Indian mariages are colorful. Telugu weddings are also so or more so.
After she attends to some preliminary rites in the presence of her parents, the bride is given away in marriage to the groom. The groom and the bride retire to their separate chambers and wear the wedding raiments, the madhuparkams as they are called, pristine white garments , normally with a border of attractive red with strands of gold or silver coated with gold, woven together into the border. The way the bride wears her saree is distinctive, the saree draped in several folds on either leg from hip to toe to form a pair of ankle length breeches. The free end of the saree and another long length of a matching cloth cross over her bosom forming an ‘x’ covering her bosom clothed in a chaste white blouse.
Decked in glittering jewels, she enters the wedding arena, like a princess about to be anointed as the queen, surrounded by married, dowagers and ladies, who, holding platters on which lighted oil lamps flutter and flicker delightfully, conduct her regally along, to the dais where her groom attired appropriately for the ocassion waits patiently to declare his vows and claim her as his own.
This has been the way for centuries, when we. see this great lyric of Annamacharya, depicting the regal entry of the bride, Alarmem Manga to the venue of her marriage with her beloved Lord Venkatesa. There are a few differences but they are immaterial, or rather material only in the sense that they relate mainly to the scale and the magnificence of the event, like for example that she is accompanied by thousands of thousands of beautifully attired ladies holding, not just tiny oil lamps, but bright flaming golden torches in their hands
Here is my attempt at translation of this picturesque lyric of Annamayya, followed by theTelgu lyric proper, in Roman script.
The lyric has been set to glorious Hindolam by Garimella.
Tyagaraaja brought great glory to Hindolam, with songs like, Samaja Vara Gamana and Manasu Loni Marmamunu. Dikshitar’s Govardhana Gireesam is another gem in Hindolam. There are several beautiful Telugu movie songs in Hindolam, like ‘kanulalu veluguvu neeve kava”, ‘Kalanainaa nee talapay’, ‘Mohana roopa Gopalaa”.
Another great song of Annamacharya in Sanskrit, set to memorable Hindolam, by the great multi-facetted genius, centenarian, Dr. Sripada Pinakapaani garu, M.D., is ,’Deva Devam Bhaje, Divya Prabaavam”.
The grand old man, bed-ridden, has been falicitated recently on his birth day, by his grest disciples, like Nedunuri. I hve seen him an year or so ago on Bhakti TV enunciating, while lying helplessly on his bed, about his favourite raaga, Shankarabharanam, and singing a little bit of it, to the Hyderabad sisters for their series on Raagas. .i have also seen in a news item in The Hindu,a few months sgo, about the visit of S.Janaki, to this great man, who had spent a great deal of his life and money to keep alive the Tanjavoor tradition of Karnatic music. S.Janaki incidentally, is the aunt of the accomplished music composer of Annamayya’s time-less lyrics and the disciple of Nedunuri, Sri Garimella Bala Krishna Prasad. ( P.S. : i have been able to locate the news item of S.Janaki’s visit to Sri Pinakapani, I have reblogged it, in my podt dt. 39 th, Septrmbrr, 2012.)
Alamelu Manga arrives,
as the glory of her emarald-studded anklets strikes everyone around, magnificently. Charanam-1
As thousands and thousands of beautifully bedecked ladies holding golden torches glowing splendidly, accompany her.
And as some more such, attired similarly, fan her with colourful fans, She arrives gracefully, this tender bride, Alamelu Manga.
As parakeets spilling the nectar of their sweet twitter all around, flock about her, as her charming gem-studded footwear make similar sweet noises, as the needle-sharp looks from this exceedingly nice lady’s beautiful eyes sparkle all around tantalisingly,
Alamelu Manga arrives.
Celestial maidens like Rambha arrive,
They perform with skill, in her presence, elaborate ballets with intricate movements and subtle nuances, they serve her, they bless her thus.
This graceful darling Alamelu Manga, of Venkatesa, the Lord with eyes beautiful like lotuses, arrives at the venue of her wedding thus,
Now, the Telugu lyric in Roman script,
Vacchenu Alamelu Mangaa, Yee
patchala kadiyaala pannati chelangaa.
Bangaaru chey diviteelu-booni
srungaaravathulu veyvelu raagaa,
Rangaina vinjaamaralu weava
Maangalya leelaa sompagu jawaraalu ..
Palukula tayniyalolukaa.. Chenta
chilukalu kalakala palukaa,, Ravvala
Giluku paawalu muddu-guluka… Mayti
kalili choopula monalu talukkani chiluka.
Rambha-adi satulella chayree.. Yeduta
gambheera gatulanu meeraa.. Natanaa-
-rambhamulanu maylukoree, koluvaa
Here is a video clip of the song as rendered by Garimella’s son, Anila Kumar, posted on YouTube by himself.