When I first heard this song, in a cassette of old kannada songs, I was quite pleasantly surprised by its quiet melody, its lyrical beauty. But when I stumbled upon this video on youtube, I was even more surprised. Where I expected a picturization quite content with letting the song take centrestage, so to speak, I found the video making its own poetry and telling its own story...
I have often been told, and I have in turn told sceptical friends, that Kannada movie industry was once the leading light of South Indian cinema (it is again making a modest recovery from the abyss of the last couple of decades, by the way). This song is an example of the glorious old days.
I was already impressed with old Kannada film music, and now I am impressed with old Kannada movie direction as well.
The 'hero', presumably after a stay abroad, has just awakened to the charms of a local Kannada belle - like I awaken atlast to the charms of Kannada film making after appreciating the movies of other languages.
The seemingly simple, fluid, choreography in this picturaization reminds of bees in a flower garden in spring... the chirps of birds... water bubbling through a stream...the seemingly mindless courtship chases of butterflies. The hero's other girl friends partner him in his wooing of the heroine, perhaps they have to be content with vicarious joy only...
Here's a (notsogood) translation of the song - do listen the song first:
Hoovondu bali bandu taakitu enn-edeya
enendu... kelalu... helitu...
helitu jenanta sihi nudiya...
A flower, came and brushed my heart,
When I asked: 'What?'
It spoke in honey-sweet tongue:
kaveri seemeye kanneyu naanu
beluru baaleya pratinidhi naanu
tungeya bhadreya tavrina hoo naanu
I come from the land of Kaveri,
I represent Belur's shapely figurines,
I am the flower from the home of the Tunga, the Bhadra...
sooryana kaanti ya sundari naanu
tingala belakina tangeyu naanu
premada kavyake poojeya hoo naanu
My beauty combines the sun's rays,
The moon's light,
I am the flower, with which to worship Love's Poem...
arashina kumkuma shobhite naanu
vadhuvina sringara bhooshite naanu
mangala sutrava beduva hoo naanu
I am adorned with Kumukum and Turmeric,
I am dressed in a Bride's finery,
I am the flower that invites a mangala sutra...