Natalie Savelyeva

Padam Dharee jUcu cunnadi

set in Shankarabharanam ragam (Mela 29) and Misra Chapu thalam,

composed by Moovalur Sabhapati Ayyar and choreographed by Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale


dAri jUcucucunnadi nIdu priya taraLAkSiyau cinnadi

She is looking for you, your beloved young maiden.


vArijamukhi nIvu vaccu vELayanu koni kOrikatO rAjagOpAla sAmi nI

That lotus faced girl, thinking that it is almost time for you to come, with desire, Oh Rajagopala, (she is looking for you, your beloved young maiden).

Caranam 1:

vennala gAyagA vEDkamIra manci sanna jAji virula sarulanu gandhamu

pannITi cembulu paDakiNTilOnunci vannelADi talavAkiTa nilici nI

As the moon shines, she kept strands of sanna jAji (a kind of tiny jasmine flower), sandalwood and containers of rosewater in the bedroom. Waiting at the front doorstep for you to come (she is looking for you, your beloved young maiden).

Caranam 2:

Evaga nainanu nendu jeppuDaina nIvOyani yanci tirigi tirigi jUci

Ivaga cittamu niccalu nilipinaTTi bhAvam evarikaina bhayalaina veravakani

Whenever there is a sound anywhere, she turns around and looks, thinking that it may be you!

Without caring that anyone might recognize her mind set on you, (she is looking for you, your beloved young maiden).

Caranam 3:

pacci paccigAnu padamulu pADucu vacci rAjagOpAlasvAmi nIvu

muccaTa lADucu muddulu peTTucu grucci kaugilinci kUDuTa dalaci nI

As she sings songs in an unrefined way, she thinks that you will come to her, embrace and kiss her. (She is looking for you, your beloved young maiden!)

Note: Carnam 3 is not included into dance choreography)

Note: I would like to express my sincere gratitude to for correcting translation of lyrics of this padam.

Word by word meaning


dAri — way

jUcucunnadi — is looking

needu — your

priya — beloved

taralAkShiyagu — the girl with the tremulous eyes

cinnadi — youngster, young maiden


varija mukhi — (the girl) with face like a lotus (or water lily) flower, i.e. who has so fair skin as petals of lotus, tender features as shapes of lotus bud, and so shining smile like blooming flower, which opens out its petals to sun

neevu — your

vaccu — arrival, coming

vElanu — time

koni — to see

korikatho — with desire

rajAgOpala swami nee — you, O Rajagopala swami!

Note: This is the reference to the deity of Mannargudi temple, Rajagopala, Krishna as young cowherd, who stands in svastika pada and leans on his stick, in relaxed and natural posture, surrounded by cows.

Caranam 1:

vennela — moonlight

kAyaga — shines

vEDka mIra — with boundless delight

manci — best

sanna jAji virula — flowers of small jasmine

sarula — garlands

sugandamu — fragrance

pannIru chembunu — pot of rose water

paDakinTi — bedroom (paDaka — bed, inti — house)

lOninchi — from inside

paDakinTi lOninchi — from inside the bedroom (i.e. she keeps things inside her bedroom)

vannelADi — young maiden

talavAkiTa — the main (front) door or entrance to the house

nilici — standing

Caranam 2:

EvaganainA — any reason

endu — wherever

cappuDainA — sound is

nIvOyani — thinking that it may be you

tirigi cUci — turning around watching

ivaga — this way

cittamu — the mind

nilipinadi — stayed

bhavambu — feeling

evarikainA — anybody

bayalaina — get to know, exposed

veravaka — not scared

Context and situation depicted in this Padam

There are three characters in this Padam: (1) the heroine is young and inexperienced maiden, who is in love (and this is her first love) with Rajagopala, (2) the hero, Rajagopala swami, who is not aware of heroine’s feelings, or maybe he is not sure if she loves him, and (3) Sakhi, the intimate friend of the heroine, who is presumable a bit elder and more experienced, as she is able to notice and interpret the feelings of the two lovers and she feels confident enough to advise the hero what to do.

Thus, Sakhi in this padam is elder friend or relative of the heroine. The hero is identified with Rajagopala swami, the deity of Mannargudi temple. This means, that the hero is a young fellow, handsome, attractive and affectionate by nature. The heroine is a very young maiden (cinnadi, vannelAdi), whose face is like tender lotus flower (varija mukhi) and whose eyes are like quick fishes (tarala akshi or tremulous eyes), and whose movements remind light and speedy jumps of young deer. The heroine falls in love with the hero without realizing what love is. Her feelings, strong and innocent, are growing inside. She is shy and thus scared to approach the hero herself or share her secret with anybody. Her silent hope reveals itself only to the most intimate and attentive friend. The heroine is not able to communicate her feelings herself – she does not know how to do it. She thinks of the hero all the time, she so eager to see him that every moment she keeps waiting for his arrival. The heroine stays inside her house. This is also the symbol of her first, unspoken and innocent love, which is kept inside, waiting for the response from the hero.

Sakhi, as more experienced person, notices small signs of this love sickness. She reads the heroine’s heart as an open book. Filled with affection and sympathy to young lovers, Sakhi approaches the hero to tell him what the heroine feels and how eagerly she is waiting for him. (I suppose, the heroine haven’t ask Sakhi to do so, as there are only indirect indications of heroine’s longing, and no any definite reference to the words of love addressed to the hero.)

Entrance of Sakhi

Entrance of Sakhi

So one day, Sakhi approaches the hero. Let him sit on the bank of the river, lost in his own thoughts and contemplation. Sakhi enters the stage and addresses the hero (only with her eyes):

Why are you sitting here alone? Don’t you know that she is waiting for you to come? Why don’t you go to your beloved, Rajagopala?

Sakhi enters the stage and looks round in search for the hero. She notices him sitting nearby. She starts talking with him via her eyes:

A, here you are! Why sitting here, alone? Don’t you know that your beloved is there, waiting for you to come? Don’t you want to go? A, like that. You are not sure? Do you think that she doesn’t care of you? Ou. Please, sit for a moment and listen what I have to tell you now.

And Sakhi begins her story with the first line of Pallavi (refrain).


She is waiting for you, your beloved, still so young maiden, every moment, her tremulous (quick) eyes being restless.

Hand 1.

Continuously watching the road, this young maiden with quickly moving eyes is, your beloved.

Your beloved

Sakhi portrays how the heroine is standing nearby her house and watching the road continuously, without withdrawing her yeas aside even for a minute. This road (supposedly) leads from her house to the place the hero lives in or may be is running in direction, from which he used to come near by the heroine’s place. The heroine is afraid to miss this precious moment, when his siluette appears far away, on this road running to her house.

Sakhi says, your beloved she is, I do know. So keen and quick her looks are when she is waiting for you! She is still a small girl, your beloved.

Note: in this hand, the beloved one is indicated using alapadma hastas of both the hands, as if radiant feelings of love and affection flow directly from the heart of one lover to the heart of another one.

Hand 2.

Looking attentively along the river (which is wide and flows slowly nearby her house), she is waiting for you, your beloved (utmost joy and pleasure of your heart), whose eyes are like fishes, quickly sliding inside the flow, she is still very young, your beloved!

She is still very small girl

Here Sakhi portrays how the heroine is standing on the bank and watching attentively if the hero is coming down the river. In this hand, Sakhi compares the beloved one with the source of utmost joy and pleasure hidden inside the heart of the hero. Sakhi compares the eyes of the heroine with small fishes, which hasten gracefully along the flow of the river.

Hand 3.

Standing on the doorstep (like that only), she is waiting for you, your beloved one, the one with whom you are connected by tender relationship. Her eyes are sharp like a spear, and her looks are fast and flying spear.

Standing on door step

Sakhi shows how the heroine is standing on doorstep of her house and looks far away, waiting for the hero. Sakhi uses kilaka mudra to denote tender relationship between two lovers. She compares the eyes of the heroine with the end point of the spear, so sharp they are! And her looks are as fast as the flying spear.

Hand 4.

Thinking that nobody sees her, she hides behind the curtain and looks out on the street, waiting for you to come. She is your beloved, your joy and happiness. She is like a small scared deer jumping lightly, looking from side to side, your beloved, who is still in so tender age.

Like a deer

Here Sakhi depicts secret ways which the shy young girl uses to keep her eyes on the street waiting for her beloved to come. She hides inside, behind the curtain (she is shy and afraid of showing her feelings openly) and looks out from behind the curtain thinking that nobody notices it.

Here Sakhi denotes beloved as the one radiant with love, who fills hero’s world with pure happiness. Sakhi compares the heroine with young deer, who is scared of being seen, who hides behind the bush. She is like tender and beautiful deer with wide open, restless eyes.

Note: In Pallavi Sakhi describes the current condition of the heroine. Further on, she proceeds to Anupallavi and shares some observations with the hero. She tells him what the heroine used to do inside her house, how she is preparing herself for every meeting with him.


Hand 1.

She, whose face is like tender lotus flower, is waiting impatiently for your arrival to her place. O Rajagopala, you are the only object of her (secret) affection. Her thoughts are filled with you, O Rajagopala, the one who protects the cows; she is suffering (of separation).

Here, Sakhi refers the heroine as the one whose face is like lotus flower, tender and fair. She shows how impatiently the girl waits for somebody to come, and tells that this person is the hero only (it is you and only you!), the one who protects the cows. The heroine is looking here and there. Her love is hidden deeply inside her heart. She is suffering in silence, thinking of the hero only.

Hand 2.

She whose face is like full moon rising from the clean waves of the ocean, is constantly searching for the one with the flute. Her heart is blooming with love for you, o Rajagopala, whose pranks (like breaking pots with curd and making mess) are very well known!

Tremulous eyes

Here Sakhi compares freshness, fairness and brightness of heroine’s face with full moon, rising from the ocean. She portrays how eagerly the heroine is searching for the one cowherd, who is famous flute player. Sakhi shows how love radiates from the bottom of heroine’s heart, like aroma of blooming flowers. Sakhi adds that the object of heroine’s affection is the one who did all those messy things like breaking pots, she says, this is you, isn’t it?

Note: In Pallavi sthayi bhava (Sringara) is mixed up with drop of Karuna, sympathy for the poor girl, who is waiting for a long time, and who is too young and shy to express her feelings. In Anupallavi the shade of Sringara is a bit different. Here Sakhi describes shining prettiness of heroine and humorously gives the hero a hint regarding the object of heroine’s desires. Thus, Sringara in Anupallavi is decorated with drop of Hasya.

Caranam 1.

When full moon illuminates the earth with its bright shining light, she (the heroine) is overfilled with love. She picks up tiny petals of jasmine flowers, makes garland and decorates small image (supposedly, this is the image of the hero). She prepares sandalwood paste, takes vessel filled with aromatic rose water and keeps it in her bedroom, near by the bed she sleeps in. She put on her best fine silk sari. She covers her face with pallu and stands on doorstep, looking from behind the veil out, waiting for you.


Here Sakhi is describing how the heroine decorates her bedroom and herself waiting for her beloved to come. Evening time, on a fool moon (vennela gayaka) night, when silver moonlight creates the most romantic atmosphere, that time, overfilled with boundless delight (vedka meera manci), the heroine collects the most delightful things, flower garlands (sanna jaji virula), cooling sandal paste (gandhamu) and rose essence (panniru) and keeps in her bed room. Dressed in the finest silk sari, draped so gracefully, she covers her head with veil and still, stand and looks for the hero to come, every moment.

Note: This Caranam conveys very romantic and even playful atmosphere of expectation, when so many beautiful things giving pleasure, are put together by the heroine and just one step is the distance the hero should over to get this pleasure and fulfil his love. Bhava in this Caranam I would call as Playful and romantic Sringara.

Caranam 2.

She is always alert. She set your mind on you very firmly. Any slightest sound she notices carefully, thinking that it is you (coming). She does not care (she is not scared) if somebody gets to know how strongly (firmly) her mind is set on you.

Padam Dari Joochu chunnadi by Smt. Leela Samsom

(Double click on the image to enlarge)

In this Caranam Sakhi points out how touching is affection of the girl, she is so firm and strong in her love. She is even ready to overcome her natural shyness for the sake of her beloved. Sakhi emphasises adds some serous notes in her canvas, she points out that feelings of this girl are really strong and serous. She is not playing, not enacting her affection. She is truly and sincerely set her mind on the hero. Here, Sringara comes out as strong and pure feeling, comparing with feeling of Bhakti (devotion). This is the purest and highest degree of affection. What Sakhi implies is, that such feeling should not be disregarded or played with.

Sakhi concludes the padam by pushing the hero gently towards his beloved, his happiness and source of joy.