Of Metaphors, Similes….

What would we do without them!

Here’s one I had not heard of before:

Speaking of a woman (in politics) M observed:

‘Oh, she’a a mandhi…’

A mandhi is a female monkey. Normally used for an inattentive, not-given-to-emotions mutt. But this wasn’t it…

‘How do you mean?’

Adhu penum paarkum, mudiyum pidungum.’

A rough translation: She would groom you for lice…and pull your hair too (causing pain).

A person who is a mix of the good and the bad.

Any better way to say it?


Source: Image from: reed.edu

Unforgettable Melodies (more)

Couldn’t hold this back – you’ll know why in a little while!

Sit back and lose yourself in…


‘Velli kinnamthan’ in Uyarntha Manithan, a 1968 film written by Javat Seetharaman and directed by Krishnan Panju produced by AVM with Sivaji Danesan and Sowcar Janaki in the lead roles. The film’s soundtrack and background score were composed by need-I-say M/ZS. Viswanathan and lyrics by Vali. Singers: As only T. M. Sounderarajan, P. Susheela could.

So sweet and hummable – Sivaji looking Lord-like even in romance:


P. Susheela melodiously goes ‘Chittu kuruvi mutham koduthu’ – not recommended for bathroom singing – in Puthiya Paravai, a 1964 romantic thriller directed by Dada Mirasi. Produced by Sivaji Ganesan, the film features him and Saroja Devi in the lead roles, It is a remake of the Bengali film Sesh Anka (1963), which is itself inspired by the British film Chase a Crooked Shadow (1958). Music by who-else-but Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy and lyrics by Kannadasan.


Finally the lovable tragi-comedian of yester years Chandrababu cavorting with Jamuna in ‘Kunguma poove’ in Maragatham (1959). Music: S.M.Subbaiah Naidu – so Shankar-Jaikishen like!.

Here’s a DVD version of it from Joe Niranjan Pancratius:


Unforgettable Melodies

Don’t fear for your head if these ring in your ears long after playing out.

Selection this time includes songs, deep in lyrics. picturized on the three heroes who dominated the Kollywood films for decades.

Settle down and enjoy the music even if you don’t follow the words.

First, Gemini Ganesan (father of Rekha of Bollywood) in Idhyatthil Nee. A Tamizh romance film, directed by Muktha Srinivasan and produced by V. Ramasamy in 1963. Music by the legendary pair Viswanathan Ramamoorthy.


The second is from Navarathri, produced and directed by A.P. Nagarajan, featuring Sivaji Ganesan (his 100th film) and Savithri (wife of Gemini Ganesan) in lead roles, set to music by K. V. Mahadevan. The film is known for the thespian’s masterly portrayal of navarasa’s (nine different emotions) in nine different roles. In this song an inebriated Sivaji Ganesan tries unsuccessfully to seduce the heroine in a brothel house.


This is from Panathottam, directed by K Shankar in 1963 featuring M.G. Ramachandran (was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu when he died) and Saroja Devi in lead roles. The film, produced by G. N. Velumani had musical score again by the wizards Viswanathan Ramamoorthy.


Forgettable Music??

Amidst most of my age professing love for old film music and shunning the new as trashy, why do I like these, ‘hot from the kitchen’?

Must confess as a Tamiilian I could barely make out a word here and word there in the lyrics of these Tamil songs, especially the first one!

But listening to them, I bet these (music) guys would give anyone in the industry a run for the money. Good to see fresh talent cropping up.


Watch Prabhudeva here in the film ‘Gulebakavali’ belt out a high-energy high-decibel melody (melody? is that possible at all?) set to music by Vivek–Mervin; actually sung by Anirudh Ravichander and Mervin Solomon and choreographed in Telugu/Tamizh colors:


This is Ditya (an award-winning child artiste) in a romp – the film is ‘Lakshmi’, music by Sam C.S.; here’s a theatrical version released (whatever that means), song in the voice of Uthra Unnikrishnan:


These may not make ‘Unforgettable Music’ for the biggest reason lyrics don’t come easily hum’able. Forgettable? No way – I’d certainly like to play them again when in mood.


Note: Wouldn’t know if there’s any plagiarism here.

When Life Is Taken Away…

Removing life from a man renders him dead;

and from a woman, in her place a mother is born!


Source: Ravi Kumarபடித்ததில் ரசித்தது

What’s Up??

Source: Elango Velur Thiruturaipoondi Tiruvarur“சிரிக்க, சிந்திக்க”

Two ladies met.

“You look worried. What’s up?”

“It’s my son, Raghu. You know he hasn’t been going to school for three months now.”

“Why? What happened? Is he sick or something?”

“This happened three months ago. One evening, he lost his way coming back from school. We were mighty worried. Then my husband thought of it – he sent out a message on WhatsApp along with his photograph. Worked like magic – he was home next day. Someone had read the message, spotted him and brought him home.”

“Wow! Look at the power of social networking! But then tell me…”

“That’s the problem – since then he’s not able to go to school for the same reason. The moment he steps out, someone grabs him and brings him home kicking and screaming…we’ve been unable to stop it- the WhatsApp message is still going around:-(“


PS: A version of it may have appeared earlier in this blog.

Source: Elango Velur Thiruturaipoondi Tiruvarur“சிரிக்க, சிந்திக்க”

Karma Is Not A Bitch, It’s More Like A…


From Naaladiyar inOld Tamil Poetry:

பல் ஆவுள் உய்த்துவிடினும், குழக் கன்று
வல்லது ஆம், தாய் நாடிக் கோடலை; தொல்லைப்
பழவினையும் அன்ன தகைத்தே, தற் செய்த
கிழவனை நாடிக் கொளற்கு.

One cannot escape the consequences of his action. Wherever he hides, his bad karma will catch up with him. Like a calf that is let loose among a herd of cows. Though there is a herd of many cows, the calf will zero in on its mother easily. Likewise bad karma will find and attach itself to the man responsible for it.

TheNāladiyār(Tamil:நாலடியார்) is aTamilpoetic work ofdidacticnature, next only to Thirukkural, composed by Jain monks, belonging to thePatiṉeṇkīḻkaṇakkuanthology ofTamil literature. This belongs to the postSangamperiod corresponding to between 100 – 500 CE.Nāladiyārcontains 400 poems, each containing four lines. Every poem deals with morals and ethics, extolling righteous…

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A Rare Trait!


vide: Elango Velur Thiruturaipoondi  ‎சிரிக்க, சிந்திக்க”




Amidst the many around us that understand us wrong when we speak right,

Google is one that understands right even when we speak wrong!!




If you haven’t read/seen this short story before, it’s worth watching this clip (7+ minutes). It’s in Tamizh, unfortunately, without subtitles. Not to worry – the commentary below should help you follow what’s going on.

After a patchy start the story moves to a man out on some chore chancing on a note stuck to a lamp-post on a busy road.

The note says ‘I’m weak of sight. Have lost a fifty rupee note somewhere here and can’t find it. If you spot it, I would be grateful if you could kindly bring it to this address…’

The man changes his hundred rupee note into two fifties at a shop and heads for the address given.

Winding thru narrow lanes lined with hut-like houses, finally he reaches the address given, beyond all those houses, to find an old lady in thick glasses squatting on the ground outside her shanty, seriously entreating her dog (a stray) to leave her side and go to find some food for himself. She even mentions about some idli’s she has saved for him.

He says he found the note and has come to give it to her. It is like she was expecting him!

After solicitously inquiring why he troubled himself walking all the way over sand and rubble to reach her, she says some twenty to twenty five people had similarly come before him giving her the money when in fact she had not lost any. All because, she learned, someone has posted a note on a post wrongly stating she had lost money. Despite requesting them to tear off the note, no one has yet. What would she do with all that money – she has no use for it. Would he at least oblige her?

She refuses to take the money from him. He forces it on her on the promise he would remove the note.

On his way back, he’s accosted by another man asking for directions to the same address!

What happens thereafter?

Watch this short clip. Visuals are good enough to follow it to its end that takes one by surprise!


Though it suffers from needless fillers included at places, the video succeeds in holding one’s interest till the end. .






Source: FB (Gopalakrishna Sunderrajan, if I recall right)

The Story Of An Embarrassed Elephant

Have you ever seen an elephant embarassed to the pink?

Well, we find a story about one in Kalithogai (an anthology of poems, part of Sangam literature spanning from c. 300 BCE to 300 CE)!! Yes, you read it right, that’s some two thousand years ago.

Here it is:

கொடுவரி தாக்கி வென்ற வருத்தமொடு
நெடு வரை மருங்கின் துஞ்சும் யானை,
நனவில் தான் செய்தது மனத்தது ஆகலின்,
கனவில் கண்டு, கதுமென வெரீஇ,
புதுவதாக மலர்ந்த வேங்கையை
அது என உணர்ந்து, அதன் அணி நலம் முருக்கி,
பேணா முன்பின் தன் சினம் தணிந்து, அம் மரம்
காணும் பொழுதின் நோக்கல் செல்லாது,
நாணி இறைஞ்சும் நல் மலை நல் நாட!

Corbett National Park

Translation (not strictly word by word):

It was a do-or-die fight between the two arch enemies: the elephant and the tiger.

As the vanquished tiger made good its escape,

the elephant rested at a place on the slopes of the high mountain range

and quickly fell asleep, thoroughly exhausted.

The onslaught, however, continued as fiercely as ever, this time in its slumber.

In the process, the freshly blooming vaengai tree (nearby) took a beating of its life.

Finally, fully awake and anger abated, the elephant saw it was not the tiger it had thrashed.

It walked away feeling too embarrassed to look at the poor tree!


I wonder what made the poet think this one up. Did he see an encounter first-hand or hear about it from others? A flight of fanciful imagination poets are given to?  Is it an allegorical riddle wherein he is alluding to some incident and persons? Mocking at his king for some sorry misadventure? Or, merely a piece of subtle humor at the expense of a man returning home late, senselessly drunk, beating his wife and waking up next morning to monumental shame and remorse?

Luckily the intrigue endures till this date, feeding our speculative imagination endlessly. Like, of much more recent vintage, the enigmatic gaze of the lady in Louvre.





Source: Thanks to Bala of Tamizh Amudham (facebook.com/profile.php?id=100024567173978) for his post. Image from Jim Corbett National Park