A lot of past, some present and maybe a trace of the future.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Ilaiyaraaja in Balki's Paa
Ilaiyaraaja reuses tunes from his Southern films in his Hindi ones, at least those for Balki (a.k.a. Balakrishnan, the director of Paa) . Was jumping around on TV yesterday and noticed that Paa's (Amitabh, Abhishek, Vidya Balan) premiere was happening and the theme music sounded very familiar and after some degree of firing of synapses in my neurons, figured that it came in from Baalu Mahendra's "Adhu Oru Kanaa Kaalam" where it comes as the interlude in the "Kaattu Vazhi" song. (Never mind that the film flopped, but had gems in, "Andha Naal Nyabagam" (so soothing) and "Kiliththattu Kiliththattu" (energetic)). The "Gumm Summ Gumm" song in Paa is a take on "Thumbi Vaa" from his music in Balu Mahendraa's Malayalam film Olangal. The tune is very familiar in Tamil, but I can't figure it out. "Hichki Hichki", the "Udi Udi" song and its variations are derivations, but I cannot place it, where. "Halke Se Bole" is a short song based on "Putham Pudhu Kaalai" from "Alaigal Oivadhillai".
Cheeni Kum (also from Balki) reused some beautiful music from his older films (Jaane Dó Na - Jothéyali Jothé Jothéyali (Geetha, Kannada), Baaté Hawaayein - Kuzhaloodhum Kannanukku (Mella Thirandhadhu Kadhavu, Tamil), Sooni Sooni - Mandram Vandha (Mouna Raagam, Tamil)) The Hindi versions do sound as nice as the originals with a contemporary touch.
I somehow feel that Ilaiyaraaja hasn't been honoured enough for his contribution to Indian music and cinema. From his humble beginning to the heights that he has reached, he deserves much more appreciation outside Tamil Nadu for what he has done. He is my favorite music director of all times, the Raja of melodies, though I am not as rabid as some of his online fans for putting down other music directors. IMO, he deserves a Bharat Ratna. Hopefully the folks that be recognize and honour this gem with a gem of an honour and appreciate people in their hey day as opposed to be awarded at the end of their lives. I am just surprised that the Government of India hasn't recognized him with a Padma Shri or a Padma Bhushan or a Padma Vibhushan so far.