Monday, April 01, 2013

A brief note on "எங்கெங்கோ போகின்ற என் பாடலே..."

This song is from the Tamil dubbed version of the Malayalam children's film Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The scope of this post is limited to just the pallavi of this song. (The song goes on to become about something else  presumably relevant to the film's concerns in its stanzas.)

எங்கெங்கோ போகின்ற என் பாடலே
இங்கே என் நெஞ்சத்தில் எங்கிருந்தாய்
நீ வரும் பாதையில் நின்றிருக்க
என்னை நீ எவ்விதம் தான் கடந்தாய்
அழகான ஓர் கீதம் ஆனாய்
அனலாகி காற்றாகி போனாய்
அலைகின்ற நெஞ்சத்தில் தேனாய்
அழியாத கோலம் போல் வானாய்

காற்றாலே உண்டாகிக் காற்றாகும் கீதங்கள்
காற்றோடு போகாதோ சொல்லாத சோகங்கள்

The above verse is yet another instance of self-reflexivity that's a spontaneous characteristic of several Raaja songs.

I don't know who wrote this but this is clearly aligned with Raaja's own reflections on what music is – an abstract exchange of a sound pattern that the composer shares with the listeners. In even more radical terms, that which doesn't exist in and of itself. (See below video, from 01:36 mark.)

So here, we have a very interesting characterization of music as something that is at once intangible and fixed. The lines touch upon the permanent nature of music in all its ambiguity. That which doesn't alter itself or anything else.

In the first part, the composer himself wonders, to put it in simple terms, "where did that come from?" He asks the piece of music:

Where were you residing in my mind? Here I am standing all along but couldn't notice you get past me. You became this beautiful piece of sound. And went away as waves in air.

And the song goes on to examine how the piece of music reaches listener again in all its ambiguity. The modest picture it gives is that of the listener's wandering mind getting itself together for a while. What does music do but help one pass time? How could it possibly resolve anything for its listeners if it's merely a pattern of sound that engages a wandering mind just for a little while? And thus the piece of music remains a permanent abstract entity like the sky.