The words ‘the land of the Tamils’ invokes
the strains of a joyous, sweet melody
To speak of the land of the forefathers
Infuses into the breath, new energy
Translated from the original in Tamil by Subramaniya Bharati
The poet Subramaniya Bharati who was proficient in eight languages and who admired the poetry of Shelley so much that he wrote under the pseudonym Shelley-dasan (Shelley’s devotee), sang several odes to his mother tongue Tamil. This is one of the most celebrated of his poems that rejoices in the beauty of the language and the greatness of the ancient land which was renowned for the valour of its people, the winsome beauty of its women, its love of education, and its many achievements in science, art, and high literature.
While each classical musician who has rendered this song has made an effort to colour the lines with their own style, this singer Gayathri Venkataraghavan lifts it to a new level with her perfect pronunciation, flawless notes, and above all, her tone and expressions which reflect the exhilaration in the poet’s words.