Kuthu… Chi Chi..

15 Sep

If you don’t know Tamil or have never listened to Tamil Movie Songs, please skip reading the post.

A blog about the Kuthu song “Banaras Pattu” from Praveen prompted me to write this post.

Before proceeding any further, let me be clear..I am not exactly a kuthu fan, but I am also not the one who goes, “Chi..Chi…Kuthu..a? Enna Kandravi” , loosely translated to “Kuthu? A pain in the ears!! ” .

For the novice, Kuthu is supposedly a derivation from folk songs and has become a prominent fixture in almost all the Tamil movies. It was a slow transformation.In the 80s, when Ilayaraja ruled southern Music, no one had heard of Kuthus and the closest one could get was “Chinna Rasave chiterumbu unna kadikudha” in the early 90s.

Then, Rahman happened …and life changed forever. We started tapping our feet to “Saidapeta Ranipeta Petta Rap“. Lot of music directors started sprouting, then the present day Kuthu happened. The first real Kuthu song to catch my attention was “Vaadi Vaadi Naatu Kattai” , to which Neha & Prabhu Deva had danced. I still have that song in my IPOD.

I think the Carnatic Pandits , the Carnatic wanna-be Pundits and the Pundits who are sophisticated and the ones who think they are sophisticated were listening up to this point , with just a slight shake of their head and controlling the urge to tap their feet and dance.

Then the ultimate “Manmadha Rasa” happened and the Pundits started banging their heads. What they did not realize was that they were banging to a beat. The face had a scorn, the head was bleeding but the Public was applauding..

Last year, the mega “Nakku Mukka” became a hit even before the movie got released. The pundits were aghast , started retracting into their shells and blogs, spewing venom at Vijay Anthony, organizing meets to bring sanity back to music.

Whew!! I am so happy that I am not one of the Pundits. I think Kuthu is a genre that dancers will appreciate more than Musicians. There is a beat to most of them as long as you don’t worry about the lyrics. Considering the ever famous “Nakku Mukka“,I wonder how the dancers’ limbs are still intact. The female version…IMO, an amazing range !! I wish my voice could go to that pitch. There are lot more to appreciate in Kuthu songs, if one is broad minded enough.
I can listen to Shankara Bharanam, Roja, Kaminey,Taal,Nakku Mukka,Kurai Ondrum Illai…in that order.

No wonder I was dancing back stage for “Raangi Rangamma” in the recent Tamil Light Music Event I was MCing.. I think Udith Narayan’s voice gives a special touch to it.

In a survey, apparently,mostly the youth wanted to dance to Kuthu songs and people aged 30-40 claim they are forced to watch& dance to kuthu songs .Given a choice they wouldn’t. Wonder what the reason was for the elders, aged 60-70 who enjoyed our show and didn’t leave till the ending of all the kuthu songs..

You might attribute my on-stage dancing last weekend for “Daddy Mummy” from Villu,to the couple of gray hairs that I found while brushing ……

You might attribute my liking of Kuthu songs to Middle age crisis.. or not..


Posted by on September 15, 2009 in General, Songs, Tamil


Tags: , , ,

7 responses to “Kuthu… Chi Chi..

  1. Sri

    September 16, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Everyone who knows me knows where I stand on this issue πŸ™‚

    I go one step ahead and find the lyrics & meaning in these songs…what I found is, leaving one or two aside, most of the kuthu song writers take it as a challenge to fit a good (a very loose & relative term) lyrics in this fast paced music.

    I think, Kuthu songs are looked down not because of the music quality but mainly due to their picturization. Which in most cases are designed to attract front benchers (B & C grade audience) and that obviously excludes A grade/group audience.
    (of course there are few exceptions)

    One thing I must agree…good amount of Kuthu songs bore you out after few listens. Some catchy stays in your ipods or memories for long long time as any other melody songs!

    Odi Odi vilayada, Chiku Chiku are my best picks after hearing their originals. I started liking Aathavan song too..

    • shoba

      September 16, 2009 at 10:00 am

      Yes, I have to agree with you that we tend to forget them easily too, with a few exceptions. There are good and bad Kuthu songs..

  2. Praveen

    September 16, 2009 at 1:24 am

    kuthu songs are a joy to listen to.

    Aye aathorama from Payanangal Mudivathillai and Anaatha Aduraar are my favs frm IR.

    I am glad I inspired a post πŸ˜€

    • shoba

      September 16, 2009 at 10:03 am


      Yes, I decided to write a post instead of leaving a long comment in your blog. πŸ™‚

      U know what, I think the songs that we hear as youngsters stay in our mind forever. One of them is “Ey aatha athorama”. I am sure our parents will have a few from their generation too. Maybe, for them, ” Ennai vittu odi poga mudiyuma” might be the equivalent of “Aathorama”…

      • Praveen

        September 16, 2009 at 10:05 am

        Whoa! you seem be a bigger encyclopaedia of Tamil music than me πŸ˜€

  3. nourishncherish

    September 17, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Kuthu…Kutthu…..the only objection I have to them is the noise level – somehow, these songs vibe when loud, and loud music is well…..

    Nevertheless, kutthu is our version of Bangara, so we should dance to it!

  4. Praveen

    September 17, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    you shud read this


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: