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Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: Bharathi Kannamma – Melodious Lovely Feeling

Ninaithale Inikkum 1979 Tamil Movie Kamal Haasan Rajinikanth Jaya Prada K. Balachander

Released in 1979, the Tamil movie Ninaithale Inikkum directed by K. Balachander (1930 – 2014) was a true gem of its time. Starring the legendary actors Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Jaya Prada, and Geetha, the film left an indelible mark on the hearts of Tamil cinema lovers. Image source: Saregama

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Movie Background

Ninaithale Inikkum (1979) is a Tamil romantic comedy film directed by K. Balachander and starring Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Jaya Prada and Geetha. The film was also made in Telugu as Andamaina Anubhavam. The story, written by Sujatha, revolves around a music troupe who travels to Singapore for a performance and how their lives change when they meet their love partners. The film was shot mostly in Singapore and features many songs composed by M.S. Viswanathan.

The film follows Chandru (Kamal Haasan), a singer and his band on a tour to Singapore. Over there, Chandru meets Sona (Jaya Prada), the daughter of a Singapore businessman who has lost her money and valuables during her visit to India. Sona pretends to be a fan of Chandru and keeps a diamond inside his guitar as part of a smuggling job. However, she falls in love with Chandru and hesitates to reveal her true identity and her terminal illness due to blood cancer.

Meanwhile, Deepak (Rajinikanth), another member of the band, receives a tape containing a love message from Kamini (Jayasudha), a mysterious fan who does not reveal her identity. Deepak tries to find her and eventually learns that she is mentally unstable and often sends these messages to celebrities. The film ends on a tragic note with Sona’s death and Chandru’s decision to remain a widower.

Music Video

One of the highlights of this movie was the soul-stirring song, “Bharathi Kannamma,” sung by the iconic duo S. P. Balasubramaniam (1946 – 2020) and Vani Jairam. The song sequence in the movie showcases the scenic beauty of Singapore, where most of the filming took place.

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The song was composed by the maestro MS Viswanathan (1928 – 2015) and written by the genius Kannadasan. This song is a timeless masterpiece that transports us to a different era of music and poetry.

The song is a tribute to the great Tamil poet Subramanya Bharathi (1882 – 1921) who is revered as a national hero and a cultural icon. The song expresses the admiration and affection that the singer has for Bharathi, as well as the longing to meet him and learn from him. The song also reflects the influence that Bharathi’s poems have had on Tamil society and literature.

Subramania bharati poet Kannadasan Tamil

Subramania Bharati also known as Bharathiyar (his iconic image above) was a Tamil writer, poet, journalist, Indian independence activist, social reformer and polyglot and was born in a village in Tamil Nadu. He is considered the pioneer of modern Tamil poetry and is considered one of the greatest Tamil literary figures of all time, writing many fiery songs and poems that kindled the spirit of nationalism among the masses. Image source: The Wire


The song begins with the gentle strumming of the guitar, creating an enchanting ambience that instantly captivates the listener. The soothing melody of the violin soon joins in, adding layers of emotion to the composition.

S. P. Balasubramaniam’s velvety voice effortlessly carries the essence of the song infusing it with a sense of longing and nostalgia. His impeccable rendition of the lyrics combined with Vani Jairam’s mellifluous backing vocals creates a harmonious blend that leaves a lasting impact.

As the song progresses, the melody takes on a life of its own, effortlessly carrying the listener through a rollercoaster of emotions. The interplay between the vocals, the violin, and the guitar creates a symphony that resonates deep within the soul.

SP Balasubrahmanyam SP Bala 1980s Illayarajaa Sivaji Ganesan Tamil

SPB (sitting on the left) has been singing since the 1960s and has sung for all the lead heroes of the cinema (including the late MGR) and here he is seen with another legend, the late Nadigan Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan. Image source: Times of India

Meaningful Lyrics

The lyrics, written by Kaviarasu Kannadasan, are a marvel of poetic expression. Each word is meticulously crafted, telling a story of love, dedication, and desire. The song showcases Kannadasan’s mastery of language and imagery as well as his deep respect for Bharathi and his legacy.

Bharathi kannammaa (Bharathi’s daughter)
Neeyadi chinnammaa (You are my little mother)
Keladi ponnammaa (Listen to me, my golden mother)
Adhisaya malar mugam (Your face is a wonder flower)
Dhinasari pala ragam (You attract many people every day)
Adhisaya malar mugam (Your face is a wonder flower)
Dhinasari pala ragam (You attract many people every day)
Aayinum ennammaa (But still, my mother)
Thaen mozhi sollammaa (You speak sweet words, my mother)
Bharathi kannammaa (Bharathi Kannamma)
Neeyadi chinnammaa (You are my little mother)

(SP Bala)

Bharathi kannaiyaa (Bharathi’s son)
Neeyae chinnaiyaa (You are still a small boy)
Kellidhai ponnaiyaa (Listen to this, my smart boy)
Adhisaya malar mugam (Your face is a wonder flower)
Dhinasari pala ragam (You attract many people every day)
Adhisaya malar mugam (Your face is a wonder flower)
Dhinasari pala ragam (You attract many people every day)
Aayinum ennaiyaa aayiram sollaiyaa (Yet, what is it, my man? Say a thousand words, my man)
Aayinum ennaiyaa aayiram sollaiyaa (Yet, what is it, my man? Say a thousand words, my man)

(Vani Jairam)

The poet Kannadasan displays his mastery of language in this verse, where he uses words that rhyme at the end of each line. He creates a musical effect with his choice of words and also conveys a deep meaning with his poetic expression.

Final Say

Whether you are a fan of Tamil cinema or simply appreciate good music, “Bharathi Kannamma” is a song that deserves a place in your playlist. Its enchanting melody, heartfelt lyrics, and soulful rendition make it a true masterpiece that continues to mesmerize listeners even after four decades.

One cannot help but be transported to a different era while listening to “Bharathi Kannamma.” The song encapsulates the essence of the 1970s, a time when Tamil cinema was going through a renaissance. It serves as a reminder of the golden age of Tamil cinema, where music played a pivotal role in storytelling.

Decades later, “Bharathi Kannamma” continues to hold a special place in the hearts of music enthusiasts. Its timeless melody and profound lyrics have ensured its longevity, making it a classic that transcends generations. The song serves as a testament to the immense talent of the artists involved and their dedication to creating music that stands the test of time.

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