Here is another lovable folk song of Annamavharya. This apparently depicts the ardent pleadings of a butter-milk seller to her Lord ‘Vishnu Moorithy’, to talk to her for old-times-sake, but it embodies within it a deep under current of Advaita philosophy.
This simple lyric in a simple, clear and cool-as-butter-milk Telugu, was set to music by Sri Manchala Jagannadha Rao many decades ago.He must be familiar to old timers who had been fortunate to listen to songs composed by him for the ALL. INDIA RADIO in the fifties and sixties of the last century.
Here is my attempt at translation of this lyric into English, followed by the lyric in original in the Roman script.
Please talk to me, my Vishnu Moority,
and cool this intense heat that burns me.
I will give you, my butter-milk, for free,
Don’t feign this reticence, my Vishnu Moority,
Be the old buddy as you were with me in days gone past.
Heed to me, dear fellow, my Vishnu Moority,
Don’t hug me tight coming stealthily from behind, Vishnu Moority.
You are methodical and you know your way across.
I am awe-struck, really, when I looked at you today.
But, I knew all your tricks, your magic, inside out,
Right from the day, you gifted me those dainty flowers.
Your deeds are well known all across, far and wide,
You have seeped into us to the core, within and without,
Thank God, You have chosen to join me gracefully now,
You, my precious, dear Sri Venkata Vishnu Moority,
(An alternative meaning of the refrain (pallavi) could be,
Don’t just shower on me this useless amour,
But please do talk to me so that my burning ardour is quenched.
But this robs it of the charm of it being the song of an unlettered butter-milk seller.)
Veṭṭi valapu challakoo Vishnu Mooritee naatho
veṭṭa deera maṭaadoo Vishnu Mooritee
Vinayamu seyseyvoo Vishnu Mooritee,
venakaṭi vaadavegaa Vishnu Mooritee
vinavayyaa maamaaṭaalu Vishnu Mooritee
venukoni paṭṭakumee Vishnu Mooritee.
veravu gala vaaḍavoo Vishnu Mooritee neyḍu
veragaiti ninnu jooci Vishnu Mooritee
virivaaye nee mayalu Vishnu Mooritee
virulicchē vappaṭikey Vishnu Mooritee.
velasee nee cheytalella Vishnu Mooritee maa
velupalalonaa neeve Vishnu Mooritee
velaleyni Sree Venkaṭa Vishnu Mooritee koodi
vilasillitivi naato Vishnu Mooritee.
Here is a YouTube clip of a nice rendering of this song
This great misician Manchala had also done yeoman work in. setting to music about 140 of the lyrics ( kirtanas) of Sri Rama Dasu, These lyrics, with the notation and a brief description of the purport of each lyric, were later published as a book, entitled,’Ramadasu Kirtanalu, by the Andhra Pradesh Sangita Nataka Academy in 1975,
I had occasion to riffle through a copy of the book owned by Sri Vyzarsu Bala Subrshmanyam garu, some time about seven or eight years ago, when he brought it to The Andhra Mahila Sabha, Hyderabad, where he was teaching young ladies and dowagers too (no, I was not one of them).some nice devotional Carnatic songs. I wished to own a copy of the book, but it was out of print. Fortunately, Potti Sriramulu Telugu University has got it reprinted,in 2001, and priced it just Rs. 105. A hundred thanks to them. My only suggestion is that the university provide at least an English transliteration of the notation., if not a wholesale translation of the lyrics into English too, alongside.
There is another book, ” Bhadrachala Ramadasu Keertanalu”, published in 2006 by
N.Vijaya Sri, 2-16-27/1,Sector -6, M.V.P. Colony, Visakha patnam. This nice book contains fifty four of Ramadasu’s lyrics, along with notation by ‘Sangitha Kala Nithi’, Sri Nedunuri Krishna Murthy. It is brought out in large print, with the lyrics and the notation given both in the Telugu script and the Roman Script,
He had demonstrated these songs along with his disciples, ‘ The Malladi Brothers’, Smt. Seshulatha, Professor, Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, and even Sri Garimella Bala Krishna Prasad, an year or so ago, in Bhakti TV. Something to be cherished, these two books, by aficionados of Indian music