It irks me when I see so many music composers claim that they are the best in music when their total number of movies doesn’t even cross the number of movies made by Ilaiyaraja in a year
Whenever some one speaks about Ilaiyaraja’s music, they start up their discussion with Mouna Raagam, Payanangal Mudivathillai, Agni Natchathiram or about his Thiruvasagam. Most of his famous songs are often repeated in FM stations and it has become so stereotypical. The genius of that man cannot be curtailed in to few famous albums. This series from me is to unearth some musical gems from not so famous albums of Ilaiyaraja but those which keeps running over and over in my iPhone.
1. I am not a music person. I dunno how the ragas are made, how western notes play, I am clueless about C sharps… So don’t expect me to diagnose the music in to raagas and notes. I would write what I love in that song. I always believe that the success of the song relies on the feeling it gives you when you hear it. If you like to know more about the musical genius of the man, visit his official fans group in Yahoo – I bet you are in for a treat if you understand music.
2. All the songs chosen here are my personal favorites. So it’s absolutely biased and i hope you feel the same.
The Unknown Gem – 1
Parthiban is one of the most intelligent film makers I have ever seen. But he sometimes wades of his usual ways to make movies like Ullae Veliye etc. Only he knows why. He is a ardent fan ( fan is a understatement, devotee is a better word) of Ilaiyaraja. He once famously put in a title card like this “Music Alias Ilaiyaraja”.
Incidentally his first movie’s (Pudhiya Paadhai) music was not by Maestro but he joined hands for the second movie “Pondatti Thevai”. One of the most beautiful songs from that movie is going to be our first song.
To understand the beauty of the song, you should understand the situation. The hero (Parthiban) is a bus conductor , an orphan falls in love with a Brahmin girl who travels regularly in his ladies special bus. He loves his mother but he doesn’t have a picture of her to see. He even tries to take a picture of his mother in her death-bed but she dies. So he always yearns for a motherly love and he expects his wife to be his second mother ( most of us do) . Once his lady love comes to his house, tries to cook non-veg for him etc. He gives her the saree his mother had bought for her daughter in law. She sings this song as he asks for it.
The song starts with a female hum and a simple piano rendering. And it moves on to the flute and the Pallavi follows. The song continues with a usual Tabla base entwined with piano and violin intersperses. Both the interludes are made of delightful interactions between violin, piano and flute. The whole song has a lullaby effect attached to it. Ilayaragam, the geocities page of Ilaiyaraja says that song was made in Natabhairavi Raaga. It is said to be a raaga of grandeur and pomp. A lullaby in that raaga – only Raaja can do it.
The lyrics forms a very integral part of the song. The first half the lover says why she will not equal his mother and explains her love with a sweet tinge of desire.
In the second half, the guy says what he wants from her and shows his love with the usual metaphorical words attached with poetry.
The song was sung by Chitra and Arun Mozhi (who is also flautist in Ilaiyaraja’s orchestra). The lyric was written by Vaali.
Why I love this song?
Have you ever spent a day with your love in your home alone, with none around, distancing yourself from the outside world? Just cook together, eat together even though you are not hungry, with sweet kisses… Have you ever slept in her bosom like you sleep in your mother’s? You will understand the real beauty of this song when you experience it…