The Norwegian connection

WHAT'S the connection between Vairamuthu, the Tamil lyricist and `God Morgen Lyrikk,' a Norwegian collection of poems? Well, simple. The book is a collection of his verses — filled with the subtle flavours of Tamil — translated into Norwegian.

How did it come about? It all began when Sri Lankan-born 20-year-old Kowsihaa Gowrithasan, then a student in Norway, was moved by the lyrics of Vairamuthu.

Having learnt Tamil at Annai Bhoopathi Tamil School, Norway, he has not lost touch with his mother tongue. "I have often melted while listening to the lyrics of the poet," he says in the hardbound book of Vairamuthu's lyrics, which he translated.

Narrating the story, Kowsihaa says that he was inspired by the tremendous applause he got in school when he read out the translation of Vairamuthu's song, "Nee Katru Naan Maram," (You are the wind; I am the tree).

It was his mother Arunthavamalar who suggested that he contact the poet himself about the translation. Such is his respect for that he calls her `God.' He took her advice, never even dreaming he would get a reply. He shot off a three-page letter to Vairamuthu expressing his wish. The letter of appreciation and approval for translation from the poet was more than a surprise for Kowsihaa. "I was thrilled and I was suffused with energy," he said as he spoke about translating the lyrics, the collection of which is being released in Chennai. The book priced at 98 Norwegian Kroner (Rs. 500) will also be marketed in Sweden and Denmark.

By Swahilya

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