I always end up with tears in my eyes listening to O.S.Arun’s rendition of Subrahmanya Bharathi's “Chiinan chiru kiliye” especially when he struggles after “un kannil neer vazhindaal”, repeats the line as if unable to even bear the thought of his little one having tears in her eyes and then adds “ en nenjil udiram sottudadi” (if I see tears in your eyes, blood starts dripping from my heart). I know parents, especially fathers, share a special relationship with their daughters. But I have not had the privilege of knowing my father very closely having been born into a family where bringing up daughters was limited to ensuring they were fed and clothed properly and married off at the first opportunity. And I could not know it as a parent too as I do not have a daughter myself.
My own generation of parents take their job more seriously and handle the emotional requirements of their kids more sensitively – ok, at least we are trying. And as I look around I see the younger couples taking it even more seriously , especially the young fathers. I can well imagine most of them shedding tears of blood if their daughters were to shed so much as a tear drop.
Is the father- daughter relationship so intense because they know that they have limited time to pamper them? It must be pretty tough to love someone so wholly knowing that you would have to move to the background sooner or later. Of course it is the same with any child, boy or girl, but somehow it seems that the severing of the chord is more final in our Indian system where the girl becomes a guest in her own parents' house after her marriage. And hence perhaps the urgency to pamper the girl completely as long as she remains one’s daughter alone and not playing so many other roles?
Well, I can only speculate as I would never know. But looking at my pretty little neice getting her way with her father using her adorable wily ways I can say this much. The way huge tears stream forth from those big baby eyes at a minute's notice at the slightest pretext to get what she wants, her father could easily die of haemorrhage soon , if he was to have blood shed in his heart every time she has tears in her eyes!! The tears would flow profusely, as if an invisible dam burst forth and stop instantly the minute the demand is met and there would be stars in the eyes and no trace of the tears!!!But I can tell you it is the most heart breaking sight to see a little girl cry, even though you know it is a class act.


On a related note I am reminded a beautiful song written by Vairamuthu.
The girl is adopted ,the parents love her more than life but she is a turbulent and troubled child.
Movie: kannathil Muthamittal

oru dheyivam thandha poovae, kaNNil thedal yeNNa thaayae
vazhvu thodangum idam needanae, vaanam mudiyumidam needanae
kaatrai poala nee vandhayae, swasamaga nee nindrayae
maarbil oorum uyirae.

yenadhu sondham nee, yenadhu pagaiyum nee
kadhal malarum nee karuvil muLLum nee
cheLLa mazhaiyum nee, chiNNa idiyum nee
pirandha udalum nee, piriyum uyirum nee
maranam eenra jananamm nee.

yenadhu selvam nee, yenadhu varumai nee
izhaiththa kavidhai nee, Ezhuththu pizhaiyum nee
iraval veLicham nee, iravin kaNNir nee
yenadhu vaanam nee, izhandha siragum nee
naan thooki vaLLartha thuyaram nee

Both versions of the song - sung by Jayachandran and Chinmayi - are hauntingly melodious. And you can feel the intensity of the emotion and the sensitivity surrounding the relationship between the parents and a troubled child.
What can describe it more than the expression "iravin Kanneer nee" ( you are the tears shed in the night)? Tears shed in the privacy of the night because they cannot be shared with anyone else or hoped to be understood - but borne of so much pain that they must be shed and suffered silently, all alone known only to the darkness of the night.
19 Responses
  1. Aren't Mother-Son relationships like that as well? At least, that's what I think!! :)
    Loved your post, Usha. Also, love that song from KM! It's so beautiful.

    And goodness! This girl is a total polyglot! I am so completely in awe!

  2. Paavai Says:

    this blog reminds me of my childhood, in the nights my parents used to think I was asleep and talk about the things I do and share their pride. Never once were these shared in person with me though. But the fact that I was precious to them got strengthened during these eaves dropping sessions

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I was about to say what Vaish has said.

    Daughter father relation and Mother Son relations are very very special. I am lucky with two daughters :)

    I just love that song from kannathil muthamittal

  4. Akruti Says:

    i always endup smiling whenever i read "daughters and fathers share a wonderful relationship" Because for me it is only a dream,a imagination, a visual representation of my hopes.
    Because i never had such an opportunity,and strange that even after my mom made sure that i dont miss anything of being single parents child i know i nourished this void within me which longed for that touch,which used to pamper me as a 2yr old kid,those long drives to school on LML Vespa,Pony tails made fondly by him,spoiling me with sweets and making me learn painting and adoring every line i put in that white canvas at the age of five.
    Today when i am old enough to handle my own life,i dream of a daughter whom i would want to be pampered like that by her father:) and so that i can relive the childhood which i missed:)
    But then first i need to get married for that,but what the heck,we can keep on dreaming,isnt it:)

  5. Ram Says:

    "But I can tell you it is the most heart breaking sight to see a little girl cry, even though you know it is a class act." Wow! Have been reading this line many times over! Profound truth extracted from everyday experience, as I can vouch, being a proud father of an infant daughter myself.

  6. Usha Says:

    Mother - son relationship is very strong but you know there is an intensity and depth that marks the feeling for a girl child (swinging from rage to tenderness, ecstasy and agony and total feeling of protectiveness)which does nt happen between moms and boys.
    I am awed by Chinmayi too and please read her blogposts - very sensible and level headed.
    Paavai: Such a sweet memory - thanks for sharing!
    Dubukku: You are indeed lucky.
    Akruthi:Thanks for sharing something so personal. I am sure your dream will come true.As I told you in my mail, I also have only imagination of such a relationship based on films ( like daddy), songs and advertisements portraying the variuos dimensions of this relationship.
    Ram: The idea for this post was born when we were talking about you and shreya. I hope shreya continues to twist you around with her little finger for a long time to come!!

  7. Pradeep Nair Says:

    Good observations. Another reason could be the perceived weakness of girls. The boy will cope, but the girl needs help - sort of feeling. It has come down from ages, and nurtured with sterotyping, not fair though. Boys need as much (if not more) emotional backing from parents. This fact is slowly being realised by parents now.

    I don't like this concept of "marrying off the girl", whatever cultural rooting and meaning it has. It has only added to the difficulties women face. We should stop using this phrase "marrying her off". It's truly bad. "She is getting married" should be fine. Matter of semantics may be, but implications are bad.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    innonu sollanumnu nenaichen

    template lam maathi kalakareenga
    ...nalla irukku :)

  9. Usha Says:

    pradeep, I used "married off" intentionally - that was precisely the attitude I was trying to draw attention to!
    I think boys themselves don't like to be fussed over after they are 8 or 9 while girls do not mind it
    Vaish and dubukku,
    Thanks for the feedback on the new look.
    check out

  10. Visithra Says:

    somehow its always been a boon between father and dauughter, mother and son

    opposites bind?

    but chinnan chiru kilye is a poignant song

    beautiful post ;)

  11. Usha Says:

    Visithra, Thanks.
    Yes, I have noticed that special bonding too...
    and that is one of my favorite songs too..

  12. Jeevan Says:

    Came through Visithra's Blog. This one line Chiinan chiru kiliye, un kannil neer vazhindaal, en nenjil udiram sottudadi. has many emotions. i have see and heard the song many times, but dint find the lyrics very deep. after reading u r post, i like to see the song and hear the lyrics. nice post.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    good one

  14. Usha Says:

    jeevan, vasanthi,
    Thanks for dropping by and the kind words.

  15. Alex Says:

    Came here in a short while after reading Narayan Venkitu Sir's post. Both will linger in my mind for a long long time.
    It was a nice read!

    P.S. Missing my dad all the more

  16. Usha Says:

    alex, Thanks

  17. Subhashri Says:

    Good post..I was lucky to be pampared beyond limits by my Dad...I can relate very well to what u r saying..the song was a great one..I like the Jayachandran version of it..more so may be bcos I could see my dad having similar feelings..

  18. Shankar Says:

    The father-daughter relationship has always intrigued me. It used to, as it still does now, make me wonder how'd my daughter, if God chooses to give me a daughter, be with me when I have her.

    And in wondering so, I've entertained, calculated and even decided on adoption sometime in the future when I'm able. I'd love to write about this relationship as well.

    PS: Nice blog, and I too love that song from Kannatthil Muthamittal

  19. Very nicely written. It is always the opposite sex who are more affectionate. My family loves both the songs. There are many days for which I have gone into my own world after hearing 'Chinnan Chiru Kiliye'. I have it sung by many singers and as well as by Flute Ramani. WOW... Again 'Kannathil Muthamittal' is such a wonderful song sung well by both Jayachandran and Chinmayi. Even today my daughter aged 4 and half sang it over phone to one of our relative.... Beautiful narration.