Punnagai Desam
Directed byK. Shahjahan
Produced byR. B. Choudary
CinematographyR. Madhi
Edited byV. Jaishankar
Music byS. A. Rajkumar
Release date
14 January 2002

Punnagai Desam (transl. Land of smiles) is a 2002 Indian Tamil-language drama film directed by K. Shajahan. The film was produced by R. B. Choudary under the production banner Super Good films.[1] The film stars Tharun, Sneha, Kunal, Hamsavardhan, Dhamu and Preetha Vijayakumar in lead roles with Devan, Nizhalgal Ravi, Vinu Chakravarthy and Malaysia Vasudevan playing supporting roles. Soundtrack is composed by S. A. Rajkumar.[2][3]

R. Madhi and V. Jaishankar handled cinematography and editing respectively. It did reasonable business at the box-office upon release on 14 January 2002.[4]

It was remade by Shajahan in Telugu in 2007 with the title Nava Vasantham.[5]


Ganesh (Tharun) comes to Chennai with the hope of meeting his maternal uncle Rajarathinam (Devan) following his mother Parvathi's (Sabitha Anand) sudden death. Parvathi helped Rajarathinam during his struggling days. But the latter has transformed into a rich and arrogant guy and he ditches Ganesh. Ganesh also loves his uncle's daughter Bomma who was his childhood friend. But Rajarathinam does not allow Ganesh to meet his daughter and thrashes him out of his home.

Ganesh meets his school friends Selvam (Hamsavardhan), Raja (Kunal) and Vijay (Dhamu). Selvam aspires to become an IAS officer; Raja wants to become a singer while Vijay aspires to become a mimicry artist. But their parents don't support their children's ambitions and they want them to go for some work which will help earn some money. The friends get disappointed and they leave to Chennai with hopes of achieving big. But despite trying hard, Raja and Vijay does not get any opportunity to prove their talents. Selvam studies in a college but finds difficult to pay his education fees.

Ganesh understands the poor state of his friends and decides to help them. He sells Parvathi's chain which he was planning to give to Bomma and sets up a small roadside food business near Marina Beach. Ganesh cooks well and starts selling packaged lunch in roadside. With the money, he helps his friends. But Ganesh does not inform about his struggle to his friends, instead he lies to them that Rajarathinam gives him the money as and when required.

All four stay in a small home and the house owner Ravi Chandhiran (Malaysia Vasudevan) advises them to go for some job instead of following their dreams so that they can earn some money and improve their living condition. He also feels sad for Ganesh for spending all the hard earned money for the sake of his friends. Instead, Ganesh remains positive about his friends’ talents and believes that they will succeed in life.

Nandhini (Preetha Vijayakumar) and Priya (Sneha) are Selvam's classmates. Nandhini loves Selvam but he does not reciprocate. Meanwhile, Priya is the daughter of Rajarathinam and she is none other than Bomma who is Ganesh's would be.

One day, Raja and Vijay spot Ganesh in the beach selling tea. They get shocked after coming to know the struggle Ganesh has undergone to make his friends lead a decent life. They feel proud to have such a friend and they decide to help him. All four friends jointly set up a small hotel where Ganesh cooks while the others serve and do other works in their free time.

One day Selvam scolds Nandhini asking her to stop following him. He also explains that he is not in a position to love and he wants to become an IAS office thereby fulfilling his friend's dream. Nandhini understands his position and both Nandhini and Priya go along with Selvam to meet Ganesh. Nandhini and Priya feel proud seeing Ganesh. All of them become close friends and they hang out frequently. Priya starts liking Ganesh and love blossoms in her heart.

Ganesh tries hard by requesting a sabha manager to provide an opportunity for Vijay and Raja to perform. Ganesh sells his hotel and pays the deposit following which the manager agrees and Vijay and Raja perform on the stage. Raja sings while Vijay gives the background music through mimicry. The duo become more famous and fame follows them. Subsequently, Selvam clears IAS and gets posted as a collector. All the three friends get popularity and are well settled while Ganesh still works in a hotel.

Priya comes to propose her love to Ganesh but gets shocked to know that Ganesh is already in love with Bomma and feels disappointed. Meanwhile, Rajarathinam plans her wedding with their family friend Ashok Kumar for which Priya agrees though not interested.

A function is organized in the city center of Chennai for felicitating Raja, Selvam and Vijay's talents. Now their parents come there and they ill-treat Ganesh as he is poor. During the function, Raja, Selvam and Vijay thank their parents. Ravi Chandhiran gets depressed seeing this and scolds Ganesh that this is how people behave when they have money and get fame. He says that Ganesh wasted all his earnings for the sake of his friends while his friends have forgotten him after attaining popularity and betrayed him.

But in an eventual twist, Raja, Selvam and Vijay inform on stage that they had praised their parents just for a formality and they helped them in no way during their struggling days. They also introduce Ganesh and ask him to come on stage. They thank him in front of everyone and say that it was him who was their mental support.

Finally they reveal about Ganesh's childhood love towards Bomma. They display the childhood picture of Bomma on stage and requests Bomma to come and meet Ganesh if she sees this program which is getting live telecasted. They also say that all the money earned by them belong only to Ganesh while Rajarathinam ditched him for being poor. Priya on seeing the picture understands that it was herself and she runs to the function and sees Ganesh. Everyone is surprised including Ganesh and the movie happily ends with him and Priya reuniting.



Soundtrack was composed by S. A. Rajkumar.[6]

No. Song Singers Lyrics
1 "Doli Doli" P. Unnikrishnan, Harish Raghavendra, Swarnalatha, Dr. Narayanan P. Vijay
2 "Engal Mootchukulle" Shankar Mahadevan Vaali
3 "Ennai Pada Vaitha" Hariharan Viveka
4 "Kaatrile Paattu" P. Unnikrishnan Ra. Ravishankar
5 "Mazhaiye Oh Mazhaiye Siru Punnagai Thoovuriye" Sujatha Kalaikumar
6 "Vetrikku Mel Vetri" Shankar Mahadevan Vaali


  1. ^ "All about friendship". The Hindu. 6 July 2001.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". www.chennaionline.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2005. Retrieved 27 April 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Punnagai Desam". Sify.
  4. ^ "Punnagai Desam". The Hindu. 25 June 2005. Archived from the original on 27 June 2003. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Shajahan's musical entertainer". The Times of India. 2 November 2007. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
  6. ^ "Punnagai Desam Songs - Tamil Movie Songs - Raaga.com". Raaga. Retrieved 18 October 2015.