“Thandhai Yaaro Thaaiyum” – Yaar Paiyan (1957) – Tamil Feature Film

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Faded Into Oblivion Series by Vicky Iyengar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Thandhai Yaaro Thaaiyum (தந்தை யாரோ தாயும்) – Yaar Paiyan (“யார் பையன்”  1957) – Screenplay: C V Sridhar (சி வி ஸ்ரீதர் ) – Lyrics: Marudhakasi (மருதகாசி) – Voice/குரல்: P Susheela (பி சுஷீலா ) – Composer: Susarla Dakshinamurthy (சுசார்ல தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி)-Direction: T R Raghunath (டீ ஆர் ரகுநாத் )

P Susheela Displays her Formidable Vocals With Sweet Sadness!

Adapted from a celebrated Bengali short story “Sekelar” authored by Sriyuktha Jyothirmaye Roy, Yaar Paiyan? is a 1957 Tamil-language Indian film directed by the renowned T. R. Raghunath. C.V. Sridhar (who later went on to direct nearly 60 films in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu) wrote a riveting screenplay that catapulted the the film to its box-office success. The film stars Gemini Ganesan, K. Savitri and Daisy Irani in the lead roles, while N. S. Krishnan, T. A. Mathuram, K. Sarangkapani, T. R. Ramachandran, Surabhi Balasaraswathi, Vidyavathi, M.K. Musthafa, C.S. Pandyan, C.P. Kittan, Sethupathi, P.S. Gnanam, Indra Acharya, M.S. Jaya, Mariappan, Sankaramurthi, D. Indra, Chittoor V. Nagaiah and V. K. Ramasamy play supporting roles. In 1968, the film was remade in Malayalam as “Bhagyamudra” (starring Prem Nazir, K R Vijaya & Sukumari).

Poori (Daisy Irani) is the illegitimate child of a soldier (Mustafa) and the abandoned mother commits suicide, leaving the child behind. In a futile attempt to locate his parents Poori spots Sundararajan (Gemini Ganesan) seated in a park bench, befriends  and proclaims him as his father, creating a quagmire in Sundararajan’s life and ruins his plans of marrying his fiance Latha (Savithri). After many gripping twists and turns, Sundararajan  and Latha finally decided to adopt Poori. The musical score was composed by Susarla Dakshinamurthi and lyrics were written by Poet Marudhakasi.

Lyrics: Poet Marudhakasi

தந்தை யாரோ?
தந்தை யாரோ
தாயும் யாரோ
நீயும் எந்த ஊரோ
ஜாலக்கார தூங்கடா
ஆராரோ நான் யாரோ நீ யாரோ
தந்தை யாரோ
தாயும் யாரோ
நீயும் எந்த ஊரோ
மனம் புரிந்து அரசுவேம்பும்
நான் வலம் வராத போதிலும்
மழலையாக வீடு தேடி வந்ததென்ன விந்தையோ
மாலை சூடி லாலி பாடி ஓ
மனைவியாக கொள்ளும் முன்னே
ஏழு வயசு பிள்ளையாக எனக்கு தந்தார் உன்னை
வாலை சும்மா சுருட்டி கொண்டு
தூங்கடா நீ தூங்கு
வம்பு செய்தால் உந்தன் கன்னம் எந்தன் கையால் வீங்கும்
தந்தை யாரோ
தாயும் யாரோ
நீயும் எந்த ஊரோ

Though technically not a lullaby, it could still be classified as one. Pictured on Mahanati Savithri & Daisy Irani, P Susheela begins (vocal display of just the right emotions)  with Poet Marudhakasi’s memorably ironic line “thandhai yaaro”, a brilliant lift off. Mahanati Savithri looked graceful and charmimg, as a most sought after actress in the 50s and 60s b/w era, as she apportions the on screen performance (phenomenal articulation) matching Susheela’s beauteous berceuse. Poet Marudhakasi (knows how to tell a story well and depth to songwriting) had a long and successful career spanning two decades. The song’s lyrics describe the pain felt by the singer as she continues to love the person (Daisy Irani) to whom she sings has such mainstream appeal.

As the song advances and the lyrical phrases shifts in slow tempo, Susheela brings home imperceptibly the poignancy and empathy, the situation demands – “mazhalaiyaaga veedi thedi vandhadhenna vindhayo” through her mellifluous rendering – a voice nonpareil! Composer Susarla’s effective use of multistringed chordophone & her compelling interpretation (where the feelings are melancholy, yet hopeful) – “maali soodi laali paadi manaiviyaaga kollum munne” – every complicated emotion (passion & heartache) is amplified by the quiver in Susheela’s technically formidable voice with a sweet sadness. The lullaby masked whatever passion or heartache lay within the lyrics because of Susheela’s savvy vocal delivery.

Considered as one of her Top 25, this song  undeniably has become a permanent fixture of the 50s era soundscape.


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