Another awesome poem by Kamal Hassan, What a poet! In this poem he reflects his forced silence in-spite of seeing all the wrong things happening around him! I am not sure if I have made justice to this poem.
Thanks to Pradeep anand ravindranath for crucial inputs with the translation.

Poet: Kamal Hassan

-குளத்தடி மீனது பேய்மழை கேட்டபோல் உளத்தடி ஞாயம் கேட்பவன் நான்
குளத்தடி மீனது பேய்மழை கேட்டபோல் உளத்தடி ஞாயம் கேட்பவன் நான்
தலைப்படும் காரியம் தவறென கூறிடும் மனக்குரல் கேட்பினும் கேளாதிருப்பவன்
பிறர் மனை நோக்கையில், அக விளக்கேற்றையில்,
குளத்தடி மீனது பேய்மழை கேட்டபோல்,
உளமொழி நடுவனாய், இரு நதி கரையனாய்
இருப்பவன், சுகிப்பவன், சகிப்பவன் நான்
பெருமழை பெய்ததில் இரு நதி கூடிடின்
கரையுமில்லை நானுமில்லை
பெருமழை பெய்ததில் இரு நதி கூடிடின்
கரையுமில்லை நானுமில்லை என்றுனர்ந்து வாழுபவன்
கரையுமில்லை நானுமில்லை என்றுனர்ந்து வாழுபவன்
நாளை எதுவாகுமென யாவரை போலவும் யானுமே அறிகிலேன்
வாழும் குளத்து நீர் வாயெலாம் கரிக்கையில்
வரை கடல் பொங்கி பிரளயமே வந்ததென உணர்ந்தபடி நீந்திடும்
குளத்தடி மீனது பேய்மழை கேட்டபோல்
உளத்தடி ஞாயம் கேட்பவன் நான்

kulathadi meen adhu pei mazhai kettapol ulathadi nyayam ketpavan naan
kulathadi meen adhu pei mazhai kettapol ulathadi nyayam ketpavan naan
thalaipadum kaariyam thavarena kuridum manakural ketpinum keladhu irrupavan

pirrarmanai nokayil aga vilaketrayil

kulathadi meen adhu pei mazhai kettapol

ulamozhi naduvanaai iru nadhi karayanai

irrupavan sugippavan saggipavan naan

peru mazhai peidhadhil iru nadhi kudidin
karaiyumillai nannumillai
peru mazhai peidhadhil iru nadhi kudidin
karaiyumillai nannumillai yendru unarndhu vazhubavan
karaiyumillai nannumillai yendru unarndhu vazhubavan
naalai yedhuvagumena yavaarai polavum yaanume arigilen
vazhum kulathu neer vayellam karikayil
varai kadal pongi pralayame vandhadhena unarndhapadi neendhidum
kulathadi meen adhu pei mazhai kettapol
ulathadi nyayam ketpavan naan

Just like the fish in the pond asks for the rains to pour (for its survival), I turn to my heart to ask for justice,
Just like the fish in the pond asks for the rains to pour (for its survival), I turn to my heart to ask for justice,
(A fish in the pond  would wish for a heavy rain as it sees the water in the pond constantly going down. Likewise, I would ask for justice that my heart prompts for, looking at the injustice happening around me)
Even though my intellect echoes its worries about important things (which is perceived as the ultimate bliss) being wrong, I act ignorant to these calls,
When I look at others house (perspectives), and as the inner light in me ignites,
Just like the fish in the ponds listens to the pouring rains, I, driven by my intellect, taking an unbiased and equal stance, stand in the land between the river of perspectives (of others and self),
I exist in this doab of perspectives, I enjoy this existence, I tolerate this existence,
When the incessant pouring rains brings together these two rivers,
I live my life realising that  neither the doab nor me will exist,
I live my life realising that  neither the doab nor me will exist,
I do not know what the future holds, just like everyone else, but, when I see that the pond water in which I exist has turned salty,
I am aware that because of the deluge, the seas have overflown and flooded (resulting in the pond merging with the sea),
I realise this fact and keep swimming (although it is imminent that it will lead to my destruction),
Just like the fish in the pond listens to the pouring rains, I listen to the justice calls of my heart.

Comments

  1. prasanna

    friends , excellent translation .. but even then i didn’t get the exact meaning . can anyone explain this completely and in simple words ,the exact message what he is trying to say..?

    1. Aadhirai

      Hopefully a simpler version:

      Like a fish living in pond desires for flooding rain, I desire for righteousness / justice to my heart.
      Even when my heart warns me of going in the wrong path, I act deaf to the warning.
      When I observe acts / perspectives of others, I learn in my heart,
      Like a fish living in pond desires for flooding rain…
      When I listen to my heart, I stand unbiased in the middle and also I stumble on the shore between two rivers…
      I stand so, enjoying it as well as tolerating it.
      When the rain floods, rivers merge
      The shore drowns and so do I,
      I live with the realisation that standing on the shore and the concept of “me” is an illusion / mirage /non-existent…
      Just like everyone else, I too am unaware of what will happen tomorrow..
      When the clean water lake turns salty,
      I realise that apocalypse has begun and continue to swim through…
      Like a fresh-water fish desiring for huge floods, (ignoring the fact that the huge flood will drown the fish itself) I too ask for justice to my heart (even if it may cost my life)

      Another version:

      I’m an innocent fish swimming through life, desiring for justice even if it may cause my life to end. I stay deaf to my moral warnings and commit what I wish to, even if it may not be morally right. But I live with the self-theory stating that I stand unbiased and justice. But this self-righteousness holds good only till I’m safe on the shore. When the rivers flood / circumstances pressure me, my righteousness goes away and I struggle only for my survival. I don’t know what might happen tomorrow, just like anyone else. When it happens, I understand that life and world as I know is coming to an end and still I swim through for my survival. Yet, like the fish asking for flooding rains, l too ask for justice to my heart.

      It is indeed tough to bring out the complete meaning as intended by him. This is my interpretation of his words and let us know whether these versions help…

      Cheers,
      Aadhira

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