What is hiding in our lyrics?, kannadasan, kamal haasan


There’s more to it than what meets the eye, they say. It applies to cinema too! To be honest more to cinema, I would say. If we don’t see the ‘hidden message’, it either means we aren’t looking for it or that it is not meant for us. Surprising and befuddling, isn’t it?

What do you mean by “not meant for us”, one may ask? Here it is…

To hide something in a medium that is as transparent as cinema, needs brilliance. But, what do we call people, who could send private and secret messages through cinema? I can think of two such geniuses of our Tamil industry, who did send private messages through films.

“Unnavida Indha Ulagathil Osanthathu Onnum Illai

Unnavida Oru Uravunnu Sollikolla Yaarum Illai..

Vaakkupada Kadaichaan Virumaandi

Saatchi Solla Chandhiran Varuvaandi…”

These lines, like everybody knows, belong to a song from Kamal’s Virumaandi. Except for the first line, which was suggested by Isaignani Ilayaraja, the entire song was penned by Kamal Haasan himself. Everyone knows the situation the song comes in the film.

But, who would have possibly guessed that it was a private message from Kamal Haasan to his love. The actor disclosed it in a recent TV show that it was his message to his companion, Gautami.

During the release of the film that is in the year 2004, Kamal Haasan was going through a rough patch, both in his careen front and his personal front. It was his brother Chandra Haasan, who stood by him during that rough year.

The first three lines of the song are as plain as they say. But the pun is in the fourth line. The word Chandiran actually refers to Kamal’s brother, Chandra Haasan. The line was supposedly a message to Gautami that she needn’t worry about anything and that his brother Chandra Haasan will be beside him supporting the decision he (Kamal) takes.

“The line went on to become true. Chandra Haasan represented me at the court at that time,” said Kamal. He also calls this a ‘poet’s naughtiness’. Agreed, but it was foxy too.

Now to the second and the best one…

“Antha Sivakami Maganidam Seithi Solladi

Serum Naal Parka Solladi”

The meaning looks as simple as that. It’s a famous romantic song from Pattanathil Bootham that was released in late 1960s. The heroine says that she is looking forward to the day when she joins her lover. But, it also has a political meaning to it and the poet (in this case, Kannadasan) achieved in doing what he wanted to, with this line. The secret message, camouflaged as a love song, was successfully delivered to the target.

Kannadasan was also an active politician then and he had a minor tiff with his leader, K Kamaraj. The poet tried to patch things up, but in vain. That’s when he came up with this song, which in the pretext of writing for the film, addressed to his leader.

“Sivakami Magan”, which means the son of Sivakami, actually refers to Kamaraj. His mother’s name was Sivakami.

The actual meaning of the line is-

“Oh my friend, please deliver this message for me to the son of Sivakami,

Ask him if (and when) I can join him again”

Taking the message from the song, Kamaraj took Kannadasan back in his party and the duo worked together as good friends after that.

In numerous occasions Kannadasan has used his literary skills to send a message to his friends, rivals and even his child hood girlfriend and in this season, where every film enthusiast is celebrating 100 magnificent years of Indian cinema, I wanted to remind everyone of these two stunning incidents that happened in the last century. Incidents like these, however small or big, remind us how rich our cinema is and how brilliant our entertainers are.

There are still countless artistes who have spent their life making Indian cinema what it is today. It truly is our duty to celebrate these entertainers, whose only purpose is to bring out that small rare smile from us.

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