Confessions of a Gujarat-bred Tamilian

Me and Tamil share a rather funny relationship. She sometimes gets angry with me for not staying in our motherland, i.e. Chennai. As a punishment, she does not reveal to me the meanings of certain words when I try to understand songs and dialogues that sound very beautiful.

I recently asked Tamil, “Why do you do this to me? Why don’t you reveal yourself to me completely?”. The reply that the language gave me touched my heart. She said, “You could not do without me, but you never truly loved me. Did you ever voluntarily try to understand and learn me? Do that and I will reveal myself fully to you.”

This set me thinking. Was that true? Partly, yes. I love the language, of course. She is my mother tongue. But like all loved ones generally are, she was kind of neglected by me. Understanding her was, sadly, not on the top of my priority list. If I had made her feel so, it was my fault. I apologised.

Tamil was happy that I had at last recognised what I was doing wrong. She said she would help me in understanding herself as long as I made voluntary attempts. I agreed. She said, “See, a learning process does not have to be boring and dull. I have evolved much over time and much has been added to me. You yourself find out a way in which you can attain me, at the same time not losing motivation. Do it in a way that entertains you, so that you keep doing it.”

I racked my brains for some time and came up with an idea. I would start watching Tamil movies and listening to Tamil songs. I had tried in the past, but had given up when I didn’t understand completely. Now I won’t. I will find out the meanings. Thus I began my expedition.

I started by watching the much hyped Sivaji – the boss. I will not comment on the movie here. 🙂

As a second lesson, I moved on to some Tamil songs that I have always loved, but have not been able to understand each and every word. I tried to listen to them once again with a new perspective and also googled for them.

Here are the songs:

Google helped me find this site meant for people like me. It was very helpful.

I reported my progress to Tamil and she was ecstatic. “I will keep revealing more of myself the harder you try. Most importantly, try understanding me because you want to, not because someone told you to,” she said. I understood the profound meaning in the words.

As I thanked her profusely for not shying away from me for ever, Tamil winked at me. She said, “I knew you always wanted to embrace me, but you were just not aware. It was I who made you see that video on Priya’s blog.”

My mouth hung open. I remembered this video I had seen some time ago:

Now I can only accept the miracle that had happened. I am planning to go ahead with my expedition. Wish me luck!! 🙂


Filed under Everyday polambals, Love, Movies, Music

19 responses to “Confessions of a Gujarat-bred Tamilian

  1. All the very best. If you are looking some good tamil movies to watch let me take the pleasure of recommending some to you…

    1. Guna
    2. Thevar Magan
    3. Nayagan
    4. Anjali
    5. Thalapathy
    6. Roja
    7. Bombay
    8. Alaipayuthey
    9. Mouna Ragam
    10. Kanathil Muthamital

    P.S: Except for the first two, the films are by Mani Ratnam.
    You can check out the songs in his movies in Youtube, for he employs the very best cinematographers in the industry. Check out Alaipayuthey “Pachai nirame” to sample one.

  2. priyaiyer


    thankq for the wishes, as well as for the suggestions! 🙂

    will find out where i can get the cds here! 😦

  3. 1. It is not ‘Tamil’, it is ‘Tamizh’ or ‘Thamizh’…

    2. Though I can’t speak much of the language, still I liked watching some of the movies:

    Kakka Kakka

    ‘yarade yarade..’ song of Pithamagan is my fresh favorite! ;)…

    best wishes! i also tried learning once, but then couldn’t keep up!

  4. priyaiyer


    thanks for the info. i think ‘tamizh’ and ‘tamil’ are synonyms and one can be used in place of the other. this link also says the same:

    pls correct me if i m wrong. 🙂

    haven’t heard that song, neither have i seen any of the movies from your list. will try to get hold of them now! 🙂

    thanks for the wishes. and, i sincerely hope i keep up the learning process. 🙂

  5. Try these Movies :

    Anbe Sivam

    Try this song:

    Movie : SIVI..
    Song : O Nenje(remix)..
    You can find it in

  6. disagree.. link seems wrong.. if u see how Tamizh is spelled in Tamizh script that’ll be Tamizh, not Tamil!

    That’s the first mistake north india makes while pronouncing Tamizh as Tamil! 😉

  7. priyaiyer

    @suriya narayanan

    hey! welcome here! 🙂

    thnx a lot for the suggestions! getting the cds here would be a problem, but will definitely try! 🙂

  8. priyaiyer


    bacchhi ki jaan loge kya? 🙂 interesting insight, though. will try to find out more about this from experts of the language. let us see what comes up! 🙂

  9. hmmm… quite a predicament… as long as you can convey whatever you want to convey and understand… you have a good relation with your friend “tamil” or “tamizh” (even the name’s a problem now)

    anyways… dont bank too much on tamil/tamizh movies to learn the language… i tried and i could only understand more about jyothika and simran… and nothing abt the language 😦

    thx for dropping a line on iyer education…

  10. priyaiyer

    @iyer education

    hey there! thnks for dropping by… 🙂

    yep, you are right. as long as i can express myself in the language and be understood, it should not be a problem. and yeah, i know i can’t ‘learn’ the language from tamil movies. it is just a start, a kind of warm-up exercise. i intend to start reading tamil books later. 🙂

    reading iyer education was a pleasure. looks like i’ll be a regular visitor now. 🙂

  11. priyaiyer


    talked to a few experts about your query – ‘tamil’ or ‘tamizh’. i LOL when i heard the answer. ‘tamil’ is english for ‘tamizh’. :)) ‘tamizh’ is the correct word used in the language traditionally, which is pronounced with a roll of the tongue, as in ‘pavazham’. ‘tamil’ is a synonym for the same, which is pronounced a bit differently. both mean the same. ‘tamil’ is as much accepted and popular a word as ‘tamizh’.

    thanks for raising the query. i gained better insight. 🙂

  12. Well, i too belong to ur category .lived in delhi..but could talk in dint mention how bad you were in tamil 😛 .
    Now being in tamil nadu for my studies helped me..but the tamil songs are so pure that i coun’t understand most of it now also 🙂

  13. priyaiyer


    great! so there are lots of people facing the same dilemma as me! 🙂 i wasn’t bad in tamil as such. can speak fairly fluently. however, had trouble with tamil serials, movies and songs, which is gradually decreasing. however, still find it difficult to understand poetic tamil. for that, the only solution is to begin reading tamil books. 🙂

  14. OMG .. It would take ages for me to read tamil books…
    probably i would finish off a novel in english in the same time i would take to read a tamil book’s page..i have tried once reading ,though.. 😛

  15. priyaiyer


    he he! it would take as much time for me too. 🙂 but it is in my list of things to do. dunno when i’ll do it, though.

  16. oh..then gud luck for ur new year resolution ..hope u would read many TAMIL book this year 😀

  17. priyaiyer


    danks! i hope i will! 🙂

  18. you are welcome.. 😛
    by the way tamil puthandu nalvaythukkal.. sorry for being late.. 🙂

  19. priyaiyer


    🙂 nandri. same to you.

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