even by 12.30 PM. Finally found Punjabi Tadka restaurant. It was destined that we had to eat out of a Sardar's hand today :-)

Drive to Hyderabad was fairly smooth. The road from Bidar to Zaheerabad had some potholes in the Telengana State part of it, but once we hit the Highway it was pretty easy. After missing a turn in the Outer Ring Road in Hyderabad and taking a 8km detour, finally reached hotel by 4.30 PM.

Total distance traveled till date : 1590 km