(Translation on request for LM)

A naadan paatu (folk song) from the movie Kudukku 2025 (TBR: 2022)


Aaraante kandathilu aaraandaa kotthanathu?
Aaraante thengumellu aaraandaa chetthanathu*?
[In someone’s paddy field, who is it cutting?
In someone’s coconut palm, who is it tapping toddy?]
Nallachan kaavile korante kuttyaane
Njanaanda paadathe karumaadi muthaane!
[It is the child of Koran from the sacred grove of Nallachan (Lord Shiva)
It is I, the black pearl of the fields!]

Kaalikkum Koranum kadinjoolu njaananda
Kaarthoonum chiruthakkum kunjaanja njaananda
[For Kaali and Koran, I’m their first born
For Karthu and Chirutha, I am their brother]
Nada kaale, neram poyi! mumbelum aenundu
Maalore kootteettu koyyaanum aenundu
[Come on, walk ox, it is late! I’m in front
To gather people for harvesting too, I’m here]

Theythaka theythaka…

Njaaru munganu, varambu moodanu, neram manganu kandaa?
Kolum munganu, olum munganu, oppamundanum kandaa?
[The paddy saplings are drowning, the ledges are covering, the day is fading, are you watching?
The rainstorm is sinking, she is also plunging, along with the tapping branch, are you watching?]
Thaathi koyyanu, thaalathil koyyanu, neetti koyyanu kandaa?
Vatti nirakkanu, kotta nirakkanu, naazhi nirakkanu kandaa?
[Cutting low, in the same beat, cutting with long strides, are you watching?
Filling the hamper, filling the baskets, filling the naazhi** measuring cup, are you watching?]

Theythaka theythaka…

+Naadi vannappo devi vannathum moothevi poyathum kandaa?
Vayattaatti vannappo naadu arinjathum, nangeli pettathum kandaa?
[When the illness came, did you see how the goddess came and banished the bad luck?
When the midwife came, did you see how the village came to know and Nangeli gave birth?]
Vela vannathum paala poothathum manam parannathum kandaa?
++Neetti paadana koothu maadathil paavakal aadana kandaa?
[Did you see the festival come, the paala*** tree flower and spread fragrance?
Did you see the puppets dance in the play hut where they sing long songs?]

Theythaka theythaka…

Neraanu neraanu neram karukkanu
ramayana kadha pinneyum paadanu
[It is true, it is true the day is darkening
The story of Ramayana is being sung again ]
Daarikan chaavanu, Kaaliyum thullanu
Meloam kelkkanu thaaloam kelkkanu
[Daarikan is getting killed, Kaali is also dancing
The festivities and beats can be heard]

Theythaka theythaka…

To listen to the song, click play:

*Chetthuka could mean a few different things as to cutting with a knife. It is also used to mean pare as in paring a fruit (maanga chethuka – pare a mango). Thengu chethukka, pana chethukka etc. could also used to mean tap toddy from thengu (coconut palm) or pana (palm). Here is a YouTube video of toddy tapping from a coconut palm.
**Naazhi is the smallest scale which people used to measure paddy seeds in Kerala long back. It looks like a small cup usually made of some metal like brass and measures around 200g. The measures go up with 4 naazhis make 1 Idangazhi, 10 Indangazhis make 1 Para and so on.
(Image: courtesy V.S. Ramachandran)
+Naadi literally means artery, but here it could be used as a short form for ‘naadi veezhcha’ or impotency (Reference: Herman Gundert dictionary, page 540) since the next line is saying about how someone gave birth with Goddess’s blessing.
***Paala tree/devil’s tree is a native tree to Kerala which produces fragrant flowers and is part of a lot of legends. It is believed that yakshis (female demons) live in paala tree.
++ This could be referring to shadow puppetry usually shown during festivals on temple grounds. The puppeteers usually play Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharatha. Here is a YouTube video of how it looks. Another one here.

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