Watch “Chennai Poromboke Paadal ft. TM Krishna” on YouTube

https://youtu.be/82jFyeV5AHM

Poramboke song by T.M.KRISHNA

The ragas are Ananda Bhairavi, Begada, Hamira Kalyani, Devagandhari, Salaga Bhairavi, Sindhu Bhairavi.

Poromboke is an old Tamil word meaning shared-use community resources like waterbodies, seashore and grazing lands that are not assessed for tax purposes. Today, it has become a bad word used to describe worthless people or places. Chennai Poromboke Paadal is part of a campaign to reclaim the word and restore its worth.

Video subtitle text:

Poromboke (n.)
/por-um-pokku/

1. places reserved for shared communal uses
(water bodies, grazing lands . . . )
2. a pejorative intended to demean and devalue a person or place

How did the meaning change from the first to the second?

Poromboke is not for you, nor for me
It is for the community, it is for the earth (* 4)

Poromboke is in your care, it is in mine (*2)
It is our common responsibility towards nature, towards the earth

Poromboke is in your care, it is in mine
It is our common responsibility towards nature, towards the earth

The flood has come and gone, what have we learnt from that? (*2)
To construct buildings inside waterbodies, what wisdom is that?
The flood has come and gone, what have we learnt from that?
To construct buildings inside waterbodies, what wisdom is that?

On the path that rainwater takes to the sea
What need have we of concrete buildings? (*2)

It was not the rivers that chose to flow through cities (*2)
Rather, it was around rivers that the cities chose to grow
It was not the rivers that chose to flow through cities
Rather, it was around rivers that the cities chose to grow

And lakes that rainwater awaited
Poromboke – they were reverently labeled (*2)

After Ennore got its power plant (*2)
Acres of ash, but river scant
After Ennore got its power plant,
Acres of ash, but river scant

The sea and the river, he has kept apart (*2)
The white sky, he blackened

The sea and the river, he has kept apart
The white sky, he blacked (*2)

Once he gets done with Ennore, he will come for your place too (*3)
If you stop, challenge or dare to resist, ‘MAKE IN INDIA’ he will lie and insist (*3)

Growth, jobs, opportunities; these are just flimsy excuses (*2)
For one who sold the waterbodies, the lake is mere poromoboke

Growth, jobs, opportunities; these are just flimsy excuses
For one who sold the waterbodies, the lake is mere poromoboke (*2)

You and I, then; what are we to him? (*2)

We are poromboke too (*2)

I certainly am poromboke! (*2)

How about you? Are you poromboke too?
I certainly am poromboke!
How about you? Are you poromboke too?
I certainly am poromboke!

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