Readers Write In #371: Sippi irukudu: Musings about a Timeless Treasure

Posted on June 5, 2021

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(by S Madhumithaa)

With the number of days where we are finding ourselves locked inside the four walls of our homes never ending, my gratitude for art is exponentially increasing. A couple of days back, I decided to watch the legendary K.B’s Varumayin Niram Sivappu. This time, I found myself unable to get over the magic of “Sippi irukudu muthum irukudhu”.

I think the song is an example of creativity at its best in all possible angles. For the benefit of those of you who are not familiar with the song, this is the situation of the song. Devi (heroine) has developed feelings for Rangan (hero) but is uncertain about his feelings for her. Rangan on the other hand, comes to know of her feelings but he has not expressed it yet. One afternoon, eager to challenge his passion for poetry, she asks him to come up with the lyrics for her tunes. He seizes this opportunity to confess his feelings for her.

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And what we are left with for the next five minutes while she hums and he sings is out of the world! How somebody could come up with something so beautiful blows my mind every single time.

While I admit such “on the spot genius” is far from reality, isn’t that the whole point of art? Can you think of anything else that could transport you to a universe where anything is possible? Just think about the million kinds of proposals we have all watched in movies and read about in books. We have seen everything from the man going down on one knee, shiny rings, red roses to grand gestures of all kinds. But the moment of realization that this song offers is so romantic without any of these things. They don’t even hold hands until much later in the song! Just iconic!

If you think MSV’s composition is brilliant, you would realize so is KB’s picturisation of the song. If you think Janaki has sung it amazingly well, you would realize so has Sridevi made the song her own with her mind blowingly beautiful expressions. If you think SPB has managed to act while singing the song, you would also realize Kamal has managed to sing it while acting. If in the middle of all this, you manage to pay attention to the lyrics, Kannadasan sweeps you over with his lines.

As I said earlier, creativity at its best and it is a truly timeless treasure. As I kept raving in awe of the song that evening, my mother was amazed at how I was reacting to the song in the same way in 2021 as she was back in 1980!!! Need I say anything more about the power of art?

Signing off with nothing but gratitude.