#KaviUdeshichathu: Breaking Down Muttathethum Thennale

The song Muttathethum Thennale sets in with the melodious tunes of the harmonica and lovesick scenes of flashback. Indulging us into a childhood romantic story, Sreehari (Mohanlal), the hero, describes and recalls his childhood sweetheart and all-time love, Indulekha (Meena), the heroine. Divided by the devilish plots of some people, both of them still carry love for each other in their hearts and rejoice it. He calls her “Kaatin Priya Thozhi”, (dear one to the wind).


And this song is very dear to many because of the Malayalam poetry and metaphors along with subtle and smooth transitions to and from the past. We also get an overview of the beautiful village they grew up in and the memories they foster at each corner. From “Kaartikayil neythiriyaay” (The lamps shining bright during the Karthika month) to “Ninne thozhuthuninnu…nenjil kilipidanju…” he talks about worshipping her while comparing to the fluttering butterflies in his heart. Sreehari sure does know to describe love. He asks her the reason why she disappears like a waning moon while he keeps remembering her.  

Through those black and white screens, he calls her words of praises like “meda nilaavuaanu” (Shine of moonlight and. “thaamarapoovinte ithalaan”(Petal of a lotus). He strings together many more metaphors and appealing words to describe Indulekha. It reflects Indulekha’s beauty. Her character is presented with full of natural beauty and is shown as pristine and calm. And as someone who is very dear to him and provides him with solace and comfort. He compares her as the shruti to his song. 

He recalls old events through the lyrics. He envisions their favourite spots as he walks through them and relives the moments there. They also show us the innocence of childhood love and the simplicity in secret meetings, exchanging letters, their first kiss and scratching their names on rocks. It truly is nostalgic and is walk down the memory lane.

The reason Muttathethum Thennale strings a chord with many of us is that Sreehari fondly looks back to his olden times, without regret. He is not a grieving lover; he is a lover who cherishes his past. He also speaks of never letting her go and that he will stay here, waiting for his lover. It’s a perfect ode to his childhood friend and lover, his kallithozhi. 

Shivani Sarat
Content writer and creator. Author of 'Black Daises', a poetry anthology.

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