Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Dove Orchid - ONV Kurup (Translation)
The Dove-orchid - ONV Kurup 

There are the man-made wonders of the world, and then there are the natural ones. Like the Dove-Orchid (Peristeria elata).


The Dove-orchid is the national flower of Panama and has been rarely spotted elsewhere, although it is an endangered species even in Panama now. Dove-Orchid, is also called the ‘Flower of the holy ghost.'

The original version in Malayalam is by ONV Kurup, the doyen of Malayalam poetry.  My translation.

The Dove-orchid 
A virgin flower
meditating on the Sun
became a mother to a
white dove-like infant. 

She hid her little one 
inside her petals, 
and sat sleepless 
contemplating, “What now?” 

She didn’t put her child in a basket
and let it afloat on a river. 
Instead hugging to her breast,
her folly - her dearest- she sat.

She pondered in the
silent depths of her sorrow -
her shame, her fear
her anxiety.  

The moment of dawn arrives; 
for its father’s eyes 
she hoists 
her infant on her petals 

And unfurling them, she chants, 
“O Surya! Take her in your arms.” 
From somewhere in the empty sky
a voice beckons, “Come, my child.” 

But it didn’t fly anywhere -
that little dove.
With a deep breath she sat firmly
on her virgin mother’s breast. 

Original Mallu Version
kapOThapushpam - ONV Kurup

kanyaamoru pushpam
antharvathniyaayi: oru
veNNpraavinroopam poonDa

kunhine nijadhala
pudangaLkkuLLIl maRa-

lozhukkeelathine, than 
thettine, thaannOdaNa
cchirunnoo thadhvaathsalyam. 

lajjaye, yavamaana
majjanam cheythaaLugra
maunatthin kayangaLil. 

avaLA SiSuvine
savithAvinu nErE
yuyartthi, dhalapudam

vidarthhi manthrikkayaay: 
“he, soorya! kaikkondaalum!” 
viLicchu, “kunje, varu!” 

paRannu pOyillengu
maa kaapOthika: gADam
amarninrunnu kanyaa
maathavin mArilthannE! 
posted by Kripa Nidhi at 8:35 PM | Permalink |