Monday, September 22, 2003

Koothu podu!

I am strong backer of dappan koothu! The term dappan koothu probably originates from Dappa Koothu or dance (koothu) accompanied by percussion beats from the back of a dappa (tin or box). For those of you who's knowledge of Tamil is perfunctory, Dappan Koothu is nothing but the common man's (read as someone with zero knowledge of classical music) idea of music - the Tamil equivalent of rap. Hence, most other people (incl. my father) dismiss it as trash. But if you want to dance and you lack the moves, then the best music for you would be dappan koothu.

I am a great fan of dappan koothu - the versions strongly promoted by the likes of Thenisai Thendral (LOL) Deva. For a period of time during my undergrad years, Deva produced a steady stream of such songs that have probably entered my Koothu Hall of Fame. And there have been several other composers too who have contributed lately to this list - The Raja siblings, Bharathwaj etc.

I am not a good dancer per say, but koothu electrifies me. And this is my koothu Hall of Fame (in no particular order, I should add). If you want to hear these songs, just go to and search for these movies. And be sure to have some empty space in your room when you hear these numbers. I am sure that you are gonna start dancing.

The Dappan-Koothu Hall of Fame.

1. Anna Nagar Andalu - Kaalamellam Kadhal Vaazhga (1997) / Deva / Deva etc.
2. Kasu Mele Kasu Vandhu - Kadhala Kadhala (1998) / Karthik Raja / Udit Narayan, Kamalhaasan
3. White Lagan Kozhi - Priyamudan (1998) / Deva / Deva etc.
4. Kothavalchavadi Lady - Kannedhirae Thondrinal (1998) / Deva/ Deva etc.
5. Vethala potta sokkula - Amaran (1992) / Adithyan/ Karthik*
6. O Podu - Gemini (2002) / Bharathwaj / SPB, Anuradha Sriram (the remix rocks too!)
7. Sarakku Vachirukken - Shah Jahan (2001) / Mani Sharma / Shankar Mahadevan, Radhika
8. Site adippom - April Madhathil (2002) / Yuvan Shankar Raja/ Silambarasan, Karthik
9. Kaathadikkudhu Kaathadikkudhu - Ninaivirukkum Varai (1999) / Deva
10. Laalakku Dol - Sooriyan (1991) / Deva / Mano

* the Tamil actor

Btw this is just my personal hall of fame - songs I enjoy dancing to. My father would not appreciate these songs as much as i love them, but if you share similar sentiments with him, I would actually ask you to see (the video) of one song - the ninth in the list.

This song is actually a fine example of what can be conveyed through these songs. Songs of this kind are quite common in street theatre and this particular song incorporates a sequence from the Ramayana (the kidnapping of Seetha), which literally comes out of the blue.

Anybody who says such songs are trash should see this song to understand the messages that can be possibly expressed through this medium. Maybe then Deva and his ilk would get the respect they deserve. But for that to happen, Deva should probably first lose the "copy cat" tag that has overshadowed even his best work.

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