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    எங்கே நிம்மதி



    1. Mellisai Ma Mannar M.S. Viswanathan – The Music Genius who was kind enough to speak about the background and the incident behind the composition of this song.

    2. Mr. Mohanram


    4. Thottal Poo Malarum – Saroja Devi’s cinema memories – being serialized in Mangaiyar Malar.

    5. Various Film Magazines of yesteryears

    6. NT thread in our own forum, which had thrown up many interesting information about the film Puthiya Paravai.

    7. Mr.Manisegaran – His many posts about the various aspects of this song.


    To Mr. Murali Shanmugam & Mr. Giri Shanmugam, sons of Mr. VC Shanmugam (brother of NT). But for Mr.Shanmugam, this song or for that matter this movie would have never seen the light of the day.


    A song that had stood the test of the time. A song that saw NT, Kannadasan, VR at their best. A film that was the launching pad of a great Production company. A song that is repeatedly telecast almost as a ritual in all satellite channels. A song that is dear and near to many of the people. We can go on giving introductions. But this song has one more dimension.

    Normally we have heard of songs being composed based on the situations. The director, storywriter along with the poet and Music director do sit for the composition. At times the Hero also makes an appearance to input his thoughts. But there have been very few occasions like it happened for Puthiya Paravai. People must have very rarely heard of the Film Hero enacting the scene for which the song needs to be composed. Here the Hero did the “acting” part and thus by guided the poet and the Music director to compose the song to the satisfaction of everyone concerned. Before moving on to the composition, let us delve in to the project background.


    The film Parasakthi not only saw the debut of a great actor but it also launched a successful career of a star. Successive films which made the cash registers ring also underlined the Box office potential of NT. If Parasakthi was released in 1952, 3 years later saw the family of NT also entering the Film world. But that was into the production side. By this time the entire Tamilnadu had come to recognize NT and the name “Sivaji” had come to be identified with NT. Therefore the family launched Sivaji films Private Limited and the main business was distribution of films, especially NT films for the Chennai city. [Sivaji Films started in 1955 celebrated it’s Golden Jubilee year in 2005, when Chandramuki was released]. NT and his well wishers felt that a dedicated distribution arm would help in streamlining the publicity that would take the film to the public and ensure its success. They wanted to get into production also. But there was nobody who could devote his entire time towards the production side. NT’s brother –in-law (Elder sister’s husband) was the person who was helping him in this business as NT’s younger brother VC.Shanmugam had been sent abroad for studying. NT had a complex like feeling about not being properly educated and so he decided to make available the best possible education to his brother since he was very fond of him. Another reason being there was a big gap of almost 10-11 years between their ages and VCS was born when NT was already with Bala Gana Sabha. VCS after his studies came back and took charge of the business. Designated as Managing Director he not only revamped the distribution angle but made sure that by foraying into film production, the company would be there for a long time and would become a big name to reckon with. And this was the starting point of a successful tenure at the helm that saw both the cinema business dealt by the family as well as the career of NT flourishing.


    Now, what made NT or his family to get interested in distribution or production? Those days there were established production houses like AVM, Gemini, Jupiter, Pakshiraja, and Vijaya Vahini and Chittadal. The irony was all these companies had a studio of their own. Everything was family owned. In fact the artists themselves were constructing their own studio or buying them after they became successful. Banumathi started her Barani studios, MGR bought Sathya Studio (actually renamed the studio he bought as Sathya), director B.S.Ranga built Vikram Studio, Vasu Menon built Vasu studio and KSG built Karpagam studio. Venus Pictures had Venus Studio. Probably the trend was derived from North where Rajkapoor launched RK studios. Even in Telugu, NTR owned a studio Ramakrishna and ANR had his Annapoorna studio at Hyderabad. Not to be left behind Krishna built Padmalaya studios. In Kerala, actor Madhu owns Uma studio and now Mohanlal has his own Vismaya Max. Why this long list is, NT too might have planned something in those lines when he ventured into distribution but the family instead of a studio ended up in buying a theatre in Mount Road. As discussed earlier in these columns, Shanthi theatre built by Umapathy was bought by NT and his brother –in - law Mr.Venugopal took charge of the same and he still continues to manage it.

    Having been associated with the film world for nearly 5 years, NT had the idea of venturing into distribution at the back of his mind and Amara Deepam occurred at that time. The persons who were at the helm at the production side were all close to NT. He was living in Shanmuga Mudali Street at Royapettah at that point of time. His next door neighbour Mr.Govindarajan was one of the partners of the movie. This particular street falls at the rear side of Besant Road, where they bought a house for Sivaji films office and it still continues there. The house where NT lived in Shanmuga Mudali Street is still used by NT’s brother –In- law Mr.Venugopal.


    Venus Pictures produced Amara Deepam that came out in 1956. Director Sridhar, Govindarajan (known as Venus Govindarajan, he is the father of Thiagarajan and Saravanan, the men behind Sathya Jothi Movies. Thiagarajan also happens to be the son-in-law of RM.Veerappan), Krishnamoorthy were the persons behind the Venus pictures. There was another partner Mr.Rathinam, who was the brother of Krisnamoorthy, and who later grow up as one of the torchbearers of this organisation. Again better known as Venus Rathinam Iyer, he happens to be the father of one Subramanian, who later went on to become a top most director in the Indian cinema field and is better known as Manirathinam. They produced so many films that were BO hits and they owned a large piece of land in Alwarpet that came to be known as Venus Colony and still the name exists. The reason all these details are mentioned here is just to highlight that the business started by Venus Pictures is still active but in different names. The company, which was formed by starting their business with the film of Venus Pictures (i.e.) Sivaji films is still active to date.


    During those days the process of starting a movie was simple and casual. They would be scouting for good stories and whenever they could lay their hands on a good thread or knot, they would immediately announce a movie and start work. Sridhar had written the script for Ethirpaarathathu. It was an anti- sentiment film where the hero finds her lover becoming his stepmother due to circumstances beyond her control. When such a film was received well by the audience, Sridhar’s stock grew up. So when Venus Pictures was looking out for a suitable story, Sridhar came up with the thread of Amara Deepam and it immediately got everybody’s approval. The triangular love story talked about Amnesia even 52 years back when such a medical condition was not very popular even among the city audience. Attracted by the novelty of the story, NT immediately gave the dates.

    Now coming back to Sivaji films, NT while acting in Amara Deepam could sense the success potential of the film and so Amara Deepam became the first film to be distributed in Chennai by Sivaji films. Not only that, they got the remake rights of Amara Deepam and produced the same in Hindi as Amar Deep. Dev Anand, Vyjayanthi Mala and Padmini acted in that. It was a big hit that saw the company’s name getting entrenched in Bollywood. The company went on to produce many Hindi films. They were also distributing Tamil films of NT in Chennai. They did not venture into production of Tamil films for a solid period of 7-8 years. One thing was NT was very busy, with round the clock shooting. Second thing was NT’s brother VCS had finished his studies and had come back in the late fifties. He very much wanted to produce a film but a good story was eluding them [Sivaji films]


    During his stay in London, VCS was very much attracted by Hollywood and he wanted that stylish way of film making to be introduced in Tamil. His exposure to such genre had initiated a thought in his mind that NT should do such type of films in Tamil. He was waiting for the opportune time to carry out his plan.

    During those times, there was a Hollywood flick called “ To Chase a crooked shadow”. A murder mystery, it had a novel storyline and a suspense that startled the viewers. VCS had already seen the movie and the idea of remaking the movie in Tamil got firmly entrenched his mind. NT was a cinema buff and he used to see almost all English movies that were getting released in Chennai. He had a small theatre at his home and he used to get the prints of the movies he wanted to see and screen it there. So NT and friends saw the movie and everybody liked it. The group that saw the movie consisted of some producers and directors. But when VCS broached the subject of producing the film, there were no volunteers. They felt that though NT had done roles with shades of grey in his earlier films, it would be a riskier proposition, considering his status at that time. VCS, who had almost decided to produce the film on his own, firmed up his mind and announced the launch of the movie under Sivaji films Banner. How to go about remaking the movie in Tamil, keeping in mind the Tamil audience, was the point that was occupying VCS’s mind. At that time, they heard a news.

    Inspired from the Hollywood flick, there was a Bengali movie with a same storyline. On hearing this, they went and saw the movie and purchased the rights of the movie for producing it in Tamil. Thus the Pillayar Chuzhi for Tamil film production was put and the preliminary steps started.

    The novelty of the film or main attraction of the film was the screenplay. It was like a Chess game. The moves and the counter moves were simply fascinating. For the first time viewer, the movie made him to think. Think in the sense, he would replay the sequences again in his mind and try to solve the puzzle. This is what primarily attracted NT and VCS. But there was a catch. The Hero at the end becomes an anti – hero.

    As for as NT was concerned, he would never mind about the image and he had done quite a no of films where his characters had shades of grey. Thirumbi Paar, Andha Naal, Thuli Visham, Pennin Perumai, Nalla Veedu and Rangon Radha are a few examples. Even the Vikraman character of Uthhama Puthiran was a negative one till the end. But all those films happened in early and middle fifties but they were in 1964, when this proposal was mooted. NT and VCS were nevertheless determined to go ahead. Aroordas was assigned to the dialogue and Nannu the screenplay. Dada Mirasi who had directed Ra(k)tha Thilagam earlier was put in charge of wielding the megaphone (Some 7 years later, he did another NT movie, Moondru Deivangal in 1971).

    Having decided to do the movie under the own Banner, VCS decided that the film should not lack in any respect and so they chose to make it in colour. Casting of the characters mattered a lot. The wife and later the impersonator was a crucial one. A westernized woman with all that goes with such a character in the first half, she changes completely in the second half. Not many heroines would come forward because image mattered. NT knew that one actress who can pull off this role was Sowcar and pull off she did! They did not even think twice regarding Rangan character. MR Radha was taken in. VKR was booked as the father of the heroine and later as you know what. With OAK Thevar, SV Ramadas, Nagesh and Manorama, casting was complete

    The other heroine would simply look like filling the bill but in the climax, the viewer will be in for a surprise. Saroja Devi was an automatic choice. But she was very busy. She was doing 3 shifts a day and there was no way she could give lump call sheets. Also the story demanded combination scenes with major characters and therefore her mother politely refused. But VCS was one man who would never give up. He met Sarojadevi’s mother Rudhramma and narrated her the entire story. She was very much impressed and when VCS told about the climax where Saroja Devi would reveal her true identity, she was thrilled. VCS also told her only if Saroja Devi acts, the audience would not be able to guess. Her mother managed to adjust the then existing call sheets and Saroja Devi acted as Latha. She says that she would never forget VCS because but for him, she would have missed out a movie, which till date brings bouquets for her.


    Normally a murder mystery story would have a set pattern and would concentrate more on investigation. This normally puts off women audience and in turn would affect the family audience attendance also. So the screenplay was written keeping this in mind. So till 2/3rd of the movie, the investigation would not be there. Even the last part would be more focusing on the make or mar relationship of hero and heroine. So songs were planned in such a manner that it would suit the mood of the movie.

    A song in the ship which makes the hero and heroine understand each other better, a song at Ooty where the heroine comes to stay at the hero’s place, a night club song at Singapore during the flashback when the hero tells his story, later the same song getting repeated in a different mood at hero’s place in Ooty, the song between the hero and heroine when the marriage is about to be fixed and finally the song under discussion. Let us have a look at the story leading to this situation.


    The story opens up in a ship that is on its way from Singapore to Chennai. The hero Gopal is traveling in the ship and he gets to meet Latha and her father. Gopal is a multi millionaire who is returning back to India after spending some years at Singapore. At Ooty, he again runs into Latha and her father and he takes them to his home. Gopal and Latha start moving closer and on certain occasions Latha finds Gopal’s behaviour odd and perplexing and she demands to know the reason. Gopal who initially tries to hide it, later confesses the truth and tells his story. Gopal after the death of his mother is crest fallen and visits a night club in Singapore for solace where he happens to meet a singer by name Chitra and falls for her. They get married but rude shock awaits Gopal. He finds her as a drunkard and wayward in her behaviour. His efforts to make her see reason fail miserably. The final straw happens on Gopal’s birthday, and when Chitra’s behaviour crosses all limits, Gopal lets out his rage resulting in the “suicide” of Chitra. Gopal after this suffers another jolt and that is his father’s passing away. After this he had returned to India and during that travel back, he had met her and her father. Latha initially shocked to learn that he is already married, later gives her consent when he proposes to her. Her father also agrees.

    Come the betrothal day, everybody is in for a shock. Chitra surfaces along with her Chittappa and the betrothal is stopped. Chitra claims that she had not died and had taken treatment for her injuries and later knowing that Gopal had gone back to India, had come here, she says. Gopal refuses to believe her and tries to prove that his wife is indeed dead. But his efforts repeatedly fail and the “intruder” cleverly builds up her case. Worse, the person accompanying her, Chittappa proves to be a thorn in the flesh and Gopal is literally driven to nuts. On the advice of his friend cum Police Inspector, he tries to “catch” the fingerprints of the woman but in the altercation with Rangan, the glass tumbler falls down and breaks. Worse, Latha seeing him moving closely with Chitra (for getting the finger print on the glass tumbler) is crest fallen and runs away from the scene. Gopal unable to prove the true identity of the intruder, unable to tackle the truants of Rangan, unable to convince Latha (she now had started believing that Chitra has come back), is a broken men now and this where the song comes in.


    Dada Mirasi was not a native speaker of Tamil and he used to operate through English in the shooting spot. But he was a good technician. So VCS had to take additional responsibilities now. In addition in making the movie sleek, he had to sit with VR for songs composition. It was a blessing in disguise because he had a good taste in music, recalls MSV. In the cine field, they always talk about the so-called “sync or gel” when it comes to teamwork and it seems that MSV and VCS had that sync which lasted till the 80’s. With Kannadasan giving out his best, it was a pleasure to compose the songs. VCS, VR and Kannadasan sat together to compose.

    The song at the ship. At the penultimate day of travel, the captain of the ship throws a party and asks somebody to sing. Inevitably the dice falls on the heroine. She reluctantly agrees to sing. Kannadasan seizing this opportunity opened with Unnai Ondru Ketpen. MSV inspired by the pallavi decided to go full steam. Reading the situation very well, he decided to use more western instruments. So the song opened with piano. Later he used saxophone and a host of other instruments. [Remember how NT plays the instruments to perfection? MSV recalls that NT used to come to recording and observe the instrument players. At the shooting spot, MSV’s assistant Joseph Krishna would be there whenever a western instrument had to be played by NT. But he would hardly have any corrections to tell because NT would do it perfectly, MSV recalls. He adds up இது என்ன சார் பிரமாதம்? தில்லானா-லே நாதஸ்வரம் “வாசிக்கும்” போது அசல் வித்வான் மாதிரி கழுத்து நரம்பு பொடைக்குமே. அதை விடவா சார் வேணும்?] PS simply excelled in the song. Especially when she sings the lines it was pure honey. Ilaiyaraja was so fond of this song and when he got an opportunity, he used it. Yes, 22 years later in 1986, producer KRG produced Thaikku oru Thalaattu directed by Balachandra Menon. NT and Padmini were the leading players and when the situation came up for a song where they do a trip down the memory lane, IR choose the tune of Unnai Ondru Ketpen and the song Payazha paadal pola Puthiya paadal illai was written by Vairamuthu. TMS and PS sang the same. But unfortunately only a bit of the song was used in the movie. Saroja Devi was clad in a red sari and red blouse during that song and that was a sight to behold. Saroja Devi recalls that even after 44 years, when she meets people, the one movie that everybody mentions is Puthiya Paravai and the one song is Unnai Ondru Ketpen.

    The next was again a solo by heroine though the situation was a duet like one. Hero and heroine get a reception from the tribal people and heroine ties up a piece of cloth in the tree of wishes. There comes the song where the heroine expresses her mind albeit indirectly. Chittukuruvu Muthham Koduthhu was born. Cameraman Prasad beautifully captured the song picturised in Ooty. If I am not off the mark, this was the first song that saw hero and heroine change their costumes in between the pallavi and different charanams.

    The next song was the nightclub song. Here VCS clearly explained to the poet and the MDs the situation. Hero is under a mental stress because he had lost his mother and comes to the club for some relaxation. Here he listens to the song and that makes him forget all his worries. Not only that, the song haunts him and he actually falls for the singer. Again it was a westernized song with a lot of instruments. Here MSV created the tune that was truly haunting and Kannadasan simply came up with Paartha Gnabagam Illaiyo lines. Again PS was outstanding and whenever you hear the lines, it would haunt you. If MSV did a grand orchestration for the first version, he made it simple when it would be repeated under different circumstances. But that would add to the beauty of the song and haunt more it did. See the picturisation of the song. NT who walks in with a heavy heart slowly gets transformed and you have to look at his expressions. It is another song where the cigarette dangling in NT’s lip also did the acting. It was style personified. There was one review of this song, which said that people employed in corporates should watch this scene and learn table manners.

    Then came the song before the betrothal day. Here the hero sings alone. First song for the hero. Song focused more on style and NT with his characteristic stylized walk simply turned Aha Mella Nada into a style statement. The shirts used in the film (Terylene) became a rage and many youngsters started wearing such shirts without banians (inners). Actor Sivakumar was one among them and he also started following the trend. (Sivakumar mentioned this in an interview with MSV in a program called Thirayum Isayum. He referred to the other song Enge Nimmathi as well) If the Terylene shirt attracted men, women were fascinated by the China silk sari with printed material worn by Saroja Devi.

    Now only one song remained that would come as a lead song to the climax and the flow that was going smoothly (as for as song composition) suddenly got struck. VR and Kannadasan tried their best but they could not hit upon the correct wordings that would satisfy everyone. Days passed but no progress could be made. This went to NT’s ears and he called up MSV and asked him to come to Annai Illam and left. He asked Kannadasan also to accompany the MDs. So the next day morning, all the three went to Annai Illam and the composing was intend to start.


    The next day morning, MSV made sure that Kannadasan was on time for the appointment and all reached Annai Illam. NT and VCS were there. NT asked MSV whether he has any ideas for the proposed song situation. The tunes that MSV created did not get the approval. NT had something in his mind and he was not getting satisfied with the tunes. Here was a situation song which he had thought about and in fact he wanted to do certain gestures and body movements. So he wanted nothing but the best from Kannadasan – MSV. In order to get the required output from the duo, he started enacting the scene. I think that should be described in Tamil because it would bring out the exact mindset of NT at that point of time. Let us hear NT in his own words. It seems that he described to the duo in the following manner.

    “நாயகனுக்கு வாழ்க்கையிலே பணம் கிடச்ச அளவுக்கு நிம்மதி கிடைக்கலே. எங்கே அன்பு கிடைக்கும்-னு ஏங்கினான். தன் மனதுக்கு சாந்தி கொடுத்த பாடகியான பெண்ணை விரும்பி கல்யாணம் பண்ணிக்கிட்டான். ஆனால் அவன் நினைச்ததக்கு நேர்மாறா அந்த வாழ்கை அமைஞ்சிருச்சு. அவ ஒரு விபத்திலே இறந்து போக, தாய் நாட்டுக்கே திரும்பற அவன் தன் மனதுக்கு பிடித்த ஒரு பொண்ணை பாக்கிறான். அவளுக்கும் அவனை பிடிச்சுப்போயிடுது. கல்யாணம் பண்ணிக்கிட்டு ஒரு புது வாழ்க்கையை ஆரம்பிக்கலாம்-னு நினைக்கும்போது, பழைய மனைவி மாதிரியே இருக்கிற ஒருத்தி நான்தான் உன் மனைவி, நான் சாகல-னு வந்து நிக்கிறா. கூடவே அவ சித்தப்பன்-னு சொல்லிட்டு ஒருத்தன். அவ தன் மனைவி இல்லை-னு நாயகன் நிரூபிக்க எடுக்கிற முயற்சியெல்லாம் பெயிலியர் ஆகுது. ஆரம்பத்திலே நம்பின காதலியும் அவன் மேல் சந்தேகப்பட்டு விலகி போறா. ஒவ்வொரு சின்ன விஷயத்திலும் அவனுக்கு டென்ஷன் ஆகுது. வாழ்க்கையே வெறுத்து போய் எங்கியாவது நிம்மதி கிடைக்காதா-னு அலையறான். சுவத்திலே தலையை முட்டிக்கிறான். அழுகிறான் எங்கே நிம்மதி-னு புலம்பறான். இது பாட்டிலே வெளிப்படனும”்.

    While saying this NT it seems was actually enacting the scene in front of them and suddenly MSV got that spark. He told Kannadasan “கவிஞரே இதுதான் பல்லவி” but Kannadasan didn’t catch it. He asked “Ennada solre?” and MSV replied that Pallavi is “Enge Nimmadhi”. Kavignar just looked at him and without saying anything went on to write

    எங்கே நிம்மதி எங்கே நிம்மதி
    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்

    And went on to add something on his own

    எங்கே மனிதர் யாரும் இல்லையோ
    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்

    This suited the situation because here Kavingar adds that Hero doesn’t believe in the entire human race. Such is his frustration level.

    MSV immediately tuned the lines with his harmonium and there was flash of happiness in NT’s face. NT now realized that Kannadasan had come back to form and with a help of little guiding, this song can be brought up to the required level. So he again started to describe the situation and mindset of the hero. He went on to tell them that now the hero is not only depressed but he has also become self-pitying. He broods over his ill luck and he feels that he has been cursed like that. He laments why all this for me?

    Kannadasan now very much interested (earlier he was bit off colour because he was not getting it right and in fact he reluctantly came to Annai Illam, MSV recalls) and with his mind now firmly in his control, words as usual started flowing from him. For the above mentioned charanam, he wrote

    எனது கைகள் மீட்டும்போது வீணை அழுகின்றது
    எனது கைகள் தழுவும்போது மலரும் சுடுகின்றது.
    என்ன நினைத்து என்னை படைத்தான் இறைவன் என்பவனே
    கண்ணை படைத்து பெண்ணை படைத்த இறைவன் கொடியவனே
    ஓ! இறைவன் கொடியவனே

    Here the third and fourth lines, Kannadasan wrote from his own experience as it always happens. He could not forget the love failure he experienced at a young age and he carried this as a baggage till his lifetime. But that was blessing in disguise for Tamil film music lovers because, it helped him to write so many poetic beauties, which are adored till today. Everybody was so happy. But it also brought brickbats later, about which we will discuss after this.

    NT, now realizing that this method is paying rich dividends then told Kannadasan that the hero is thinking of both the women in his life. While the very thought of earlier woman brings him nightmares, the girl whom he had met afterwards has provided him all the love and affection and he could find solace in that relationship. The resurfacing of his so called wife, whom he firmly believes is dead, had completely robbed him of his peace of mind and his sleep. He literally pleads with the supreme power to give him peace. The poet in Kannadasan was in full flow now and as he always does symbolized the women with the birds deriving this inspiration from the title of the movie planned. He wrote

    பழைய பறவை போல ஒன்று பறந்து வந்ததே
    புதிய பறவை எனது நெஞ்சை மறந்து போனதே
    என்னை கொஞ்சம் தூங்க வைத்தால் வணங்குவேன் தாயே
    இன்று மட்டும் அமைதி தந்தால் உறங்குவேன் தாயே
    ஒ! உறங்குவேன் தாயே

    With MSV completing the tune for the same, the entire team, which was present there were happy and know they have a Super hit song in their hands. With Kannadasan successfully completing his part, MSV, though he had tuned it well, knew that the job is not yet complete. He realized that this song requires orchestration of the highest caliber, otherwise the entire effort would go as a waste. He also decided that it should have a live orchestra with instruments playing a major part.


    MSV had reasons to think on those lines. He had done music for Neethipathi (old one) produced by Vijaya Pictures. It had a song “ Thaayum Seiyum Pirinthadhai Paar” that was rendered by CS.Jayaraman. There he used western musical instruments and he used a live orchestra with a chorus. He brought Anglo Indians and used them for chorus. It was very well received by the public. So MSV decided that he would use live orchestra for this song and he also wanted to make it rich. He planned a live orchestra with a plethora of instruments. Till that time only basic instruments like violin, tablas were used. He wanted that to change. But it would cost much but he had a willing producer who was willing to go that extra mile in ensuring the quality the musician was seeking to bring in. Having got the green signal, MSV arranged for a live orchestra of 100 people who would handle the instruments. Later on this trend caught up and MSV himself used more than 100 instruments for “Pattathhu Rani” song in Sivandha MaN. It is rumoured that on coming to know of this MGR wanted the same type of orchestration (i.e.) using more instruments for his song also and MSV did the same for “Ninaithathai Nadathiye Mudippavan” song in Nam Naadu.


    The recording date was fixed. It started at 9 am. TMS had a few rehearsals and then the recording started. VCS had come. As most of the readers must be aware, during those days all the concerned people must be there as there was no facility for track or independent recording. And when the orchestra is big, the synchronization becomes more difficult as all parameters have to fall in place to make the recording successful. At times 3 or 4 takes would be required for a perfect song. Here also the same thing happened. The recording, which started at 9 am in the morning, went on till 12 midnight. TMS as usual was excellent in rendering the song and later in an interview said, MSV told him to concentrate on the words in the song. H was told to bring out the sound of veenai when he sang Veenai Azhugindrathu. And veenai sound was there in his voice. It also shows the range and stamina of the singers of that golden period. With recording completed successfully, the scene now shifted to the picturisation. MSV told VCS that if the song is not properly filmed, it would lose all its charm.


    VCS, well aware of the pitfalls in the picturisation decided that no stone should be left unturned to make it long lasting. He sat with director Dada Mirasi and cameraman Prasad and discussed. They decided that it should be a set that would depict both the extreme moods of the character. While the wife character tortures him, it is hell recreated with all its terrifying inmates, whereas he believes that the lover character is from the heavenly abode surrounded by the angels and brings eternal bliss for him. They also decided that instead of putting a grandeour set (as it was vogue in those days), they should concentrate more on colours and lighting, which would bring the desired impact. Even they decided upon the costumes of the women. It was black for Sowcar and cream for Saroja Devi.

    As planned, the shooting was arranged and sets readied. Though NT had enacted the song during composition, he now literally raised his performance by taking it to another plane. The very start of the song was fabulous with the BGM slowly growing up in volume and when it suddenly breaks into high decibel music, NT slowly getting up with his eyes searching the place used to bring down the roof. He wears light blue colour silk trousers and very light blue Terylene shirt with sleeves rolled up to the biceps. The camera captures him from the low angle with his eyes almost closed and with his two hands stretched out. In this posture when the words come out “Enge Nimmadhi”, again the theatre would roar.

    See the lightings for this song. The colours used would be indicating the mood swings. Predominantly red and blue were used as background colours. The cream and yellow colours were used when they show the gate of heaven (?) from where Saroja Devi comes out. When she is near NT, the background is cream and the moment when she disappears and Sowcar enters, the red background light flashes. Even at the end when the song closes and the last line அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும, we see NT lying down on the lap of Saroja Devi and the background light is blissful cream and blue. It changes when the shadow of Sowcar super imposing on them and suddenly it is red and we see NT lying in the lap of Sowcar and he jumps up with fear with the BGM rising to the highest decibel. The cameraman Prasad deserves special mention for his work and it is said that he never even used Light meters for his shots. It was sheer mind calculation and the resultant product is there to be seen till today with all glory.

    If we analyse NT’s acting in this song, we have to write essays. To put it simply the walk, the gestures, the lip sync and the body language were top class. To point out just an example, watch the first charanam. When the first two lines come up,
    எனது கைகள் மீட்டும்போது வீணை அழுகின்றது
    எனது கைகள் தழுவும்போது மலரும் சுடுகின்றது,

    see his gestures with his hand and his facial expressions at that time. Is there any better way to show how one self pities himself? When the next line arrives

    என்ன நினைத்து என்னை படைத்தான் இறைவன் என்பவனே

    his right arm does a clock wise rotation with the fingers pointing up and people at the theatre would be ready to explode for this particular shot.

    We can categorically state that no other song has come out with this amount of perfection in portraying extreme depression – both in action done by NT and the mood created by the music of MSV-TKR. (A few examples of songs in this genre are - Thukkathilum Sirikkanum in Nalla Idathu Sambantham, Mayakkama Kalakkama in Sumaithangi, Thannai Thane Nambahathu in Deiva Piravi, Avanukkenna Thoongivittan Agappattavan in Peria Idathu Penn).

    Now coming to the controversy part, the lines of the first charanam were the one that made some so called Tamil pundits to criticise Kannadasan. They argued that the usage in the line
    எனது கைகள் மீட்டும்போது வீணை அழுகின்றது, is totally wrong as fingers only can pluck the string and not the hands. This was a hot topic even after many years after the release of the movie. Seeing all such farce, one always had a doubt that the so called pundits were jealous of Kannadasan and so they wanted to show off their superiority. But Kannadasan never took such things seriously.

    The movie as I said earlier was ahead of its times. Here was a man who was ruling Tamil cinema but he literally choose to do a negative character. Especially the climax, he was simply outstanding. Which actor will have the guts to clear his nose in front of the camera? Again a shot, which will generate deafening, claps. A watertight screenplay backed up by splendid performances from all actors. Sowcar and MRR would be outstanding (in fact audience if given a choice would like to kill the Rangan character for all the trouble he creates).


    The movie was released on 12.09.1964 and it celebrated 100 days. The biggest achievement of PP is, on subsequent releases it had been a BO wonder. During the mid 70s’, the film re-released in Chennai, had run for 75 days. All over Tamilnadu, it evoked tremendous performance and I am sure even now this movie would create Box office magic if theatrical release is arranged. The song Enge Nimmadhi was a Super Duper hit right from day 1.


    Sivaji Films in spite of making it’s maiden venture a success did not venture into production for almost another 6 years and when it did come out with Vietnam Veedu in 1970, it’s name was changed to Sivaji Productions. In fact there was a gap of exactly 24 years between Puthiya Paravai and the next venture, which carried the Sivaji films banner name. The next venture was En Thamizh En Makkal, which came in 1988 September. Then another 5 years elapsed before Kalaignan (starring Kamal) was produced under this banner [1993 April]. The usage of Sivaji brings us to another interesting information.

    NT who assumed the name “Sivaji” because of playing the Maratta Emperor’s role used the King’s sitting posture on a horse as the emblem of the company. But later it was removed as there was some copy right issues and for Kalaignan, they used a emblem of NT himself dressed as Sivaji, which came in the Telugu film Baktha Dhukkaram. NT had donated the Sivaji statue at Sivaji Park, Mumbai. The Maharastra Government celebrated the 300th year of Sivaji ascending the throne in 1974 and they wanted a skit for the TV. Dr.T.S. Narayanaswamy prepared a script, which depicted the situation at the time of Sivaji ascending the throne. Here it should be noted that the drama written by Annadurai [“Sivaji Kanda Hindu Samrajiyyam”] dealt about the hurdles Sivaji faced in coming to power. On a similar note the skit enacted by NT as Sivaji in Raman Ethhanai Ramandi also dealt about the hurdles Sivaji faced in crowning himself as King (though RER skit was primarily written in view of the political situation that prevailed then in 1970 and it was sort of a reply to a sarcastic comment by then CM of Tamilnadu against NT). Now coming back to the skit prepared by Dr.TSN, Thanjai Vanan wrote the dialogues. The beauty of the script was it was in Tamil and it was telecast in the same manner and even the Siva Sena did not object to it when it came on air on July 21, 1974 (see the date). When Chennai (Madras then) had its own TV station opened on Aug 15th of 1975, the same skit of NT acting as Sivaji was on the air on the very first day.

    Before signing off, my personal note. Since release was in 1964, did not see it then. My first tryst with PP happened in 1969 at Madurai –City Cinema. I could not follow the movie for the simple reason it was sheer festival mood inside the theatre. Especially there was riot during the song sequences. After a year or so, saw the same in Madurai – Chandra (which was later named as Shanthi) and from there on, I have lost count of the no of times, I have seen it.

    Here goes the lyric

    எங்கே நிம்மதி எங்கே நிம்மதி
    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்.
    எங்கே மனிதர் யாரும் இல்லையோ
    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்
    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்

    (எங்கே நிம்மதி)

    எனது கைகள் மீட்டும்போது வீணை அழுகின்றது
    எனது கைகள் தழுவும்போது மலரும் சுடுகின்றது.
    என்ன நினைத்து என்னை படைத்தான் இறைவன் என்பவனே
    கண்ணை படைத்து பெண்ணை படைத்த இறைவன் கொடியவனே
    ஓ! இறைவன் கொடியவனே

    (எங்கே நிம்மதி)

    பழைய பறவை போல ஒன்று பறந்து வந்ததே
    புதிய பறவை எனது நெஞ்சை மறந்து போனதே
    என்னை கொஞ்சம் தூங்க வைத்தால் வணங்குவேன் தாயே
    இன்று மட்டும் அமைதி தந்தால் உறங்குவேன் தாயே
    ஒ! உறங்குவேன் தாயே

    (எங்கே நிம்மதி)


    Quote Originally Posted by RR

  2. #2
    We are continuing our discussions under a seperate forum with the heading Paadalgal Palavitham. Here is the link for the same



  3. #3

    I had posted my response to this wonderful song earlier which has been lost due to the technical snag. Am giving the gist of it again.

    Again congrats for a great write-up of one of the cult songs of tfm. My only disappointment is the lack of proper acknowledgement of TMS's contributution to its success.

    As almost every lover of tfm knows, this was the first song with the maximum no. of orchestra pieces in tfm history. But that's not its only talking point.

    The credit lies in the way each piece has been used to its fullest extent in a most telling manner. Just close your eyes and you can recall each strain of the different instruments used. That, I believe, is the hallmark of a genius - rather geniuses - the incomparable VR.



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