Siddha doctor. Feminist. Poet. Lyricist. Screenplay writer. ‘Kutti’ Revathi as we know S. Revathi thinks it is important for women to multitask and do as many things as they can, particularly in the creative space. Her own life and work reflect a commitment to this belief. That’s what’s led her from writing poetry to a song that’s making waves. “‘Nenje Ezhu’ (for the film Maryan) is about a survivor. The song reflects love, separation, struggle, survival and finally, arising,” Revathi explains. She believes that a song comes out well when the director and the music director trust each other and their creative energy is channelled towards something exciting.
Revathi was roped into the project two-and-a-half years ago when the film’s director Bharatbala was on the lookout for a Tamil scholar. “This is my first experience with a feature film and now, I feel ready to direct on my own,” says the writer who is all praise for both Bharatbala’s and Rahman’s efforts. “Both of them were very clear that it should be a meaningful song. If the song needed two verses, I wrote eight, and Rahman was able to pick the lines that would work. Neither of them wanted words that we have all already heard. migappunaivumaanetheneponmaaneI think Rahman’s aim, when he chose to sing this song himself, was to engage with young people with a positive message. And the response has been just as expected.”
Revathi, a contemporary litterateur, thinks it is very important for intellectuals to connect with a mainstream medium such as cinema. “When I work in this medium, I feel powerful,” she says. She also believes that the field is a great place for women to experience this power. “Women in Tamil Nadu have been kept away from cinema for too long. Even our heroines are not from here. When you work with limitless freedom on your creativity, it is most empowering.”
With seven poetry anthologies in Tamil behind her, Revathi continues to write poetry on things that matter to her. Idinthakarai
The connecting thread
Language has been the connecting thread in everything Revathi has been interested in. “I was very passionate about Siddha medicine. I wanted to be a doctor and work with women,” she says. “The entire Siddha syllabus is in Tamil — in poetic verses and that got me interested more in poetry.”
She is now gearing up to make movies of her own and wants to put together a team. “Tamil cinema is changing. As are expectations from women,” she muses. Her films will focus on women.
Are more songs on the cards? “I will write if I am asked to and if I am comfortable with the filmmaker. Else, all my energies will be on making films,” she says.