A CONFIDENT COMPANION

What is the hope that a couple has when they elope? Today, I will summarise a song from the film “Kaadhal“, directed by Balaji Sakthivel.

“உனக்கென இருப்பேன் உயிரையும் கொடுப்பேன் உன்னை நான் பிரிந்தால் உனக்கு முன் இறப்பேன்”

Before interpreting these lines, we have to understand the happenings. A poor man and an innocent girl elope to a city, where they don’t have a place to stay at night. Seeing the hurdles of his, the lady cries. Hence, his words of hope wipe out the tears of her eyes. Now, let’s see what he says. 

“I will be for you, and I will give my life for you. If I part from you, I’ll die before you,” the man tells his lady. 

He says that he will never forsake her. And he is even ready to offer his life for the sake of her. If he happens to go away from her, he feels that he will pass away before her. The people, who can perceive his emotion, won’t conceive this reaction as an exaggeration. If not ‘I will be for you forever’, what can the answer be for her every drop of tear? 

“கண்மணியே கண்மணியே அழுவதேன் கண்மணியே வழித்துணை நான் இருக்க”

“My dear! My dear! Why do you shed tears, my dear, when I accompany you here?” With all of his efforts, he comforts her.

The word ‘கண்மணி‘ is a term of endearment used to address children or a beloved. It means the pupil of the eye literally. It is used to convey the idea of preciousness, for the pupil is well protected by the eyelid. Thus, he does address her using this phrase. As she still cries, the man inquires about the reason for her tears. And he explains that he is none but her companion. 

“கண்ணீர்த் துளிகளைக் கண்கள் தாங்கும் கண்மணி காதலின் நெஞ்சம் தான் தாங்கிடுமா கல்லறை மீதுதான் பூத்த பூக்கள் என்றுதான் வண்ணத்துப்பூச்சிகள் பார்த்திடுமா”

“Tears will be borne by the eyes. My dear, will it be endured by the heart of love? Will butterflies differentiate the flowers on the grave?” he questions. 

If she cries like this, her eyes will tolerate the pain, and if he sees that she cries, his eyes will tolerate the scene. But will the man’s loving heart bear this by any means? The following line is a fantastic one. For most people, this is an extension of a line from the song “Devathayai Kanden“, but for me, it is not. Seeing the words ‘butterflies and graveyard flowers’, people may feel that the lines of these two songs are interconnected and mean the lady and the man. Yet, we must admit that this song has plural nouns, unlike the other song from the movie “Kadhal Konden“. 

As of my understanding, the meaning is that butterflies won’t grieve when they sip nectar from the flowers grown on the grave. Using this line, the man tells her to accept their present situation. 

“மின்சாரக் கம்பிகள் மீது மைனாக்கள் கூடுகட்டும் நம் காதல் தடைகளைத் தாண்டும் வளையாமல் நதிகள் இல்லை வலிக்காமல் வாழ்க்கை இல்லை வரும் காலம் காயம் ஆற்றும்”

“Mynas will build their nest in electric posts. Our love will overcome all the obstacles. If there is no bend, there will be no rivers. If there is no pain, there will be no life. Future will mend the wound,” he tells her to comprehend the present. 

Yes, what is in our hands? Everything depends on the way we respond. When a bird can strive to live, can’t their love try to live? When a river can run with its turns, will their life be shaken by the pains? Nothing will linger for longer. The future will cure their scar for sure. 

“நிலவொளியை மட்டும் நம்பி இலையெல்லாம் வாழ்வதில்லை மின்மினியும் ஒளி கொடுக்கும்”

“Leaves don’t live, relying only on moonlight. A firefly, too, will give them light,” he sounds upright. 

The leaves don’t rely on the moon for light, as fireflies can also flash them at night. If you can guess, the word ‘moon’ here means her parents, and ‘fireflies’ represents his presence. These symbolise that though she leaves her parents, he, like a little firefly, can make her life bright with his presence. Thus, the man wants her to learn to be a leaf in life. 

“தந்தையும் தாயையும் தாண்டி வந்தாய் தோழியே இரண்டுமாய் என்றுமே நான் இருப்பேன் தோளிலே நீயுமே சாயும் போது எதிர்வரும் துயரங்கள் அனைத்தையும் நான் எதிர்ப்பேன்”

“You have left your father and mother. My partner, I will be both of them forever. When you lie on my shoulder, I will resist all the miseries of the future,” he does assure her. 

In the first verse, he tells her what other beings can do, but in this, he tells her what he, as a human being, can do. For her not to be bothered, he will be both her father and mother. And with the shoulder which holds her, he can withstand the woes of the future. 

“வெந்நீரில் நீ குளிக்க விறகாகித் தீக்குளிப்பேன் உதிரத்தில் உன்னைக் கலப்பேன் விழிமூடும் போதும் உன்னைப் பிரியாமல் நான் இருப்பேன் கனவுக்குள் காவல் இருப்பேன்”

“For you to bathe in warm water, I will set myself alight, becoming firewood. I will mix you with my blood. I won’t leave you, even if I close my eyes. I will save you when you are in dreams,” he screams. 

To make her life good, he is ready to become firewood. He can fix his mind to mix his thoughts of her with his blood. Whether he is drowsing or she is dreaming, he, as her husband,  wants to defend her without leaving. 

“நான் என்றால் நானே இல்லை நீ தானே நானாய் ஆனேன் நீ அழுதால் நான் துடிப்பேன்”

“If it’s me, it’s not me. It’s only you who have become me. If your eyes tear, I will not bear,” he says to her. 

The man becomes her, so if he says “I”, he doesn’t mean him. If his lady does sob, his body will throb. 

When it comes to love, men can say whatever, but when it comes to life, many can’t stay forever. Nonetheless, this man is not boneless. His hands can’t give what she wants, yet they can wipe out his wife’s tears and fears.

In one of his poems, Vairamuthu has written that it is not sexual pleasure that women desire. All they want is an assurance that their men’s love is true. He is right. In this song, we can feel it. All praise goes to its poet. Who is it? As you all know, it is our Na. Muthukumar, the writer of nature.

Though we say nature is the best teacher, some poets use that only to paint only women’s structure. This poet is an exception in this description. He wrote that leaves could survive, a butterfly doesn’t cry, and a firefly will try. My mind will explode if I think about the suicide of firewood. It is said that he is dead. Nay, if we listen to his lyrics, we will realise that he still lives.  

I can’t accept the fact that this film is Joshua Sridhar‘s debut. Those two notes of his flute eat my heart. It’s not violence but a violin note in this that slays my silence. This movie was a big hit. No doubt! His music did its part. 

As a vocalist, this song is Haricharan‘s first. He was just seventeen during his rendition. I wonder how a child could express an exact emotion for the wordஅழுவதேன்‘. It is heaven to listen to this man.  

What else, then? It is your turn. 

About the author

Reshma Selvaraj

Hello, my name is Reshma Selvaraj. I am a graduate with a bachelor's degree in English. I am from a village called Kombadi Thalavaipuram in Tuticorin, a southern district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil is my mother tongue. Though I studied English as a second language during my schooling, I enjoyed reading English poems and essays. As years passed by, I enrolled to study the literature of English in a college. That was when I began to read a lot of books both in Tamil and English. Thus I started to have a dream of becoming a writer. I have already written and published two short stories. The first short story, entitled “I have an interview tomorrow”, depicts the life of a disabled graduate searching for a job, and the second short story, titled “Aval Oru Maram”, defines the deforestation happening in the Western Ghats of India. This blog is to show the world that I am becoming what I wanted to become, and I hope that it will help you to become what you want to become.

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