“Uttama gunamulu neechuna
Ketteraguna galuga nerchu; neyyedalam daa
Nithhadi bangaramagune ilalo Sumathi”
This can be translated as
“How can a villain
Learn good deeds
Like the metals knowingly mixed to make brass
Cannot result in gold”
The above poem is akin to a modern saying “ A Leopard cannot change his spots” or “A tiger cannot change his stripes”. This can also be an old idiom “old habits die hard” of “Appearances are often deceptive”.
The meaning of these idioms or the first two lines of the above poem (written around 800 years ago) is the same. One cannot change his basic Nature easily and quickly. A person with a bad bent of mind may appear to have reformed by behavior due to a lack of opportunity but the person’s basic nature remains unchanged. We can have several examples of such villains in our movies. In some of the movies, the villain initially tries to bulldoze his way with bad behavior. Find it difficult he portrays himself as reformed person some time but shows the actual nature when the opportunity arises.
The writer takes an analogy to a Metal called Brass. Brass is a metal made by mixing of Copper and Zinc. This metal is basically used in making musical instruments,cooking utensils. Ancients know about the germicidal and antimicrobial properties of brass. They used the metal to make cooking utensils due to this reason. However this use has now comedown due to various reasons. Brass if cleaned and polished properly looks like Gold. However it cannot replace gold for value or use in jewelry. The nature of brass can be detected immediately if someone tries to pass it off as Gold.
Similarly a bad natured person cannot hide his disposition despite trying hard.