Tamil Cinema’s Most Vulgar Song

Lewd. Offensive. Salacious.

How else can I describe the song from the recent film Thirunaal? A movie which I happened to watch it because I, sometimes, love torturing myself in the most brutal way possible. I wanted to simply write it off as “thirunaal- en vazhakaiye veruthu oru naal” ( A day which I regretted the most) However, what shocked me, was this ‘Thittathe’ song from the yawn-inducing movie which has all capacity to make your IQ level go down the drain.

The context of the song- A woman. A woman dressed in an attire which was quite obvious that she appeared in that scene, all ready for an item number. She alighted from the autorickshaw, walked towards a group of rowdies. She sat beside them, wiped off her perspiration on her forehead with the saree pallu. One of the senior rowdies asked in the most condescending manner, “ai! do you want beer?”

She, “not in the mood.”

He, “ cigarette?”

she, “not in the mood.”

And just because of that, he got pissed off and commanded her, “Hey atleast sing a song, thevudiya!”

*thevidya- prostitute. 

And she got up enthusiastically, started singing, beaming with delight about how she should be scolded instead of ‘thevudiya’ and the end verse has been penned this way:

Vaadiyanum(a term used to address a lady in a rude manner)
 Podiyanum(a term used to address a lady in a rude manner
Kediyunum (cunning
Makkunum (brainless) 
Kiriki Inum Araki(demon) 
Inum Thittu
Vaadiyanum Podiyanum Kediyunum Thittu
Makku Inum Kiriki Inum Araki Inum Thittu
Ellam Ṣọlli Thittu Eppadi Vena Thittu (Reprimand me in any way you want)
Ellam Ṣọlli Thittu Eppadi Vena Thittu
Muttalunum (stupid) 
Mandu (moron) 
Inum Thittu
Niruthi Kọnjam Nithanachi Ṣiriki Inum Thittu (Pause, think of a better word, why not call me bitch?)
Ippadi Ellam Azhagu Vartha Iruka Iruka (Look, there are so many other beautiful words to address me)
Ena Ippadi yEnda Thitti Puta Manaṣu Valika Ṣuruka (Why did you call me prostitute then?)

Previously, we had songs sung by the heroes or the comedians degrading women to dictate what a woman should wear, eat, say and do constantly. It was demeaning and offensive enough to have created many controversies and have kept women in an unsafe environment. But here, when the woman herself is singing and inviting men to objectify her, this is completely dehumanizing on many levels.

A recent United Nations sponsored study conducted by a leading California-based journalism school, Indian films topped the chart in sexualised portrayal of women onscreen. The study also states that 35% of female characters in Indian movies are shown with some nudity, the study reports. That's not all. This isn't the first time stereotyping and sexualisation of women in Indian cinema have been talked about; however, the fact that it has ranked so high on an international survey has come as a surprise. It’s a topic that’s consistently been debated, and we’re left wondering why there continues to be an abundance of over-sexualized, sexist and misogynistic portrayals in tamil cinema.

Where did all this start?

Erotic Tamil Literature. Sex, love-making, describing women’s body parts are explicitly been stated in many of the Tamil literature books.

In Silapathigaram, Kovalan has moved around with Madhavi for quite a while. They are on the shores of the beach, singing for each other . Here Kovalan sings some songs for Madhavi and she plays the harp. Koval is in mood and sings erotic songs. He literally makes suggestion “why are we wasting time? It is plain boring here and lets go have sex (Because in the next chapter he gets bored with Madhavi and leaves her!). Kovalan sings lot of songs which are erotic and sometimes indecent too.


Your Elders do their fishing in the sea ,
and live by killing blameless creatures there.
You do your fishing in my heart,
and live by causing me to die.
Oh pray ,be careful not to break
your waist,too frail to bear the weight
of young breast growing opulent !
Your father kills the buoyant fish
caught in the ambush of his net.
But you delight to kill all living things
caught by your lovely eyes’ most deadly snare.
Oh pray, be careful not to break
your waist, thinner than thunderbolts,
for it may yield beneath its load
of heavy breasts and strings of pearls!
Your brothers in their swift canoe
go hunting creatures that have done no harm.
But you kill with the arched bow of your brows;
your fame increases with the grief you cause.
Oh pray, protect the slimness of your waist,
that’s growing strong beneath the burden of your breast.

So, imagine a poet who have read many of these Tamil literature books becomes a Tamil song lyricist and we get songs like

Aa Tøuch'chu Tøuch'chu Tøuch'chu Tøuch'chu
Ènna Tøuch Me..
Oah Kichu Kichu Kichu Kichu Ènna Kichu Me..
7 Maniku Maela Naanum Inbha Lachumi
-    -Stylu Stylu thaan From Baasha. Penned by Vairamuthu

Many composers are very particular about using dummy words or words to attract kids because a song’s popularity attains its peak when kids start mimicking them. And “touch-u touch-u, kich-u kich-u” sound very much like a kindergarten rhyme and then it ends off with the woman singing, “I become your fantasy after 7pm.”

Woah. Woah. Where did that come from?

Objectification of women is rampant in many movies whether it's "eyepopping skin show" or innuendo-laden lyrics, which are all about female sexuality, the references are overwhelming. The objectification and sexualisation aren’t restricted to clothes alone. The manner in which a female character is addressed in some of the dialogues and songs clearly suggest references to her sexuality and how the man is going to exploit it. It's akin to raping a woman with words.

Another Song:
Yen Iduppu Orama Irukuthaiya Kaarama
 (there is something spicy near my hip)

Kandu Neeyum Pudichitta Èduthakkaiya Thaaralama
(if you can find it, take as much as you want)

- Kalyanam thaan From Saamy. Penned by Snehan

Another Song: 

Ini kurayuttum thiruvilaku. (Let the flame flicker)
Ni idam chutti porul villaku (Spot my parts and explain it to me)

-         - Mayya Mayya From Guru. Penned by Vairamuthu.

I need not state the obvious similarity between the 2 different songs. We had such songs all this while. So what is worrying now? Why this concern now? In those times, we had one such song in a film. And one such film was released among 50 other films. Now, we have 50 such songs being released in less than 10 films. Therefore, the impact is severe. More devastating than what we could ever imagine, considering the latest incidents against young women. We all know the crucial role tamil films and songs have played in these violent incidents. If tamil cinema isn’t an influence on the impressionable teenagers, how would you explain the strong objections against Rajinikanth’s cigarette-smoking style in films? Why did Ministers have to interfere, beg, plead and request him to stop smoking in films?

Such is the impact of Tamil cinema on people. When they see it, they follow it. Absolutely blindly.
Lyricist Vairamuthu himself, in an interview, mentioned that there is a difference between vulgarity and sensuality.

Definitely, there should be and there was a thin line between these 2 concepts.

Another song: 

Maanga Maanga Rendu Maanga (2 mangoes)
Market-ku pogatha kundu maanga (The huge mango that has not gone to the market)
-     -Maanga From the film, Prathap

Penne Unathu Mellidai Paarten (Lady, I saw your slender hips)
Adadaa Brahman Kanjanadi (Oh God, He is a miser)
Satrae Nimirndaen Thalai Sutri Ponen (I raised my head, I was stunned)
Aahaa Avane Vallaladi. (Oh my god, He isn’t actually one)

-Anbe Anbe From the film Jeans.

Both songs are referring to women’s breasts. One is vulgarity. The other isn’t.  Ironically, both are written by Vairamuthu. But why was this thin line blurred, sir? What was the need for someone to describe a woman in vulgar terms? It was a matter of choice. You chose it to be that way and it ended up in that way you portrayed it to be. The thin line, that should have been well-guarded, is gone. The song became a hit!

Now every tom dick harry dhanush simbu gv Prakash are composing songs in the way they want it. And all these songs have all kinds of garbage in them. Sighs.

I have become emotionally tired of asking this question myriad times- Shouldn't cinema be a medium to bring a change in our society rather than keep re-instilling derogatory and regressive values prevalent since the dark ages?

 So how have such garbage-songs affected me?

No. absolutely not a bit. Because I have sense. I know this is filth. I ignore them. I don’t endorse them. I don’t go around looking at half-naked men at the swimming pool or something, humming “arjuna arjuna” song (a song in which sarathkumar appears shirtless for a good 30 seconds of the song) That will never happen.

And I hope, man with sense, possibly the very few gentlemen existing on earth would continue to stay against such atrocities found in Tamil cinema and songs. 


  1. I just listened to the thirunaal song. The song merely says - Humans are prone to get angry; during heated conversations there are so many words other than prostitute that may be used. But, even under he worst circumstances do not use the "prostitute" word.

    And as for the jeans song; he'd described the body without using so called vulgar words. I would like to know why you would think that it's derogatory .


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