Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Extracts from Mahendra raj's pages
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Many of Insights are the Extracts from Mahendraraj's Pages
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
எக்ஸ்ற்றக்ட்ஸ் பிரோம் மகேன்றராஜ் Pages
Monday, July 21, 2008
For millions of Tamils who are over 40, numerous movie lyrics of Tamil poet laureate Kannadasan (1927-1981) provided special delight in times of happiness and solace in times of sorrow. When Kannadasan wrote lyrics for action-oriented movies of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G.Ramachandran (MGR; 1917-1987), in 1950s and 1960s, there was undoubtedly an extraordinary ‘punch’ in his lines to provide courage and uplifting spirit to the masses who struggled with daily chores.
Kannadasan-MGR combination in real life had vibrant streaks of friendship and infrequent spats as well. But both, each blessed with strong individuality, recognized and respected each one’s talent. Among the dozens of songs which fill my memories, I have a fondness to the following song which appeared in MGR’s movie Nadodi. For the movie, MGR lip-synched this song with a harmonium hanging around his neck. In my opinion, this song of Kannadasan has unequal merits as the pledge song for Eelam. Kannadasan’s play on the word ‘Naadu’ (both its noun form and the verb form) is indeed a beauty.
Peering into the Future
I predict that Eelam will be a reality in the first quarter of the 21st Century (before Prabhakaran reaches 70 years). Whether it will happen before the year 2010 or after, depends on multiple geo-political factors. To illustrate with a chemistry principle, a set of factors functioning as catalysts can bring out a quick completion of a reaction. In my opinion, the second and third generation of Tamils who are currently growing up in the USA, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and other European nations can (and should) function as catalysts to influence the policies of their adopted nations.
Let us learn from a page in the history of the 20th century. Israel became a reality for Jews in 1948, largely because of the influence wielded by the second and third generation American Jews (whose parents and grandparents escaped from the pogroms in European and Russian ghettos). Since the times of Harry Truman, the Jewish interests (in academic, business, bureaucratic and Hollywood circles) have made sure that American politicians support the birth and sustenance of Israel.
Thus, it is the duty of those who have settled now in affluent nations to instill the message of Tamil heritage to their offsprings and grandchildren. Of course, there are many methods to provide such instruction. I wish to propose one song which can serve as a pledge song for Eelam Tamils in the diaspora.
In the mid 1960s, long before the struggle for Eelam was in the thoughts of Sri Lankan Tamils, Kannadasan, the uncrowned poet laureate of Tamils, penned a lyric to one of MGR’s movies, aptly named Nadodi (The Vagabond). The word Nadodi itself is an apt one to describe the status of the Tamils who left their ancestral land, though one need not interpret it in a derisive context. Kannadasan’s poignant song began with the lines,
Naadu – athai Naadu – athai naadaa viddaal, ethu Veedu?
In a play on the word Naadu, which means ‘homeland’ (as a noun) and ‘reach the goal’ (as a verb), Kannadasan superbly highlighted the folk wisdom that one’s real heaven (home) is in his or her homeland.
Even when I hum the lines of this particular lyric, I’m still astounded by Kannadasan’s mastery of thoughts, words and vision, and he wrote these lines for MGR to mouth these lines (actually sung by T.M.Soundararajan) in that movie. The Tamil poet laureate stressed it to us, that ‘even if our homeland is a desert, let us have boundaries with rock and mountains. There are rivers which flow into the fields, and lets be proud of our heroic traditions.’ [The original lines are as follows:]
Paalaivanam enra pothum Nam Naadu
Paarai Malai kooda Nam ellai Kodu
Aaru Nilam Paainthu Vizhaiyadum Thottam
Veera Samuthayame Engal Kooddam.
The next four lines of this lyric also shows that Kannadasan had anticipated the emergence of Tamil Tigers, a decade ahead. One can call it as a poet’s flight of fancy for word play or premonition to things to follow. But, these lines glitter like gems, and need no further explanation from me.
Pasi enru Varuvoorku Virunthaha Maarum
Pahaivar Muham Paarthu Puliyaaha Cheerum
Nilathil Uyir Vaithu Urimai Kondaadum
Ethirthu Varuvorai Urama Podum.
The poet has noted, ‘We will provide food for those who come with hunger; to our adversaries, we turn into tigers; We will cherish our dear land, and will turn enemies into fertilizers for our land.’
It is my view that the brothers and sisters who have stayed in Eelam have been doing their share in turning the last three lines of Kannadasan’s vision into reality. Those of us who have left Eelam and living elsewhere should contribute to make Kannadasan’s line ‘Pasi enru Varuvoorku Virunthaha Maarum’, a reality.
Extract fromSachi Sri Kantha
[Originally appeared in the Hot Spring, Jan-Feb.2000]
Friday, July 18, 2008
Nearly 15 years later he infused this line into the song "yaarai nambi naan poranthaen pongadaa ponga" (Enga Oor Raja 1968.) That was a terrible long period all of you might think. But the accompanying incident puts to rest your opinion.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Vasantha Kaala NathikalileVariramani Neeralaigal
Neeralaigal MeethinilaeNenjirendin Ninaivalaigal
Ninaivalaigal Thodandru VanthalNaeramellam Kannavalaigal
Kanavalaigal ValarvatharkuKaamanavan Malarkanaigal
Malarkanaigal Paainthu VittalMadi Irandum Panjanaigal
Panjanaiyil Palli KondalManamirandum Thalaiyanaigal
Thalaiyanaiyil Mugam PuthaithuSarasamidum Pudhu Kalaigal
Pudhukalaigal PeruvatharkuPoomalai Manaivinaigal
Friday, July 11, 2008
The room boy obliged to do so and after the poetess went through the contents in the paper, she forced the room boy to take her to Kannadasan. The conversation between the English poetess and the Tamil poet then lasted for hours together. Can any one guess what there was in the paper which forced the English poetess to meet Kannadasan? It is as under:
"An Outstanding Tamil Poet is Standing Outside"
In the entire history of Tamil cine field that was the first and perhaps may remain the last occasion in which almost a full length lyric was instantly created and dictated through phone for immediate song-recording!
(Excerpts From: "Tamil Cinema
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Shivaji further noted that the lines 'nathiyil vilayadi kodiyil thalai seevi' (song: Malarnthu Malaraaga)was a literature song well diluted so that even the illiterate folks could understand the essence. After this incident, their animosity was forgotten. Practically it was kaviarasar's songs for the next decade or so in all of Shivaji's films
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
‘Andha sivagami maganidam sedhi solladi – yennai
serum naal parka solladi’
came in the movie ‘Pattanathil Bhoodam’. In the movie , the song was set as it to praise Lord Muruga..
Kamaraj’s Mother’s name is Sivagami !!
Udalum Ullamum Nalandana..
Nalam Pera vendum nee Yendru
Naalum Yen Nenjil Ninaivundu
Ilai marai kaai pol porul kondu
Yevarum ariyaamal sol indru….
Was written in ‘Thillana Moganaambal’ for as the meeting song between Sivaji and Padmini after sivaji’s injury.
But, this song is actually written with C.N. Annadurai in mind when he was ailing in the hospital and kavingyar was away from him
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
His assistant (I do not wish to cite his name for obvious reasons as he is still around and a well known film producer too)urged the producers to give him the opportunity to pen the songs citing Kannadhasan's attitude. Incidentally, this assistant is Kannadhasan's own nephew and he took him from nowhere and groomed him up. If you see films of the sixties and seventies era you can catch up his name as assistant to Kaviarasar in the film credits. The producers of "Gauravam" did not want to take the chance but instead preferred to await Kannadhasan's return. The moment Kannadhasan returned he heard the story of how his assistant-cum-nephew nearly manoeuvered him out of this film. He could'nt stomach the fact that the very child he groomed could do such a thing. But back to business. He penned all the songs but amongst them there were two songs where he really poured out his emotions. The songs fitted the film picturisation well but only those who were close to Kannadhasan knew that they were aimed at his nephew-cum-assistant. The songs are "Paaluti Valartha Kili" and "Neeyum Nanumaa Kanna Neeyum Naanumaa". The next time if you happen to hear these two songs close your eyes and you can feel the emotions of Kaviarasar. Anyway, the whole episode was forgotten as usual as Kannadhasan is a child-at-heart person and was never known to be vindictive throughout his life. He forgives and forgets. Thats his secret of remaining jovial till his last breath in spite of all the shortcomings he faced. See you all again with yet another song background ஸ்டோரி
Extracts from Mahendran Raj
Monday, July 7, 2008
Everyone in the audience, including Ilayaraja, had a short course in Tamil pronounciation at the studio!
At the studio MSV was already present with his harmonium and when kaviarasar was told the story situation immediately he uttered the pallavi "Sothanai mel sothanai pothumadaa sami" ('Thanga Pathakkam' 1974). Kanmani Subbu, as usual transcribed the whole song while it was dictated and passed it to MSV after getting the endorsement of kaviarasar.
Traditionally, song tunes are composed on the first stanza only but in this case MSV was trying out different tunes basing on the last line of the last stanza, to wit, "...idipole pillai vanthaal madi thaangumaa". He was emphasising this part of the lyrics so loud and crying which was very unusual.
While the composition was going on Shivaji who was at a shooting in the adjacent studio room quitely came and took his seat amongst them during a break. He did not utter a single word but was clearly seen in a pensive mood with a tinge of sadness. He placed his right forefinger on the right side of his cheek and stared blankly at MSV .
Kaviarasar was seen puffing away a cigarette also in a melancholic mood. Suddenly he saw these three senior citizens shedding tears which was also unusual. Only later it was learned that both MSV and Shivaji had had some sort of misunderstandings and arguments (private) with their respective sons that particular morning too!
Kaviarasar's song befitted the actual life situations of these three gentlemen who were also involved in this film.
(1) Naan oru muttalunga enru Nalla padichavanga Naalu Peru Sonnanga [I’m but a fool – and was told so by four literate souls], written for comedian singer J.P.Chandrababu, in the movie Sahothari.
(2) Oho Ho Ho Manitharkale Oduvathenge Sollungal [Oho Ho Ho Humankind – Let me know where are you galloping], written for the character played by Sivaji Ganesan and sung by T.M.Soundararajan, in the movie Padithaal Maddum Pothuma.
(3) Kaalam seitha komalithanathil Ulagam piranthathu [ Due to the clowning of Time, the universe was born], again in the movie Padithaal Maddum Pothuma. Komali is the Tamil word for clown.
(4) Yaarai enge vaipathu enru yaarukkum puriyale [No one doesn’t know where to place anyone?], written for the character played by Sivaji Ganesan and sung by T.M.Soundararajan, in the movie Bale Pandiya.
The first of the four Kannadasan lyrics mentioned above, Naan Oru Muttalunga, is a timeless classic on foolish experiences, based on Kannadasan’s autobiographical experiences. The lyric was voiced by eccentric comedian singer-actor J.P.Chandrababu (1932?-1974), who combined Chaplinisque slap-stick comedy routines and a haunting bass voice to create a unique niche in the Tamil movie world from the late 1940s to early 1970s. Chandrababu, who spent his early years in Ceylon - since his father was a press staffer - was also no stranger to foolish acts in one's personal life. Thus this soul-stirring song lives in the lips of Tamils forever, for its in depth beauty, trawled from the experiences of two talented artistes who burnt both ends of their candles and had unusually short life spans.
The second of the four Kannadasan lyrics noted above, Oho Ho Ho Manitharkale Oduvathenge Sollungal also is filled with unique charm. Venkaayam (onion) is an allegorical word used commonly in Tamil for a fool. Why? It could be that foolish acts brings tears to many. Also that, peeling an onion layer by layer brings out nothing. Kannadasan uses this Venkaayam word effectively to sketch the traits of fools. The second quatrain of the lyric read as follows:
"Azhuhi pona kaai kari kooda samayaluku ahaathu
Arivillathavan uyirum manamum oorukku uthavaathu
Urithu paarthaal venkaayathil onrum irukkaathu
Ulari thiripavan vaarthaiyile oru uruppadi theraathu."
In my crude English translation, the lines read as,
Spoiled leaves and meat aren’t worth cooking
Mindless man’s life and mind isn’t worth for many
An onion peeled would turn out to be empty
The words of a fool aren’t worth even a penny
In the third lyric noted above, Kaalam seitha komali-thanathil Ulagam piranthathu, Kannadasan characterized different types of clownish acts among humans ingeniously. But in the first two quatrains he fantasized on the origin of universe, mind, love and human pairing as inter-linked clownish acts. In translation, Kannadasan’s lines read as follows: due to the clowning of Time, the universe was born; due to the clowning of universe, the mind was born; due to the clowning of the mind, love was born; and due to the clowning of love, pairing appeared. Of course, as one would expect, quite a bit of beauty and bite of Kannadasan’s lyrics is lost in translation.
In the fourth lyric noted above, Yaarai enge vaipathu enru yaarukkum puriyale, Kannadsasan gripes about the mixing of the real thing and the phony among humans. The first quatrain notes,
Yaarai enge vaipathu enru
yaarukkum puriyale – Ada
Andam kaakaikum kuyilkalukkum
In my crude English translation, the lines read as,
No one doesn’t know
where to place anyone? – Yeh!
One can’t see the grade
between a crow and a cuckoo
Taken together, like the four lyrics mentioned here, there are more Kannadasan’s movie lyrics on fools and foolish acts which deserve in-depth study.
He is frequently called kavi arasu Kannadasan (kavi arasu means 'king of poets' in Tamil language).He was born in small village by name Sirukudalpatti near karaikudi. He wrote thousands of popular songs for Tamil cinema. He won the Sahitya Academy Translation Prize for his novel Cheraman Kadali in the year 1980.
His given name at birth was Muthiah. However, when he passed away at the age of 54, on October 16, 1981, millions of Tamils remembered him only by the name Kannadasan. For Tamils all over the world, he epitomised their poetry style. Even those who couldn't read the poetry of Kamban or the maxims of Valluvan, could hum the compositions of poet Kannadasan.
A number count of his publications shows a tally of 109 volumes, which include 21 novels and 10 slim volumes of essays on Hinduism, captioned Arthamulla Indu Matham (Meaningful Hinduism). In addition, he produced about 4000 poems and approximately 5000 movie lyrics, between 1944 and 1981, all with an eighth grade education at the formal level. He was also an excellent example of this century's Tamil goliard.
There is no doubt that he had a penetrating eye and keen observational powers. He also did not live a cocoon-type of life. He dipped into everything that Tamil Nadu could offer - wine, women, drugs, politics, polemics, atheism and religious sanctuary. After enjoying everything, what he did was remarkable - he composed verses about all his experiences, with reflective self-deprecating humour, irony, and biting sarcasm. These verses touched the sympathetic chords of Tamils from all walks of life - school boys, undergrads, housewives, farmers, manual labourers, plantation workers, middle class representatives and even upper class elites.