‘Chinnanchiru Vayathil’ from the film ‘Meendum Kokila’ is a wonderful duet sung by Shailaja, S.P. Balasubramaniam’s sister, and K.J. Yesudas.
The picturization of the song shows the hero’s family (Kamal Hassan) at Sridevi’s house in order to fix their marriage. In the olden days, potential brides would sing or dance for their potential husband and their families in order to attract them.
‘Chinnanchiru Vayathil’ portrays the awkwardness of the proposal due to Sridevi’s shyness but certain incidents, such as the young baby urinating on Kamal Hassan’s lap during the song, lighten the situation considerably.
Watch the original song here:
This song is set in the raga Abheri, a Janyam of Karaharapriya, and has five notes in the arohanam (ascending order) and seven notes in the avarohanam (descending order); this makes it an audava-sampoorna raga.
Interestingly, the ascending scale is the same as Suddha Dhanyasi (see ‘Maasi Maasam’ article) and the descending scale is that of Karaharapriya.
Abheri is a fairly popular raga with quite an attractive melodic character and many music composers have made use of it. The hugely popular ‘Singare Velane Deva’ from ‘Konjum Salangai’ and ‘Kannodu Kaanbathellam’ from ‘Jeans’ are both set to this scale.
Watch Praveena, an amateur singer, perform the same song: