TOW ‘Nee Nenaindal’ is in English

Darbari Kanada, raga of the royals. Roots in the shruti-box of the Carnatic, branches in the gharanas of Hindustani music. A raga the color of the night sky, evoking the depths of the soul to raise in harmony with the Universe. Sarvam ekam, ekam sarvam. All is One, One is All.

Shankar Tucker makes fusion fashionable with this collaboration with Vidya and Vandana Iyer. Composed by Periasamy Thooran, elements from across oceans melt into a fluid, melodious stream which soothes the sub-conscious and lightens the spirit.


A humble attempt at a translation of ‘Nee Nenaindal’ from Tamil to English follows, with lyrics from Shankar Tucker’s page.

Nee nenaindal agadadu undo
Nirajadala nayani mahalaksmi 

Once You have determined
That it be so
Is there anything in the Universe
That cannot happen thence,
O lotus-eyed Goddess Mahalakshmi?

Manida vazhkkaiyile inba tunbam
Mari mari varuvadum un seyal andro

In man’s life is pleasure
In man’s life, pain
Turns do they take to metamorphose
All by Your will and Your doing alone

Ella perumaigalum irundalum adu
Unnadi vanangnmal nilai perumo 

Even if we have with us
All the sucesses in the world
How oh how will we retain them,
Without worshiping Your divine feet?

Unnarul parvai illadavarkku
Ulagile vazha vazhiedu amma 

And those beings on whom
Your benevolent gaze does not fall
How else can they live in this world,
O Mother of all?


Does Raag Darbari strike a chord with you? If so, you would perhaps enjoy:

Soulful Ud Jaa Bhavar sung by Manna Dey in the fifties;

Kishore da’s peppy Pag Ghungroo Bandh Meera from the movie Namak Halal;

and the eclectic A R Rahman composition for 127 hours, Acid Durbari.

Does Shankar Tucker tug at your heartstrings? Read more about him and listen to his sur-spells here.

And the mesmerizing Iyer sisters: Vidya and Vandana, heroines of the Carnatic Renaissance. If you’re reading this, please make more music! We love you! Munbe vaa en anbe vaa! (Come before me, my beloved!)

(For Ni, gypsy princess, and K, who got me hooked to Tucker’s brand of magic!)



15 thoughts on “TOW ‘Nee Nenaindal’ is in English

  1. wow thanks so much for the translation…i tried a hand using google translate but it was too much time consuming….never expected it to be like that. i thot its a lullaby…in a way it is ….lullaby for the grownups

  2. Nice translation, I needed it, I love this song but didn’t understand its meaning. Thanks

  3. I have heard this piece last week on MTV Roots & was hooked to it. Wanted to know the meaning so that I can translate it in Hindi on my blog. Thx a lot for this beautiful presentation.

  4. The music enthralled me to take interest in the song….and ur translation helped in understanding the prayer song…..thanks for ur attempt..!!! 🙂 Keep it up.!

  5. Hey Pallavi… Thanks a lot for the translation… Been 3 days i have been mesmerized by Shankar’s music and Iyer sister’s voice.. Heard it n number of times though i could not understand it..
    Thanks a ton…

  6. Sorry about ‘Hey Pallavi’… was on a chat and did not realize that i had typed it here…
    Thanks a lot once again…

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