Tamil film song lyrics bordering on the obscene ? by Girija Jinnaa SignUp
Tamil film song lyrics bordering on the obscene ?
Girija Jinnaa Bookmark and Share

We are all aware that cinema sells dreams, especially love scenes depicted in movies, which are dreams only since they never happen in real life. It is a kind of fantasy, more so for women, because all the love scenes that we see in films have men showering too much love, care, attention, and devotion on the woman they love, and they say dreamy lines like "you are the only woman in my life and I will lay my life for you."

Of course, Indian movies are especially noted for their love songs, which are generally very popular among youngsters, partly for their music and sometimes for their lyrics, which again sell a kind of dream.

I have been closely following Hindi and Tamil language film songs since the 60s. The two languages I know so well that I cannot make a mistake in understanding what the lines actually mean. That’s when I realized, I think very late in my life, that Tamil lyricists in their expression of love have always concentrated on the objectification of women and that had led to most of the lines being bawdy. When I look back, as a teenager, I was singing those songs (I am a bad singer, that’s different) which today when I look back, I feel thoroughly embarrassed.

Hindi lyrics They seem to focus solely on the relationship aspect; for them, dil ka rishta has always been more important than physical contact, whereas Tamil lyricists have always focused on, or should I say solely on the need for physical relationship when there is love.Those were the days when most Hindi films were remade in Tamil and vice versa, and even then, the songs had entirely different content.

For example, in the song in Jhonny Mera Naam Pal Bhar ke Liye Koi Hamen Pyar Kar Le, the Tamil equivalent is kalyana ponnu kadaipakkam pona kannale parthu rasichathu nana kadhal bodhai ootum pavai needhane, which would loosely mean the heroine is intoxicating the hero. There are a number of examples like that, especially in the evergreen hit numbers of the two giants of the Tamil screen, MGR and Sivaji Ganesan, where there are constant references to "mangani", which straightway means only a woman’s breasts, and almost all the songs have reference to this mangani, and actually, no love song is complete without this word mangani, and similarly, kinnam, which again refers to objectifying a woman.

We do have a few songs that do talk about love, but even in them there will be at least a single line that refers to a physical relationship, which forces us to think that these lyricists all wanted to convey only one thought: love means physical relationship, and to them that is the only relationship between a man and a woman. They never talk about their hearts, emotions, or feelings.

Chand, Chandini, rishta, dil, jigar, dhadkan, pyar, mohabath, chain, bechain, karar, are all frequently used words in expressing love in Hindi , but in Tamil it is always uravu, which actually means relationship, but the context in which they place the word gives a connotative meaning of only a physical relationship. And there are words like sukam (pleasure), sorgam (heavenly), asai (desire), palli arai (bedroom), which have all been used with connotative meaning and now we are embarrassed to use those words in our common conversation also. It is not that I am being prudish or being judgmental, but it is just that the words have lost their original charm and meaning because of constant "misuse" in different "sexual contexts".

Ironically a Hindi song choli ke peeche kya hai the Tamil magazines created a big ruckus about it translating the lines for their readers but they failed to see their own lyrics.

Apart from that, in Hindi, the favorite concept is love. The man loves the woman unconditionally. In Rab ne bana di Jodi, we find the great romantic hero SRK falling in love with Anushka but never expecting anything in return. Tunme na kuch bola, na kuch tola, na kuch poocha , na kuch manga jo kiya dil se kiya , jo diya dil se diya (you never said anything, never judged me, never questioned, never asked anything from me whatever you did it from your heart whatever you gave you gave it wholeheartedly) but this concept I have never seen in Tamil movies.

I have seen Tamil films where the hero applies enormous pressure on the heroine to accept his love just because he has fallen in love with her. She is not given the choice to reject his love or love someone else. Ironically, all of these films have become big box office hits. They all depict only the feudalistic mentality of the hero. Even popular stars like Vijay, or Ajith, or Surya are not shown as giving unconditional love (Vijay was shown in this type of character in two films, Shahjahan and Poove Unagaka, but later on, even he dropped it). Actually, Vijay had in Pokkiri a very vulgar song called "dol dol" and it was full of double entendre, or if I could say, it was straight referring only to physical proximity and the desire for a physical relationship.

Again, the way the love scenes are pictured is also sometimes slightly raw – MGR was a darling of women of the lower strata of society and villages, but he, as an actor, was totally uncomfortable in love scenes, and his discomfiture could very well be seen, and Sivaji Ganesan crossed all limits of decency and would rub his face against his heroine’s body all over, which could make any woman in the audience squirm in her seat.

Now that Hindi has moved on to independent albums and the song albums that are released in Hindi, we find that the heroine wears a revealing costume, but the lyrics are not bawdy like in Tamil. Even now, they sing about the same dil ka karaar aya only and it has again something to do with giving respect to a woman’s feelings.

The present-day Tamil songs, of course, do not deal with sex. But they don’t have the lyrical content either. Lyrics as a literary form mean the evolution of a single thought or idea, but these present day lyrics have no idea at all. Only then can it be evolved. But those songs seem to be popular with youngsters because they have no other choice before them as this is the only thing that is served to them.

Some may think I am a hater of the Tamil language. No, I do not hate any language and it is just that the people who were writing and their thought processes that make or mar the impact the language and the choice of words have on you slightly disturbs me as a woman. 

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More by :  Girija Jinnaa
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Comment Write on explicit ones pls

01/07/2022 22:51 PM

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