ఆకులొ ఆకునై – Aakulo Aakunai

It isn’t too often that I get a request all the way from Budapest and it really warms my heart to know that there are people, despite their astonishingly nonlinear and complicated lives (a better word would be sonder), have such passionate feelings for Telugu songs of the yesteryears. A big shout-out to you, remarkably interesting person (I’m sure you will continue to be), and thanks for getting the blog out of the attic. It is fair to say that what really  motivates me to write this blog is unraveling the story behind what led to a particular song (this time, even the ‘meta-‘ retrospection of what led to the post) and every piece of the puzzle, for reasons too hard to explain, only makes me smile wider. With that, I would swiftly like to apologize for not having done this in a long time, as I try to get as far away from the computer once work is done (Isn’t it natural to not while away one’s 20s in front of a PC? Argh, the irony! ).

This song was actually on my to-do list for a long time because Devulapalli. I’m guessing many among us would recognize him as the lyricist for the once-in-a-blue-moon patriotic recital ‘Jaya Jaya Jaya Priya Bhāratha Janani”. However, he is well-known to the Telugu film fanatics for making ‘Meghaśandesam'(not to be confused with the vastly different epic poem by Kālidāsa), an intensely emotional work of art. It is no wonder Devulapalli was regarded as one of the leading example of ‘Bhāva Kavi’ of his generation. The internet claims that this song was inspired by one of his visits to the Nilgiri Hills (a fact which doesn’t take me by surprise).  So, let me not dilute the feels of neither the song nor the movie any further and would highly recommend it for anyone who hasn’t watched it. Oh, before I wrap up, the singer is Susheela and yes, I would need much more than this footnote to do justice to her. Also, All India Radio was the first to compose this poem into a light classical melody, but it was when Ramesh Naidu composed a more sprightly tune and Susheela etching it in her golden voice did it capture the masses.

(I’ve also include transliteration and plan to do so from this time on. There are some lapses when used for Telugu (eg : నే), but that’s the best we will have to make do with)

(Quick credits to this thread for providing some of the content)

ఆకులో ఆకునై పువ్వులో పువ్వునై
కొమ్మలో కొమ్మనై నును లేతరెమ్మనై
Ākulo ākunai, puvvu lo puvvu nai
Komma lo komma nai, nunu letha remma nai

నును = gentle
రెమ్మ = twig

ఈ అడవి దాగిపోనా
ఎటులైనా ఇచటనే ఆగిపోనా
Ī aḍavi dāgi ponā
Eṭulainā icaṭane Āgi ponā

Can I become one among the leaves, branches and flowers and blend into this nature, and somehow conclude my journey here itself?

గలగలని వీచు చిరుగాలిలో కెరటమై
జలజలని పారు సెల పాటలో తేటనై
Galagalani vīcu cirugāli lo keraṭamai
Jalajalani pāru sela pātalo teṭanai

చిరుగాలి = breeze
పారు = sprint
సెల = fountainhead
తేట = clear/dilute

The sounds of wind crowning the breezes,
The sprint of the river spreading out, from the fountainhead

పగడాల చిగురాకు తెరచాటు చేటినై
పరువంపు విడిచేడే చిన్నారి సిగ్గునై
Pagaḍāla cigurāku teracāṭu ceṭinai
Paruvaṃpu viḍiceḍe cinnāri siggunai

పగడము = red coralstone
చిగురాకు = budding leaf
తేటి = honey bee
పరువంపు = blossoming

Shall I become the honeybee veiled behind the crimson-colored leaf? Can I become the bashful blush of the blossoming flower bud?

తరులెక్కి ఎలనీల గిరినెక్కి మెలమెల్ల
చదలెక్కి జలదంపు నీలంపు నిగ్గునై
tarulekki elanīli girinekki melamella
cadalekki jaladaṃpu nīlaṃpu niggunai

తరు = tree
ఎల = tender
గిరి = mountain
మెల్ల = slow
చదలు = clouds

Can I climb the trees, and then slowly the clouds and reach the peak and become the blue blush on its face?

ఆకలా దాహమా చింతలా వంతలా
ఈ తరలీవెర్రినై ఏకతమా తిరుగాడ
Ākala dāhamā cintalā vantalā
ī taralī verri nai ekatamā tirugāḍa

వంత = worries

Can I forget the hunger, thirst, sadness and sorrows, all the troubles of the physical world, lose my existence and become part of this wilderness?


4 thoughts on “ఆకులొ ఆకునై – Aakulo Aakunai

  1. I used to think where can i find translation for pure telugu words………

    Please translate more songs…. Hats off to your work, that lyricist who imagination is superb

  2. Sir. I am a Kannadiga. Please translate verbs also. Only nouns will not help us. But I am indebted for the kind work. The feeling of travel through a forest is really spiritual now I can feel. I am a forester and i can really feel the widening of the bhaava of The Great Poet. No doubt they called Vedic truths as Aaranyakas and the true learning Ashrama as Vaanaprashta, The tune is the body and lyric is the spirit of this great Avirbhava called Aakunai song. The haunt and the taper of the tune will pull you in to time and leave wandering in the vast sands of time , here Godavari river picturizing it. It has a quality of dissolution, absorption and mellow as in “Return of Innocence” of Enigma, “We did not start the fire” of Joel and “Dariya Cha Raja ” from Do Jasoos. I am thankful for your effort and interest in keeping it here.

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