Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: Mesmerising Aattu Kutti by Ilaiyaraaja 1977

Aattu Kutti 16 Vayathinile Tamil Song Kamal Haasan Sri Devi

16 Vayathinile (translated as At Age 16) is a 1977 Tamil movie written and directed by Bharathirajaa in his directorial debut.

The movie included a number of big and new stars namely Kamal Haasan as retarded Chappani, Sridevi as Mayil and Rajinikanth (his famous line – ithu eppendi irruku) who often with his man, the funny Goundamani. K. Bhagyaraj worked in this movie as an assistant director to Bharathirajaa. Image source: Twitter

Read These First:-

An interesting anecdote about casting Kamal Haasan for the movie:-

Bharathiraja wanted Lakshmanan to sign Kamal Haasan for the role of Chappani, expecting to pay Haasan ₹15,000 since the actor had received ₹17,000 for Aayirathil Oruthi (1975).

When Haasan asked for ₹30,000, Lakshmanan (the assistant director) suggested that Bharathiraja offer the role to Sivakumar since the production unit could not afford Haasan’s request; however, Bharathiraja saw Haasan as the ideal choice and agreed to pay him ₹27,000.

For his character, the actor grew his curly hair long and wore lungis and khadi high-buttoned shirts.

In 2017, Haasan recalled, “Years ago, a man sporting a soiled dhoti and shirt came to my office to narrate a script. Had I turned the offer down on the basis of his dirty clothes, I wouldn’t have been here talking to you.

After listening to the script, I realised that he was such a genius and the movie was the cult classic [16 Vayathinile], and he was none other than ace Bharathiraja sir”.

Bharathiraja also recalled that he showed a “handsome Kamal Haasan in an ugly way” as he wanted to prove that characters need not always be attractive, and to break this stereotype in the film industry.

(Source)

The soundtrack and the songs were composed by Maestro Illayaraaja with 5 memorable songs (which included the title song sung by himself). The more famous one is Chendoora Poove sung by P. Janaki and lyrics written by none other, Gangai Amaran. P. Janaki won the National Film Award in 1978 for Best Female Playback Singer for this song.

No, we going to talking about the other song titled “Aattu Kutti” sung by Malaysian Vasudevan and S. Janaki. Interestingly Ilaiyaraaja had arranged SPB to sing the male’s portion of the 2 songs in the album and even reminded SPB to take care as there is a recording scheduled the next morning. However the next morning, SPB called with a sore throat causing Ilaiyaraaja to scramble to get Malaysian Vasudevan to sing the songs instead and the rest is history.

This is the original music video from the movie where it takes places just after Mayil’s mother dies and the doctor who she thought loved her suddenly leaves her – she then falls into a high fever and was cared for by Chappani. After she recovers, she understands that she needs to be brave and be friendlier to Chappani. She however still sad and does not laugh causing Chappani to start singing to make her laugh.

Of many things to look out for is the lyrics by the great poet, Kannadasan and as always, it is a great lyric, evident of his creativity and his pure geniuses.

Aattu kutti muttaiyittu kozhikutti vandhadhinnu
Yaanakkunju solla kettu poonakkunju sonnadhundu
Kathayilla saami ipo kaanudhu bhoomi
Idhu mattum thana innum irukkudhu saami

Translate: A goat laid an egg and a chick hatched. This is a story told by a cat after listening to it from an elephant. But then this is not a fictional story but reality. Wait, this is not the only thing and there is more I will tell.

Koothu meda raasavukku….. ye….ye….
Koothu meda raasavukku noothirendu pondattiyaam
Noothirendu pondattiyum vaathu mutta potadhuvaam
Pattathu raani adhula padhinettu peru
Padhinettu perkkum vayasu iruvathi aaru
Motham iruvathi aaru

Translate: The king in a drama had 102 wives who each laid a goat’s egg of which 18 of them were crown princess aged 26 years old. Yes, all of them aged 26 years old.

Chinna kuttigalin mel aanai
Indha sattigalin mel aanai
Idhu valluvanin yettil undu
Parambarai paattil undu
Kadhaiyilla magaraasi

Translate: I swear on the young ones and on the new clay pots. This is the same story that is mentioned in Valluvar’s historical books (Valluvar is an ancient Tamil poet) thus it is not fiction.

Aattu kutti muttaiyittu kozhikutti vandhadhinnu
Yaanakkunju solla kettu poonakkunju sonnadhundu
Kathayilla saami ipo kaanudhu bhoomi
Idhu mattum thana innum irukkudhu saami

Translate: A goat laid an egg and a chick hatched. This is a story told by a cat after listening to it from an elephant. But then this is not a fictional story but reality. Wait, this is not the only thing and there is more I will tell.

Kaakkayilla seemaiyile kaatteruma meikkiayile
Paateduthu paadiputtu oottamitta chinna ponnu
Sandhaikku pona naanum saatchikku varavaa
Sammandham panna unakku sammadham thanaa
Kaakkayilla seemaiyile…..

Translate: In the morning, in the town, as she was herding a wild bull, the young girl who had started to sing had run away to the market. I can testify to this. So do you agree to this relationship?

Female : yee…. Ye…..yi
Kaakkayilla cheemaiyile kaatteruma meikaiyile
Kaakkavachu neram paathu paakku vecha aasa machan
Sandhaikki poren neenga saatchikku vaanga
Sammandham panna enakku sammadham thanga

Translate: (Female’s voice) In the morning, in the town, as I was herding a wild bull, my loved one made me wait and yearn for him. I will come to the market as you have testified. I agree with this relationship.

Ada indha pakkam paarungalen
En kannimozhi kelungalen
Adi yendi inga vandhu ninnu kekkuriye kekkuriye
Pazhaya nenappuda peraandi pazhaya nenappuda
Hmmm…. pazhaya nenappuda peraandi pazhaya nenappuda

Translate: (Female’s voice) Look over here, look at my youthful language (an old lady appears). You may ask me why this entire act? It is just an old memory of the past, my grandson. Old memories. (By now, Mayil have started to smile)

Male : Kittappavin paatta ketten sinnppaava nerula paarthen
Kotta kotta varugudhamma sangeethama perugudhamma
Medaikku ponaa enakku eedula ponnu
Paadinaaninna naanum noothula onnu
En thiramaya kaattattuma rendu sangadhiya podattuma

Translate: I have heard of Kitappa’s songs (Kitappa waa a classical singer in the 1920s) and met Chinnapa (who was a famous actor in the 1930s) in person. As I keep talking, my words keep coming and end up as a song. I am sure if I end up on the musical stage, there is no one to match me as my song will be one in a hundred. I have shown my talent, so can I now give you some singing challenge (to reply to my song)?

Thatha thatharina thatharina thatharina thatharina
Thatharina thatharina thatharina thatharina
Thatharina thatharina thatharina thatharina….aahaa…aahaa….

At this point, Chappani’s challenge is answered by a donkey which makes Mayil laugh achieving what Chappani wanted to do in the first place.

Please Leave Your Thoughts on the Post

%d bloggers like this: