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.

Have a great weekend.

9 comments:

savitha said...

//somehow feel that Ilaiyaraaja hasn't been honoured enough for his contribution to Indian music //

Completely, completely agree with you!! not just Indian music, but to the world of musics.

Anytime, any number of times, his compositions doesn't feel bored!! Uniquely Maestro!! He deserves much more, a lot more!! His compositions for thiruvasagam alone says it all!!

Srivats said...

Vijay k ellam Dr kudukaraanga.. hmm enntha solla.. I listen to Mudi mudi song ( now only knew about it) and its very nice.

Savi I would try the thiruvasagam :P

RamMmm said...

@savitha - Thiruvaasagam was a wonderful effort. Wish he had done more of international compositions for a better exposure. How to Name It? and Nothing but Wind were lovely albums.

@Srivats - :-D on Vijay. Thiruvaasagam would look at bit unorthodox on first hearing, but the mechanism of its delivery was unique.

gils said...

indian govtku hindila hit kudutha than selum..tamizh or regional language hits sellathu...rahmankay ivlo recogntion verum tamzih songs matum potruntha kedachrukuma theriala..raaja songs have an everlasting feel..epo ketalaum fresh...some songs of yuvan also have the same feel...

RamMmm said...

Adhé Adhé.

Yuvan is good as well (more instrumentation and experiments like Rahman) except that he should avoid singing songs that don't suit his voice at all. Raja's voice is more rounded and he doesn't anyway sing songs that don't suit his voice.

RamMmm said...

Another thing I mused about is whether the current generation have heard the best of Ilaiyaraaja at all? Raja peaked in the mid-late eighties when most of the current gen would have been just born. Raja wasn't profilic in the nineties after the ascent of A R Rahman who dominated that decade and then sprouted the next crop of directors (Yuvan, Harris, G V Prakash etc).

zeno said...

so true the current gen hasnt heard the best of him. as @gils said it's also abt doing hindi songs. reg padma awards, you need to send mails to kalam take pics with him give that to magazines only then u will get it. if nt shld participate in felicitation functions. illa atleast pensingam padathula oru pattu achum padanum :)

RamMmm said...

Only thing I hope is they do real justice to him. My drive to/from office is dotted with gems from his music of 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s that are evergreen every time you hear it and it feels sad that he hasn't been recognized appropriately. There is a view that he is egoistic, arrogant and a difficult guy, but I don't think that in any way should affect the respect you give to his work where he stands tall. After all, the awards are for the work that a person does and not the persons themselves.

RamMmm said...

The URL http://www.musicquencher.com/blog/2009/08/25/multiple-versions-of-a-single-tune/ has a list of the different variants of the Thumbi Vaa song and a pointer to it as well.