We will continue with Annamacarya for a few more articles to come. The selection in this article is a "Srungara Sankeertana", a love song. Annamacarya wrote many padams describing the love of Sri Venkateswara and his consort Sri Alamelu Manga. These songs are delightful due to the keen insight of the poet into the state of the lovelorn hero and heroine as well as for his sense of aesthetics in imagery and vocabulary.
Today's song was set to tune in reetigouLa raagam by the late Voleti Venkateswarlu, a former staff artist at AIR, Vijayawada, an extraordinary vocalist and arranger. This song in his voice, along with a few others he tuned, was released as a cassette "annamayya pada sourabhamu" by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanamulu about 15 yrs ago.
Okay, this is from as authoritative a source as myself!:-) Venkateswara is a "dakshiNa nAyaka", a hero with more than one love interest. Though his consort Alamelu Manga is quite confident of his love for her, sometimes she feels the need to keep him in line, so to speak. In the current scene, he is in her waiting room, perhaps after a significant absence, perhaps with another woman. The song is in the voice of Alamelu Manga, speaking to her friend. She's in a dilemma - should she chastise him or should she take him in graciously. She is angry that he had been away, but she's happy that he's back .. read on ..
taane yeruMgunu ramaNuDu tana keduraaDaenaa
naanenu jemaTalu pulakalu, naTanaku pani laedae // taane yeruMgunu //
koepamu kannula nunnadi koorimi madiloe nunnadi
aepuna pati kika nuttara maemani jeppudunae?
teepulu maaTala nunnavi teruvalu kaakala nunnavi
raapuga pati vaddaku nae raakuMDuTa maelae // taane yeruMgunu //
valapulu kougiTa nunnavi vaasulu siggula nunnavi
tala taDisenu cali baasenu, taanae managalaDae?
valenani Sree vaeMkaTapati vaDadaerici nanu gooDenu
niluvuna muMcenu manapulu naeramu leMcakuvae // taane yeruMgunu //
A rendition in English (not a literal translation!)
My lord knows quite well, should I deny him?
Overwhelmed in perspiration and thrill, act I need not (1), oh friend //oh, he knows //
Anger in the eyes, yet affection in my heart
What reply can I give to my lord, oh friend?
Pain (2) in my words, yet my demeanor aflame with longing
Perhaps, it's better I do not appear before my lord (3) //oh, he knows //
Love hidden in my embrace, inviting in tender shyness
His head drenched, shivering with cold (4), what can he say, oh friend?
By choice, my Lord Venkateswara, rejected (5) others to choose me
Passion engulfs me (6), let me not take him to task, now //oh, he knows //
1. Both the opposing feelings in her are so dominant, perspiration from anger and thrill from happiness - she assures that this is not an act she's putting on.
2. teepulu = two meanings, sweetness and long drawn pain, both appropriate here.
3. She's hesitant that her demeanor will betray her feelings to her lord as he knows her very intimately.
4. He's miserable, literally and metaphorically. So she feels a pity. She's also confident that, in his sorry state, he dare not oppose her in any way - she has full control of him now.
5. vaDa daerici = literally, filtering out
6. She's so overwhelmed that she can't reason this out any more.
Summary: The indecision of an inexperienced heroine is beautifully sketched. The imagery, the body language and the mental dilemma underscore the poet's imagination and keen observation - the progress of the song, beginning with the opposing feelings, going through various stages, culminating in a flood of love. We get the feeling that, even at the beginning she had already made up her mind to forgive him and take him in, but she has to rationalize it out to her sakhi - delicately handled. The music too offsets this dilemma beautifully, with its appropriately oscillating moorcanas.