Poo Venam

(Translation on request for MS)
Ramunni Nair and Saraswathi Amma, a retired school teacher couple, lives in a riverside home. Most of their time is spent doing some work around the house, visiting the local temple and having cute little fights with each other. They are also childless as they got married in their 40s and that is one sadness they have in life. One day a Namboothiri visits their home with his daughter Unnimaya who is joining the local college. Saraswathi used to board at Namboothiri’s home when she used to work in a school near that place long back. Ramunni is not very pleased with Namboothiri’s brash and condescending behavior, but allows Saraswathi to take Maya in as a boarder and commits to act as her local guardian. Ramunni accompanies Maya to college on her first day and one of his old students and a professor at the college mistakes Maya for his daughter. Ramunni is really happy to have felt like a dad, even if it was on loan. Maya gets closer to Saraswathi and tells her about her life at home. When she was 11, Maya’s mother took her own life because of her abusive father who dabbles in black magic. She feels a strong bond with Saraswathi and Ramunni and asks them hesitantly if she could call them Achan and Amma (dad and mom). This brightens up their life. A song about celebrating different festivals for the first time with a foster child from the movie Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam. (If you can understand Malayalam, may I please suggest visiting this excellent interpretation of this song by Varikriss on IGTV)

To listen to the song, click play:

Poo venam pooppada venam poovili venam
poonaaram chaarthiya kanni poomakal venam
[We need flowers, pooppada* dance and happy chants
We want an adorable daughter adorned with a necklace]
Poo venam pooppada venam poovili venam
poonaaram chaarthiya kanni poomakal venam
[We need flowers, pooppada* dance and happy chants
We want an adorable daughter adorned with a necklace]
Kunnathe kavil ninnum thevaru thaazhe ezhunnallunne
ololalam manchal mooli porunnunde, mooli porunnunde
[From the sacred grove up on the hill, the God is coming down to visit
in a swaying palanquin (on top of an elephant) accompanied with chants]

Poo venam pooppada venam poovili venam
poonaaram charthiya kanni poomakal venam
[We need flowers, pooppada* dance and happy chants
We want an adorable daughter adorned with a necklace]

Naazhi poovuellum punnellum (Tana…)
chozhikkum makkalkkum** thaayo (Tana…)
[One good measure of sesame seeds and new paddy rice
please give to chozhi and kids]
Naazhi poovu ellum punnellum (Tana…)
chozhikkum makkalkkum** thaayo (Tana…)
[One good measure of sesame seeds and new paddy rice
please give to chozhi and kids]
Naavoru*** paadana kanni, mankudavum veenayum aayi
Naavoru*** paadana kanni, mankudavum veenayum aayi
nee enthe vannilla?, ponnonam poyallo!
[Hey Kanni, singing naavoru songs with earthen pot and veena,
why didn’t you come? the Onam has gone by!]
Oru nilam uzhuthu athil muthira vithache
athiloru pakuthiyum oru kili thinne poi
[One piece of land was tilled and oats seeds were sowed
half of those seeds were eaten by a bird]

Poo venam pooppada venam poovili venam
poonaaram chaarthiya kanni poomakal venam
[We need flowers, pooppada* dance and happy chants
We want an adorable daughter adorned with a necklace]

+Vaalum chilambum kalampi (Tana…)
vaathil padikkal vannu aarthu (Tana…)
[With clashing (sounds of) sword and heavy anklets
came and yelled at the doorstep…]
Vaalum chilambum kalampi (Tana…)
vathil padikkal vannarthu (Tana…)
[With clashing (sounds of) sword and heavy anklets
came and yelled at the doorstep…]
unnikale thedi varunnu ullu urukum kaavile amme
unnikale thedi varunnu ullu urukum kaavile amme
nee vaazhum kaavinnu thee vechathu aarenno?
[searching for children with distressed heart, hey Goddess mother of the sacred grove
are you asking who set fire to the scared grove you reign?]
Oru pidi avilinu verum mori malarinu
veyilithu muzhuvanum aelkkanathu aaraano?
[For a handful of beaten rice, or just a bit of roasted puffed rice
who is this getting burned in the sun?]

Aayilya kavilu velem pooravum unde
nee ente kunjikuyile koode varille?
[In the sacred grove there are festivals and celebrations
hey little cuckoo, won’t you come with me?]
Illenno minnum ponnum kaivala kaathila chaarthaan enno?
++Pottu enthinu, ponnalle nee, ponkudamalle?, ente ponkudamalle?
[Are you saying you don’t have sparkling gold bangles and earings to wear?
Why do you need bindi, aren’t you gold itself, precious? my precious?]

Poo venam pooppada venam poovili venam
poonaaram chaarthiya kanni poomakal venam 
[We need flowers, pooppada* dance and happy chants
We want an adorable daughter adorned with a necklace]

*Pooppada Thullal is a ritual dance performed for eradicating possession of heavenly bodies on young women. It is part of the Padayani art forms performed in temples in Central Kerala.
**Chozhi kali is a traditional art form performed during Thiruvathira. An adult dressed up as a deity and a bunch of children dressed up as spirits surrounding the deity visit houses and dance in their yard. They are rewarded with sesame seeds or rice.
***Naavoru paattu is serpent worship songs sung by the pulluvan community. They use a veena and an earthern pot for the accompanying music and visit houses for providing blessings from serpent Gods to newly born children especially. (YouTube video)
+These lines are signifying velichappadu thullal (Wiki link). Velichappadu acts as oracles for deities. They wear red clothing from top to bottom, dance around with a sword/sickle and heavy anklets making a lot of noise. They visit homes and accept offerings of beaten rice or puffed rice and tell them visions for the family. The velichappadu here might be representing the legend of a woman who became a Goddess after people burned her hut with her children in it.
++ These lines come from an old saying in Malayalam – “Ponninkudathinu enthinu pottu?” (Why does the precious one need a bindi?) – which is a nice way of saying you are so beautiful/precious that you don’t need any more decorations.

+++Image copyright to the original uploader.

4 thoughts on “Poo Venam

  1. Is there reason for marginalizing new rew requests and translating only old songs?
    I am waiting for the list above. Thanks.
    Deaer Thumbi

    1. Yes, I was doing a project – Nostalgia Series – picking only 80’s and 90’s songs for the month of December. The reason is I wanted to translate a set of popular songs from yesteryears from the mountain of requests I currently have. 😊
      I am going to take a break for a bit, I have to refocus on my work in the new year. I’ll be back to translating newer songs soon.

  2. Thanks a lot for this translation. Without this translation I couldn’t understand many of the words meaning. You have done a great job. Keep it up. I’m happy you have started to translate many 80’s & 90’s song. They were the evergreen times & with your translation many more people can understand the songs better. Thanks you.

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