Rayil Sneham, love, trains etc.

Youtube is an absolute treasure trove. If you grew up in eighties and had access to Tamil DD programmes, you might remember Rayil Sneham (How does one translate this? Train Love?). Rayil Sneham was a breath of fresh air. About strangers meeting, and becoming friends, without quite becoming lovers. I think the entire series was a flashback of sorts, when a girl – Sahana asks her father about her mother. Basically a man and woman have a chance encounter on a train, and the woman reveals that she’s pregnant. The man and woman decide to live together. Masquerading as a married couple. Actually, I don’t remember if they actually get married.

Rayil Sneham was K Balachandar‘s baby. I enjoy Balachandar’s movies and serials perhaps because they explore relationships and morality, without getting too judgmental, even if a little melodramatic. Like Sindhu Bhairavi, which is probably one of my favourite movies. While in Rayil Sneham, the two individuals live under the same roof and become the best of friends, in Sindhu Bhairavi, two individuals meet and establish an intellectual relationship that becomes physically intimate. A lot of Balachandar’s stories revolve around standards for behaviour in “society”, expectations from people in conventional relationships and the need for intellectual companionship or acknowledgement.

Anyhow, I found the video of one of the songs from this serial. The woman plays the Veena. The Veena becomes a symbol of her conversations with her self in a way. There was this hauntingly beautiful song – Indha Veenaiku Teriyaadu. (Trans. This Veena doesn’t know). The lyrics allude to how the Veena and the child within her are unaware of who made them. There is something wonderful to the way the Man enjoys her singing or her music. I wish I could get hold of someone to translate the song in its entirety from Tamil. I am horrible at translations and don’t wish to ruin it for anyone. [Link to Video]

What is it with trains? I romanticize train journeys despite some horrible instances. Despite the presence of loud and tone-deaf antakshari playing kids, dirty loos, aunties littering the compartment and the grouchy faced angsty kid sticking her dirty feet on your berth. But each train journey stands apart like a punctuation mark. Especially when you’re travelling all that way to meet somebody. Anticipation, or a sense of possible disappointment. Or standing by the compartment door in the dead of the night, watching night lights pace by towards the opposite direction. (And yes, on some trains you had the best cutlets from the pantry car ever!)

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0 Responses to Rayil Sneham, love, trains etc.

  1. Nithya says:


    I absolutely loved this show as well. I like KB movies too (looks like too much similarity, huh?) but felt that he chickened out during the endings (always went for the conventional endings). The title song and the song you mention are on my favorites list. I can try to translate the song if you can get me the lyrics, as I like translating, although it is challenging.


  2. anantha says:

    Lovely serial this one seemed to be, till I found most of it online. I started watching it again and got the same feeling that I get when I see movies with precocious kids mouthing lines unsuitable for their age. Anyways, you have a obstinate 16 year old who wants to get “loves” her boy friend and want to get married only to him. Classic KB “adhigaprasangi thanam”!

    But lovely music though. Title track by KJY and this song by Chitra, I think.

    The storyline by itself was very bold. Other than the irritating gal and the heroine who had these big goli gundu eyes, I’d probably watch it on TV today.


  3. sudha says:

    ithuvum Sahana. and her fingers on the veena – *sigh*^N


  4. d.n.a. says:

    anantha, I got to agree with you. I liked the idea of “liking rayil sneham” from memory than actually watching it again. It happens lot of times with lot of things.


  5. Zero says:

    Nice point, you make.
    On hindsight, my snobbery towards KB was more spontaneous, I believe. So, I didn’t do the “used to like that serial” bit too ;). Actually speaking, all I remember now is the basic plot; also “Nizhalgal” Ravi, and that it had quite a famous title song.

    Sincere apologies for the minor hijack. (Though, I think I didn’t pull the trigger :P).


  6. Nithya: Actually – I don’t remember of Rayil Sneham. Just that I liked the song a lot and it makes me remember certain things. Though I’ve seen Sindhu Bhairavi over and over again. When I did see Balachandar’s Chinnai Thirai – I thought it was overdone to the point of cheesiness sometimes – but compared to the other crap – it’s brilliant.

    Anantha: Yeah, I guess most of what I remember of the serial is a “memory”. I just remember the plot line rather flimsily. But perhaps it was that constant cross-referencing to music that really felt enduring. Balachandar’s themes tend to be “bolder” but they don’t make obvious social statements like say Visu’s stuff. Maybe that’s what appeals -relationships – in the context of the “real” world etc.

    Sudha: Enna solla vara?

    d.n.a: Anantha has quite hit the aani on the head no?

    Zero: Hijack away! The title song was something like Muthalum Illaathathu, Mudivum illaathathu no? But the serial just had an airy feel to it. Besides, Balachandar usually casts well.


  7. Nilu says:

    Balachander, like much of Tamil literature, lacks depth.


  8. Zero says:

    Are you sure? 😉

    I was a kid back then, so I don’t remember the song itself. Now I think it was the “veenai” song that I was refering to.

    Balu Mahendra’s “Kadhai Neram” was one of a kind and a pioneering effort, when it comes to television, I believe. I didn’t have the privilege of watching most of the series, though.


  9. Nilu: Saar soltaar. 🙂

    Zero: Very sure. Kadhai Neram was brilliant. One of my favourites had to be about this guy who is eating murukku/ some such thing on the bus, and the guy next to him dies sitting. The bus is taken to the police station. And the chap questioned – really weird and funny. Balu Mahendra is not as concerned about making “statements” I think.


  10. hawkeye says:

    wonderful. ‘sahana’ raagam.

    one of my favorite serials on TV. the other serial being ‘ivala yen manaivi’ starring idhayam nalla ennai chitra. bot were KB thaan.

    i have sent an auto in the general direction of nilu’s house. for saying what he said about KB. these nilu people must belong to mahendran katchi.


  11. hawkeye says:

    agree with sudha. KB and sahana raagam are like inseparable twins.

    its been a loooong time since this came on TV so i am betting on my memory when i say this – to be fair, the name of the girl character in this movie is, i think, sahana. and that is because the veenai lady’s or nizhalgal ravi’s favorite raaga is ‘sahana’. so it is only appropriate the song is in ‘sahana’.

    the close up shot on veenai could have been done better.


  12. Hawkeye: What is an auto? Nilu will merely puke in its path. Heh. The name of the child in the serial is Sahana – because I think it was the woman’s favourite ragam.

    KB – is fascinated with the nuances of music I think. Sindhu Bhairavi had an interesting conversation – between the driver and the thottakaran on the nature of some song and its ragam. In his other serials as well – he tends to bring in the element of music.


  13. Lyrics

    indha veeNaikku theriyaadhu idhai seidhavan yaar endru
    indha veeNaikku theriyaadhu idhai seidhavan yaar endru
    en sondha piLLayum aRiyaadhu idhai thandhavan yaar endru
    enakkul azhudhu rasikindren
    irandayum madiyil sumakkindren

    malayil vazhukki vizhundha nadhikku adaikkalam thandhadhu kadal dhaane
    tharayil vazhukki vizhundha kodikku adaikkalam thandhadhu ilai dhaane
    engo azhudha kaNNeer thudaikka engo oru viral irukkiradhu
    thaagam kuruvigal thaagam theerka gangai indrum nadaikkiradhu

    (indha veeNaikku)
    sondham bandham ellam solli therindha muRai dhaane
    sorgam naragam enbadhu ellam solli kodutha nilai dhaane
    uLLam enbadhu seriyaai irundhaal ulagam muzhudhum inikkiradhu
    udhira pogum poovum kooda uyir vaazhndhida dhaan thudikiradhu

    (indha veeNaikku)


  14. Nithya says:

    Thanks, Ferrari. I will try to translate it soon.


  15. anantha says:

    Balachander, like much of Tamil literature, lacks depth.

    Nilu, unna pesa udaradhe thappu! Odi po!

    Ne(g)ha: Most of KB’s protagonists are adhigaprasangis! And every single one would be living in “out of the world” weird relationships that would, IRL, make all the madras maamis (you are from Delhi no? So you don’t qualify) gossip about them. In this one too, he meets this gal on the train, gets her home and finds she is pregnant. He tells everyone that she is his sister, but there is his neighbor who is totally prying and gossipy. Seemed like fun when I was young (mebbe kids these days find KKSBKBT the same way), but now its a drag! When we were younger, it was possible to laugh at all this psycho behavior, but now, having the chance to indulge in similar psycho behavior, we find that it actually irritates.

    Besides, Balachandar usually casts well.

    Apart from Thalaivar and Kamal and a few other people in the early 80s, his cast members are from a motley crew of usual suspects! Like that gal who comes as Rajini’s sister in Thillumullu and now in almost every serial.


  16. Nithya says:

    Ok, here comes the translation. Feel free to comment if you think something is wrong or have a better word/phrase.

    This veena doesn’t know who made it
    This veena doesn’t know who made it
    My own child also doesn’t know who gave it to me.
    I am enjoying crying inside
    carrying both on my lap.

    For the river that slipped through the mountain
    it was the ocean that gave asylum.
    For the vine that slipped through the ground
    it was the leaf that gave asylum.
    To wipe the tears from one place
    there is a finger some place else.
    To quench the thirst of the birds
    Ganga flows even today.

    (This veena doesn’t know)

    Relationships are all known only because of what we are told.
    Heaven and hell are all states that we are only taught.
    The whole world is sweet if the heart is right.
    Even the flower that is withering struggles only to live.

    (This veena doesn’t know)


  17. Vidya says:

    Agreed *only* about the train journeys.

    but then my only memory of this serial is that it popularized a watered down touchy feely version of the raga that I can never ever get used to.Anyway I shall be nice and not go into how Indian directors are able to get away with movies that are technically unsound,bad cuts,and horrible use of lighting and effects.(with due apologies to KB fans) 🙂


  18. sudha says:

    nothing – jus wished i was playing that veena instead. that is all, madam.


  19. Nilu says:

    ellam poramai….


  20. Zero says:

    Laughing out loud on what Hawkeye said.. Mahendran Katchi! Indeed :). In my case, that is.
    But, yeah, KB’s usage of music in his films was absolutely fantastic. The music in his films (till 80s) was awesome.


  21. Chenthil says:

    Nilu , Tamil literature lacks depth? First tell me what Tamil literature books you have read – other than Vikatan or Kumudam?


  22. prakash says:

    I second, third and fourth Nilu.

    KB’s works are mediocre when compared to his contemporaries like C.Rudraiya, J.Mahendran, Balu mahendra, Hariharan, Jayabharathi and even in some cases, Mouli. If some one says, vaRumaiyin niRam sivappu as one the best film that deals with father-son relationship – not with the issue of unemployment – i would advise him to watch Mouli’s maRRavai nEril in that genre, released during the same time.

    Most of KB’s watchable films are either adapted from stage plays like Komal Swaminathan’s thanneer thanneer, poikAl kuthiRai (crazy mohan’s marriage made in saloon) or remakes like noolvEli – a remake of IV Sasi’s aa nimisham, nizhal nijamakiRathu, punnagai etc .

    Thillumullu was better than its original but it was a not a KB’s movie but sri ramachandramurthy’s… er..thengai srinivasan’s

    His original attempts like agnisAtchi, azhagan, vAnamE ellai, punnagai mannan , ninaithAlE inikkum all lacked depth.

    I do enjoy his movies but he doesnt find a place in my top ten list. He is great story teller (sindu bhairavi)in the literal sense but film making and story telling are two different things.

    *all opinionsu , imho


  23. Zero says:

    Prakash, nice points you make on his adaptations.

    But, being one from the Mahendran Katchi and all that, my problems wit KB runs deeper than that.
    Original or otherwise, his way of telling the stories itself lacked refined sensilbilities and reeked with expository symbols, the props, the mannerisms, the repetitive shots (with a face in close-up profile, and another person standing/sitting on distance facing the camera). Well, probably, what you meant by story-telling was just the story itself.

    Not that he made irritating films, they easily run short of being one among the best.


  24. max says:

    I dont even remember when/where i saw this serial/movie but believe me this song has haunted me for so long. i have vague memories of the scenes… there was a neighbour lady who was a chatterbox and was promised by her husband a sari if she could stay quiet a whole day… and in some ensuing confusion the guy buys a sari for the singing lady… i know this sounds vague but thats how vague its to me. me thinks i wud hav been in my pre-teens… and Tamil being a still-unfamiliar language and all… but yet this song is so melodiously imprinted… you have no idea…

    you have made my day Maami… many thanks…permission to loop the video in the background the whole day…


  25. Nilu says:

    Chen, you name it, I have read it….


  26. nila says:

    so i thought rayil sneham was also a song. and thats what i was looking for when i stumbled across this page..
    it goes like this..

    “rayil sneham.. rayil sneham.. rayil sneham…..rayil sneham”

    😉 well.. to be a little more clear, i think the story was about a blind girl in a house who didnt know she had given refuge to a murderer.. and revathi plays the blind protagonist.. anyone remember what this was?

    or is my childhood memory completely confuzzled?

    lemmo know, thanks 😀 will check back ina few days.


  27. hawkeye says:


    rayil sneham is the title song.


    dont know ‘auto’? it has people with weapons in it


  28. guha says:

    I am trying to get a hold on this video… Is this being screened in some TV channel right now ? Do any of you have VHS/VCD/DVD of this serial ?


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