Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy Birthday , Maestro!

Today is Maestro Ilayaraja's birthday. Ilayaraja has given us thousands of songs to rant about. If I had to write on them, probably it might end up as a book and not a blog post. So , I've just limited myself to think ten things that would not have happened if Ilayaraja had not been born......

1. We would have never got those great songs which filled our youth..even today, in southern india , most men and women remember their love along with associated Raja's songs of those period. ...that melody filled youth wouldn't have been there. Maybe south indians would have wooed our real life heroines with "sanam theri kasam" or celebrated a party with "Laila oh laila" and would have never had a feeling filled regional touch to their lives. Raja freed us from the Hindi hit addiction that the previous generation had got into.
2. We would have never got great singers like Malaysia Vasudevan, Mano, Swarnalatha, Sujatha and Harish Ragavendar ( all introduced by Raja). May be Chitra would have gone the MG Srikumar way and got tied to just malayalam and would not have become the popular singer that she is  today..Probably the lyricists in poets like Vairamuthu and Mu.Mehta would not have come out if Raja had not been there to launch them.
3. S.Janaki might have finished her career singing classical oriented songs like "Singara velana deva" and we would have never known what a versatile singer she was. Only Raja found that Janaki can coo with passion in "Ponmeni Uruguthey" and make us cry with " Chinna Thayaval". He even made her sing for a male!
4. SP Balasubramaniam is a great singer. Truly great...He was one among that era who would have survived without Raja as he even had a Hindi market. But SPB himself would accept that his career would have never been the same if Raja had not been there.
5. Eminent Lyricist Kannadasan had gone into tamil minds much before Raja arrived. But if Raja had not been there , he would have bid us farewell with some Shankar Ganesh cabaret instead of the ever resonating "Kanne kalaimaaney"
6. Directors of the genre like Maniratnam who relied more on background music than on dialogues would have never ventured out if Raja had not been there to support them with those brilliant re-recordings.
7. Actors of the genre like Ramarajan would have never been cast ( let alone have a market) if Raja had not been there for them to lean back on.
8. One Diwali saw Raja giving music to four movies ..."Thalapathy" " Guna" "Brahma" "Thalaatu Ketkuthamma" four different movies of four different genre but Raja got into each movie and came out with magic. Can you ever imagine any such Diwali now where all the films music were composed by one music director?  Raja matched his quantity with quality. The legend goes that Raja composed the tunes of all songs of Chinna Thambi in half an hour. Now here was a man who was truly gifted. Be it the urban classical "Sindhu bhairavi" or the rural pathos "Mudhal Mariyathai"  Raja instilled a life into those movies with his songs.Versatality, Thy name is Ilayaraja!
9. Those days, only Raja could make a musical casette like "How to name it " sell without any Hero's picture on the label. Today Thiruvasagam sells not for its pious poetry but for the man who weaved magic with it.
10. And for today's teens, if there were no Raja there would have been no Yuvan for you to tap your foot for "Where is the party"...

This day as I just think what all we would have lost if the Isai Gnani had not been born, I solemnly thank June second for giving us a musical blessing! And blessed we were all to be in an era when Raja's music ruled the hearts.

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