Saturday, 5 October 2013

though not what it used to be

bare chested under the sun--
on my rooftop--
i felt like a mirror
receiving and reflecting the morning rays.

my neighbour, blinded by the lights,
put down his spade.
"phileman anallo!" he said in disbelief.

i flexed my biceps
and struck an elegant pose,
for his better appreciation of the facts of the case.

"though not what it used to be," i said,
rather modestly.

"pande pole phalikkunnilla."



Anonymous said...

Er.....translation please!

P. Venugopal said...

pandivanoru kadiyaloru puliye
kandichathu jnan kandariyunne.

"once upon a time with one single bite he had cut down a fearsome leapord--this i had seen with mine own eyes!"

pandan nayude pallinu souryam
pande pole phalikkunnilla.


"the dog pandan's valour of teeth is not as effective as of yore."

he has become old, sam, he can no longer be the fighter he was.

sam, it was just a funny conversation between me and my neighbour, who spends at least a couple of hours each morning digging around his small plot (for treasure, i think). he was blinded by me standing on my roof top, doing exercise, trying to recoup after my injury and so on.

he was apparently impressed by my he-man looks and called out i looked like a "phileman", a wrestler.

and he agreed, after a closer scrutiny, when i displayed to him the full might of what it was, that, yes, old age was catching up.

he is older to me by a couple of years and although a workaholic, especially for physical work like digging the earth (he is a compulsive farmer) he too is not what he was once upon a time. he has the problem of a severe backache and is undergoing treatment.
"pande pole phalikkunnilla" is a line from Kunchan Nambiar (a great Malayalam poet). the dog has lost his teeth; his valour of yore is not working!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation, Mr. V!

Don't know about you but it does pinch a wee bit when someone agrees with our rather modest evaluation of ourselves!

Having said that, I would have to say your agrarian loving neighbour, probably had the sun in his eyes when he attempted a more detailed scrutiny!



Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha...

P. Venugopal said...

he had his back to the sun. it was just the dazing reflection that blinded him. no joke, sam.

speaking about jokes, am reminded of a Sardargi joke.

Neighbour, impressed by Sardargi doing morning exercie on his rooftop: "Arre bhaiyya, kya breast muscles, kya shape!"

Sardargi takes a look at himself, shakes his head and says:
"Ye kya hai bhaiyya. You should see my wifes."

ha ha ha!