They were reoc­cur­ring at every phase of my school­ing, from 1st stan­dard to 12th stan­dard. Ini­tially there were in with a few paras with a direct nar­ra­tive type  and then went on to occur in mul­ti­ple paras with com­plex views. At first, they appeared in Kan­nada, then it was Eng­lish, Hindi and finally lots of them in San­skrit. Some were about hap­pi­ness & sad­ness, few were on nature & love but many were on life and death. Teach­ers tried their best to elu­ci­date them, explain them with a con­text, some­times with their own expe­ri­ence with life. Unfor­tu­nately I, for most of the time, failed to fully appre­ci­ate their true meaning.

Always under the pres­sure to remem­ber than to under­stand, school­ing was dri­ven by peer’s action than one’s choice. This even­tu­ally meant no time what­so­ever to intro­spect on the poems we were learn­ing. Sadly this also meant a lost oppor­tu­nity in appre­ci­at­ing oth­ers per­spec­tives and learn­ing from them.

How­ever as it always goes, when one gets out of the school­ing phase and hits the early stage of the roller-coaster called life, time seems to be in abun­dance some­times. With that I’ve had the good for­tune of get­ting into the habit of watch­ing so called par­al­lel films, mainly inspired by the expe­ri­ence of Ban­ga­lore Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val. There have been few regional movies which hits the grade of being par­al­lel movies. Yet they fol­low the sig­na­ture style of Indian movie style of film mak­ing  by hav­ing songs, action and dance.

In the midst of watch­ing these movies, I came across few songs. They were not the typ­i­cal ones which we find in main­stream movies. Their lyrics were of the old poems. Some were ancient, some were from yes­ter­year. Yet when I heard them, lot of things made sense. When I repeat­edly lis­tened to them, I enjoyed being part of the nar­ra­tion  & was able to appre­ci­ate the poets message.

It makes me wish I could go through all the poems I stud­ied once again, lis­ten to them again from my teach­ers and live the dream again.

Here are two Kan­nada songs I’ve heard recently and has lyrics made up of poems which are quiet old.

First one is from the movie “A“. A bril­liant story-in-a-story type film writ­ten and directed by Upen­dra. Despite being way ahead of it times it became a cult clas­sic. It has a song where char­ac­ter takes a step back in life and describes how he wants his life to be. This lyrics are from G.P.Rajarathnam and is part of his famous Rat­nan Pada­galu. It goes by the title ಹೇಳ್ಕೊಳ್ಳಕ್ ಒಂದ್ ಊರು / Helkol­lak ondooru (A city for name­sake).  The poet nar­rates life as it is seen through the per­spec­tives of a per­son (by name “Ratna”). The song is brought to life by the soul­ful voice of L.N.Shastry and music by Guruki­ran.

A clas­si­cal style of singing.

The sec­ond one is “Lucia“, a con­tem­po­rary film writ­ten and directed by Pawan Kumar. Its got a non-linear style of nar­ra­tion and has the main back­ground song com­posed by using the lyrics writ­ten byKanaka dasa.

The poem snip­pet with the eng­lish translation.


Those were the days when MTV was a craze, very few chan­nels were in true color, mil­len­nium was round the cor­ner and I had hit my teens. It was Venga Boys who were the first ones to draw my atten­tion towards the techno music. When­ever their songs played, there was a sense of energy and enthu­si­asm around the place.

Heard this song again after many years at the Sylvester cel­e­bra­tions at the Bran­den­burg Tor in Berlin and sud­denly a lot of mem­o­ries flowed in trance. As I revis­ited it today on YouTube, I was sur­prised to know that this was a remix of an orig­i­nal song called “Bar­ba­dos” sung by Typ­i­cally Trop­i­cal in 1975. Nev­er­the­less the Venga Boys had done a great job in bring­ing in an ele­ment of Ibiza into the Caribbean flavor.

Here’s the orig­i­nal and the remixed versions!