Lalakku Dol Dabbi Maa – The Translator’s Challenge!

In my pursuit to achieve linguistic expertise, I have translated the lyrics of a few Tamil songs to English earlier (Here & Here, for example). In addition to my pursuit of linguistic excellence, I also wanted to explore the depth of the meaning contained in the lyrics.

But those translations were not really challenging enough. One needs a tougher and more in-depth song to translate and I was thinking which song could be the perfect Translator’s challenge… and this song ‘Lalakku Dol Dabbi Maa’ came to my mind immediately! Actually, its the translation and analysis of the first paragraph that is a challenge. There on, the lyrics are pretty normal.

So, I decided to attempt to translate (and analyze) the first paragraph of this song. A naive and casual translator like me, can only ‘attempt’ to translate this song! Ok, now lets go to the translation.

“Lalakku Dol Dabbi Ma”

“??????? ??? Container? ??” – The meaning of these words have remained a mystery for a couple of decades. And they still remain a mystery! To my knowledge, no one has been able to crack this code – If you know, please let us know in the comments section!

“Kanne Gangamma Un Iddupa sutthi thiruppi paramma”

This one is slightly more understandable.

‘Kanne Gangamma’ – ‘Gangamma’ is the name of a lady. ‘Kanne’ literally means, ‘My eyes’. But when used in situations like these, it actually means something like, ‘My dear Gangamma’. Actually, its a poetic phrase because the lady becomes more dearer when the words are used this way. As dear as ones eyes!

‘Un iddupa sutthi thiruppi paramma’ – This is easy to translate, but complex to understand! The male actor wants the lady to look around her hips! Why would one do that? The implications of these words are still under research. Is there a double meaning here? I am not sure!

“Enna Illama velakku eriyuma, Kanne Gangamma Maram izhukkara kayyai paramma”

‘Enna Illama velakku eriyuma’ – Can a lamp burn without oil? Pretty straightforward, this one)

‘Kanne Gangamma, Maram izhukkara kayyai paramma’ – [Kanne Gangamma – same meaning as above] Look at the hands that pull trees (log wood, actually). This one too, is pretty straightforward.

Though the above two statements are straightforward to understand and are stand-alone phrases that make sense individually, taken together they are supposed to mean something? What could be the relation between lamp not burning without oil, and hands that pull log-wood? This one is being debated very hard in linguistic and relationship circles separately – I will let you know if they arrive at any concrete conclusions!

“Hey attak pattak dimmik adikkira dolu payya dabsa… Uttan paaru gapsa”

‘??? ????? ?????? ?????? hitting ???? boy ?????…’ – This really calls for some linguistic specialists. I am too naive, especially when it comes these kind of words in ‘Madras bashai’. Actually, Madras bashai is a mix of a lot of languages like Tamil, Telugu, English, Hindi, Custom-built-language, etc.

‘Uttan paaru gapsa’ – This is also Madras bashai, but this one is simpler to understand. It means, “Hey look, he just lied”.

“Afsa kallu maliya, Aathu pakkam vaariya”

‘???? stone? ??????, Can you come near (my) house’ – The ‘Afsa kallu maliya’ part has been deeply looked at by various linguistic experts at various points of time – No one has been able to comprehend this one!

‘Aathula’ means ‘In the House’. Did I say that the ‘Madras bashai’ is extremely open and takes words from multiple slangs and languages? This is a good example, because this word is used by Brahmin’s to mean ‘house’. Someone must have liked it and integrated it into the vocabulary of the Madras bashai! There are more interesting words like, ‘Kalasu’ and ‘Mokkai’, but explaining about them demand separate post(s)!

Vaariya has evolved from ‘Varuvaya’, ‘Variya’ and finally ‘Vaariya’. God knows its further evolutionary course!!

Yes people, this is the toughest translation and analysis I have done till now. I hope one day, I would come to understand the entire depth of its meaning! 😉

The genre of this song is ‘Dabbang Kuthu’. Yes, this song in unique not only with its words, but also with its dance, music and genre!  Its actually a cultural extravaganza!! 😛

Destination Infinity

The youtube video of this song is available here. And remember, this post is filed under ‘Humour’.

(Visited 1,132 times, 1 visits today)

16 Replies to “Lalakku Dol Dabbi Maa – The Translator’s Challenge!”

  1. Ha Ha Ha. You crack me up completely Rajesh. For some reason, I used to like this song immensely when it was popular and even now when I want to think of a song that peps me up, I think of this one. I like the “attak pattak dimmik adikkira dolu payya dabsa . . .” part very much. Sharath Kumar was so serious in that song. Forgot to mention, I like the last part, “Aye mottai aadu” very much. Whenever we see any mottai, we are tempted to say, “Aye mottai.”

    Thanks for this fascinating post. And indeed, it is a cultural extravaganza.

    Some similar songs like that from the 90’s were: ‘Kaasu mela kaasu vandhu,” ‘vethala potta sok le, na gabne koothne mookale,” “saidapeta, ranipeta, chromepeta, petta rap!”

    Joy always,
    Susan

    1. The, ‘Petta rap’ song did come to my mind… One more song I am reminded in this genre is, ‘Katthadikkidhu katthadikkudhu’. I guess it was Deva’s music – He’s so good with these kind of songs… Wonder why he’s not been scoring music for the last few years…

      Destination Infinity

    1. Yeah, I am trying to take up challenging assignments in translation so that I can improve my ‘expertise’ 🙂

      Destination Infinity

    1. Yes. I want to attempt translating at least one Hindi song… When google is there why worry? 🙂 Lets see if I find an interesting song with nice lyrics – I will translate it…

      Destination Infinity

  2. I guess Madras bhashai has added more vocabulary. I am aware of “Jhollu”(To keep the tongue out of the mouth hanging on seeing a girl). And then “Pambu” (To make embarrassing face when caught doing embarrassing thing).
    DI, are you aware of these words or are these words no longer in current vocab.

    1. Oh yes, these words were made very popular during the Koundamani – Sendhil comedy regime! I guess they are in the current vocab though other words have become more popular…

      Destination Infinity

  3. Hi Rajesh

    I have heard this song many time but was not interested to know the excat meaning of few words from song .
    But one song is still in my mind . I am wondering who will give the meaning for the lyric ” o mamaseya mamaseya ” But I have not tried to get the meaning for this lyric . Just striked my mind while reading ur post

    Good translation from you . “think different and do different ” will be the slogan suites destination infinity

    1. I think that’s another challenging translation task that requires experts! 🙂 Nice slogan for Destination Infinity – Thank you 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  4. There is an double entendre hidden in the song

    The male lead wants the lady to have a intercourse since he’s been pulling his main organ using his hands with oil and relieving his desires for the lady

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *