Puthiya Paravai

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Pudhiya Paravai
Puthiya Paravai New Bird.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Dada Mirasi
Produced by Sivaji Ganesan
Based on Shesh Ankaa 
by Rajkumar Mitra
Starring Sivaji Ganesan
B. Saroja Devi
Sowcar Janaki
M. R. Radha
Music by
Cinematography K.S. Prasad Rao
Edited by N. M. Shankar[1]
Sivaji Films
Release date(s) 12 September 1964
Running time 151 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Tamil

Puthiya Paravai (English: New Bird), also spelt as Pudhiya Paravai,[2] is a 1964 Indian Tamil romantic thriller film directed by Dada Mirasi for Sivaji Films. It features Sivaji Ganesan, B. Saroja Devi and Sowcar Janaki in the lead roles, while M. R. Radha, V. K. Ramasamy, Nagesh and Manorama appear in supporting roles. The story is about a rich businessman who falls for a young woman he meets on a cruise ship en route India from Singapore. As they develop a love affair, the man reveals that he was already married, but his wife died and this continuously troubles him. The woman consoles him, and they decide to get married. But on their engagement day, an unexpected incident changes their lives forever. How the man overcomes this forms the rest of the story.

Puthiya Paravai, which is the maiden production of Sivaji Films, is a remake of the Bengali film Shesh Ankaa, itself inspired by the 1958 British film Chase a Crooked Shadow. The costumes featured in the film were tailored and brought from Singapore and England, unlike other Tamil films of the time. The film's original soundtrack was composed by M. S. Viswanathan and T. K. Ramamurthy. Several tracks became chartbusters, such as Unnai Ondru Ketpen, Paartha Gnaabagam Illaiyo and Engey Nimmadhi, which at the time, had the highest number of instruments used for a recording. K. S. Prasad served as the film's cinematographer.

The film was dubbed in Telugu as Singapore CID. Puthiya Paravai was released on 12 September 1964 in several theatres across Chennai excluding the theatre Shanthi, which was Ganesan's family-owned theatre. The film opened to critical acclaim and became a commercial success, with the lead actors' performances being widely lauded, most notably Sowcar Janaki's portrayal of a modern women, in contrast to the "homely" roles she portrayed in her previous films. The film is due to be digitally restored and re-released in 2014.


Gopal (Sivaji Ganesan) is a rich businessman who is returning from Singapore to his home town in a cruise ship. He meets Latha (Saroja Devi), another traveller who has been accompanied by her father Ramadurai (V. K. Ramasamy). Repeated meetings develop a good friendship in course of time and Gopal invites them to his mansion home at Ooty and leaves for his place. Gopal again meets Latha and her father who have come on a tour to Ooty, and he takes them to his home. Gopal and Latha develop a liking for each other and he proposes to her to which she happily accepts. One day, Latha discovers that Gopal gets agitated whenever he sees an onrushing train and demands to know the reason for the same. Gopal explains to her that the reason behind this is his first wife.

Gopal who had lost his mother had been wandering aimlessly at Singapore. In a night club, he met a singer named Chitra (Sowcar Janaki). He got attracted to her and they decided to marry, in the presence of Chitra's brother Raju (S. V. Ramdoss). On the first night of the marriage, Gopal found that his wife was not cultured and she visits night clubs, parties and drinks alcohol. Gopal was depressed by her attitude, but tolerated for respect of his family. Eventually, his father (Dada Mirasi) died of a heart attack after seeing Chitra's drunken attitude. Gopal tried to control Chitra, but she always felt irritated by his acts. At one point, she tried to walk out of his life. Gopal pleaded to change her mind, but Chitra went away. The next day he heard Chitra died in railway track and this disturbs him a lot. Latha sympathises with him and accepts his love.

Their engagement is fixed and while the function is on, a young woman walks in, claiming to be his dead wife Chitra, accompanied by her uncle Rangan (M. R. Radha). Gopal says the woman is an imposter but she and her uncle have clinching evidence which convinces even Gopal's police friend Kumar (O. A. K. Thevar). Chitra and Rangan start behaving in an irritating manner and Gopal gets frustrated. He fears that Latha might leave him because his "dead" wife has turned up. Eventually, Gopal reveals the truth to everyone: When Chitra was ready to leave Gopal forever, he slapped her in frustration. Chitra, a heart patient, could not take the insult of his slap and died of a shock. Gopal realised that he had inadvertently killed his wife. To avoid arrest, and safeguard the honour of his family, he manipulated the murder to appear like a suicide on a railway track and fabricated the necessary evidence to show that Chitra committed suicide. Thus, Gopal escaped from the charges of murder.

Upon hearing this, Latha and Ramadurai reveal themselves as police officers from Singapore enquiring into the mysterious death of Chitra, based on the complaint filed by Raju; Rangan is the local investigating officer. They had enacted this drama since in a case where there is no clinching evidence, getting the killer's confession is the only solution. Latha confesses to a heartbroken Gopal that though she initially pretended to love him, his good nature gradually turned her on and she truly loves him; she promises that she will wait for him till he returns after completing his jail term. Gopal is relieved, gets arrested and goes to jail.


Any role that is unusual, unconventional has a special appeal for me, a character like the one I played in "Puthiya Paravai". Maybe it has something to do with my own psyche. I love complex characters.

- Sowcar Janaki, in an interview with Film World[3]


The 1958 British thriller film Chase A Crooked Shadow, directed by filmmaker Michael Anderson was a "success around the world, including India".[4] It inspired the Bengali film Shesh Ankaa (1963), which starred Uttam Kumar, Sharmila Tagore and Sabitha Chowdhary. Shesh Ankaa's screenplay by Rajkumar Mitra was acquired by Sivaji Films to be made in Tamil as its first "in-house" production – Puthiya Paravai, with Dada Mirasi as the director and screenplay writer.[4]

Sivaji Ganesan was cast as the male lead. Both the female leads – B. Saroja Devi and Sowcar Janaki – made an impact by acting in characters different from what they were earlier typecast as.[5] According to Ganesan's eldest son Ramkumar, "Sivaji always thought of Sowcar Janaki as classy and sophisticated. That is why he cast her in the role of a modern woman in the film Pudhiya Paravai. Before that Sowcar had only acted in homely roles".[6] Director Dada Mirasi, who appeared in a guest role as the hero's father in the film,[4] was initially not convinced about Janaki acting in the film. But after seeing her performance in the song Paartha Gnabagam Illaiyo, Mirasi conceded that "she had won".[7] Actors Nagesh and M. R. Radha were also selected to play important roles.[8]

Pudhiya Paravai was filmed in Eastman Color.[2] The costumes were tailored and brought from Singapore and England. K. S. Prasad did the film's cinematography,[2] and Aroordhas wrote its dialogues.[9] The tuxedo worn by Sivaji Ganesan in the film was ordered from London, and was "something unheard of those days".[5]


Puthiya Paravai
Soundtrack album by
Released 1964
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 27:91
Language Tamil
Label Saregama

The film's soundtrack was composed by M. S. Viswanathan and T. K. Ramamoorthy, while the lyrics were written by Kannadasan.[10] The soundtrack was released under the label of Saregama.[11] The first song recorded was Chittukuruvi Muththam Koduthu. An African music band which was visiting Chennai was used for the song Paartha Gnabagam Illaiyo, picturised on Sowcar Janaki.[2] The song is believed to have been inspired by Dean Martin's version of the song Sway With Me.[12] The heavily orchestrated Engey Nimmadhi number, at that time, had the highest number of instruments used for recording. "Apparently, Kannadasan could not get the right words nor was there a tune ready and Sivaji came to the composing and did a pantomime of what he would like to do and thus was born the line and the song".[13] All the songs were hit, and contributed to the film's success.[4] Elements of Paartha Gnabagam Illaiyo were later used in the song Yae Dushyanta, composed by Bharadwaj for the 2010 film Asal.[14][15]

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Engey Nimmathi"   T. M. Soundararajan 6:21
2. "Chittu Kuruvi"   P. Susheela 5:08
3. "Aha Mella"   T. M. Soundararajan 4:12
4. "Unnai Ondru Ketpen"   P. Susheela 3:02
5. "Paartha Gnaabagam Illaiyo"   P. Susheela 3:38
6. "Paartha Gnaabagam Illaiyo (Sad)"   P. Susheela 4:00
7. "Unnai Ondru Ketpen (Sad)"   P. Susheela 2:10


The soundtrack received positive response from critics. Film historian Randor Guy stated, "The movie has excellent music (Viswanathan-Ramamurthy; lyrics by Kannadasan) and many songs became hits — Paartha Gnaabakam Illayo...!, Unnai ondru ketpen (P. Sushila) and Engey nimmathee (T. M. Soundararajan)."[4] Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu said, "Who can forget the everlasting flavour of MSV’s expertise that emanated through each and every number, beginning with ‘Unnai Ondru Kaetpaen’!"[2] Film critic Baradwaj Rangan called it a "stylish musical bonanza".[16]


Pudhiya Paravai was released on 12 September 1964, and was slated to be released in theatre Shanthi,[13] which was Sivaji Ganesan's family-held theatre.[5] However, because the Raj Kapoor-starrer Sangam was already running there successfully, the film was instead released in theatre Paragon, which had to be refurbished before the screening.[13] The Telugu dubbed version Singapore C I D was released on 11 September 1965.[17]

Critical reception[edit]

Puthiya Paravai received generally positive reviews. Ananda Vikatan said, "We can accept the film intellectually. However, it is tough to accept it in our heart due to the climax".[1] G. Dhananjayan, in his book The Best of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 1976, called it "An innovative landmark film with international standards of direction".[1] Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu said, "Pudhiya Paravai is a thriller in the whodunit genre. Dada Mirasi’s astute adaptation saw to it that the suspense was maintained till the very end, and the denouement neatly tied up the strands of suspense."[2] Film historian Randor Guy stated, "Sivaji Ganesan as the hero forced into a corner is excellent. Saroja Devi exudes glamour, while Sowcar Janaki as the boozing wife acquits her role with considerable conviction", concluding that the film would be "Remembered for the taut onscreen narration, the excellent performances by Sivaji Ganesan, Sowcar Janaki and M. R. Radha, and Saroja Devi’s glamour".[4] Film chronicler "Film News" Anandan praised it for being "the first film which had a classy, rich look right through."[5] Ramakrishnan T. of The Hindu called Saroja Devi's character a "brilliant role".[18] IndiaGlitz said, "In the colourful 'Puthiya Paravai' Sivaji's every movement with Saroja Devi talks love."[19]

Box office[edit]

It was widely reported that Puthiya Paravai did not do well during its first theatrical run,[13] although it ran for over 100 days in theatres.[1] In Chennai, it completed 132 days at the theatre Paragon, 76 days at theatre Krishna, 76 days at theatre Sayani, and it crossed eight weeks in all major centres. Due to the successful run of Pudhiya Paravai at Paragon, the film Aandavan Kattalai which was also running at the same theatre was removed after completing 70 days.[13] Since most films of the time in the Tamil film industry did not have box office reports, the film's exact collections are unknown.[20]


Pudhiya Paravai was re-released on 23 July 2010[13] to commemorate Sivaji Ganesan's 9th death anniversary. The negatives of the film were "cleaned up at a lab" prior to release, and the film was released at Shanthi theatre, where it could not originally be released in 1964. Despite being a re-release, the film earned public acclaim and took a big opening, running to "full houses" for three days.[5] As of 2013, production house Sai Ganesh Films have announced that the film's digitally restored version will be released in 2014, 50 years since the original release in 1964.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e G. Dhananjayan (2011). The Best of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 1976. Galatta Media. pp. 220–221. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Malathi Rangarajan (5 August 2010). "The bird flies high". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  3. ^ T.M. Ramachandran (1972). Film World 8. p. 45. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Randor Guy (26 June 2009). "Puthiya Paravai 1964". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Blast from the past as Sivaji movie runs housefull". The Times of India. 27 July 2010. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Fans go back in time to pay tribute to Sivaji". The Times of India. 23 January 2012. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Malathi Rangarajan (29 December 2006). "A dauntless spirit showcased". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sivaji still draws houseful audience". Behindwoods. 27 July 2010. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "filmography p10". Nadigarthilagam.com. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Puthiya Paravai songs". Raaga.com. Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Saregama Album Details : Pudhiya Paravai". Saregama. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Chronicles of Plagiarism in Indian Film Music". Itwofs.com. Archived from the original on 31 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Mohan Raman (September 2010). "Partha Gnyabagam Illayo". Madras Musings. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  14. ^ Malathy Sundaram. "Asal Music Review". Behindwoods. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  15. ^ Pavithra Srinivasan (8 January 2010). "Aasal's music is for Ajith fans". Rediff. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Baradwaj Rangan. "Two people, one industry". India-seminar.com. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  17. ^ http://www.aptalkies.com/movie.php?id=6821
  18. ^ Ramakrishnan T. (6 August 2012). "The day of the heroine?". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Romancing the Romance — I". IndiaGlitz. 9 February 2010. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Velayutham, Selvaraj (2008). Tamil Cinema: The Cultural Politics of India's other Film Industry. Psychology Press. p. 115. ISBN 9780203930373. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  21. ^ Udhav Naig (2 March 2013). "Second coming". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 

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