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Mar 30 20 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
One of my favorite songs for #RamaNavami is Rama Kanavemira from the classic movie Swathimuthyam directed by K.Viswanath, composed by maestro Illayaraja, and lyrics by C.Narayana Reddy, with the Sita Swayamvaram backdrop.
Thread on song and it's meaning.
Illayaraja merges 3 different art forms- Harikatha, Chekka Bhajana and Kolatam in a brilliant manner, and the transition from one to another is so effortless. The song actually plays a very crucial role in the movie in fact.
The song first starts in Harikatha here.

Rama Kanavemira… Rama Kanavemiraa, AaAa
Sree RaghuRama Kanavemira… Rama Kanavemiraa

Why do you not see Rama, why do you not see Raghurama?

The yearning of Sita hoping Rama looks at her expressed so well.
Ramanilalaama Nava Lavanya Seema
Dharaaputhri Sumagaathri
Dharaaputhri Sumagaathri
Nadayaadi Raaga

Sita's beauty is so well depicted here, the one adorned with beauty that has no bounds.
Daughter of the earth(Dhara Putri)
Sweetness in voice(Suma Gaatri)
As she walks.
Seetha Swayamvaram Prakatinchina Pimmata
Janakuni Koluvulo Praveshinche Janakini
Sabhasadhulandaru Padhe Padhe Choodagaa
Shree Ramachandra Murthy Kannetthi Choodademani
Anukuntunnaarata Thamalo Seethamma Anungu Chelikatthelu
As the Sita Swayamvara was announced,
And Janaki made her appearance in Janaka's court.
All eyes were on her, As her attendants.
Why does not Sri Ramchandra Murthy look at her.
And then the description of those present in the Swayamvara
Musimusi Nagavula… Rasika Shikhamanulu
The pleasure lovers(Rasikas) adorned with jewelery, and smiling broadly.
Osapari Choopula,Aasadhusha Vikramulu…
The mighty warriors with their stern looks.

Meesam Meete Roshaparaayanulu
The proud men twirling their moustaches(Meesam)
Kshaname Oka Dhinamai… Nireekshaname Oka Yugamai
Tharuni Vanka Shiva Dhanuvu Vanka

When a moment becomes a Day, and the waiting feels like eternity.
As the men keep looking at the young lady and the Shiva Dhanush.
Such a beautiful wordplay by C.Narayana Reddy Gaaru.
Now the song enters into Chakka Bhajana,
If you notice here, there is a change in lyrics too.

Where Harikatha part used more classical Telugu.

This part uses more commonly spoken Telugu, keeping in mind Kamal's character Sivayya, an illiterate village idiot.
This part describes the failed attempts of the suitors to lift the bow.

Mundhukegi Villandhaboyi Muchhematalu
Pattina Dhoralu, Bhoovarulu

The kings who came forward to lift the bow, broke out into a sweat(Mucchematalu)
Thodagotti Dhanuvu Chepatti
Baavurani Gundelu Jaarina Vibhulu

The ones who proudly slapped their thighs, and tried to lift the bow, felt their hearts sink, as they were unable to do so.
Villetthaaleka Mogametthaaleka… Siggesina Narapungavulu

Unable to life the bow, nor their heads bowed in shame, those men in the court.

Again excellent wordplay depicting the suitors turning back in embaraasment.
Thama Ollu Origi… Rendu Kallu Thirigi
Oggesina Purushaaghranulu

Some tried to lift the bow with all their might, but all it resulted was in their body ache, and legs worn out from the stress.
Etthe Vaaru Leraa… Aa, Villu Ekkupette Vaaru Leraa
Aa, Etthe Vaaru Leraa… Villu Ekkupette Vaaru Leraa

Again the lyrics here in a mocking tone, asking
Is there none who can lift the bow and string it.

Observe how SPB changes the modulation here to a mocking tone.
Now the song shifts into Kolatam another art form.
Anthalo Ramayya Lechinaadu
Aa Vinti Meeda Cheyyi Vesinaadu

And Rama got up, laying his hands on the bow.

Ramayya is what Telugu people generally address Rama as, some one close and dear to them.
Seetha Vanka Orakanta Choosinaadu
Okka Chitikelo Villu Ekkupettinaadu

Glanced( Orakanta) towards Seeta,
And lifted the bow effortlessly.

Okka Chitika means in the snap of a finger, we use it in Telugu to depict any work done effortlessly.
PelaPela PelaPela PelaPela PelaPela
PelaPela Virigenu Shiva Dhanuvu
Kalalolikenu Seetha Nava Vadhuvu

The Shiva Dhanush broke with a large sound, Pela, Pela is more a poetic expression indicating large noise.
As the new bride Seetha's face glowed in joy
And the final stage of the song depicting the Seeta Kalyanam in all it's glory and beauty.

Seethaa Kalyana Vaibhogame
Sree Rama Kalyana Vaibhogame

Kanaga Kanaga Kamaneeyame
Anaga Anaga Ramaneeyame
Rama Kanavemira remains a masterpiece at all levels-Illayaraja's composition, C.Narayana Reddy's lyrics, SP Balu's singing, Vishwanath Garu's picturization, and performance of Kamal, Radhika make it memorable for all ages.

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