Happy Birthday Madras!

The streets of Chennai

It has been almost 4 years with this city. During school days many would have visited this place for short stints mostly for annual vacations year after year. Theme parks always give the feel ‘Once more polama’ in childhood days. For few, this place is ‘Porandham’ call it ‘Porandha veedu’. For few ‘Pukkam’ also known as ‘Pugundha veedu’ in literal sense. But for many of us it is the first ‘Office Veedu’ before anything. When it rains, yes drainage system is bad; traffic is mounting day by day for no particular reason. But the city is beautiful in many ways.

Starting with ECR, One of the awesome roads to ride all the way accompanied by the sea shore and trees from Pondy. Long back Pallavas seem to have given importance for sculptures and now slowly being replaced by resorts and villas but Mahabalipuram is always beautiful now and ever. Dakshin Chirta, Matsya Narayana Temple, ISKCON, Sai Baba temple, sea shores and what not to visit for calmness and serenity? Layer by layer, inch by inch the city is beautiful and springs into action every day.

Then OMR. If given a chance to write an English Exam with a question ‘Give an example for an oxymoron.’ It will be Old Mahabalipuram Road. You absolutely don’t give out secured vibrations despite all luxuries around. But you teach how to be alone without feeling lonely; by teaching through loneliness. You are absolutely an encyclopedia of it with few awesome Pani Puri stalls, petty Juice and tea shops. The insecurities of yours are really loud but the confidence you give is really silent but breathtaking.

The Air force base and the practice they do daily  in planes with twinkling lights is a treat to watch around 9 at night. So is their occasional paragliding. The Pallikaranai, Marshy lands perfect spot for photography and could be bountiful if nurtured well on both ‘Chennai one’ and ‘Medavakkam road’ side. So is Nanmangalam reserve area, IIT M campus, numerous lakes and small hills around the city. Awesome express ways, long connecting bridges to commute making the city well connected.

Many areas which are TRADITIONALLY TRENDY, just like the tag line of ‘Rangachari Cloth Store’. Be it Mylapore; with divine vibes on one side, Rose milk waiting on the other. One might even miss Navrathri back home but can be completely satisfied walking around the tank.

So is Nanganallur, the little Kanchi Puram, especially the 4th Main street Ardhanareshwarar temple premises and the liveliness the surroundings have. Not to forget Triplicane – the lord with white moustache, Besant Nagar temples, Eliot’s beach, Marina, Egmore Connemara Library, many museums, the awesome December music festival are to be treasured.

For shopping; T Nagar, Pondy Bazzar, Sowcarpet, Pantheon Road, etc and each of these places having special locations to treat taste buds like Mint street’s numerous chat shops, coffee shops, ‘New Woodlands – Rasa Idly’ (one in Dr. Radha Krishnan Salai).

Each street, each temple in the city tells beautiful and phenomenal stories. For each area there is a history to know, temples, memorials to visit, Sathyam Theater Popcorn, many other theaters, Nehru Stadium, The Chepauk, of course places to dine in. Well connected by MTC, MRTS, Metro, Electric trains. In short, all places on Google maps of Chennai has a story to tell and can be enjoyed thoroughly just to write essays on each place without leaving even a single bus route.

Single post is a speck of dust, absolutely doing injustice to the places, streets to be visited in Madras and places which are ‘Chennai ku miga arugil’.

Happy Birthday Madras!

#MadrasNallaMadras

Vikram Vedha

Finally, Vikram Vedha. A very late post from the release of the movie but still an experience to be shared. Was released on July 21st 2017 staring R.Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi in lead roles. Written and directed by Pushkar – Gayathri and Manikandan with an awesome screen play. This is one movie which will stand for the extensive story telling art. One would love it frame by frame and can’t take eyes away from Vikram and Vedha. The directors have made sure that the movie has to be gripping from start to end.

R.Madhavan, a smart, honest cop, for whom it is either black or white with no grey areas. Hair gel applied hair style with stylish beard where grey hairs are spotted here and there. Neat clothing for the entire police crew. Especially the themed Kakki pant and the half white shirt that the team wears after Simon’s death. Madhavan as Vikram is sure a treat to watch on screen. The way he realizes that Veda’s brother is innocent and when the collapse of his belief system of not being wrong in encounters, the related expressions, the way he calls ‘Vedha Sir’ speak it all about his character strength. So is when he finds the truth about his team, working on the ‘Operation Hammer’. Measured but much needed expression on his face while handling each scenario. Be it romance. Be it anger. Be it guilt or any sentiment. That priceless expression when he received the much needed spare part for Royal Enfield bike tells about the little beautiful things that make and matter for an individual.

Sharaddha Srinath as Priya. Real life Lawyer turned actress. As a couple Vikram and Priya is alluring. The relationship between the two is beautifully captured. Lawyer and Police handling the same case but taking opposite stands are like Developer and tester couple working in the same project and raising issue against each other. But absolutely not sure whether they would work on their relationship to maintain peace and spark in the relationship just like Vikaram and Priya. Stepping out of the house to speak work related issues is touch wood though might seem silly but need of the current generation. A breezy duet for the couple, ‘Yanji Yanji’ is an awesome rendition by Anirudh Ravichandar and Sakthishree Gopalan. The expression of fights is as lovely as their love. Probably one of the equal relationships ever seen in the recent past. Not to forget about her sarees. She looks beautiful in sarees, Palazzo with limited make up just for eyes and wish a catalogue be released for the Kalamkari Sarees in which she comes around throughout. Awesome prints and designs those are.

Vijay Sethupathi as Vedha. Vijay Sethupathi doesn’t act in movies. He simply doesn’t exist in a movie he lives frame by frame. He is seriously a devil in details. He comes in a rugged look with salt and pepper hair style. Cool in jeans and super cool in Vaeshti. He is the villain, has knife and guns, a criminal by script still one wouldn’t dare to call him so. Veda is full of beautiful emotions. Say, yester generation people do say ‘Nadigar Thilagam’ wouldn’t cover his face while crying and bring raw emotions on screen. But not sure how many of the current generation would cry with him. May be or may not be. (Spare me, just a small comparison on emotions on screen and not on the acting as the eras are different and each individual is unique.) Vedha breaks down majestically in front of Priya on his brother’s death just like that. Vulnerability showcased at his best. Not just crying, be it when he brings out laughter while wearing the glasses for the first time and the reason he wants to wear that; and while handing over Chetta’s money in style to his member. Small piece still ROFL. So is the grace in mentioning the ‘Parotta eating’ details. If acting is a course Vijay Sethupathy is beyond description on being encyclopedia of it. When said in mother tongue few have greater impact. “Vijay Sethupathi, nee vaazhraya padathula.”

The entire crew is well chosen be it the same constable from Kakki Sattai movie, the KO editor, Krish here as SP, Mr. Achyuth Kumar; Vijaya Lakshmi, Prem, Vignesh, etc. and all has given their best. One could find that each dialogue uttered isn’t a waste. They were measured, delivered and completely connected to each other, from each person. Brilliant and extensive script it is!

So what? In Facebook some posts come around frequently. Say this one, some have best friends at each stage of life and few people have the same friend at all stages of life. Vikram Vedha is one of a kind. How? In childhood Vikram Bethal stories through books and DD National; in adolescence the one serial that was aired in Sun Tv and now the movie Vikram Vedha. Of all the contemporary/ neo noir movie made it all with a BGM from Sam C.S. that will keep ringing in head even after coming out from theaters.

Vikram Vedha, the movie can be labeled as Magnum opus of Storytelling. Flash back sonna ipidi sollanum. Brilliant one Pushkar and Gayathri. The movie deserves a standing ovation. Class art!

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Em Magan – The emotional family drama

This movie was released in the year 2006. Written and directed by ‘Metti Oli‘ pugazh director Thirumurugan. He is a director who captures raw emotions. ‘Metti Oli’ serial is an example where he showed all possible emotions through all his characters well. This movie doesn’t have any less emotions on screen. Music by Vidhyasagar. Staring Bharath, Gopika, Nassar, Saranya Ponvannan, Vadivelu.

The most striking aspect of the movie is there is no hero or heroine tag that can be spotted in the movie. The plot has all characters and supporting characters all on place. The movie speaks loudly on handling emotions. If correct, this movie changed its title to Em Magan from Emden Magan to avail tax benefits. Emden was a light cruiser built for the imperial Germany Navy and the captain of Emden was responsible for bombardment of Madras during first world war. Few oil tanks were torched when British taught Madras can’t be touched, oil tanks exploded here to their disbelief.

Nassar keeps exploding throughout the movie. He never keeps check of his anger and fails to connect with himself and doesn’t act or react from the point of empathy. He works hard, harder, hardest for his family but sharp tongued enough to hurt others. Nassar would have lived in the character. One can’t tell it’s acting, it’s so realistic on screen.
Saranya Ponvannan one of the best character artists. She is the best mother that Kollywood has got. In the movie Ram as a single mother and in this movie a submissive wife. But the way she handles tough emotional outbursts of her husband with a touch of humour speaks about her skilled acting. That scene in ‘Kundrakudi Adivaaram’ deserves a standing ovation but one can’t because will be rolling over the floor and laughing.
Bharath as a good son who yearns for his father’s love and affection but forced to face his outrage every single time. He makes sure that he doesn’t pick his father’s character. From his father he exactly learns how not to treat his wife and children. The dialogue in climax tells his maturity level and positive emotional lessons from his childhood and adulthood despite awkward situations. Gopika comes from interval and a playful pair. ‘GoliGundu Kannu’ song shows it. Bharath as a good son and lovable husband puts up a good show on screen.

The movie has many comedy scenes. Grandfather in death bed but family in the verge of losing the patience in taking care of him. This seem inhuman but the director has carefully threaded in a way that it doesn’t influence much and masks behind emotions and comedy. And this man steals the show in all frames that he is in. Vaigai Puyal Vadivelu. He is one character in the movie who keeps unloading his emotional baggage, hurt inflicted by Nassar then and there with a sound sense of humour. A sensible role and awesome performance by Vadivelu. While there is no specific hero tag in the movie, Vadivelu can be termed as real hero in the movie.

In short the movie captures raw emotions and navigates through all of them and teaches what to do and what not to do and how to act from the point of love and react from the point of empathy rather being sharp tongued with all, all the time.

Vaaranam Aayiram

Falling in love with distinguish between, which has always been bit challenging in school especially in biology that too between ‘Mitosis‘ and ‘Meiosis‘. Many of us would have faced the situation where teacher would have called and said while distributing answer sheets, “Everything is right. Just that you had interchanged the heading.” But here wishing to make a point clear, without interchanging, whether it is ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’ or வாரணம் ஆயிரம்.

 

First, the title of the movie. The title is from நாச்சியார் திருமொழி written by ஶ்ரீ ஆண்டாள். There are 143 poems in 14 thirumozhis. This work falls under the category அகநானூறு. Each thirumozhi title comes from first word of the first song in that particular thirumozhi. Writing as Vaaranam  Aayiram is like not doing justice to Shri Andal. So, வாரணம் ஆயிரம் − நாச்சியார் திருமொழி 6ஆம் திருமொழி – வாரணம் ஆயிரம், மாயவன் தன்னை மணம் செய்யக் கண்ட தூயநற் கனவைத் தோழிக்கு உரைத்தல். வாரணம் ஆயிரம் is written following the grammatical rule/ comes under the classification கலிவிருத்தம்.

 

Released in the year 2008. Directed by one of the finest directors, Gautam Vasudev Menon. Staring Surya in double act as father and son, Simran, Sameera Reddy, Divya Spandana in lead roles. Awesome compositions by Harris Jayaraj. The movie won National award for best feature film in Tamil. One of the finest plots on healthy parenting. Gautam’s father would have been really happy to get such a tribute from his son. Gautam would have knit the plot so well with father’s love, inspiration. ‘Why dad is the first hero?’ comes effortlessly in the plot. As always awesome costumes for all. A visual treat. Songs in the movie go well with plot, all on place and say the mood of the movie at each stage.

 

To start with ‘Mundhinam Paarthenae‘, an awesome vintage love. Graceful video comprising ‘the old red bus’, ‘mappilai azhaipu’ also known as ‘Janavaasam’ car. Just that could have concentrated more on Simran’s hair do. Thamarai’s lyrics showcase upgraded level of love. One cannot explain friction better than ‘Uyir rendum uraiya kanden nerungamalae’ and the way she describes the defeat of ‘Thulabaaram’ says all; beautifully rendered by Naresh Iyer and Prashanthini.

 

‘Yethi Yethi Yethi‘ is the only song penned by Na.Muthukumar in the movie which beautifully expresses all teenage happiness. Takes to adolescence period. “Light house uh uyarathiyum enga love letter thaandum. Paritchyila bhadhil ezhudha paadhi paper la nondum“, a LOL lyric. Signs off with a practical advice “Suttadhan neruppu. Pattadhan poruppu“, a joyful rendition by Benny Dayal, Kunal Ganjawala, Naresh Iyer, Solar Sal.

 

Nenjukkul peidhidum maamazhai‘ is bliss. An ineffable rendition by Hariharan, Krish, Devan and Prasanna. This song tells how to love and respect other. Loving the other along with their family makes love more beautiful. Both appa Surya and Son Surya, don’t hesitate to take the lover to family or make the relationship official, a true sign of love and commitment. “Ippodhu ennodu vandhal enna? Oor paaka ondraga sendral enna?“, “Ennodu vaa veedu varaikum, en veetai paar ennai pidikum“. The absolute bliss, touch is “Kadal ennai kekka villai, kettal adhu kaadhal illai“. Not to forget ‘Oh Shanthi Shanthi‘ by Clinton Cerejo and SPB Charan during the chase.

 

One of the most beautiful song which can make anyone fall in love is ‘Adiyae Kolludhe‘, accompanied by Guitar throughout. “Solla vaarthaiyin sugamae mayil thogai polavae en meedhu oorudhae“, “Unnai thotru nee ennai vendraiyae” says it all, fast, awesome rendition by Benny Dayal, Krish, Shruti Hassan. Simran telling him about staying under the same roof says the kind of upbringing, being a friend without compromising on values shows the best kind of parenting on screen; same when he cries over phone after the death of Meghna “Amma ta vaada”. Another awesome character in the movie is Shankar Menon. A much needed solace in his crisis.

 

Then is the folkish, splendid rendition ‘Anjalai‘. Back then in the text message era, ‘Tell me about yourself in 21 questions’, ‘Which song describes your love?’ were common. ‘Nenjukkul peidhidum maamazhai’ and ‘Anjalai’ would have topped the list. SAMCO hotel did undergo tremendous Change. “Enna aalae maaritel Thiruna” is the kind of transformation. As he gets addicted to drugs, parents love and attention comforts him and he sets out to search and find himself.

 

“ஒரு பெரும் அவமானத்திற்குப் பிறகான

கோபம்

ஒரு அன்பின் நிராகரிப்புக்குப் பிறகான

வலி

ஒரு நீண்ட எதிர்பார்ப்புக்குப் பிறகான

ஏமாற்றம்

ஒரு நேர்மையான முயற்சிக்குப் பிறகான

தோல்வி

இவை போல் உந்துதல் தருவன

வேறொன்றுமில்லை!”

− Vignesh GR S

Sums up the story line in this part of the movie.

 

He heals completely and falls in love with Divya, still a question mark on telepathy. Divya, another beautiful, strong woman who doesn’t hesitate to be emotionally naked looking for mutual love and respect. Next is nothing but ‘Anal Melae Pani thuli‘ beautiful rendition by Sudha Ragunathan.

 

The movie gives total justification on how father influences love values and life values of a son; how he motivates, stands by his side during crisis. Wish Tamil cinema chooses to leave the myth of first love, the illusion but more about self love which is everlasting.

 

With healthy parenting and teaching on handling extreme emotions, the movie is வாரணம் ஆயிரம்.

Vaaranam_Aayiram_poster

References:

Wikipedia

Quote by Vignesh GR S

நாச்சியார் திருமொழி by ஶ்ரீ ஆண்டாள்.

Jodha Akbar

The movie was released in the year 2008. Would like to start with a disclaimer. The original historical facts may or may not match with what people have been taught or heard about Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad. With the entire history in hand and polygamy that existed (now a day’s affairs or hook ups) from an emotional perspective may not give a good view about most of the kings in India or any man/woman for that matter. No one wants to be with someone who has eyes on everyone or  hesitate to tell that they are taken. It is not about right or wrong. It is about constructive or destructive scenarios created. These days’ people have affairs because they are emotionally damaged. Those days it was official avoiding political damages most probably.

Debating for facts when it comes to history could possibly be a waste of time ending up in “Varalaaru miga mukkiyam amaicharae” moments. Something similar to asking questions like ‘Why it has to happen only to me?’, ‘Why was I disrespected by so and so?’, ‘Why someone can’t be empathetic?’, ‘What will happen after death?’ We the people do have the right to question but answers don’t come and for some questions it is better not to get answers. And in the process of finding the answers we mostly stand drained at the end of the endless tunnel.

Above all, digging much on such stuffs might lead to something like ‘Naan dhan Jodha Akbar, in my previous birth. Enga dhan enaku prasavam paathanga’, like the one that came in Vijay Tv long back. It is okay to get into technical details and analyze what is fact and what is fiction but within tolerable limits. So if someone feels they were Jodha or Akbar in their previous birth, movie isn’t responsible for the imaginations like ‘Chandramuki ya ninna, Chandramuki ya nenachu kitta, Chandramuki ya maarina’.My mother always warns. Watch a movie. Remember, it is just a movie. Absorb only positive out of it.

So, beyond the history, Ashutosh Gowariker would have done a fantastic job in capturing all the emotional moments of a forced marriage with someone from a different cultural background. Also on screen showcases the beautiful bonding between a Brother and a Sister. Staring Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai and Sonu Sood in the lead roles the movie is a treat to eyes and takes to Mughal period. It is a long time wish to write something totally romantic line by line which is totally practical with less fantasy; Accompanied by blissful ARR musical and rich rani costumes. Guess, with the running age qualified to write one.

This movie is of that kind. Could question the plot, in what way does it speak about something called true love. Don’t know. But the plot is about love. (this post doesn’t support polygamy though). A Crazy Little beautiful thing Love. The one that many people fail to acknowledge or accept. Akbar and Jodha lead different life styles and political marriage is fixed. Jodha is being used as a pawn. Not sure whether the original Akbar treated her with so much respect. Ashutosh’s Akbar is truly a gentleman.

The way she cries and sings ‘Mana Mohana’ tells it all. No one dares to understand her situation expect the lord. “Tum bin kaun samjhaye” suits for any situation in life. Invigorating lyrics from Javed Akthar. He is another proof that religion isn’t a barrier for souls which contemplate on the supreme power be it Allah or Krishna. His songs sound like Kabir ke Dohe, Rahim ke Dohe. Purely divine. Awesome rendition by Bela Shende and a spectacular composition by ARR.“Khwaja Mere Khwaja” is another divine composition about the glory of god, beautifully penned by Kashif. People get lost on hearing such compositions, Akbar isn’t an exception.

As Jodha and Akbar start their marital journey going through emotional upheavals, Jodha starts to fall for his bravery and organization skills. Akbar starts to fall for her feminine nature and individuality, someone traditionally trendy in that age. Despite coming from different cultural backgrounds, respect plays a pivotal role in their relationship. With mutual respect and admiration which are the key factors in any relationship, Jodha and Akbar starts to work on their relationship where equal efforts come from both sides.

The scenes where Akbar learns to worship Hindu lord; from behind the transparent curtain Jodha sees his sword practice and he knowingly shows his valour to his wife but it isn’t with an egoistic pride but with little shyness and lovely pride, attention that any husband likes to receive from his wife and silently enjoys, that happiness that a husband gets when seen, call it sight adichufied by his wife is a breeze. While Jodha starts to cook for him, tastes and tells about siridhalavu uppu says about the efforts from her side, a sweet reciprocation. All beautifully shows the mild romance on screen just like a breeze.

More or less that is the kind of love, which isn’t passionate and not head over heels but practical, slow, steady and detailing which actually forms a strong foundation. That is all one can do, no it takes two to tango. That is all two can do in such difficult marriage. But both accept things beautifully and show willingness to work on their relationship. As Akbar’s foster mother Maham Anga starts a smear campaign against Jodha Bai, which Jodha ignores initially but Maham Anga goes to an extent to separate the two by pulling events from past.

People appreciate about Devasena for her stand. Jodha Bai remains unsung. When false charge is proclaimed she doesn’t bow down to it. But stands tall against it and moves away as her respect is at threat. Another beautiful characterization is the character of Hamida Banu Begum. Where she points out the mistake of her son and tells the reason behind Jodha’s letter to her brother. Akbar accepts the mistake from his side, chooses love over ego, goes and convinces Jodha bai. That sword fight between the two beautifully tells that “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.” (~Pema Chodron.) Choosing Self-Love between Self-Love and Self-Obsession in a relationship makes love bond stronger, strengthening the emotional boundary and the relationship radiates compassion and love for the other in abundance beyond the passionate urgency of being in a relationship. And it goes to “In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein”.

Sujamal. That’s a heavenly character, spectacularly portrayed by Ashutosh. Subtle dialogues on him from Jodha during the sword fight and his love for his sister when he receives the letter and in the climax his stand when he comes to know the truth says all. It is a blessing if one has a brother or cousin or a guy friend with whom one can feel the brother from another womb like Sujamal. One is likely to envy Jodha bai if one doesn’t have a cousin like him.

An ARR musical, greatest strength to the movie. Why this film isn’t nominated for Oscar while ‘Jai Ho’ got one is a million dollar question. So is the lyrical treat both in Hindi and Tamil. Of all, costumes play a huge role while making such historical movies. Dedicated, devoted and highly commendable job from Neeta Lulla. She schematically designed clothes by providing yellow, orange and red colours for the Rajputs and gold, brown and beige colours for the Mughals. Keeping in mind the grandeur of the Mughal Empire during Akbar’s time, Lulla used the Zardozi and Kundan types of embroidery for Roshan’s and Rai’s dresses. The fabrics for designing the costumes as well as the shoes were bought from Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur, while authentic embroidered Mojaris were used for footwear.

Having covered all the aspects that were noted, I wished to pen down on this historical romance specifically relationship, costume design types take away, the final touch comes from Na. Muthukumar. We seriously miss you on the depth of love that you bring about in your lyrics. Your romantic numbers speak volumes and will stand for the coming years. Jodha Akbar is nothing but the romance that blossoms beautifully out of a strained marriage. And,

“Kettathume marakkaatha mellisaiyum avalthaane

Athan pallavi charanam purinthum mounaththil nindren

Oru karaiyaaga aval irukka maru karaiyaaga naan irukka

Idaiyil thanimai thalumbuthe nadhiyaai

Kaanal neeril meen pidikka kaigal nianaiththaal mudinthidumaa

Nigazhkaalam naduvil vedikkai paarkkirathe”

with flute BGM and heavenly rendition by Srinivas sumps the love depicted in the movie.

2309jodhaaakbar

Reference: On costumes and about the designer from WikiPedia.

யாருக்கும் பயனிலை

The album ‘En Swasa Kaatre’ was released in the year 1999. One of the super duper hit albums of ARR. Every song from this movie is unique and beautiful in it’s way. Almost all songs are lyrically and musically at its best. Out of 6 songs, 5 composed by Mr.Vairamuthu and 1 by Mr.Vaali.
To start with Vaaliba Kavingyar Vaali. Beautifully penned in the theme ‘Current affairs’, usual political, financial issues. He is a master in infusing these in his romantic numbers. He tells about the allowance given only to ‘her love’ comparing to quota; inflation and love; the ache to kiss, shyness to the delay by government; fulfillment of his wishes to Cauvery issue; in the lines,
“இட ஒதுக்கீடு உனக்காக இடை செய்தது”; “உன்னில் உருவான ஆசைகள் : வெங்காய விலை”; “கன்னங்கள் பதில் போடும் பின்னாளிலே : அடி அம்மாடி அரசாங்கமா” ; “என் ஆசைகள் எப்போது கை கூடும்
யார் சொல்லக் காவேரி நீராகுமா”. Beautifully sung by Harini, Anupama and Palghat Sreeram.
Next starts the beauty of Vairamuthu. ‘சின்ன சின்ன மழைத்துளிகள்’ penned beautifully by him describing the beauty of rain so well. “அந்த இயற்கை அன்னை படைத்த ஒரு பெரிய ஷவர் இது” a blend of natural and man made thing. Song rendered so well by Mr. M.G.SreeKumar.
Another beauty, which feels like Hamsadwani here and there (not sure, correct if its wrong) is ‘திறக்காத காட்டுக்குள்ளே’ fantastic rendition by Mr. Unnikrishnan and Mrs.K.S.Chitra.
The breath taking, beautiful composition is “தீண்டாய் மெய் தீண்டாய்”. There comes a poem from Tamil literature at the start of the song. The long search for the original script is finally accomplished. The poem is from குறுந்தொகை. Kurunthogai belongs to முதற்சங்கம். Could be 100AD. இது ஒரு தொகை நூல், a book which is compiled, various authors’ works put together. There are 401 songs plus 1 Kadavul vaazhthu. From சுவடிகள் the number of poets whose works are compiled under Kurunthogai is 205. But there is also a talk that the actual count of poets is 206 out of which we don’t know the names of 10 poets.
We don’t have any details on the compiler of this book. But his intention is evident. நான்கிலிருந்து எட்டு அடி வரை உள்ள சிறிய அகத்துறைப் பாடல்களைத் தொகுத்துள்ளார் இந்தப் பெயர் தெரியாத “குறுந்தொகையார்”. As stated it is a அக நூல். அகம், புறம் are the two broad classifications in Tamil literature. அகம் − that happens in heart.
Would have come across “ஆத்துக்குப் போறேன்”. Many might even kid. “அது என்ன ஆத்துக்கு, குளத்துக்குனு?” Same when people address husband as ஆத்துக்காரர் and wife as ஆத்துக்காரி. ஆத்து(க்கு) is a tweaked word from the word அகம். அகத்துக்குப் போறேன் – going to the place where heart is residing. அகத்துக்காரர், அகத்துக்காரி – someone who is residing in heart. On the other hand புறம் – that happens outside. Speaks about Bravery, Kindness, Philanthropy. ‘புறத்துக்கு போறேன்’ is still a proper usage.
So coming back to first four lines of the song.
“கன்றும் உண்ணாது கலத்தினும் படாது
நல் ஆன் தீம் பால் நிலத்து உக்கா அங்கு,
எனக்கும் ஆகாது என்னைக்கும் உதவாது
பசலை உணீஇயர் வேண்டும்
திதலை அல்குல் என் மாமைக் கவினே.”
− கொல்லன் அழிசி
இது ஒரு பாலை – தலைவியின் கூற்று. (One who lives in desert)
கலம் – பால் கறக்கும் பாத்திரம்; நல் ஆன்– நல்ல பசு; தீம் பால் – சுவையான பால்; உக்காங்கு –சிந்துதல்/விழுதல்; என்னைக்கும் – என் `ஐ`க்கும் –காதலன்; பசலை – மேனி வெளிறிய நிறத்துடன் தோற்றமளிப்பது; உணீ இயர்  – தன்னை உட்கொள்ளும்; திதலை – தேமல்; அல்குல் –இடை (இவ்விடத்தில் பெண்களின் இடை என்று பொருள்படும்); மாமை –மாந்தளிர் நிறம்; கவின் –அழகு.
The meaning of the song is
யாருக்கும் பயனிலை ❤
கன்றும் உண்ணாமல் கறக்கவும் கறக்காமல்
நிலத்தில் உழியும் பசுவின் பால் போல
எனக்கும் இல்லாமல்
என் தலைவனுக்கும் உதவாமல்
என் அழகு வீணாகிறது.
– சுஜாதா ❤
And the song takes off from there in Blissful ARR music perfectly rendered by S.P.Balasubramaniam and K.S.Chitra aesthetic composition in the Raga Sri (guessing so. Correct if its wrong) and ‘திடுக்கிட்டதே’ lingers.
Reference: Details on குறுந்தொகை, song and the meaning from the book 401 காதல் கவிதைகள் – குறுந்தொகை ஓர் எளிய அறிமுகம், சுஜாதா. ❤

Kabali

The movie was released in the year 2016. Directed by Pa. Ranjith. Pa. Ranjith is someone who is capable of writing a plot around a trivial issue with more detailing. The crew of the movie Mardas comes in Kabali with Thalaivar Rajni in a pivotal role.
There has been this feel. Satyaraj is performing so well as Appa. Be it ‘Raja Rani’ or ‘Sigaram Thodu’. So is Prabhu. An awesome cop character in the movie ‘Kakki Sattai’. Why Thalaivar isn’t acting something like this? Especially being spiritually inclined, few awesome speeches on salvation, on Guru Bakthi, Guru Mahima why isn’t he acting in a role as a father? Though he ages gracefully in real life with spirituality as his strong forte, in many movies except for the philosophical punches that reverberates even after leaving the theatre, on screen there wasn’t much proof. Kabali came as the proof. Thanks to Pa. Ranjith. Awesome acting from Thalaivar to give the feel ‘Narai yezhudhum suya saritham adhil anbe anandham anandham’.
Radhika Apte as Kumudhavalli. Comes as a strong, bold personality. Beautiful in traditional coloured, ‘Patta’ border sarees with Jimmiki and Mattal. Warming presence on screen. Though she comes only for few scenes she stands as the lynch pin of the plot. The plot strongly speaks about the life of people who leave their mother land to work in abroad and the kind of reception and respect they get from the native people. The difference in the wages they get though they work hard in a dignified way is portrayed well. On the flip side how few take immoral ways, join the native people to make more money and pull legs of their own people and the mother land is the core plot.
Kabaleeswaran affectionately Kabali, fight in a rightful way diligently for his people’s respect in abroad under Tamilnesan, played by Nassar. But the power struggle after Tamilnesan’s death is being used by villain’s gang and in series of events that unfold, Kabali finds himself in jail, sentenced for years for a false charge and his pregnant wife is left hurt in the massacre. He is released after 25 years and start his search to get to know about his wife while resuming his charge on old gang against the now powerful villain gang involved in immoral activities.
The plot beautifully shows the rehabilitation center for the people who lost their ways involving themselves in unhealthy activities in younger age so as to gain control at least in later part of their lives. Each of the characters that come in those scenes where he reveals his flash back story, be it Meena or Tiger, speak about the emotional wounds and scars, coping mechanisms and reactions so well. Every single time when Riythvika as Meena calls Kabali as Appa, the screen is filled with realistic emotions and as she questions him on leaving his pregnant wife, emotions run high on screen.
His search for his lost wife continues while surviving assassination attempts even from his trusted persons before unwinding the truth. As the great Rumi stated, ‘What you seek is seeking you’; Kabali seeks his family, his daughter Yogi; well done by Dhansika, whom he thought wouldn’t have been into this world meets him in style and saves him from an assassination. And together they set their sail and search for Kumudhavallai gains momentum despite being troubled by villains. Notable performance from Attakathi Dinesh as Jeeva.
Few things are wonderful in this movie. The background score, theme Neruppu da from Santhosh Narayanan. Invariably the Kabali dialogue. Another beautifully worded one in Thalaivar’s voice on freedom and free will to decide what one has to do rather being locked up in cages.
Though on a superficial look out the story seems to be a story of a gangster, a tough man. But on a deeper note it is about the lost love and that beautiful romance in 40s, 50s just about companionship that a man longs from his wife, the vice versa in the menopause period of a woman which is beyond the lust factor, the instant gratification, the urgency for physical relationship, needs of 20s. It is a cake walk for super star to enact such a loyal husband role and he does to perfection. Staying awake the whole night and thinking how his wife would react is a beauty. While he is unsure of number of days of togetherness showcasing the typical man’s trait in not remembering these precisely, exception is sports statistics; Kumudhavalli, as any other woman hits back with the exact days ‘2 varusham 2 maasam 18 naal’.
In a typical Indian home, the romance between Grandfather – Grandmother, Father-Mother is subtle and beautiful with grandchildren, children around. In general which is something common, husband is taller than wife. And when Appa/thatha pulls leg of amma/patti for being short. Say new double door frost free fridge has arrived. Appa says “Fridge pakkathula amma rombha chellama(kullama) iruka la?” and the entire family roll for next 15 minutes. And Patti/Amma tells that there would be a cut in the dosage of coffee for the day with a giggle. And appa/thatha surrenders with a grin.
But when children take advantage of the situation and tries to get off the limits on commenting the physical appearance, thatha/appa would be the first person to scold and ask to stay in limits. As one goes out for shopping with father he somehow makes sure to get what mother primarily looks for. “Naraiya samy ku po vangalam Amma azhaga samy room ah decorate pannuva and evalo velailayum, office poitu vandhalum adhula oru nerthi theriyum enaku evalo nerthi varadhu. Ramyama irukum veetukulla varum podhu. Office tensionlam podium.” These are the subtle exchanges of care and love that happens between elders.
 Pa. Ranjith deserves a standing ovation for capturing such ‘Thuya Naraiyilum Kadhal Malarudhae’ moments in ‘Maya Nadhi’ song that simply shows the forever love and companionship, beautifully penned by Uma devi, lovely rendition by Ananthu, Pradeep Kumar, Shweta Mohan, another beautiful Santhosh Narayanan composition.
Kabali unites with his family, kill all Villains but Kabali, the gangster meets his end proving “Kathi eduthavanuku kathiyala dhan saavu”. But the movie isn’t about Kabali the gangster.
It is the journey of Kumudhavalli’s Kabaleeswaran. #Magizhchi
Eagerly waiting for Kaala.
Rajinikanth_in_Kabali