Baby doll nee enaku; Teddy bear naan unaku

The title of the post comes from the lyrics of the song ‘Kadhal yaanai varugiran remo’ from the movie Anniyan penned by Na. Muthukumar. While hearing it for the first time the feel seemed so new and it perfectly suited the trend. It tells about the kind of give and take that is likely to happen in a romantic relationship. Bit too much of hype can be noted, on viewing it with Vikram’s expression on screen.

Tamil cinema has numerous songs which debate over ‘who is who?’ in a romantic relationship. The title itself is an example. The hero sings ‘You are my baby doll and I am your teddy bear’. If teddy bear had really hugged girls at night, the making and marketing of teddy bears would have stopped once and for all. And a guy playing with baby doll isn’t a normal happening. Most of the men out there fall under of category of ‘caught red handed’ while breaking the leg or hand of their sister’s baby dolls. It isn’t impossible though. It is just a weird kind of pampering that little girls do for their baby dolls. Still Na.Muthukumar has given the best lyrics for the song, two bhavas in a single line. For time being can have it as ‘Kavidhaiku Poi Azhagu’. It is just as beautiful as Sivakami in Bahubali telling ‘En marumagalku konjam agandhai azhagu dhan’. Poets are masters of imagining similes that do not even exist in the world and still make their point.

Also, poets are capable of switching gears easily between men and women thought processes and feel intense emotions of both genders as in the title. This has always been a wonder. Many people in this world struggle to empathize even, but poets are talented/gifted to look through and from various dimensions and write from a man’s emotional center and a woman’s emotional center effortlessly. Many poets have written songs on deities/their lovers handling both bhavas. Bhavas here is the Nayika Bhava and Nayaka Bhava. Not sure about all contemporary poets on how deep or how stronger their hold is on both the bhavas. Few make tremendous impact on one of the bhavas but may not be on both practically.

But Mahi Kavi should be an exception because he was the one who taught other poets on how to switch gears between the two bhavas. Yes, Alwars and Nayanmars play a significant role but Maha Kavi is the one, supreme, powerful source to bridge the gap between the sangam era and the contemporary era in Tamil literature. He has done perfect justice to both the bhavas and the happiness that is felt reading his poems is ineffable.

The very proofs come from கண்ணன்என் காதலன் and கண்ணம்மாஎன் காதலி.

In the former he disguises himself as the heroine and writes from a woman’s emotional center. He tells how Bharathi’s world is, when her lover is away and shares her pain to her friend.

குண முறுதி யில்லை;-எதிலும்
குழப்பம் வந்த தடீ!
கணமும் உள்ளத்திலே-சுகமே
காணக் கிடைத்த தில்லை

And in the last two paras she tells how her world lights up and peace prevails in her when she catches a glimpse of her Kannan.

எண்ணும் பொழுதி லெல்லாம்-அவன்கை
இட்ட விடத்தினி லே
தண்ணென் றிருந்ததடீ!-புதிதோர்
சாந்தி பிறந்ததடீ!
எண்ணி யெண்ணிப் பார்த்தேன்;-அவன்தான்
யாரெனச் சிந்தை செய்தேன்;
கண்ணன் திருவுருவம் -அங்ஙனே
கண்ணின் முன் நின்ற தடீ!

The later, that is கண்ணம்மா-என் காதலி he sings from a guy’s emotional center. He writes how Bharathi sees his lover and in what all things he sees her. He gives a list where she dwells and how close he is residing to her and how much care he takes.

வான மழை நீ யெனக்கு வண்ண மயில் நானுனக்கு;
பான மடி நீ யெனக்கு,பாண்டமடி நானுனக்கு;
ஞான வொளி வீசுதடி,நங்கை நின் றன் சோதிமுகம்,
ஊனமறு நல்லழகே!ஊறு சுவையே!கண்ணம்மா!

பான மடி நீ யெனக்குப் பாண்டமடி நானுனக்கு is a brilliant word play from Maha Kavi. He claims that You are my drink while I am the vessel or cutlery which holds you”. Bharati promises that he will hold his Kannamma admist all odds. He doesn’t stop there but goes on to explain how Kannamma inspires him in each and every aspect and he describes her as அள்ளு சுவையே கண்ணம்மா! Means he isn’t saturated or bored of her but she is someone who makes him wish more of her.

He finishes the poem stating,

வீரமடி நீ யெனக்கு, வெற்றியடி நானுனக்கு;

தாரணியில் வானுலகில் சார்ந்திருக்கும் இன்பமெல்லாம்
ஒருருவமாய்ச் சமைந்தாய்! உள்ளமுதே! கண்ணம்மா!

சமைந்தாய் means attaining puberty. I remember the days when as a girl singing songs with words ‘Kuthavechen’, ‘Samanjen’, ‘Rudhuvanadhu’ loudly and scolded by mother for singing such songs without knowing the meaning behind it. And as she used to say, most of the songs with such word usage usually sound vulgar with less or no respect. We can know how vulgar a song can sound when we hear a child singing it without knowing the meaning of words. But only Maha Kavi can use such words in a respectful manner and take it to heights doing perfect justice. He not only uses words in a respectful manner but also has done perfect justice to Nayika and Nayaka bhava. Have to accept the defeat that while penning down this on word doc, there was so much confusion on his/her usage for Bharathi’s Kannan and Bharathi’s Kannamma. Yet another aspect to realize, ‘why he is Maha Kavi!‘ happened.

He has done justice to the level where even Lord Krishna has to change roles as கண்ணன் and as கண்ணம்மா but he remains பாரதி. Only very few names stay common for both genders. Say Sathya, Ramani, Bharathi, etc. But Bharathi is special because of Maha Kavi and one can tell பாரதி-என் காதலன், பாரதி-என் காதலி as his name itself is a proof that he is the master of both Nayika and Nayaka bhavas.



கண்ணன்-என் காதலன் –

கண்ணம்மா-என் காதலி –


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