View Full Version : 3. KETTELE ANGEY

21st November 2004, 01:20 PM
KETTELE ANGEY –first controversy song
Talking of Badrakali, one’s mind is sure to capture the all time famous hit "Kannan Oru kai Kuzhanthai." Much has been discussed and reported of that song. However, I would like to bring to the fore a song that stirred so much controversy in Tamilnadu, of course for no fault of Ilayaraja. The song itself and the MD have no involvement in this controversy. The only reason I am quoting this song “in passing” is because this was the first of Ilayaraja’s songs to have faced an unprecedented tempest in his career, all because of the picturisation. But the controversies that Raja directly in music are to follow soon.

Maharishi’s novel was adapted as Badrakali, in which Ilayaraja composed music.

The songs of Badrakali are:

1. Aanantha Bairavi by MR Vijaya
2. Kettele Angey by P. Suseela
3. Kannan oru kai Kuzhanthai by KJ Jesudass and P. Suseela
4. Odukiraal Urugugiraal by Seergazhi Gvovindarajan
5. Ottha Ruba Unakku Taharen by S. Janaki and Malaysia Vasudevan

The song that I have selected for discussion is Kettele Angey. Even while the movie was in the making, there was already an air of excitement, mainly following the unexpected and untimely passing of the heroine Rani Chandra. The film had then to be carefully completed, using another female actress. However, as soon as the film was released, it drew new opposition from the Brahmin community. In the story the hero wanted to go for a disco dance. The wife, having read the intention of the husband decides to perform the record dance at home to entertain the husband. Unfortunately she was wearing the graceful madisaru pudavai often used in the Brahmin community. The Brahmin community took offence to a Brahmin girl performing record dance wearing the madisaru pudavai. This controversy itself gave undue publicity for the movie and many rushed to the theatre. The controversy workled in favour of the movie. I remember seeing the movie at the Diamond Talkies at Pondy Bazar area (today it is no more there). The song was well written by Vali, following his great success in Aduthathu Ambujathai Paathela song in Ethirneechal.

Kettele Angey is very beautifully set to folk tune, in which Raja simply excelled.

Kettele Ange
Adhai Parthela Inge
Ethaiyo Nenechel Athaiye Nenachen -Naan
Ambalaiyaan manusu Pole nadappen
Intha Aathukkari Verethukku Irukken?
Vangonnaa! Ada Vangonna!

Madisaru Pudavaikku Illatha Azhaga?
Veraaru Yennattam Nadai Pottu Varuvaa?
Theriyathannaa Puriyathanaa
Vayasillaiya Nekkum?
Vasiyam Pannatuma?

Tanjavoor kadamapathai Mozham pottu Vangi
Thalaimele vaVachundu Ninneene Engi
Manakkalaiyo mayakkalaiyio
Kothikalaiyo Udambu
Pakka nanillaiyo?
Vangonna Ada Vangonna

Pollathe Aasaikku Yenintha Alaichal?
Kallattam Irukene Nekkena Kuaichal?
Mookirukku Muzhi Irukku Aazhakillaiyo Nekku
Aadi Kattattuma?
Vangonna Ada Vangonna

This was the Fourth Film for Ilayaraja that ran for 175 days. It turned out to be another feather in his cap.

When I went for tea in Seergazhi Govindarajan, I enquired him on the song that he had sung in Badrakali- Odugiraal,Urugugiraal. Seergazhiyar told me that the song was of average score and that Ilayaraja was still at infant stage. But he believed then, that Ilayaraja still had a long way to go before he could prove himself. True enough, very soon, Ilayaraja scaled new heights in the world of Tamil film music.

In my discussion with PB Sreenivas, he told me that Ilayaraja had some unique capabilities, yet to be well understood by any average listener.

I conversed with these two immediately after the success of Badrakali.

To cut the story short, the song that I had cited is just the beginning of many other direct controversies yet to be created by Raja. “Narathar Sandai Nallathil Mudiyum” So were the meaningful controversies created by Ilayaraja in the later years.

Over to the fans for further comments and details.

21st November 2004, 01:20 PM
Dear Mani, as usual a great write up and recap of golden yesteryears. Though "kannan oru kai kuzhandhai" is still my personal favourite, "kettele ange" cannot be dismissed that lightly. It revived the dappanguthu after quite a long lull period after the "elandhapazham" craze. I was under the impression for a long time that Bhadrakali was by MSV.

21st November 2004, 01:20 PM
Badrakali -

It should be remembered for many things..

This was the first movie where Vaali & IR came together.

This was directed by A.C.Thirulokachander and a commandable performance by Rani chandra.

Most of the early compositions of IR were great and the best example is Kannan oru kai kuzhandai.

Coming to Kettele Ange though it is of dappanguthu style it was nicely tuned by IR and sung beautifully by PS and apt lyrics by Vaali. Even a slight addition of dirty words would have made the song vulgar.

Gangai Amaran hails this song in all his interviews for PS’s rendition, Vaali’s lyrics and IR’s tune.

A great Song

21st November 2004, 01:20 PM
Manisekaran, wasnt "KaNNan oru kaikuzhandhai" inspired from a folk song as well? I remember GA or someone mentioning it long time back.

In addition to your interesting anecdotes, I would request you to add more comments/assessments from celebrities like that of Seergazhi, PBS etc. on IR during the various stages.

21st November 2004, 01:20 PM
Dear Keerthanarambam, Raj and Vijay

Thanks for your enthusiastic inputs. Raja and his brothers had performed, reportedly twenty thousand shows all over the southern provinces, befor Raja entered the cine field. many of his early songs were very much influenced by folk tunes and songs. I shall list them as the thread unfolds.

About comments from other MDs and celebrities, yes, some were sincere in appreciating Raja, while others were shrouded in garment of jealousy. I may want to leave out some of those negative comments. However, let me see how I can subtly bring them into our future discussions.

21st November 2004, 01:20 PM

For someone to put up 20 000 shows, they must be performing on a daily basis for about 54 years nonstop!!!!!

Could the figure be more reasonably around 2000 instead. A typo maybe????

21st November 2004, 01:20 PM
Dear Cynical
I concur with your guess. I took the information from two sources, mentioning the same figure.