Chithi (TV series)

Chithi (trans.Step Mother) is an Indian Tamil prime time soap opera that ran on Sun TV. The show premiered on 20 December 1999. It aired Monday through Friday at 9:30pm. The serial starred Radika, Sivakumar, Deepa Venkat, Anju, Latha Sethupathi, Yuvarani, Subhalekha Sudhakar, Hemalatha, Poovilangu Mohan, Ajay Rathnam, Riyaz Khan, Vijay Adhiraj and Tharika.[1]

Written byC. J. Baskar (Story)
Raj Prabhu
Raj Prabhu
Directed byC. J. Baskar
Deepa Venkat
Subhalekha Sudhakar
Theme music composerDhina
Opening theme"Kanninmani"
Nithyasree Mahadevan(Vocal)
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam(Background Vocal)
Vairamuthu (Lyrics)
Vritchamuni (Background Lyrics)
Country of originIndia
Original language(s)Tamil (Original Version)
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes467
CinematographySakthi Saravanan
Running timeapprox. 20-22 minutes per episode
Production company(s)Radaan Mediaworks
Original networkSun TV
Original release20 December 1999 (1999-12-20) 
2 November 2001 (2001-11-02)

The show was produced by Radaan Mediaworks, directed by C. J. Baskar.[2] The title track was composed by Dhina. It had been receiving the highest ratings of Tamil serials and it was credited as the best serial and received high praising from viewers.[3] It holds the credit of most watched regional Language television program in India ever. The show last aired on 2 November 2001 and ended with 467 episodes. It was also aired in Sri Lanka Tamil Channel on Shakthi TV and United Kingdom Tamil Channel on Deepam TV.[4]


Chithi is a serial based on women empowerment and the challenges face by women in India. The serial begins in a Brahmin society in Srirangam, Trichy. Ramachandran(Sivakumar), lives with his 7-year-old daughter Kaveri(Baby Hemalatha)and mentally challenged wife Vaidhegi. He has a best friend, Krishna(Subalekha Sudhakar), son of a box factory watchman. On the night of Karthigai Deepam, Vaidhegi drowns in the river, and at a same time, a woman(Radhika) is seen running and a few men chasing her with fire stick. They set her saree on fire and she jumps into the river. Vaidhegi is presumed dead and Kaveri longes for a mother's love. She awaits for chithi(step-mum/aunt). Soon, she rescues the woman with the help of Krishna and Ramu. She starts calling her as chithi which creates chaos among the society people. The woman does not talk but Kaveri clings to her. Ramu gets irritated and in the end, to prove his stand he had no other choice but to accept the woman. The woman talks for the first time and reveals her name to be Sharadha. Krishna's father passes away and both the friend leave for Madras to find job.

In Madras, they go to a textiles, owned by Mahalingam(Delhi Kumar). They buy clothes lings and materials worth about 1000000 and asks Mahalingam to loan it to them to which he disagrees. Distraught, they wander around the shop and bumps into Prabhavathi(Yuvarani), the daughter of Mahalingam. She convinces her father to loan them and he agrees. Prabha falls for Ramu and helps both of them in all the ways she can, together with her cousin Velumani(Vasu Vikram). When Ramu and Krishna become successful in business, Prabha come forward to reveal her love to Ramu, but he said he has Sharadha waiting for him at Agraharam. She becomes sad and plan to take revenger over Ramu.

Mahalingam and Padma fix a groom for Prabhavathi from USA, just to see she forced Krishna to marry her. Velumani and Prabha makes Krishna drink more, and makes him marry her at no other choice. Once Ramu marries Sharadha, he brings her and Kaveri to Chennai and later found Krishna being married. As Ramu said he can't leave Krishna in his life, he brings Krishna, Prabha and Velu to the same house where he stays for rent

The owner of the house is Janaki(Mahalingam 1st love) and her 2 daughters. Mahalingam was forced to marry Padma, but secretly lives with Janaki with whom he gave birth for 2 daughters Viji and Geetha. As days pass, both Sharadha and Prabhavathi become pregnant. Prabhavathi makes Kaveri to turn towards her to take revenge on her father and step mother. Soon Kaveri leaves hostel and Sharadha starts a textile industry named Kavery Garments and builds a new house which she calls as Sharadha Illam.

They also bring Krishna's family to that house including Velumani. Meanwhile, at Janaki's side, Viji loves a shed mechanic Surya, but Janaki reluctant to get her daughter married to mechanic, makes Viji marry her own uncle's(Janaki Brother) son named Anand, where she faces torture from him, his mom and his sis

Sharadha and Prabhavathi are admitted in same hospital at same time, and both deliver boy babies at same time. Ramu and Krishna fearing these kids will cause division between them, exchange the babies. Ramu names Krishna's son as Srinivasan and Krishna name Ramu's son as Prasad. Years pass, Sharadha business Kaveri Garments grows with profit, and she delivers two more kids, Daughter Swetha and Son Sreevatsan. Meanwhile, Prabhavathi and Krishna have their 2nd kid named Brindha. Since then all 5 grow at same house and be like brother sisters. Srinivasan was found to be physically challenged a Prabha eats a table to abort him, but Krishna is happy that kid is with Sharadha who shovers her love, care, affection and gives him confidence. She starts to love Srinivasan more than other 2 children

Kaveri who went to hostel as a kid, return home as teen. Initially she was against her chithi by insulting her. Velumani and Prabha makes Kaveri to fall in love with a womenizer and drug smuggler named Nagu, without knowing his true colours, Kaveri loves him. Soon she starts to elope with him but before that she apologise to her step mum. She even used to insult srinivas for being a lame person. On the day of eloping on her 19th birthday, she found Nagu's true colours and both get remanded in police station, Sharadha comes and save her and hides the truth from her family. She starts to love her chithi more and realizes her mistake, and soon sharadha starts to find groom for her with Ramu and Krishna. Angered by Velu and Prabha, they try to stop Kaveri wedding by several attempts.

They hire Yogi as General Manager for Kaveri Garments, who kept on following Sharadha since her arrival to srirangam, as there were few flash scenes showing Sharadha and Yogi were working together and are relatives. But she doesn't want to bring her past, and dedicates her complete life to Kaveri and Ramu, but still they make Yogi stay in their home, as he was a successful Manager for Kaveri Garments and Architect for Sharadha Illam as none knew about the past. Kaveri wedding gets fixed, and got stopped as Ramu hid the truth to grooms parents that Sharadha belongs to different caste, as it was exposed by Vaidehi's mother who didn't like Ramu marrying different caste girl. To make Kaveri come out of it, Ramu and Sharadha makes her work at Kaveri Garments. Meanwhile, Viji who faced death under Anand and his family, runs from their home and seeks Sharadhas house for shelter. Even she joins the same department of Kaveri at Kaveri Garments, and both enjoy working there

Soon Sharadha finds a groom for Kaveri, from a lower-middle-class family. She gifts a house to them, and he works part-time at Temple, then in computer training center and evening as hotel supervisor to support his family. His name is Madhavan who belongs to same caste as Ramu. Wedding gets fixed and Madhavan parents are fine Sharadha being from different caste. Things go smoothly, and Ramu come to know Vaidhehi is alive, he asks many times to come to his home, but she refused as he lived half of his life with Sharadha, but he secretly lives with her, and only Krishna come to know about it. One day Sharadha and Yogi spots Ramu giving a flower to a female in car and fight arrives between them, Angered by Yogi he tell who Sharadha is

Story shifts to flashback to Thirunelveli, where Sharadha is found to be IAS Collector of Thiruvnelveli, she has a twin sister named Sakthi Eshwar who is AC. Their father Eashwara Pandiyan is a business tycoon and big don of the city who has fume with MLA Viswanathan. Yogi's mother's brother is Eshwara Pandi, as Yogi lost his mom as toddler, he grew at Eashwaran house. Sakthi was his love interest. Eswara Pandian is not fond of Sharadha and favours Shakti over her. Nevertheless, Sharadha and Shakti are very close to each other. There comes a problem and unknowingly Eswara Pandian is a part of it. Amidst this, Sharada and Shakti's mother dies in a bomb blast and Sharadha fights with her father. She even says that he would be punished. Angered, MLA Viswanathan and Eswara Pandian plots against Sharadha. Shakti suspecting this, takes the form of her sister's avatar as Sharadha IAS and goes with Yogi. When they reach a temple, MLA and Eswaran, mistaking Shakti for Sharadha, kills her. Sharadha devastated, argues with her father, who realizes his mistake. The MLA on the other hand,orders his men to kill Sharadha. Eswaran Pandian and Yogi fails to save Sharadha and Eswaran is arrested. Sharadha runs for her life and jumps into the water and the little Kaveri saves her life in Kavery River, at Srirangam, which happened in the beginning of the show.

Yogi completes telling the story to Ramu and the rest and Sharadha's secret is out. Meanwhile, Kaveri gets pregnant while at the same time, Nagu is out of jail to avenge Kaveri. (Madhavan knows about Nagu and Kaveri). Viji faces problems at the factory due to her past life with Anand and Sharadha gets her married to Yogi. Angered and insulted, Anand comes to throw acid at Viji's face but gets involved in an accident. He apologises to Viji before dying and Anand's chapter is over. Nagu tries very hard to avenge Kaveri. Meanwhile, Vaidhegi is brought to Sharadha illam by Ramu. Kaveri gets admitted in the hospital on night and Nagu comes there, which results in Kaveri's miscarriage. Kaveri's mother-in-law starts hating her, for hiding the truth about Nagu. Suddenly, Krishna who has gotten liver cancer by his drinking habit last time, dies suddenly. Prabhavathi poisons Prasad's mind that Ramu and Sharadha are the reason Krishna died. Prasad curses them before leaving Sharadha illam with his family and Velu. Ramu is left heart broken. Viji gets pregnant but slips and falls and goes into labor. She dies of injuries but gives birth to a healthy baby girl whom Yogi names Shakti.

Year rolls by and all the kids are grown up. Kavery is left childless even after consulting many doctors and gains more of her mother-in-law's wrath. Madhavan keeps on supporting her. Srinivas who is bounded to crouches becomes a journalist and writer. Shakti is seen to have feeling for Srinivasan. Shewta becomes a teacher at a school while Srivatsan becomes a doctor. Prasad an engineer and Brindha starts training as for IPS. Now Vaidhegi and her mother are staying with Sharadha in a rented house. Sharadha illam is undergoing a court case after Prabha files a case that she too has a share in it. Things start to heat up when the children falls in love and Eswaran gets released. Shakti's crush on Srinivas starts to bother Ramu as technically, Srinivas and Shakti are brother and sister as their mothers, Prabha and Viji are half-sisters. But Srinivas starts to fall for a fan of him, Kamini. Brindha and her fellow IPS friend, Shreedar form a mutual friendship but Shreedar falls for Brindha. Prasad's friend, Daniel eventually marries Brindha and Prasad gets committed with a girl called Charulatha. Srivatsan marries his doctor friend Sangeetha and stays in her house. What Shweta does comes as a shock to the whole family. At the day of her wedding, Shweta runs away with a useless, poor slum guy called Kannan. Ramu leaves home after this and stays in an Ashramam. It is actually Prasad, who arranged Kannan through Daniel to torture Sharadha using her daughter, Shewta. But he did not expect Shweta to fall for Kannan. Under some circumstances, Sharadha and the family moves to the Janaki's house like before, Vaidhegi chases her mother out and goes a change of heart. Kavery Garment starts to fall apart and Sharadha stumbles. Eswaran comes and stays with the family. Among these, Mahalingam dies and Padmavathy comes and tells Prabha the truth about her sons. It is shown that Krishna actually told Padmavathy the truth before he died. Padmavathy dies in an accident and Prabha comes to meet Ramu in the ashramam and learns the truth. She is left heartbroken as she loves Prasad really a lot.

Kaveri stays with Sharadha and her mother-in-law falls sick. Madhavan comes to bring her back but Kaveri disagrees much to Madhavan's anger. But things changes and Madhavan's mother accepts Kaveri with full heart. Shweta lives a hard and troubled lifestyle and requests SHaradha for money, to which she rejects. Shweta scolds her saying that she always preferred Kaveri over her own children, causing Sharadha to get more angry on her and chase her out of Kavery Garments. Ramu returns back after sometime. Meanwhile, murders take place and it surrounds Prabha and Sharadha's families. Eswaran also dies after fighting with some old rivals in Prabha's residence. Shreedar starts to investigate the case together with Brindha and they highly suspect Prabha to be behind it. Prabha is having a dilemma to choose between Prasad or Srinivas. Her slight affection to her biological son, Srinivas, angers and upsets Prasad and Velu Mani finds the relevant document of Prasad being Sharadha's son, and is shocked. Heart-broken knowing that Prasad is not his nephew at first, he changes and demands 5 crores from Prabha to hide the truth. Prabha, scared and helpless, kills Velu also. Everyone is shocked about this. Shakti commits suicide after coming to know that Srinivas is her brother. The whole family is shattered. Sharadha illam case is solved and Sharadha gets back her home. Srinivas, goes to meet Prabha and comes to know that Shakti came there before committing suicide, after Prasad accidentally blurts out. Srinivas fights with Prabha and Prasad accidentally pushes him against a wall, injuring his head. Prabha angered at Prasad argues with him and he leaves home devastated.

Sharadha comes to know about Srinivas's injury and very angered, goes to kill Prasad and Prabha. Ramu stops her and tells her the truth that Prasad is her son and Srinivas is Prabha's son. Sharadha cries learning the truth. Srinivas comes home and Sharadha breaks down in front of him. They get a call and learn that Prabha had locked herself in a room and wants to speak to Sharadha. They ho to Prabha's house and Prabha requests Sharadha to leave Prasad and never come back. Sharadha, realizing Prabha's true love for Prasad, promises her that she would not take Prasad from her and Prasad would always remain as her son. Prabha, thankful, surrenders to the police. Sharadha has to take care of both Prasad and Srinivas. No one knows the truth till end.

Several years later, Yogi brings photograph crew to the Sharadha illam to take a family photo. To their shock, the crew looks exactly like the dead. Eswaran, Velu Mani and much to Ramu's shock, Krishna. But they are not their men. All the married couples have children and while taking the photograph, Kaveri declares she is pregnant. A few years later, Prabha is released and the whole family pose for the final family photograph.


  • Raadhika as Saradha and Sakthi (Double Role)[5][6]
  • Sivakumar as Ramachandran "Ramu"
  • Deepa Venkat\Bhavana as Viji
  • Subhalekha Sudhakar as Krishna/Kannan
  • Yuvarani as Prabhavathi
  • Neena as Kaveri Madhavan
  • Vijay Adhiraj as Prasad, Prabhavathi's son (Sharadha's biological son)
  • Sashikumar Subramani as Seenivasan aka Cheenu (Poet Arivumathi), Sharadha's son (Prabhavati's biological son)
  • Shilpa as Brindha (Prabhavathi's daughter)
  • Dev Anand as Shreevathsan "Shree" (Sharadha's second son)
  • Tharika as Shwetha (Sharadha's daughter)
  • Anju as Vaidhegi
  • Delhi Kumar as Prabhavathi's Father
  • Janavi as Janaki, Viji's Mother
  • Vasu Vikram as Velumani "Velu"(Prabhavathi's cousin and her sidekick)/Mani
  • Hemalatha as Young Kaveri
  • Vatsala Rajagopal as Vaidhegi's Mother
  • Junior Balaiah as Vishwanathan
  • Ajay Rathnam as Yogi, Viji's second husband
  • Bhuvana as Geetha, Viji's younger sister
  • Muralidharan as Suriya, Vijis Ex-Lover
  • Riyaz Khan as Anand, Viji's Ex-Husband
  • Nandhakumar as Anand's father
  • K. S. Jayalakshmi as Anand's mother
  • Poovilangu Mohan as Marudhappan
  • Vinodhini as Charulatha "Charu"
  • Vijay Sarathy as Kannan
  • Sureshwar as Madhavan, Kaveri's Husband
  • Pasi Sathya as Kannan's Mother
  • Vishwa as Srikumar (Nagu), Kaveri's Ex-Lover
  • Kavi as Mallika (Sharadha's maid and Subbaiah's wife)
  • Dineshkumar as Subbaiah (Sharadha's servant)
  • Seetha Anil as Kamini
  • Shanthi Williams as Padmavathy, Prabhavathi's Mother
  • Ravikumar as Eashwarapandiyan, Saradha and Sakthi's Father/Anbucheran
  • Latha Sabapathi as Saradha and Sakthi's mother
  • Bhuvaneswari as Sangeetha
  • Vincent Roy as Vishwanathan MLA
  • Daniel Balaji as Daniel
  • Akash as Sreedhar
  • Bombay Gnanam as Sreedhar's Mother
  • Usha as Roja Velumani, Saradha's Maid and Velumani's Wife


The title song and the background score was composed by the music director Dhina lyrics written by Vairamuthu.

Track listing
1."Kanninmani"VairamuthuDhinaNithyasree Mahadevan3:07
2."Vaanathai Nokki"VritchamuniDhinaS. P. Balasubrahmanyam4:54


NetworkCountryTimeslotBroadcast date
Astro VaanavilMalaysiaWeekdays, 9pm2001 - 2003
Shakthi TVSri LankaMonday- Friday, 8:30PM.2002 - 2004
Deepam TVUnited KingdomMonday- Friday, 8:30PM

Dubbed versions

It is also dubbed in Sri Lanka in Sinhala language as Punchi and in Andhra Pradesh on Gemini TV in Telugu language as Pinni.[7]


The series has been remade in Malayalam language as Parvathi broadcast on Surya TV, Hindi language as Choti Maa broadcast on Zee TV[8] and Kannada language as Chikamma broadcast on Udaya TV.


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