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Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram

General Profile of Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram  -   Lyricist

Sengam Padaithan Kadu, as Pattukkottaiyaar liked to call it, was the village, that gave rise to Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram, who in turn, left behind a wealth of simple but immortal lyrics to the world. His beautiful village, now being called in a corrupt form, Sengappaduthan Kadu, is located Southeast of local revenue head-quarters, Pattukkottai (10o15'36'' North / 79o19'37'' East), in Thanjavur District of Tamilnadu, India.

Kalyanasundaram was born to Arunachalanaar and Visalatchi Ammaiyaar in a humble farming family on April 13, 1930. Nobody witnessed any sign of a poet-in-the-making in young Kalyanasundaram. Neither did he have a formal education, nor did he complete his schooling. However, as it may be unfair not to expect a poet from a family that had a tradition of poets, Kalyanasundaram will transform to be a poet and will come to be known as 'Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram'.

Kalyanasundaram's father is known to have written a treatise called Musukundanaattu Vazhinadaik Kummi. This book was written in traditional Kummi, a distinct Tamil poetical style. His surviving brother Mr. Ganapathisundaram, a poet and a playwright, played the role of a constructive critic and helped Kalyanasundaram grow into what we know him as today. Therefore, it may not be inappropriate to say that young Kalyanasundaram was basically 'equipped' with talents and expressed them at his earliest opportunity.

In his mid-teens, perhaps around fifteen, his first song, based on a real event, was composed. One fine evening, Kalyanasundaram was returning from the paddy field and was walking along the bank of Thuraiyankulam, a pond in his village. Something beneath the ripples caught his attention.

It was not just the moment of birth of a song, but of a poet. He would soon embark upon building a bridge between common people and literature. His first song was not written down then, but was simply orally recited and became familiar among his friends. The song does have Monai in it, which gives it rhythm, even though it does not have complex grammar!