On Waiting

In Tamil: paartha idathilellaam-unnai poalavae paavai theriyudhadi
(rough English translation) Everywhere I look-your semblance emerges in everything

My respect for single parents has been renewed this week.
It is 2nd week of back-to-school.
Utter craziness.
Primarily because Kumar was out of town and I was on lone-warrior duty.

I can write more. But, don’t have to. Because, there is a song by one of my favorite poets that captures the very essence of the heart ache involved in waiting for a loved one.

It is called “Theertha karaiyinilye”. Even if you don’t understand Tamil, the pathos in the song will tug at your heartstrings.

Here 2 versions:
A female version rendered by Oscar nominee Bombay S Jayashri
A male version

Theertha karaiyinilye – song in Tamil, english transliteration and translation can be found here.

Poet Bharathiyar created an entire category of songs for women- titled “Kannamma” songs. Kannamma is also a female name in Tamil and also used as a term of endearment for both male and female. These songs, ranging from inspirational to romantic captured the writer’s emotions at various times in his life. The lyrics are complex and rich and powerful.

Bharathiyar’s Chinnanchiru Kiliye

Some poets pull the chords in your heart and bring about a myriad of emotions.

One of my favorite poets of all times is Bharathiyar. I think I might even have a huge crush on him.  His poetry has influenced my outlook on life. I want to live a free-spirited and forward-thinking life like him.

I try to share my love for Bharathiyar with the boys in small doses…a couplet here…and a couplet there. So, hopefully, one day they will sing it to the one who captures their heart.

When the boys kiss me, I end up singing
Lyrics in Tamil: கன்னத்தில் முத்தமிட்டால்-உள்ளந்தான் கள்வெறி கொள்ளுதடீ
English Transliteration: Kannathil muthamittal ullamthaan kalveri kolluthadi
English Translation: If I kiss you on your cheeks, my heart goes beserk as if it is drunk with liquor

When the boys are upset, I end up singing (Sickness in Winter)
English Transliteration: satrum mugam sivandhal – manadhu sanchalam aagudhadi
netri churukam kandal – enakku nenjam padhaikudhadi
English Translation: If your face turns to discomfort, even momentarily, my heart is disturbed
When I see your forehead wrinkle, my heart flutters with fear.

When the boys cry, I end up singing
Lyrics in Tamil: உன் கண்ணில் நீர்வழிந்தால்- என்நெஞ்சில் உத்திரங் கொட்டுதடி; கண்ணம்மா என்னுயிர் நின்னதன்றோ!
English Transliteration: unkannil neer vazhindhal – en nenjil udhiram kottudhadi
kannamma en uyir ninnadhanro?
English Translation: If I even see small droplets of tears in your eyes, a whole river of blood flows in my heart
(because) You’re the light of my eyes, my life is yours

Yesterday evening, I took the boys to Austin’s India Fine Arts first concert of spring series.  It was not 1 concert….but, 2 back-2-back concerts for 5 hours.

I lucked out. The artists wrapped up the concert with one of my favorites – Bharathiyar’s Chinnanchiru Kiliye Kannamma. Adi was in one of the first seats and captured this video.

Here are the artists featured in the video: Vidushi Shantala Subramanyam on Flute, Vidwan Vishaal R Sapuram on Chitravina, Vidwan Melakkaveri Balaji on Mridangam and Vidushi Sukkanya Ramgopal on Ghatam.

Because my sister-in-law Rema Hariharan hosted the visiting artists, I even got to hangout with them one of the evenings. They are not just talented. (As you know, I believe talent is over-rated.) The artists were so down-to-earth and such fun to get to know.

Thank you to Nagarajan Mama and Janaki Mami who are the pillars of carnatic music circuit in Austin. They move heaven and earth to bring talented artists to Austin. They make it possible for Adi to sit in the front row seats and get absorbed in the magic that happens as artists improvise and put to use every single technique that they have learnt over decades.

Sickness in Winter

I came home to see this.
Adi was slouching on the couch.

Sick.
Ear hurting.
Head hurting.
Bundled up.
Drinking hot tea to sooth his throat.

Of all the diagnosis that Dr. Kumar (for the record: my husband isn’t a doctor, this is a title I have given him when he diagnosis problems) has made about me, the top diagnosis is #OCD.

Despite my #OCD-like symptoms which including furious cleaning and urging everybody in the house to be clean, Adi fell sick today.

Because of “sick” symptoms yesterday evening, he asked me to write a note yesterday night to his PE teacher to be excused from the mandatory 1 mile run today. I did write the note. But, given the trooper he is, he reported back today evening that he did not use the note. He ran and set a personal-record. Despite the sickness and a terrible headache.

As a parent, one of the the hardest things to watch is your child lying down on the couch with a fever.

All evening long, I am going to be singing Bharathiyar’s (one of my favorite Tamil poets) lines to Adi:
shaTru mukham shivandAl manadu sancalamAgudaDi
neTri shurungak-kaNDAl enakku nenjam padaikkudaDI
un kaNNil nIr vazhindAl ennenjil udiram koTTudaDi
en kaNNin pAvaiyenrO kaNNammA ennuyir ninradanrO

Translation:
If your face turns to discomfort, even momentarily, my heart is disturbed
When I see your forehead wrinkle, my heart flutters with fear
If I even see small droplets of tears in your eyes, a whole river of blood flows in my heart
(because) You’re the light of my eyes, my life is yours

Here is the full song