Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Prabuddha VII

This is the seventh part of the translation of Mahagama Sekera's epic poem 'Prabuddha', an exercise that has the permission and blessings of the immediate family of Mahagama Sekera. Parts I, II, III, IV, V and VI were published in

Then someone said,
‘Heard you are an artist
how about a song?’

Prabuddha went to the piano
As though seeing a dear friend
When lost, alone and helpless in a far off country.

‘Jagan mohinee…..madhura bhaashinee
charu dehinee…kamala vaasinee
sarasvathee devee…vande
sarasvathee devee…..

Kampitha kanchana maala poojitha kinkini noopura jaalaaa
paada saroje katee thataake chanchala narthana leela

They stared
as though he sang the incomprehensible
in an incomprehensible tongue
ill at ease the seemed.

Is this not sweet, this music? 
or have they heard music sweeter still?
do they not understand
tell, pray, what reason for this silence?

‘Master!  This does not please
and not for lack of appreciation,
a pop song it was
that all expected!’

‘A pop song!  A pop song!’
they cried

‘Hey, come one, come all!’
come dance, come sing
for the time it is a-passing
to freeze it all,
Hold it tight
This is it,
fun, fun, fun!
Money, money, money
money to eat
money to drink
money for meat, the choicest cuts
money for drink, the finest wines
got to live for the day
got to have the rupees and the cents
got to do the whatever-it-takes
got to do the whoever-gets-hurt
got to have the money, money, money
hey, come on, come all,
come baby, it’s time to dance
time for fun
time for games,
time to sing and dance
time to forget all
for this, baby, is it
the ultimate
paradise and nothing else!’


Big bellied men, tall and stout
wheezing women, wide of waist
arose from a stupor
tapped their feet, shook their legs
waved arm, threw back head
Set a-trembling their excess flesh:
‘Got to do the whatever-it-takes
got to do the whoever-gets-hurt’
Arm around waist
they hugged and danced
embraced and kissed
swaying in wine-drenched dream
parents, kids, grandkids,
lost in the half-conscious of song
found in the fully-awake of lust
in an incestuous blend and blur.
‘For the time it is a-passing
to freeze it all,
hold it tight
this is it,
fun, fun, fun!’
The minister came up,
offered hand:
‘You are a great artist
Yasodha kissed him:
‘Beautiful darling,
so wonderful!’

Inferiority complex had left the building
where embarrassment hid, he did not know
‘I cannot myself remember yesterday
and all of you and I, we are one,
we are equal now!’



  1. Here I am, tell me
    Don't just die
    Pour it out
    Because I want to pour out too
    Sudden appearances, long absences
    then re-appearances and wrong words at the wrong time
    Or are they right words at the wrong time?
    Here I am tell me
    Pour it out at least in an innuendo....

  2. Malinda, why have you replaced your white-shirt clad blog photo with this new one????? Pls return to the previous one, that's more 'YOU'!!!

  3. Dear Mr Seneviratne,

    i like your complete package of translation - Prabuddha so far. good work sir.

    All the best in future writing.