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Kavingar Thamarai – January 1st, 2004

Kavingar Thamarai is the one and only women poet in today’s Tamil cinema. All her lyrics add spices to the songs in almost all the latest blockbuster hit movies. The most upcoming successful lyric writer was in Singapore to present a show along with other three poets. Excerpts from the interview:

1. Are poets born or made?

In general, People are born with the ability to think. One who goes a step further expressing their feelings in the language known to them becomes a writer or poet. So expressing one’s feeling is the most important quality for a poet.

Proficiency in the language plays a major role in molding a poet. Also, is it possible for someone to express his or her feelings if they have lived their life in some jungle without experiencing what life is all about? So when he or she becomes a part of the community, in day to day life they will experience contradictory views, praise, worries, happiness. These experiences eventually get reflected in a poetic version. So I would say, poets are made.

2. So you mean to say they are not born?

Gene factor contributes a little. Those who hail from educated family generally have an aptitude to observe and grasp things easily. In contrast, those from uneducated background tend to be slow. They are most likely to start from the scratch like a toddler, crossing each stage such as crawling, walking, talking etc… This difference matters in shaping a poet. What ever be it is, as said above, one’s experience is a bigger teacher. So in my view a very little percentage is attributed to the genes factor.

3. What brought you into this field?

My in competency to fight the evils of society brought me here. Today, there are a lot of social evils like dowry system, forced marriages, caste problems exist. Being a girl from a moderate family I was so helpless. Also I was not able to accept as others. All I could do was to fight within myself. I wanted to do something at a large scale. So I guess, I opted to express my views through poetry.

4. These days songs do not have a potent message compared to that of Kavingar Kannadasan’s age. Why is it so?

In those days, directors created the story line. Now the concept has totally changed. Can you quote a single story oriented movie out of the last fifty movies that has been released now? Only if it is a story-oriented movie, then there is a scope to write meaningful songs that is in line with the movie. Now a day’s songs are squeezed into the movies. The trend has totally changed. These day’s movies are purely commercial. The prime focus is on the youngsters. So basically movies are based on love stories and so there is a little scope for sentimental songs. It is not that we cannot write song’s as par as those days poets. As days have changed we are helpless.

5. Almost all songs are shot in women wearing short dresses. When you write a song with emotions, and ultimately when those songs reach the audience in such a way, how do you feel?

Well, I am well aware of all these facts. If I had entered the movie field so naive, I am the most innocent. If you are that innocent, you can’t even move an inch ahead in the movie field. My job is only to provide the lyrics for the song. I have no right to set the scenery of the song. Though initially I was very hurt, I have learnt to cope up now.

6. How do men perceive women poets? Are they proud of women poets or envious?

There is no field free of male chauvinism. Have you ever come across a non-male-chauvinistic notion? This is very norm. But also I should agree, there are also people who just focus on the out come of the song. If you have done it to their expectation, they are full of praise for you. They dont care who you are. Thats the reason I am still able to exist.

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