Pravasi

(Translation on request for KB)
Pravasi (Expatriate) song is an acknowledgment of the solitary immigrant worker’s life in Middle Eastern countries. A lot of them have to leave everything they hold dear to go work in the wealthy desert countries as cheap labor so that their family can have a comparatively comfortable life back in the homeland. The lyrics are aptly called ‘pachayaaya varikal’ (raw verses) by some listeners as it is a testament to the feeling of isolation and inadequacy they feel. A song about life of an immigrant worker by Thakara band.

To listen to the song, click play:

Kashtapettu kashtapettu jeevikkum manushyaa 
Ottapettu ottapettu jeevikum manushyaa
[Hey human who lives through hardships
Hey human who lives in isolation]
Nee ottakku eriyunna oru kanal aano?
Nee hridhyam iduppulla oru yenthram aano?
[Are you a burning lonesome ember?
Are you a machine with heart beats?]
Oadikondu irikunna ponnu monae
Oadikondu irikunna ponnu molae
[Hey dear son who keeps running constantly
Hey dear daughter who functions incessantly]
Nee ottakku eriyunna oru kanal aano?
Nee hridhyam iduppulla oru yenthram aano?
[Are you a lonesome ember who burns?
Are you a machine with heart beats?]

Aella aella…

Viyarppu kanam pattiya panam oh oh paraathi maathram sambaadyam
Viyarppu kanam pattiya panam oh oh paraathi maathram sambaadyam
[The cash bills smeared with droplets of sweat,
but you only have complaints(from others) as your savings]
Verukal ellam nee vedanayode
manalaaranyathil aazhthiyille?,
[All your roots, with misery,
didn’t you sink them deep in the desert?]
Verpadin kadal neenthi kannu ethaa doore
swayam erinju prakashikkan?
[Swimming across the ocean of separation, at a distance where the eyes don’t reach
to provide light by burning yourself?]
Jinno nee mannayo en changayi?
Jinno nee mannayo en jeevane?
[Are you a jinn or are you manna, my friend?
Are you a jinn or are you manna, my life?]
Aarkuvendi jeevikunnu…ninakku vendiyo?
Aarkuvendi jeevikunnu…ninakku vendiyo?
[Who are you living for…is it for yourself?]
Thoothu perukkiyalum baaki koodappirappukalkku aarthi
[Even if you sweep up everything you have, your siblings’ greed remain]

+ Image copyright to the original uploader.

++In the first stanza the lyricist wonders if the immigrant worker who goes through isolation and hardships feels like a machine with heart beats. In the second stanza, the lyricist points out that even though they work hard for the family, the only thing they hear back from the family may be complaints of not getting enough. He asks if they are a jinn granting wishes or a life giving biblical manna bread.

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