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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Remembering old M S V Songs: ‘Naan Kavingyanum Illai.’

Remembering old M S V Songs: ‘Naan Kavingyanum Illai.’

I was having a lonely walk around the park in Chandler, Arizona. My MP3 player gave me company as usual. People had always needed companions. Many here in America ought to be lonely. That answers for their number of pets - dogs, cats and birds. Probably the only companions they have. A relative of mine wrote an interesting blog on how she had the unenviable job of having to take care of a scorpion, a pet for one of her friends’ son, when they went on a short vacation to India. A scorpion as a companion! The poor boy, couldn’t probably find a better companion.

Relationships are very important to all of us. Without that we lose our companions. At times our relationships are even with inanimate objects for lack of better human relationships. They don’t complain, at least. But somehow, we find it very tough to maintain our relationship with people. May be we are very selfish wanting only our part of our agreement in any relationship to be fulfilled.

While these thoughts were grinding me, my MP3 player played the good old song ‘Naan kavingyanum illai’ (meaning ‘I am not even a poet’) from Tamil film: ‘Padiththaal Mattum Podhuma?’ (meaning ‘Is a mere education alone enough for someone?’)

My memories immediately ‘youtube’d the particular song scene from this film where Sivaji Ganesan, acting as Gopal, the illiterate simpleton and hunter, was virtually begging with his highly educated wife Meena (acted by Raja Sulochana) for her acceptance. Raju, his elder brother and highly educated had played foul with his marriage. Gopal adores his brother Raju. Under an unusual arrangement between them, Raju goes to meet Seetha (acted by Savithri), an illiterate village beauty fixed for his brother Gopal and Gopal goes to meet the educated city girl Meena fixed for Raju. But Raju was charmed by the uneducated but simple girl Seetha and falls for her. He wants to marry her. He plays foul with the families of the two girls. Thus the educated Raju (actor Balaji) marries the uneducated Seetha (actress Savithri) and the uneducated and the school dropout Gopal (actor Sivaji Ganesan) marries the educated Meena (actress Raja Sulochana). While the homely uneducated Seetha is very pleased and comfortable with the educated Raju, Meena, the educated city girl fumes at being duped about the illiterate Gopal. Though a ruffian by his look and idiosyncrasies, Gopal (Sivaji Ganesan) is very soft in his heart and never suspects his brother’s villainy in the marriage affairs. So, he is in trouble and frustrated at his wife not accepting him.

As the story of the movie and the song scene went through my head I wondered what a gracious acting by Sivaji Ganesan in the film! What a great characterization! He is longing for a relationship from his wife, virtually begging and completely rejected.  He tries to woo her, cajole her, express his frustration, hopelessness, helplessness, his confusion about what he can do to satisfy her and begs with her for acceptance. ‘You are an uneducated beast!’ His wife scornfully rejects him. She fails to see his good nature and harps only on his lack of education. She accuses him that she got cheated by him. How many marriages get broken because we fail to see the good in our partner?

Having failed finally, Gopal feels very frustrated, takes to alcohol, loses his cool and whips his wife in rage. Again, he had done something irreparable that completely breaks up the relationship with his wife. Realization dawns on him later. He feels very guilty, apologizes and is willing to do anything to make amends. But no use!

Padithaal Mattum Pothuma?’ is a great movie and ‘Naan kavingyanum illai’ from the film is a great song. Great lyrics! Every line of the song is thought provoking! And a superb acting by Sivaji Ganesan! And a passionate theme: Relationship! Someone is longing for a relationship. Rejected! And he is frustrated!

Many of us are not in a different boat. We all crave for relationship, right from childhood. For we look for security and comfort in our relationship. We have had rejected relationships, some petty and some serious. Rejection in relationship is a terrible dampener.

I felt very melancholic as the song ended. As though it wasn’t sufficient, the next song I had in my MP3 player deepened my melancholic mood further. It looked at another dimension to relationship. I was about to cry.
I will write about the next song in my next blog, hopefully.

The song scene is available on ‘Youtube’ under the link:


  1. sir,

    i read your comments on the is very true..golden melodies..for sure..
    but i think you forgot to mension the name of MSV for having composed this fantastic song..

  2. same song appeals differenty to different age groups and at different situations. when i was a kid, i hated the song 'nilave ennidam nerungathe' as i thought it was melancholic and boring. the very same song became my favourite when i matured. it became immortal when i heard it while walking in parks. hear " Caledonia" and "come by the Hills". goose pimples assured.