Monday, March 11, 2013

"Kolonkini Radha" English Translation

A few days back, I came across a beautiful Bengali song courtesy of the gem who goes by the handle of @rohwit on Twitter. The song is called "Kolonkini Radha" sung by a guy named Pota R Marudyan. Now the  song title is itself alluringly mystic, the song as you can listen here does complete justice to this term I just came up out of nowhere.

Now that you are done listening and loving the song, the problem arrives. The lyrics translation are nowhere to be found on the internet which reinstates my belief that for every piece of art which becomes popular, there are at least 10 others which are as good or better and go rather unnoticed. So the last resort was to ask a friend who is  Bengali and one who will be willing to translate the song for me. In stepped Sayan  as a saviour who goes by @wolfpackofgod on Twitter. What follows is the translation of the song in English done by Sayan with generous help from his Dad quoted verbatim. 

(This is set in the lore of Radha and Krishna, though they loved each other deeply, they were ultimately parted. The parting did not in any way diminish their love and it has become stuff of Hindu legend.

The root conce
pt here is that pure love for Krishna is the only indestructible in this ephemeral world. It is the path to Moksha and ultimate salvation. The River is the river of the senses, the way in which we are enmeshed inside the material world. The clothes are a metaphor for the facades we wear in this world, our roles etc. ‘Kalankini’ here means someone who is associated with illicit activity. This is because, much as an illicit affair is guarded, cherished and nurtured. Similarly, must our love for Krishna and the path of Moksha be nurtured and closely guarded, kept in the deepest recesses of our heart.)

Loosely translated, the song reads thusly:

“O my brothers…
Hear me, whom you have named Kalankini Radha
The wicked (an endearment here, not meant in the derogatory sense, akin to saying ‘saala’ to a friend, this emphasizes the singers deep familiarity and love for the Lord Krishna) Kanu (Krishna), is up on the Kadamba tree…
Oh my love, don’t come down into the river
(the same is repeated for another verse)
Please don’t go near the river
Please don’t go near the river… (repeated for emphasis)

1:27 onwards
Don’t come down into the river dear one
Please don’t go near the river
Oh all you people who live here!!! 
Don’t go near the river…
Do not go!!!
Dear people, stay away stay away!
Neither home nor hearth
Nor river bank! 
Do not go near…

(Mahi – Someone who is in love)
All have named me ‘Kalankini Radha’
Oh my love….
I am your Kalankini Radha
My mischievous love, Kanu, is up in the Kadamba tree
And I am his Kalankini Radha
Oh people!
Do not go near the Kadamba tree…
Kanha sits crying for his Radha 
Up in the Kadamba Tree
Do not go near the river
Because Kanha sits crying on the Kadamba tree
Do not go near the water!!!

Oh my love… 
I am your Kalankini Radha
My mischievous love, Kanu, is up in the Kadamba tree
And I am his Kalankini Radha
Do not go near the river

(Flute solo)

O you sad people!
There is no water in the kalashi
(the water is a metaphorical allusion to pure love)
O you people!
Radha cannot walk
And cannot wear her nupur
(Because He will hear, and he will know where She is)
(sound of anklets ringing)
Do not go near the water
Oh my love…
I am your Kalankini Radha
Sitting in the Kadamba tree
Is the naughty Kanha
My love!
Don’t go near the Water!

(Refrains this line again and again as the chorus comes in and the music fades out) 

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


भागती सी ज़िन्दगी,
मानों दिल में कोई चोर बैठा हो। 

पैसे का , Traffic का, Boss का, ज़िन्दगी का बुखार 
मानों बन्दर बनकर पीछे पड़ा हो।

सात समुन्दर पार बैठे किसी ने 
गोया रास्ते में चवन्नियां बिखेर रखी हो। 
ज्यादा survive  कर  गए तो 
चवन्नियां अठन्नियां और अठन्नियां रुपये बनते  जाते हैं। 
और हम छुट्टे छूटने का गम और छुट्टे ही कमाने की ख़ुशी मनाते जाते हैं। 

आधी नज़र से ये भी दिखता है 
कुछ लोग अंगडी लगाने को तैयार बैठे हैं।
तो कहीं कोई उस कोने में जल भुना बैठा होता है। 
आधी नज़र ही खुल पाती है
बाकी तो सिक्कों की सीध तलाशती रहती हैं।

और  जैसे जैसे ऊपर जाते हैं, 
सिक्कों का मकान बनता है, 
चीज़ें और बेचैन होने लगती हैं।
पता भी नहीं चलता कि  कब रफ़्तार दूनी हो गयी है।

पर वो  बन्दर फिर भी पीछे लगा रहता है
फिसलने की ताक में 
जलने की ताक में 
गिरने की ताक में
और अंत में जीतता वो ही है। 

पता नहीं ज़िन्दगी खेल रहे हैं या Temple Run.