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Thread: Padalgal Palavidham - பாடல்கள் பலவிதம்

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    தெய்வமே தெய்வமே

    Deiva Magan


    1. Mr.A.C.Tirulokachander Director of this movie who was kind enough to share his experiences about this film.

    2. Mellisai Mannar M.S.Viswanathan who talked about the background of this song.

    3. Mr.Aroordas His interviews in TV & Magazines.

    4. Mr.Mohanram

    5. Various Magazines of yesteryears.

    6. The NT thread in our own forum, which had given rise to so many thoughts about this movie.


    To our Hub Moderator NOV (a) Velan. [In fact he wanted another song from this movie but still this is for him].


    A song that showcased the uncontrolled emotions of a son. A song that touched the viewers hearts. A song that is remembered and celebrated till date. A song that stood out for picturisation in the sense, it seamlessly jelled with the emotional quotient of the song. Let us talk about it.


    We know about Sivaji films and Sivaji Productions.Relatives and friends of the family later started production houses and they were named after the family members of NT. There was Mohan Arts Company and Mohan of the company along with M.R.Santhanam started Rajamani Pictures, named after NTs mother. They produced Paasa Malar and Kungumam. Mr.Santhanam came out of the company and started on his own. Named Kamala Pictures (after NTs wife), he produced Annai Illam and Paaladai. There was Ramkumar Films [though this belonged to the auditors of Sivaji Productions and the son of the audiitor was also Ramkumar thus justifying the name], which produced Galatta Kalyanam and Sumathi En Sundari. Another film was also produced under the same banner but without NT. That was Thikku Theriyaatha Kaatil starring Muthuraman and JJ. They had launched one more movie with NT and JJ and two days shooting was carried out. It was Minnal Mazhai Mohini, a novel written by Javer Seetharaman. But the movie did not proceed further. Prabhu movies was started under which Ele My friend was done (It was directed by Mr. Murali Shanmugam aka Dharan Mandrayar. He directed another movie called White Rainbow, a story dealing with the young widows of Varanasi that went on to win critical acclaim). In the same way Periannan, a close relative of NT started Shanthi Films. They did Bandha Paasam, a Bheemsingh movie and later did Anbu Karangal, which was directed by K.Sankar. Bandha Paasam was released in 1962 and Anbu Karangal was in 1965. After this there was a lull. Both the films were good in content but both ended up as average success movies, with Bandha Paasam reaching 75 days. So they wanted a big hit for their next film. They decided to wait for a good story.

    It must be noted here that NT though he started his own company did not go for production continuously After Puthiya Paravai (1964), it took them almost 6 years to come out with Vietnam Veedu (1970). There was a 4-year gap between Vietnam Veedu and Thangapathakkam (1974), which in turn led to a three year gap till Annan Oru Kovil came out in 1977. Same manner, the other production houses belonging to his family and friends also had a long gap in between their productions. Basically NT wanted to help so many producers and that was precisely the reason he gave a long gap between the films produced under his own banner.


    Time just flew. If NT the actor by his sheer talent made lakhs and lakhs of people as his fans, NT the man made many his friends by his behaviour. His Fans transcended the barriers of caste, creed, language and state. He had many friends in all languages and this helped him to know about many vital things. Especially when it came to good movies released in other languages, there were people to tell him about that and that helped him to bring good stories to Tamil. Dilip Kumar, Sunil Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar were his good friends in Hindi, not to forget Lata Mangeshkar. ANR was very close to him in Telugu and NTR was also a great family friend. Later stages, Krishna was very close to NT. Rama Naidu and VB Rajendra Prasad were the two producers who had a very good relationship with NT. In Kannada, Rajkumar was a very close friend and it should be remembered that after the abduction drama by Veerappan got over, he came to Chennai and went to Annai Illam. He did not even go to the CMs home. When NT passed away, Rajkumar came in person to pay homage. Reciprocating the gesture, Prabhu went to Bangalore to pay the last respect when Rajkumar passed away. Vishnu Vardhan was and still close to the NT family. Recently when there was a problem during the shooting of his Kannada film at Ooty, it was Prabhu who helped him out by personally taking up the issue with the Tamilnadu CM and getting it solved. In Malayalam, Thikkurisi Sukumaran Nair and Prem Nazir were very close, not to forget so many producer/directors and the present Super Stars Mammootty and Mohan Lal. This helped NT to identify the good films getting released in other languages. The persons from other language industry were very keen to see NT do such roles.


    Now coming back to the search for good stories, there was make up man called Haribabu. He had a son named Nannu Chandra. He was a Bengali by birth. We know that it is Bengali and Malayalam movies that depict life on a realistic background. Though this trend is waning, still the quality of their films is much better. Nannu aware of what is happening at his backyard used to look out for stories/plays/movies that could challenge the actor in NT. It was he who identified the Bengali movie for Puthiya Paravai. Some years later he fumbled upon a movie, which he found interesting. Though it was not a success, the story and its emotional quotient attracted him. He thought that if it is made in Tamil with NT in the lead, it would come out well. He informed the message to VCS. NT, VCS and other friends saw the movie. They liked it.

    Once the story caught the attention, they decided to rework it to suit Tamil audience taste and they decided to produce it under Shanthi Films banner. Then the question of selecting he person who would wield the megaphone came up. At that point of time young guns or shall we say the second generation directors had started doing NT movies. P.Madhavan, A.C.Tirulokachander and C.V.Rajendran were the main directors. Out of these persons, the dice fell for ACT. They fixed up ACT for directing the movie.


    If one goes through the profile of persons associated with cinema, let them be artists or technicians, we can find that majority of them have not had the opportunity to study in colleges either by default or choice. Such was the passion they developed in their hearts for stage/cinema, they had dropped out of their school. This trend continued till 80s when most of the cine people were academic dropouts. Contrary to this general trend, ACT is a person who came to the cine field with a post graduation degree in his hand. The irony was he was in no way associated with the cine field and his entry was just accidental.

    ACT had wanted to do IAS and this ambition was growing in him day by day. He was a voracious reader and he was very brainy during his school/college days. The fact that he got double promotions during his school days and as the rules were not very strict regarding age during that period helped him to complete his education at an early age. He had finished his MA, when he had just completed 19. Up to College it was ok but for IAS, there was a minimum age factor that needs to be fulfilled and so he was forced to wait. He was preparing for his exams and the two places he used to frequent were Connemara Library and his friends house. His friends father was a producer.

    ACT who read a lot, always had the knack of telling stories in an interesting manner. The stories were quite popular among his friends circle. In fact AVM Saravanan recalls that even during the shooting, ACT used to sit and read one book or the other. At first, it was a shock for the producers/actors and AVM was no exception to that. Later when they found out that reading books during shooting didnt affect the shooting, they allowed it. AVM Saravanan adds that during the shooting of Enga Mama (where AVM was a co-producer), they could see ACT and the heroine JJ always engaged in reading books.

    Now coming back to where we left, his friend once introduced ACT to his father, saying that he has good stories with him. His father asked ACT to narrate some story and the way ACT did impressed the friends father very much. ACT was asked to attend story discussions. Since he was waiting for his IAS admission and the fact that he had enough spare time made him to accept the offer. He actively participated in the discussions and soon he was noticed. He even took up the learning of direction from the directors employed by the company. The more he got involved with these things, his mind started drifting away from IAS. At this juncture, one incident occurred that changed his life forever. ACT being the inquisitive person always wanted to learn things and he regularly used to interact with cameramen and editors for learning the job. But cinema field unlike today was not open and it was working in a closed mode. So any new comer was not immediately taught about the tricks of the trade and the rest, primarily due to the complex in their minds, looked down at people who had studied in College and the general belief that highly qualified people would not be fit for cinema were also responsible for this mindset. ACT found out this the hard way. He always used to inquire about the camera, lens used, film role being loaded etc. At times he used to get correct replies but most of the time there will be no response. During this particular incident, the cameraman not only refused to answer his question but also made fun of him saying that he (ACT) can never understand.

    This made ACT more determined and he straightaway went to Connemara Library. He started listing out all the books related to cinema that were available there and he started reading with utmost interest. His aim was to learn about camera and editing but once he started reading various books on cinema, he read them all and this made ACT to decide to stick on to cinema as he had built up a huge passion for films and dropped his IAS dream. With the plethora of books to support, he had become more knowledgeable and planned his stories along with screenplay.


    While working in his friends company, he picked up a friendship with actor Asokan. Asokan had a keen eye and he found that ACT is a director material. He asked ACT to get two or three stories ready and he took ACT to his dearest friend, AVM Saravanan. The meeting took place at AVM Saravanans room and after the initial introductions, Saravanan asked ACT to narrate the story and he started sharpening a pencil. ACT had started his story and at one point of time it seemed that nobody was listening to him. He stopped the story there. Realising that he had stopped telling story, Saravanan looked up and asked him to proceed. With ACT being a bit hesitant, Saravanan recalled the story in full to make him realize that he in fact had been listening to the story. Asokan who was deeply engrossed in some thoughts suddenly asked ACT andha sword fight kadhai sollunga. Because ACT had narrated a historical story to Asokan and he was very much impressed. But only after half way through the story, he realized ACT was telling some other story. This had social background. When Asokan talked about the historical one, Saravanan was interested to hear that also. He realized that the stories narrated have a good potential to become successful cinemas. He asked ACT to put both the stories as separate files and took it to his father. AVM Chettiar was impressed and decided to film both the stories. At this juncture AVM had committed to a joint production and Chettiar decided to film the social story. But Saravanan who had very much wanted to take the film on their banner, argued with his father and it was decided that it would come under AVM banner. But while acceding to this request, Chettiar had ruled that Bheemsingh would direct the movie, as it was planned to be a multi star cast movie and he didnt want to risk it with a new director. So ACTs story got filmed as Paarthaal Pasi Theerum. But honestly speaking, ACT never had any idea or inclination to direct the movie and so when it was informed that the movie would be directed by Bheemsingh, he was happy that his story is getting filmed with NT in the lead and Bheemsingh in directors chair. The beauty is during the entire shooting, ACT never visited the set even once. He did not meet any actors.

    Saravanan had a feeling of guilt that he could not put ACT into the directors slot for Paarthaal but nevertheless, he succeeded in getting ACT to direct the historical movie. Titled Veera Thirumagan, it had Anandan and Sachu in the lead. (Readers may recall that Mr.Manisegaran discussed about this film in this same thread). After the success of Veera Thirumagan, ACT never had to turn back. He became the Asthana director of AVM. Naanum Oru Pen was a big hit and when he directed Anbe Vaa, he became one of the most sought after director.


    Actor Balajee by this time was slowly feeling slackness in his acting assignments as more and more new heroes were entering the field. So Balajee decided to take up production and he launched his own production company Sujatha Cine Arts and the first movie Annavin Aasai came out n 1966. It had Gemini Ganesan as the hero and it didnt yield the desired result at the BO. Balajee went to NT and he agreed to do a film for him. He asked Balajee to find a suitable story and director. Balajee was searching for a good director and when he spoke about this with Saravanan, he asked Balajee to speak to ACT and fix him up. ACT agreed to do Balajees movie. Now Balajee who was in a bad shape financially wanted a sure shot success and the option that opened in front of him was remaking successful other language films. He saw a Telugu film and bought its rights. ACT till that time was not in favour of remakes but he had to finally give in as Balajees position was weak. Then cropped up another issue. The original movie was action oriented though the under current was brother sister affection and sentiment. The Heros role was completely opposite to the type of characters NT was playing till that time. How to convince him and make him accept to do this movie? The job of convincing NT fell on ACTs head and he and Balajee went and met NT at Annai Illam.

    Having directed a MGR movie, Balajee had a doubt whether ACT would be acceptable to NT. But NT never even thought about this because NT had known him as the storywriter of Paarthaal Pasi Theerum and so he was ok with his choice. When ACT came to Annai Illam, he was well received and he narrated the story of the film. NT was puffing away a chain of cigarettes and listening to what ACT was narrating. After some time ACT took permission and went out. He came back after 10 minutes. When enquired, he replied he had gone out for a smoke. Balajee was shocked and NT on hearing this felt sorry. He told him that had he known this earlier, he would have offered him cigarette. Later Balajee told ACT that nobody had dared to talk about cigarette in front of NT, leave alone smoke in front of him. ACT feels probably the frankness exhibited by him might have clinched the issue for him. Balajee had assigned Aroordas to write the dialogues for the movie. But again NT and Aroordas were not even in talking terms. We have to go back in history for the same.


    Aroordas got associated with more NT films after he wrote dialogues for Bheemsingh movies and especially after Paasa Malar. He was also a good storywriter and so he continued to get opportunities to write, so much so that he was assigned to write for Puthiya Paravai, Sivaji films first movie. He often used to discuss plots with NT and whichever gets the nod used to be filmed later. One day and this was in 1966 when NT was bedridden due to typhoid attack. He was recouping and he used that period to listen to various stories. Aroordas told an outline about a tramp character, which gets hold of an abandoned child and brings him up only to be drawn to the court of Law later. NT was impressed but since he had to complete the already committed projects, no decision was taken on this. After a month or so, Aroordas happened to meet MGR and he asked him whether he has any stories on hand as he (MGR) had given dates for a producer, who had planned a quick picture. Aroordas told one or two stories suiting MGRs image but he was not interested. He was asking for something different and when Aroordas narrated the story of the tramp (now fully developed), MGR immediately confirmed the project and when he asked Aroordas about the name of the story, pat came the reply Petraalthaan Pillaiyaa. MGR was very happy and instructed the producer to register the name and start production. Krishnan Panchu were in charge of direction and they quickly wrapped up the film and the movie hit the screen in December 1966. Of course this movie got into the annals of Tamilnadu history (though for different issues) for the simple reason that resultant action brought by this movie simply changed the political history of Tamilnadu. Since that is not in our purview, let us come back to the release time.

    A week or so after the release of PP, Aroordas got a call from NT asking Aroor to come and meet him. NT was not his usual self when Aroordas met him. He straightaway asked Aroordas that is it not the same story Aroordas had told him some months earlier and Aroordas replied yes. NT was incensed and asked Aroordas then why did he sell the story to MGR. Aroordas replied that no decision was taken about the filming of the story and moreover he casually narrated the story to MGR and he never thought that MGR would want to do this subject as it was a emotional and sentimental stuff. So when MGR decided to go ahead, he was surprised and could not say No to it. NT was not satisfied and blamed Aroor that he believed in him and that was the reason he did not even give an advance and if he had known that he would sell the story to someone else, he would have paid the money. Aroordas tried to pacify him by saying that he has a very good story for NT. But NT was in no mood to listen and told him to sell that story also to MGR and get money and with that he got up and walked away. Though Aroordas could understand that his anger was more due to the fact that he had missed out an opportunity to play a character that had ample scope for acting. Aroordas came back with a feeling that he would not get any more chance to work for a NT film.

    Readers may be wondering why these incidents are discussed here. The reason behind this was NT never objected to any artist or technician working in his film though he may have personal reasons against such persons. We can give so many examples for this and no wonder when Balajee wanted to fix up Aroordas, he said yes. Aroordas a little hesitant initially later agreed to write but he informed ACT that he would not come to the set. Thangai was progressing well and one day ACT called Aroordas to come to the set, as there was an important thing to be discussed. Aroordas went to the set and while NT was in the makeup room, he quickly went and met ACT. But while coming back he bumped on NT and it was an emotional reunion for them. The ice was broken and Aroordas continued to write for more NT movies. The irony was ACT and Aroordas, who were promised by MGR that he would like to associate with them in future also, ended up their careers of not having done any more MGR movie after Anbe Vaa and Petraalthaan Pillaiyaa respectively. On the other hand both ACT and Aroordas continued to do NT movies more. And this pair tasted success when Thangai and Iru Malargal went on to become hits. So it was decided that ACT- Aroordas team would take care of the new movie.


    Though the Bengali movie had good story content, it was not a great commercial success. So the writer director duo had a tough task in their hands and started working on this. Nannu, as mentioned earlier actively associated himself with the project. It was decided that it would be a triple role where the father and the first son would have a scarred face and the second son would be cute and handsome. It was easier said than done. How to make them appear ugly? What would be required to make a scar in the face? It was decided that the left cheek of both the characters would have a scar and even here, this would be more prominent for the son. This was essentially required because the scar in his face would be responsible for people to stay away from him thus by causing hurt and agony which in turn manifests into an inferiority complex. This leads to a situation where he becomes rough and tough and also gets him into lot of trouble.

    Having decided on the characterization, they sat down and began to write the screenplay for the movie. Since they had a basic skeleton, they were able to build up on the screenplay. It unfolded in the following manner. The film opens up with a rich man Shankars wife getting admitted for delivery. The father to be is very excited about the new arrival but when the boy is born, all his dreams are shattered. Reason- the new born also has a scar in his left cheek just like the father. He is unable to digest the fact and asks the Doctor to kill the baby. Doctor refuses but the rich man forces him to accept what he says. But doctor doesnt do the heinous act and instead he hands over the child to an orphanage run by an octogenarian called Baaba. Shankar informs his wife that the baby was still born. After some time a second child is born to them and he is so cute.

    Years roll by. The sons grew up. While the first son grows up as a tough nut to crack, second son Vijay is feminine in nature. He falls in love with a college girl who happens to be the daughter of Doctor Raju, his fathers old friend. One of his friends who is also a business partner in his hotel business exploit him by using the hotel as a cover for all his nefarious activities. Vijay innocent to the core is unaware of all these things. Shankar is worried about the boy but he is the favourite of his mother, who helps him to get all the favours from his father.

    The elder son growing up in the orphanage grows up as a tough guy and he is very much short tempered. Nobody can control him except Baaba. Years roll by and Baaba, the orphanage caretaker has now become old and sick and is on a deathbed and he informs Kannan (elder son) that his parents are alive and he needs to get in touch with a Doctor by name Raju to find out the whereabouts of his parents. Kannan who till now was thinking himself to be a orphan, is excited to the core when he hears this and immediately leaves in search of Dr.Raju and finds him.

    Dr.Raju is able to immediately identify him but pleads ignorance. Kannan the rough and tough guy even tries to physically assault him to get the information about his parents. Doctor on hearing that Baaba is dead, decides to accommodate Kannan and puts him in his own house but he is very careful not to reveal the truth to his own daughter.

    Kannan on hearing about his parents couldnt control himself and he tries to visit them. He goes to his house one night. He first goes to his mothers room, where she is sleeping. He looks at her and offers flowers at her feet. He then goes to see his brother. But he mistakes him as a thief and raises an alarm. This brings the father and mother out and in fact the father also under the mistaken identity tries to shoot him but he escapes unhurt. He comes and outpours his emotions to Doctor. He understands and consoles him that one day his wishes would be fulfilled. Kannan when alone plays sitar and this arouses the curiosity of Nirmala, the daughter of Dr.Raju. She goes up and strikes a friendship with Kannan. He initially misunderstood it for love only to realize that she is indeed in love with his younger brother.

    Kannan wants to see his mother again and one day he having seen her going to the temple follows her and watches her from a distance by hiding himself behind the pillars. But the mother by instinct is able to feel it and she tries to identify him. He had covered himself with a shawl but his eyes! That express a thousand emotions and that touches a chord deep in her heart. Something happens to her and she confides the same to her husband. Shankar who harbours a suspicion in his heart decides to find out the truth and goes and meets Dr.Raju after 25 years. The emotional meet brings out the truth and Shankar issues a blank cheque for his son. He also promises his wife that he is going to present her a very costly present soon, without disclosing what it is.

    Now Kannan takes the cheque and goes and meets his father. Their meeting becomes an emotional conflict and Kannan returns the cheque. Vijay, who is in a financial mess because of the misdeeds of his friend cum partner, happens to walk in and picks up the cheque. But he runs into deeper trouble when he comes to know of the clandestine activities being carried out and he is kept as a prisoner and ransom is demanded from his father. Kannan comes to know of this and instead of his father, he goes to rescue his brother. The happenings there constitute a poignant climax.

    As the script had shaped up in this manner, there were certain things that ACT wanted to highlight. The wife character should be shown as good looking. This was necessary because the story demands that the second son should look cute and handsome and since the father character has a scarred face (which is inherited by the first son), the mother should be good looking. So special care was taken regarding Pandaribais make up. Pandaribai after her heroine days got a special make up treatment for this film. The second son character (as mentioned earlier) should have a feminine touch in quite contrast to the tough guy image of the elder son.

    Then they sat upon and discussed about the ways to make the heroes faces scarred and make it look ugly. They decided to apply a makeup that would comprise of contents of egg, minutely powdered glass pieces, maida and a paste that would bind all things. Today by the click of a mouse, you can find out about the latest make up techniques within no time and you can get both the items and makeup men here to carry out the same. But these things were not available during those days and so they had to use whatever that was available with the help of local make up men. The father character and son character were slightly differentiated as for as make up was concerned and for which hairstyle also played a part.

    The casting was quite apt. Pandaribai was the wife and JJ was Nirmala, the jodi for Vijay. Nambiar was the friend cum villain with Vijayashree coming in as his girl. Major had a meaty role as Dr.Raju and Naagesh acted as the friend of Vijay. With Naagaiah filling the bill as Baaba, the casting was complete. The shooting was started but they ran into one problem.

    The makeup to make NT look ugly was a painful exercise. It took time for applying and while it was removed after the days shooting, NT began to experience so many problems. It was not only painful but it was also making NT to suffer. At times, blood was oozing out from where it was getting peeled off. This had to be tackled, as the second sons face should look gorgeous. Not only that, NT at that point of time was acting in so many movies and this should not spoil the story there. It was a tough task for the crew and the actor but the actor was determined and though he was doing 3 or 4 films that were at various stages on floors, he still took this risk and came out with flying colours.

    Screenplay writing and character etching were done easily but when it came to picturisation, it was real difficult. The make up became very tough on NT. He would literally shout with ire due to the pain. Whoever goes into the makeup room other than the make up man would get a round of compliment from him. So even ACT used to avoid going to the make up room while NT was there. But though he would show his anger, when it came to executing the performances, he spelt magic. Of course knowing him and his ability it was childs play for him.


    There were certain scenes that were special. The hospital scene between the father and the Doctor and again the hospital scene between the elder son and the doctor. Both had its moments where the lead characters go through the gamut of emotions. While the father character that is full of hope and joy about the new arrival suddenly undergoes a sea change when his expectations are turned upside down, the son has a single point agenda. Fathers despair, his pleading to the doctor to do away the child, his hurt of being misunderstood by his dearest friend were all shown with a touch of grace and majesty as the character was from a high society background. Compared to this, the sons character is raw and has lots of pent up anger against his parents, against the society and what not. So he comes out as brash in his behaviour. He even tries to use force to make things happen his way whereas his father had tried to use money as the force for getting things done. But both characters are angered easily. The right hand finger gesticulation and the pat pat sound of the legs with the shoe along with a loud let out shout of Doctor done by both characters still remain etched in viewers mind. ACT recalls both the time he enjoyed the scene as a fan rather than a director.

    Connected with the song that we are discussing, there is a scene. Having seen a glimpse of the thief, father comes to his old friends house. He enters the house and is greeted by Yaaru. The friend stands at the balcony and looks down. It was planned that way. The father though out of desperation and feeling that his son should not encounter the difficulties he faced, had asked the Doctor to away with the child. So he is guilty and stands beneath. The Doctor on the other hand had not done the crime he was asked to do and so by the high moral ground stands at the top. There starts a tug of war and the doctor makes full use of the situation and tries to embarrass his one time friend. The friend who is at the receiving end bears all these because he is desperate to know about his son. Finally the good old friend relents and accepts the blank cheque for the son. After this the father turns and walks back only to stop, turn slightly and on hearing a musical note emanating from a sitar tries to identify the direction, wants to find out whether it is his son but hesitates with guilt and self pity blocking his mouth. When his friend fully knowing what he is looking for still asks innocently Enna Shankar? and Shankar fumbles for an answer and walks away. A class scene and again one must note that Major as Doctor had a meaty share of the scene. Major was very happy and he thanked ACT for giving him a scene of substance. ACT had told him that the screenplay required such a scene and there he had to take the lead. ACT had done it for betterment of the movie and he had also added that no hero other than NT would have allowed such a scene for his co-artist.

    The next scene is the most famous one of the movie. All the three characters coming in a single frame. Here the entire unit was geared up for the picturisation. NT came to the studio and was doing the make up. As usual ACT avoided him and Aroordas had gone in to brief about the scene and the dialogue. Normally the dialogue writer used to read the dialogues and NT would listen with his eyes closed. Once it is completed he would ask the dialogue writer to do it again. He would then get ready and the dialogues would simply flow in the sets. He normally doesnt interfere in dialogues and would always suggest something if only it is required. Here there was one dialogue which the son character speaks accusing the father. Initially NT was hesitant to speak this and asked Aroordas to change it. But Aroordas told him that it is the character of Shankar, which speaks, and gets this revert and not Sivaji Ganesan. NT agreed and went ahead.


    The father and son argue about an incident happened 25 years ago with the father in defensive mood. At that time the younger son walks in and walks away with the blank cheque. Not expecting a bounty like this he happily blows a kiss towards his father for which the elder son reacts by banging the almirah silently. These were filmed using masking (i.e.) divide the film into 3 parts and shoot them separately. So the film was divided, one part open and two parts closed, younger son blew the kiss, cut. Second part opened and the other two shut, NT changes his make up and comes as father and looks helplessly, cut. Now the last part is open, NT changes to elder son and bangs the almirah. ACT recalls they were confident that NT had done it with a fine timing and synchronization. But only when they washed and developed, they saw how well it has synced. It had come so naturally without resorting to any editing. ACT took just a day and a half for shooting this scene. People who are aware of how difficult it was to shoot a triple act in the masking method were awe struck when they learnt it was done in 11/2 days. But the assistant directors of ACT felt that it had become a bit lengthy and the scene may not be appreciated in the theatre. Though ACT was sure about the scene, he told the assistants to keep the edited portion ready and he would come and see. ACT saw the scene at 4.30 am in the morning. He timed the scene. It was coming to 7 minutes. He asked them to play the scene second time and he was deeply engrossed. After viewing it he remarked ஏம்பா, மூணு பேரும் நல்லாதானே பண்ணியிருக்காங்க! இதிலே யாரை கட் பண்ணறது? After telling this he realized with shock that he had uttered a blunder. Where is the question of three artists when all the three are one and the same. ACT decided that if he the director, who had filmed the scene for 1 1/2 days, can react like this by just watching the raw edited portion, then the public would feel they are all three different people and the scene is going to be the The Scene of the movie. How well he was proved right.

    Now coming to the songs, they decided upon 6 sequences and gave it to MSV- Kannadasan duo. There would be 4 songs involving the younger son and 2 for the elder son. The two songs for the elder son were sandwiched between the first and second half of the movie. The composition took place.


    The younger son who has gone on a vacation meets a girl and tries to woo her by all means. He chances upon the girl who along with her friends had come for a picnic. He slowly woos every girl by enacting as if he is in love with her. Kannadasan came up with காதல் மலர் கூட்டமொன்று and the same was picturised in Sathhanur dam. NTs walk with the roll of his hips and Kannadasans word play (வக்கிலாத்து வசந்தா , ஜப்பான் ரிடர்ன் ஜெயந்தி ) made this song a great hit.

    A song that is initially sung by the orphanage head and later repeated by the elder son. A song till this day is a super hit. After Naanum Oru Penn that featured Kanna Karumai Nira Kanna, ACT, as a sentiment used to have a Krishnan song wherever it is possible or at least show Krishnas deity. Here he got a great opportunity and when the lyrist happens to be Kannadasan, the song simply flowed. MSV came up with a tune and Kannadasan simply filled it up with Krishnas. Yes, கேட்டதும் கொடுப்பவனே கிருஷ்ணா கிருஷ்ணா reverberated in the auditorium. One must add that when the movie released, the fans viewing the Opening show were shocked when they saw Nagaiah starting to sing the song and immediately என் கேள்விக்கென்ன பதில் came to their minds. But within minutes it transpired that it was used for showing that the boy had grown up as a man. In fact there were so many discussions on the song that some fans even came up with the statistics that the word Krishna is being uttered 33 times in the song. (I have not counted).

    Then there was the inauguration of Hotel by the younger son and he sings welcoming the guests. அன்புள்ள நண்பரே! அழகு பெண்களே was recorded and NT by his sheer style made the sequence enjoyable.

    Again a hotel song when the heroine in order to get his man or to bring out the possessiveness in him does a dappankuthhu song. கூட்டத்திலே யார்தான் கொடுத்து வைத்தவரோ served the purpose and it was a pleasant surprise to hear Susheela doing it and coming out with flying colours (it is a LR Eswari domain)

    Then the only love duet of the movie. Of course it was included for the sole purpose of having a duet and since the emotional quotient was more in the second half, this duet காதலிக்க கற்று கொள்ளுங்கள் was more for relaxing.

    Earlier we were talking about the temple scene where the son goes to meet the mother. People would remember a background song by Seerkazhi. Actually when the shooting took place there was no song. They never thought of a song and if you check, it would consist of 7 to 8 shots with a mix of close ups and mid long shots. ACT used the powerful eyes of NT to the hilt. He had come to the temple covering his head and face (mainly to hide his cheek) with a shawl and only his eyes are visible. It shows a myriad of emotions. தாய் பாசம் என்னவென்றால் என்னவென்றே தெரியாத ஆனால் அந்த பாசத்திற்காக அன்பிற்காக ஏங்கும், அம்மாவென்று தெரிந்தும் அம்மா என்று அழைக்க முடியாமல் தவிக்கும், என்னை தெரிந்து கொள்ளம்மா, என் மேல் அன்பு காட்டம்மா என்று கெஞ்சும் அந்த விழிகள், அது அந்த தாயின் மனதை தாண்டி அவள் அடிவயிற்றில் சென்று என்னோவோ செய்ய அதை தாங்க முடியாமல் அந்த தாய் தவிக்க, என்ன கவிதையான காட்சி! [It is pertinent to add here that Mani Rathinam who had this scene etched in mind used the same format with slight differences in his Dalapathi with Rajini and Srividya]. Following this the scene shifts to the house where the mother expresses her feelings to her husband. Here the dialogue writer and director brought out the mother in her by a simple dialogue. Normally such persons invoke a fear in your hearts. Therefore when the husband asks ஏதாவது பயந்திட்டியா for which she shoots back நான் ஏன் அவனை பாத்து பயப்படப்போறேன்? Here the mother who had him in his womb for 10 months speaks out. Will any mother be afraid of her son?

    Watching both the scenes together at the time of final editing, ACT felt that a short song would be very much appropriate for the scene. So Kannadasan and MSV were shown the filmed sequence and told that a song is needed for the same. Thus was written, tuned, recorded and included. Since it was done at the last minute, the name of Seerkazhi could not be included in the title cards (you can check this).


    Now let us come to our song. ACT very clearly told Kannadasan and MSV that this song should convey the mood of the character. He who thought that he is an orphan had found out that he has mother, father and brother. He goes and meets them all. His joy is boundless and he doesnt know how to express his feelings. He simply pours his heart out. When MSV heard about this, he decided it should be lyrics first and then tune next because, trying to bring up the emotions within the frame of the tune would take away the life of the song. He told Kannadasan to write. Kannadasan did not bother to think and started telling the Pallavi. Son wanted to see his mother first and so

    தெய்வமே தெய்வமே நன்றி சொல்வேன் தெய்வமே

    தேடினேன் தேடினேன் கண்டு கொண்டேன் அன்னையை .

    Since lyrics were written first which was tuned later, the song was set in the pattern of vasana nadai and song. This skillfully adjusted any line that did not fit into the tune as vasana outburst and an example for this is

    மஞ்சள் குங்குமம் மகாலக்ஷ்மி என் தாய் and அட ராஜா என் தம்பி வாடா.

    Then Kannadasan wrote charanams for the brother and then the father. MSV tuned it to perfection and all were happy. It was decided to go for recording and TMS was fixed. Unlike earlier films, there was no debate on who should speak the vasana nadai because now it was clear that TMS would be the best choice and TMS spoke the dialogue type lines.

    Here special mention should be made regarding TMS. Take this song. You can feel the joy and unbridled happiness of the character. Think about the scenario. There was no one who could be substituted for TMS, if the hero was NT. (This was in 1969). So by default, TMS was singing all the songs for NT. But that did not make him complacent and he after understanding the protagonists emotion in each and every film sang according to the needs. Even here the lines சந்தித்தேன் நேரிலே! சந்தித்தேன் நேரிலே!, see how much difference he brings in between the two uttering. Though both are same, the tone completely changes conveying the right mood to the audience. By all accounts, TMS simply breathed life into the song.


    Now came the picturisation part. This was planned in the set erected as Doctors home. But NT was acting in many films and his call sheet had more than 2, 3 schedules per day. He had given some days in between other shooting. So to honour the commitment given earlier, this shooting took a break and so the set was dismantled. After 6 months, the same set was re erected. By this time most of the shooting was completed. Only the song and some patchwork were required to be completed. It was decided to go for the shooting.

    NT came to the set and discussed with the director. ACT was of the view that the sequence should exhibit the roller coaster drive the character undergoes. It was decided to use the chandeliers that would show NT swinging in them by holding on to the handles and his somersault from a height attracted many audience. Though such things were used in stunt scenes, using the same in song sequence was a novel one and this song provided the basis for it.

    Kannan the character talks about the beauty of his mother and at the same time expresses his antipathy towards his own face. So for that line அந்த அழகு தெய்வத்தின் மகனா இவன்? ஆ, NT asked ACT to suggest a gesture, which would convey the exact impression. ACT suggested that NT spit on the mirror and this went down very well with the audience. The character would climb up and down the staircase in one moment in ecstasy and the next moment
    his concern about the family would come out when the final line தர்மமே தந்தை தாயை காக்க வேண்டும் தெய்வமே is sung. You must see NT raising his both hands upwards and gesticulating, with the camera catching him from the low angle.

    As said earlier, the song was recorded earlier but the shooting took place much later. This movie was released in Sep 1969 and by this time Annadurai had passed away and MuKa had become the CM. So when the song was picturised, NT who had a special affection for Anna (we had discussed the Nalamthaana song and Uyarndha Manidhan function) did a shot. He would kneel down on a round bed and with arms raised upwards would shout Anna! thrice. The camera would have captured him from the top angle. That this was done as an after thought would be evident when NT himself in his own voice say Anna thrice, which should make it clear that it was not recorded earlier. Even in the film Enga Mama released subsequently (1970) after this, he would name one of the children as Anna and would speak proudly of him. But in the records (songs) this Anna would not be there.


    This movie was completed and hit the screens in 1969. That was the year when NT had almost one release every month totaling 9 for the year. So when Deiva Magan was readied for release on September 5th, even the fans were little bit worried about it. Because NTs Niraikudam had hit the screen on 8th August and Sep 5 was just 4 weeks away. Not only that, NTs Thirudan was scheduled for Oct 10th. Irony was ACT himself was the director of Thirudan, produced by Balajee. To top it all Sivandha Man(n) had been planned for a Deepavali release (Nov 9th, 1969). But all these things could unfaze neither ACT nor NT. Even otherwise ACT was never bothered about competition and in fact he had always done that even with other NT films releasing on the same day. He released his Iru Malargal, a family story against a rollicking entertainer Ooty Varai Uravu (both released on Deepavali day of 1967) and both films tasted success. Same way for 1970 Deepavali, ACTs Engirundho Vandhal came along with Sorgam and again both ran for 100 days. He had even the courage to release his Bharatha Vilas, one week ahead of Raja Raja Chozhan and still cornered success.

    So having decided to release it on Sep 5th, they went ahead and released. They placed belief on the audience and were rewarded. In spite of all tough competitions, Deiva Magan became a big hit and celebrated 100 days.


    Before signing off, here is my take. My cousin and I went to see the movie on Sep 7th, Sunday at Madurai New Cinema for the morning show. There was a sea of humanity in front of the theatre and we couldnt get the tickets. We somehow managed to squeeze ourselves into the theatre and straight away went to the office room. We saw the manager of the theatre and used our grand fathers name (He was with Indian Express) and the manager probably amused by two school students seeking tickets was kind enough to issue tickets. We came out of the room as if we have conquered something and saw the movie. Even at that age the film simply bowled us over. When we came out after the movie, I thought to myself that I would revisit the movie again. I was right and the no of times I had revisited this classic in various places during all these years is countless.

    Here is the lyric

    தெய்வமே தெய்வமே நன்றி சொல்வேன் தெய்வமே

    தேடினேன் தேடினேன் கண்டு கொண்டேன் அன்னையை

    கண்டு கொண்டேன் அன்னையை

    மஞ்சள் குங்குமம் மகாலக்ஷ்மி என் தாய்

    சந்தித்தேன் நேரிலே! சந்தித்தேன் நேரிலே!

    பாசத்தின் தேரிலே

    (தெய்வமே --)

    அந்த அழகு தெய்வத்தின் மகனா இவன்? ஆ

    முத்து போல என் தம்பி வந்தவுடன் முத்தம் சிந்த ஓடினேன்

    ஓடினேன்! ஓடினேன்!

    அட ராஜா என் தம்பி வாடா

    அண்ணா! அண்ணா1 அண்ணா!

    அண்ணா என சொல்வான்னென

    அண்ணா என சொல்வான்னென

    பக்கம் பக்கம் சென்றேன்

    அண்ணா என சொல்வான்னென

    பக்கம் பக்கம் சென்றேன்

    குழந்தை என கையை கடித்து விட்டது.

    போடா போ

    அன்னையை பார்த்த பின்

    என்ன வேண்டும் தெய்வமே

    இன்று பார்த்த முகம்

    என்றும் பார்க்க வேண்டும் தெய்வமே

    கண்ணிரினில் உண்டானதே பாசம் என்னும் தோட்டம்

    கண்ணிரினில் உண்டானதே பாசம் என்னும் தோட்டம்

    விதி என்னும் நதி ஒரு பக்கமாகவே ஓடுகிறது.

    போடா போ

    தந்தையை பார்த்த பின் என்ன வேண்டும் தெய்வமே

    தர்மமே தந்தை தாயை காக்க வேண்டும் தெய்வமே

    வேரில்லாமல் மரமா

    மரமில்லாமல் கிளையா

    கிளையில்லாமல் கனியா

    எல்லாம் ஒன்று.

    (தெய்வமே --)


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    எந்தன் பொன் வண்ணமே - Part I



    1. Oru Kuyilin Vaazhkai Sangeetham a book by Kavitha Albert

    2. Various Magazines of yesteryears

    3. Our own tfm pages with special thanks to Mr.Manisegaran

    4. Mr.Mohanram


    To a great NT fan Raakesh @groucho.


    A song that showed that in spite of advancing age TMS had not lost his touch to strike chords. A song, which takes the top place in the combination of TMS Ilaiyaraja. A song that again proved that age cannot wither nor custom stale NT the performer. For a change we are going to discuss a song of late 70s and about a combination, that if it had lasted, would have given more such songs. Let us dwell into that.


    There was a period when Tamil cinema was passing through critical stage. The Films that got released turned out to be way below the averages and it directly affected the BO performance of the films. With the films failing to ring in the cash counters, the production houses were very much hesitant to produce films. This trend started in late 74 and by the end of 75, it had snowballed into bigger crisis and by 1976, it had become acute. Production had become costlier and efforts were on to bring down the costs. Even the Big stars NT and MGR at that point of time were not giving hits. Added to it were the conditions imposed by the Censor Board about song and stunt scenes and they insisted that violence and sex should not be shown. This had affected the collections in a big way especially in B & C centers. At that point of time Karnataka Government had announced a scheme by which a subsidy of Rs 50,000/- would be given to the producer, if shooting takes place in Karnataka. This was irrespective of the language of the film. So this prompted many producers to shoot their film in Karnataka.

    Though the small and medium producers were doing business, many big production houses stayed away from production. AVM had stopped its production in 1972 after Kaasethaan Kaduvuladaa. Vijaya Vahini except for Vani Rani (1974) did not produce anything else. Gemini barring Ellorum Nallavare was hibernating. With big stars and big production houses failing to strike it rich, a lull was prevailing in the industry. Things were in such a sorry state that films that crossed 50 days were declared hits and a function arranged for the same. I remember the 50th day celebrations of Oru Oothaapoo Kan Simittugirathu. K.Balachander who presided over the function and Sp.Muthuraman the director of the movie spoke about this alarming trend. This decline gave rise to another trend. Unlike today, there were so many theatres and all these needed software. In other words, films for their survival. So English movies and Hindi movies started to rule the roost even in smaller towns. When many of the cities and towns started following this trend, Chennai (Madras at that point of time) was totally swept off by English and Hindi. Starting from Aradhana in 1969, Hindi films and songs were making inroads into the Tamilnadu market and by 1976, it had overtaken Tamil.


    Come 1976 May, there was a film directed by Devaraj Mohan, the director duo who had apprenticeship under veteran director P.Madhavan, which got released. Starring Sivakumar and Sujatha, this Black and white movie had few takers in the initial weeks. There was no hype or hoopla surrounding this film and the story happening in a village milieu did not set the pulses racing. A new person had debuted as a music director. But after a week or two, word began to spread that the movie was good and the songs catchy. The folkish tunes started playing in the Radio and local mike sets began to play the songs in every nook and corner of Tamilnadu. The fast number Machhanai Partheengala was slowly but surely capturing the imagination of all the sections and suddenly the movie Annakili picked up and House Full boards were staring at people in almost all theatres all over TN. It heralded the arrival of Ilaiyaraja.

    Panchu Arunachalams brother Kn. Subbu produced this film. Earlier in 1975 he had produced Avandhan Manidhan. Now he produced this movie. As I said earlier, to make use of the subsidy, this film was shot in Thengamaratta, a village nestled in the Karnataka Tamilnadu border. This success was way beyond their imaginations. But, of course, the same combination failed to strike it rich when they came up with Kavikuyil in the following year (July 1977).


    Ilaiyaraja had finally tasted success but his path to success was not an easy one. Most of the readers must be aware of Ilaiyarajas early life and his struggles and so I am not elaborating on that. He was born in a tiny hamlet called Pannaipuram, near Theni and was the younger brother of Paavalar Varadharajan, who was a party member of the Communist movement. IR and his brothers [R.D.Baskar & Gangai Amaran] moved to Chennai for want of greener pastures. After a lot of struggle he joined as an assistant to G.K.Venkatesh, the music director. He had learnt the basics of music and after coming to Chennai tutored western music under Dhanraj Pillai and wrote the music exam on guitar conducted by the Trinity College, London. This helped him to cement his place in the GKV troupe and he became an integral part of the troupe. It is said that IR contributed to the music of GKV. As it happened in the case of MSV, when his compositions came in the name of SM Subbiah Naidu, the chances of IRs tunes having coming out under GKV baton cannot be ruled out.

    As luck would have it, IR as early as in 1971 got a chance to work as a MD. Dada Mirasi, who had directed movies like Raktha Thilagam, Puthiya Paravai and Moondru Deivangal, launched a movie but this time, unlike the previous three occasions when NT was the hero, this was planned as a double hero subject based on a story by writer B.S.Ramaiah. Gemini Ganesan and Jai Shankar were the heroes with Padmini as the heroine. The movie was even named. The title was Deepam. After the Pooja of the movie, song recording took place. During that time TMS was the uncrowned King of Tamil Film Music and it was no surprise that IR recorded the first song with TMS. The song had its Pallavi starting with Chithham thelivura Sivanai Naadu. Destiny it may be, it probably gave an indication of the route that IR would take in future. Unfortunate it is to say, for reasons best known to the producer-director, the film got shelved and the recorded song never saw the light of the day. IR, probably upset by this still continued to work under GKV.

    After 3 years, IR again got a chance to score music for a film and this time it was Prasad Productions who were behind the movie. Again a song recording was done and again it was TMS who did the singing. The song, which had Pallavi of Jinjaru Jinjaru, did face some problems during recording. It seems that TMS and IR had some difference of opinion over the tune and composition. Fate again played a part and this also got shelved. So IR was getting a sort of unlucky tag around his neck but he could do little about that since cinema field is steeped in superstitious beliefs. So when Annakili came his way, IR was nervous and he was hoping that at least this should not get struck. But Panchu Arunachalam was determined and he decided to proceed come what may.

    When the recording was about to start, the power supply went off. People started whispering. Power supply resumed and again when IR recorded the first song for Annakili the same was played to check whether the recording has been done perfectly and they found to their dismay that the song recording was not there. Due to some technical issue, the song never got recorded. Imagine the plight of IR. But Panchu and Devaraj Mohan asked him to do it again and it came out well. IR worked real hard. Here again TMS was booked for one song. There were two versions of this song Annakili Unnai Theduthe. It was the first song of the movie and S.Janaki sang it. In the second half, the hero forced to marry another girl because of family circumstances would repeat the song but in pathos mode. TMS it seems, during recording was not very comfortable with the tune and it is rumoured that he felt that it is more folkish than required and also it was very slow. IR had a grouse that the song recording could not be done to his satisfaction but he kept quiet. As I said earlier, the movie got released and IR was catapulted to fame. But in spite of tasting huge success on debut, IR found the going tough.


    His second film was Palooti Valartha Kili directed by P.Madhavan. Madhavan had known IR right from his early days when he was an assistant to GKV and it was GKV who had composed music for Madhavans earlier film Ponnukku Thanga Manasu way back in 1973[This movie was the debut vehicle for actor Vijayakumar]. So with Annakilis release, IR got a chance to work for Madhavan. PVK had Vijayakumar and Sripriya in the lead. It was released in August 1976. It had two good songs Naan Pesa Vandhen [SPB & SJ] and another SJ and chorus of kola Kolayaam Mundhirikkaa. But unlike Annakili this did not set the radio on fire. [Kumudams comment மலை வாழைத்தோப்பு மச்சானுக்கு பக்கத்து ஊர்காராக கூட யாரும் இல்லை]. The director duo of Devaraj-Mohan along with Sivakumar was engaged in a film called Uravaadum Nenjam. This was the third movie of IR that came out in Nov 1976. IR had given an excellent composition Oru Naal Unnodu Oru Naal but like PVK, this film also was a disaster in BO and so the place of IR started to shake. Within 15 days of release of Uravaadum Nenjam, ACTs Bhadrakaali came out. ACT had attempted a different path when he chose to direct a film based on writer Maharishis novel by the same name. Rani Chandra an upcoming artist in Malayalam was roped in as heroine and Sivakumar was the hero. ACT rechristened the name of Rani as Gayathiri (which incidentally was the characters name) but fate struck. On Oct 23rd of 1976, the flight in which Rani was traveling crashed and she died. The film was almost complete and only climax and some patch work remained. ACT adjusted it with a dupe. This served as a huge booster for the movie and it became a runaway hit. IR, on his part, had done a very good job and Kannan Oru Kaikuzhandai is one of his all time great compositions, IMO. He had also attempted a novel song, a club dance like number but in completely different lyrical style in the sense it was written in Brahminical Tamizh. Written by Vaalee, Susheela did an amazing job of Kettelae Ange. In spite of IRs sincere work, the success was credited to Rani Chandras untimely death. This was the time when Balajee gave a great lift to IR. Balajee for more than 10 years had been using MSV as the music director for all his movies and why suddenly he should change and go for IR? For that we need to go back in time and as well to check the political changes that happened during that period.


    During the discussions on earlier songs, we did talk about Balajee. When his acting assignments started drying up, he ventured into production and started his own company Sujatha Cine Arts. His first film was Annavin Aasai but that didnt do well. He came to NT and ACT was booked as the director of the movie named Thangai. Balajee wanted a sure fire success and so he brought the remake rights of a Telugu Film. Thangai helped Balajee financially. He continued to produce films and his association with NT became so thick that his Sujatha Cine Arts ended up with the honour of producing the most no. of films starring NT. To be precise, it produced 17 films.

    As for as possible, Balajee had the habit of repeating the same team for his films. Thus it was NT- ACT MSV team for his first 4 films. While Thangai, En Thambi and Thirudan were remakes of Telugu movies, Engirundho Vandhaal was a remake of Hindi Khilona. Out of this EV became a super hit. After this Balajee felt that Hindi movies were a better proposition and for his next film he started looking out for a hit film. Balajee was the person/producer who gave a change of face to NTs image. Till Thangai, NTs image was something of a great actor who would be good in emotional and serious stories. An impression was gaining ground that action oriented entertainers were not his cup of Tea. While Thangai proved that he could carry any role on his shoulders, the stylish En Thambi and Thirudan made him dearer to youngsters. After Engirundho Vandhaal, Balajee decided again to go for an action film and moreover he was getting many requests from this younger audience. So he went to Bombay, searched and zeroed in on Johnny Mera Naam. It had Dev Anand and Hema Malini in the lead. He bought the rights of the film. Now at this point of time (this was mid 1971) Balajee had a feeling that an upcoming youngster who had made some sleek entertainers would be the best bet for this action mood film. Thus CV. Rajendran became the director of Raja and this film released on 26th January of 1972 went on to became a smash hit. So as his wont, Balajee repeated this combination for the next three films. Needhi (Dec 1972) and En Magan (Aug 1974) both celebrated 100 days. For his next film, he could not find a Hindi film that had a story suitable for NT. During that period a change was taking place in Hindi Cinema and Bollywood till that time known more for romantic musicals was witnessing a new phenomenon. A new type of hero character, which could loosely fit into the genre called angry young man, was storming the screens. It started with Zanjeer, followed by Majboor and when Deewar hit the screens, the hero attained cult status. Salim- Javed, the writer duo and creators of this genre, found themselves in much demand almost in the same level enjoyed by Amithab, the hero who changed the face of Hindi cinema.

    Balajee saw Deewar and was very much impressed by it. But when he approached the writer duo, he had a shock. They were demanding 5 Lakhs for the remake rights. It was a huge sum for a remake right during those days and Balajees negotiating skill could not secure the rights for him. The writer duo refused to part for a lower amount. Balajee was upset. He had come to Bombay with the aim of buying the rights, but now this development upset him [Irony is the same Balajee purchased the rights of the same Deewar after 5 years and remade it as Thee in 1981]. But having come to Bombay, he didnt want to go back empty handed. Somebody told him about another movie that had been released a year earlier. Balajee saw the movie and bought its rights. That was Namak Haraam, which itself was inspired from Hollywood flick Becket. It was a two-hero subject with Rajesh Khanna and Amithab playing the lead. After coming to Chennai, Balajee and CVR discussed the film with NT. The story revolved around two thick friends belonging to two different economic strata. The rich factory owner plants his friend in the labour union in his factory to make it dance to the tune of the management. But his move backfires and it leads to various twists and turns that result in an emotional climax.

    Normally any Hero would want to do the poor friends role because it would help them to garner all sympathy while the rich mans character had negative shades. But for NT, it never mattered and he chose to do the role done by Amithab. There was a discussion about the other hero and who should be chosen for the same. Many names came up but due to one reason or another, nobody could be finalized. Muthuraman, the actor who had done so many second hero roles in NT films, had now become full-fledged hero and he was not available. AVM. Rajan had lost his market value. Jai as usual was busy with so many films. So the mantle fell on Gemini Ganesan. The movie named Unakkaaga Naan was completed and was slated for release in 1976 JanFeb. It was a much awaited movie. But things that happened outside the film world simply upset all plans.


    1975 June saw two important events unfold that created a political tsunami in India. On June 12th, Allahabad High Court came out with a judgement that set aside the 1971 election victory of Indira Gandhi from the Rae Bareli seat in Uttar Pradesh. This made all opposition parties come under one roof and they demanded the resignation of Indira Gandhi. Indira, in order to tide over the crisis proclaimed Emergency on the night of June 25th of 1975 and in a midnight swoop, all opposition leaders were arrested. The only person who was not arrested was our own Perunthalaivar Kamaraj. He was recuperating after an illness but this development that saw all his party leaders behind the bars upset him like anything which made his health deteriorate further and ultimately led to his demise on Oct 2nd of 1975. His passing away created problems for all Congressmen in Tamil Nadu, more so for NT.

    Till Perunthalaivar was alive NT was not unduly bothered about being in the opposition in both central and state levels. But his demise put him in a quandary. Majority of his fans wanted him to remain with the Congress (O) that was led by P. Ramachandran better known as PaaRaa and it was widely believed that he would remain so, though he didnt spell it out in the open. Come December, there was an emissary from Delhi and she stayed put in Madras and took NT along with her to Delhi. Maragatham Chandrasekar completed her assignment successfully and NT met Indira on 1st of Januray, 1976. The meeting was kept under wraps till it took place and when it came out, it was a bolt from the blue for the fans. The fans association split with one group supporting his decision and the other opposing it. By Jan 30th the DMK Government led by MuKa was dismissed and Tamilnadu came under Presidents rule for the first time. During those troubled times, Unakkaaga Naan was released on Feb 12th of 1976.

    There was a section of fans that still believed that NT would not go to the ruling Congress. They had flocked to the movie as usual on the opening day. But 4 days later (i.e.) on 15th Feb of 1976, the liaison meeting between the Congress (O) and Congress (I) took place at the Marina that was presided over by Indira. The section that still believed that NT would remain with Con (O) was totally upset when they saw NT in the forefront at the merger function. This adversely affected the prospects of Unakkaaga Naan and it did not do well at the BO. Balajee after 10 years tasted failure for the first time. Not only Balajee but even for NT, the later half of 1975 was a period when his films continuously failed to strike it big at the BO. Anbe Aruiyre, Dr.Siva, Vaira Nenjam and Paatum Bharathamum that came in the latter half of 1975 not recording great hits and when Unakkaaga Naan also fell in the same category there were alarm bells ringing all over. Subsequent films in 1976 after UN like Sathyam and Chitra Pournami also did not do well and only Graha Pravesam and Uthhaman made profits.


    Balajee now decided that his next step should be safe and secure. NT was also veering round to the view that he needed to concentrate more on his strength (i.e.) strong story. Balajee turned his attention towards Malayalam movies and selected a movie by name Theekkanal. It had Madhu and Jayan in lead roles. NT saw the movie and gave the go ahead. Balajee took a decision to change the technical team. CVR was changed and Balajee spoke to Devaraj- Mohan who were riding the crest of Annakili success wave. NT had known them from the good old days when they had worked as assistants to P.Madhavan. But they politely refused saying that were not interested in remakes. Another upcoming director was Sp.Muthuraman but he was already committed on the same dates for another movie. NT remembered one person who used to double as an actor and director. The person was K.Vijayan and he had directed Kaaval Deivam way back in 1969 in which NT played a cameo. Vijayan also acted in movies and most of the readers would remember his role in Sivandha Man(n), in which he played one of the revolutionaries along with NT. He was put in charge of direction. Balajee also decided to bring in a change in the music department and he went and booked Ilaiyaraja. It was a surprise for many in the cine field. There were reasons for it.

    For more than twenty years NT and MGR had dominated the Tamil film world and it was almost like two separate camps. As mentioned earlier in this series, the only common players were MSV, KVM, TMS, PS and LRE. For a new comer, it was very difficult to break into these camps. In that period of 10 years, the only two music directors namely MSV and KVM did music for NT films and the rare exceptions were T.K.Ramamurthi for Thangachurangam, G.Devarajan for Kaaval Deivam, Pughazendhi for Guru Dhakshinai, Govardhan for Anjal Petti 520 and V.Kumar for Niraikudam (irony is all the 5 films were released in 1969). At this juncture (1976), even Shankar-Ganesh having spent almost 8-9 years as MDs could not get a chance to do a single NT film though they did 2 MGR films. They finally managed to get the chance only in Thunai and that came in 1982. So when Ilaiyaraja managed that in his very first year, the cine field began to look at Ilaiyaraja with interest. The Film was named as Deepam.

    IR who knew the importance of such a chance simply grabbed it. For the Paavalar brothers, it was a dream come true. Like every cinema aspirant, IR too had the same skepticism whether he would be able to meet NT at least once and when he got an opportunity to work for an NT film, his joy knew no bounds. He tuned 4 songs for the movie and 3 were sung by TMS. Here there was no second thinking. TMS sang Andhapurathil oru Maharani, Pesathe Vayulla Oomai Nee and Raja Yuva Raja. KJY sang the other song Poovizhi Vaasalil, which was for Vijayakumar in the movie. Andhapurathil and Poovizhi Vaasalil became Super Duper hits. Deepam released on Jan 26th of 1977 went on to become super hit and Balajee immediately planned for another movie with the same combination.


    Again, he went to Malayalam and bought the rights of Ithaa Oru Manushyan which had Madhu in the lead. The movie was named as Thyagam in Tamil. This was village based and it was more of a Kerala type of story in the sense it was nativity based one. But still Balajee and Vijayan took a risk. Again the IR Kannadasan combo turned out beautiful songs. Even at this point of time when the songs were recorded (i.e.) Sep Oct 1977, there was absolutely no rift between TMS and IR or if at all it was there, it had not come out in open. If the two solos Vasantha Kaala Kolangal by Janaki and Nallavarkkellaam by TMS were chart busters, then the duet Then Malli Poove by TMS and Janaki simply captivated the audience. Thyagam, which came out on March 4th of 1978, was a super-duper hit and went on to celebrate 175 days and became the highest grosser for 1978. With two hits in a row for NT, IR had climbed steps and even producers of NT films other than Balajee started booking IR for their movies.


    As we had seen earlier, right from 1952, NT never had to look back and he was very busy throughout his career. But the continuous failure of films in 1975-76 due to combination of factors (lack of good story, political decisions etc) had slowed down his assignments but when Deepam became a hit, his career was back on track. The end of 1977 (Deepavali) saw the release of movie Annan Oru Koyil followed by Andhaman Kaadhali (Jan 26th, 1978) and Thyagam (March 4th, 1978) and when all the three crossed 100 days, NTs market was booming like good old days. Added to it when (a film that was in the making for long) Ennai Pol Oruvan that got released within 14 days from the date of Thyagams release (18th March, 1978) also became a hit, many producers were queuing up and suddenly NT found himself flooded with offers. There were three companies that got the call sheet of NT and they had booked IR for music. One was Rajanna Pictures from Bangalore that produced Kavari Ma(a)N, Amutham Pictures Kanne Kaniamudhe (which later changed to Vetrikku Oruvan) and one Asoka Brothers production Naan Vaazha Vaippen. In the month of March 1978, there was a full-page last page advertisement in Dina Thanthi that had a still photograph of NT and KRVijaya and it was mentioned as May veliyeedu (May release). Fans were really surprised because just 2 months time for making a full fledged movie seemed to be far from true but some were saying that KRV had got all things right and so it would come out. KRV? Yes, she was the producer and Asoka Brothers was her company.


    KRV was one heroine who had an extended stay at the top. Having made her debut in 1963 with Karpagam, KRV was literally active as heroine till the middle 80s. She had brushed shoulders with greats like Savithiri and Padmini and was there till Revathy and Nadiya came. Two things helped her. One was her homely appearance (though she cannot be said to be beautiful in the classical sense), which fetched her a huge ladies audience, and this group was determined to see all her movies. The second reason was she was married to a big business man and she used the money and business power to her advantage. Her home in T.Nagar with a swimming pool and she buying an aircraft were hot news those days. Then she changed her attention towards cinema. Having realized that she has a dedicated audience, she created a team in cinema that would cater to her requirements and image building. She got married when nobody expected it but contrary to the general trend, she was one person who had a successful career even after marriage. Even when acting with NT and MGR, she had films on floor that had Jai, Muthuraman and Ravichandran in lead and most of them were written and directed by Madurai Thirumaran. The films that can be classified in this genre are Soothaattam, Vaayadi, Thirudi and Amman Arul, Aayirathil Oruthi. Meanwhile she completed 100 films with Nathayil Muthu in 1973, which incidentally was directed by KS Goplakrishnan who directed her first movie Karpagam. But she had developed one drawback. When she became pregnant, she started putting on weight and at one stage she became very fat. But she continued to act with NT in Bharatha Vilas (1973) and Thanga Pathakkam (1974). Later she realized that she cannot continue to ignore her physical appearance and she carried out some corrective steps and became slim again. Having attained a slim body she began to choose stories. Her husband Velayudhan Nair who was running Sudharsan Chit funds launched Asoka Brothers. KRV also used other names for the production companies and it was widely known that she used to finance films where she acted as heroine. There were films like Mittai Mummy (remember Thirukovil thedi Rathidevi Vandhaal) Mayor Meenakshi etc. She had produced/financed films like Annapoorani, Natakame Ulagam during those periods. She always chose stories that gave importance to her and so when the announcement came for Naan Vaazha Vaippen, there was a surprise because for the first time she had booked a star who was bigger than her. Later it transpired that it was a remake of Hindi Majboor.

    Majboor, as mentioned earlier, was one of the films of Amithab that got released in 1975. It was an emotion cum action movie that added to the lustre of Amithab. It had a cameo appearance by Pran and this character was written in such a manner that it navigated the story in the climax. When it was decided to remake the film, initially only NT and KRV were confirmed. D.Yoganand would direct the movie and it would have music by IR. Then came the news that Rajini an upcoming star (1978 April) would be playing the role of Pran. Before this could be confirmed another incident occurred.



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    எந்தன் பொன் வண்ணமே - Part II


    NT at that time (April 1978) was acting in multiple films and they were at various stages of production. Punniya Bhoomi a remake of Mother India was complete and ready for release. Chinna Annamalais Vijayavel films was producing General Chakravarthi and it was also complete except for some patchwork. Pilot Premnath, a joint Indo Srilankan production was almost over except for one final schedule in Sri Lanka. Justice Gopinath was more than half way through. In addition to these, Sivaji Productions own venture that would turn out to be the 200th Film of NT (It was not named at that point in time) was also fast progressing. Kavarimaan was also on the floors. Naan Vazha Vaippen was also started and a portion of the film was completed. As if all these were not enough, NT had agreed to do one more film and that was in Malayalam.

    Navodaya Films is one of the famous banners of Malayalam cinema. It is owned by Appachan, who also runs a studio by the same name. Tamil audience would recogonise him on two accounts. He was the producer of My Dear Kutti Chatthan, the first 3D Film in India. The second is he owns and runs Kishkintha, the theme park in the outskirts of Chennai. He was also the pioneer in producing 70 MM movie in South India, when he produced Padayottam (Malayalam 1982) in 70 MM. In 1978, he was producing a big budget movie (by Malayalam industry standards) and it was a historical. Like we do have Karna Parambara Kadhagal, Keralites do enjoy hearsay stories that come under the genre Vadakkan Pattu Kadhaigal. These are stories that talk about the exploits of rulers of Malabar area called North Kerala (Vadakkan Keralam). The much talked about Vadakkan Veera Kadha written by M.T.Vasudevan Nair and which brought the first National award for Mammootty (he has three) also falls under the same genre.

    Now coming to the movie, it was named as Thacholi Ambu that had Prem Nazir playing the hero and Jaya Bharathy, the heroine. It also had Nambiar, KR Vijaya, Balan. K. Nair and Thikkurisi Sukumaran Nair. Jayan, the first Super Star of Modern Malayalam cinema, who lost his life in a helicopter accident while enacting a stunt scene for the film Kolilakkam in November 1980, at Cholavaram near Chennai, was an upcoming star at that time and he played a second hero role in this movie. There was a small but powerful role of a King who happens to be the father of the hero. For this they approached NT. We have discussed earlier that NT enjoyed a warm friendship with all other language film industries and he had a very strong relationship with Malayalam industry. Added to it, Appachan was a family friend and when NTs best friends Nazir and Thikkurisi put pressure, NT accepted to do the role.

    NT was a tireless worker and he used to work for hours together. Malayalam industry normally works very fast and people must have heard stories that they can finish off a film in 15-20 days. So for Thacholi Ambu, NT had gone to Kerala in the last week of April 1978 and he was there for a week. His work was almost finished. On May 5th of 1978, they were shooting a sword fight between NT and Nambiar. While doing a shot where he defended with the shield in one hand and flexing the right arm with the sword, he lost balance and fell down and he landed on the floor with his left hand taking the entire weight. He suffered a fracture in his left forehand. Shooting was stopped (it was almost over) and he came back to Chennai. On arrival here, doctors diagnosed that the fracture was more acute than what was earlier thought of. He underwent a surgery wherein fishplates were fitted in his hand to set right the fracture. Doctors also announced that it would take a minimum 45 60 days for him to return back to shooting. This unexpected happening threw his entire shooting schedules out of gear and NVV was one of the films that suffered due to this. It was tough on NT also because he had to sit idle and he felt sorry for the producers who were affected. A small digression here is, in Punniya Bhoomi that was released exactly a week later (May 12th of 1978), the father character played by NT would lose his hand in an accident and there would be a dialogue நல்லவங்களுக்குத்தான் கையெல்லாம் ஒடியுது, a normal dialogue (written much earlier) but that was apt for the occasion, provoking claps and sympathy at that point in time.


    Now VCS, brother of NT had to do a trouble shooting exercise and he did it in right earnest. He had two films that were complete. Punniya Bhoomi was released on 12th of May 1978 and General Chakravarthi made it to the screens on 16th of June 1978. The films that had to be completed based on priority were Pilot Premnath, Justice Gopinath and Thirisoolam. So call sheets would have to be given in that order. But unfortunately the injury took longer time to heal and the 45 60 days got extended. Again there were problems on the call sheet front. By this time NT had to fulfill another duty, that of a politician. Though we are not into politics, we will do a slight peep into what happened. After the Congress lost the 1977 general elections, Indira Gandhi was keeping quiet for some time. When the Janata Government started taking action against her, she started protesting and she began to tour. During the tour of Tamilnadu on Oct 29th and 30th of 1977, the black flag demonstration staged by DMK against her at Madurai and Chennai turned violent and she escaped miraculously. After that she had parted ways with the old guard in her party and her faction which broke loose on Jan 1st of 1978 came to be known as Congress (I). The entire Tamilnadu unit of Congress had stayed behind her. After this came the assembly elections for Karnataka and Andhra in Feb 1978 and Congress (I) captured power in both the states with Devaraj Urs and Chenna Reddy becoming the respective Chief Ministers. It increased her political stake.

    In July 1978, MGR had announced elections for Madurai Corporation alone in Tamilnadu and there was a 4-cornered contest (Janata being the fourth contestant). Congressmen brought Indira on some other pretext to Madurai and she canvassed in certain places by showing the hand symbol. Since she had come down, it now became imperative for NT to campaign. He also came to Madurai along with then TNCC (I) President Moopanar and this further delayed the start up of the shooting. [But it did help Congress to become the main opposition party as it won 9 wards out of 65]. Finally NT started shooting on August 10th of 1978 and he did it for Naan Vaazha Vaippen. But since he had to complete other pressing assignments, this schedule was planned as a very short one.

    NT went on to finish Pilot Premnath that got released on Oct 30th of 1978 for Deepavali, and then completed Justice Gopinath that hit the screens on Dec 16th of 1978. Meanwhile Thacholi Ambu had been released in Kerala. Thirisoolam after completion was released on Jan 27th of 1979 and as everybody knows it was NTs 200th movie. Kavari Ma(a)n was the next release on April 6th of 1979. But Naan Vaazha Vaippen that was started almost at the same time got struck. There were reasons for that. The story of Majboor was one reason that put the brakes on the shooting. Let us take a look at the story.


    Ravi works in an international ticketing counter at a travel agency. He has a widowed mother, handicapped sister and a school going brother. He is in love with a lawyer called Neela and her brother Ramesh happens to be the Public Prosecutor. Ravi is the sole breadwinner of the family. The Police get a man missing complaint and since this industrialist Jayaraj was last seen with Ravi (as he had come to collect his air ticket) the police question him. Ravi gets a severe headache on and off but he postpones the visit to the doctor.

    The police stumble upon the body of Jayaraj in the underground drainage and again Ravi is questioned. Neela asks him not to get tensed up. Jayarajs brother announces a reward of Rs 5 Lakhs to any person who is ready to give a clue for identifying the killer. Ravis headache becomes severe and he consults a doctor and Ravis head is x-rayed. Doctor has some shocking news for Ravi. He is suffering from a brain tumor and that needs surgery. The bad news does not end there. The doctor is unable to guarantee that he would be normal after the surgery. Ravi is totally upset. He thinks about his mother, sister and brother and he is worried about their future. Ravi, remembering the offer of Rs 5 Lakhs announced by the brother of Jayaraj, hatches a plan.

    Ravi calls up the police and informs that he would spell out the killers name provided the amount of 5 Lakhs is deposited as per his instructions. He gives the name of the lawyer to whom the money needs to be handed over and he writes to the lawyer that he has written a name of a person who would be the beneficiary of this amount and the same is put in a sealed cover and he puts up a condition that it has to be opened only after the accused is punished. Ravi then goes on to create some evidences that would show as if Ravi is the man behind the killing of Jayaraj. When Jayarajs brother deposits the money as instructed, Ravi gives himself up to police. In the court, Ravi simply confesses to the crime thus making Neelas efforts go waste. Ravi is awarded death sentence. His family is totally shattered. He doesnt heed the appeal of his mother and Neela to appeal against the verdict.

    While he is counting his days in prison, again he experiences severe pain in his head and is hospitalized. He is operated upon and the tumour is removed. The court orders the execution to be delayed till he recoups. Ravi now completely cured of the disease realizes the folly of having falsely implicated himself in the murder and wants to come out. But everything is against him. Even the time for appealing against the verdict has expired. Now he is left with no other go except to jump prison and find out the truth about the murder himself. His journey takes him to a person called Michael DSouza, a small time thief and he promises to help Ravi. How they along with Neela go about reaching their goal forms the rest of the story.

    After completing a portion of the movie, somebody in the unit started doubting about the acceptability of the story by the audience and the fans. There were some people who said that the cameo role of Michael might pose a threat to the heroism of the NT character.

    The character was wrongly understood by a section of people and they put pressure on the producer to change the story. But NT was firm in his stand that having inked the agreement, it is not correct to ask the producer to change the story and that too after almost half way through the shooting. Another factor was the role of Pran. Rajini had been booked but that was in 1978 April and in April 1979, much water had flown under the bridge. Rajini had grown in stature and at the same time trouble was brewing for him.

    RAJINI 1975 TO 1979

    Sivaji Rao Gaekwad, his early life, he joining the Adayar Film Institute and grabbing the attention of K.Balachander, all these have been well documented already to merit a mention again. Rechristened as Rajinikanth (after the character names of the play cum movie Major Chandrakanth), this man made his debut in Aboorva Raagangal on August 15th of 1975. Of course that role didnt set the screen on fire. His second film Moondru Mudichhu (also by KB) came out in 1976 October during Deepavali. The friend turned foe caught the attention of the moviegoers. His third film was also with KB and Avargal released on 25th Feb of 1977, showcased a sadistic husband Ramanathan and he was loathed by the Thaikulangal. DevarajMohan and Panchu Arunachalam team basking under the success of Annakili were busy with their next venture Kavikuyil and the only major changes from the previous film were Sridevi for Sujatha and Rajini for Srikanth. This came out on July 29th of 1977, followed by Raghupathy Raghavan Rajaram on Aug 15th of 1977, where he played the murai maman of heroine Sumithira. [The film titled as R. Raghava. R, because of censor problems was changed to R. Raghavan. R].

    Seeing the potential of the artist, Sp. Muthuraman who was filming the novel Bhuvana Oru Kelvikuri by Maharishi took a path breaking decision of booking him for a positive role and Rajini came out with flying colours [Sivakumar should be congratulated in equal measures for accepting to portray a negative character]. If BOK released on Sep 2nd of 1977 made a big headway for Rajini, the debut film of Bharathiraaja, 16 Vayadhinile that hit the screen on 15th of September put him on a high pedestal. Parattai had garnered equal fame attained by Sappani. The subsequent releases like Aadu Puli Aatam on Sep 30th, Gayathiri on Oct 7th and Aaru Pushpangal on Nov 10th (Deepavali) made 1977 a special year for Rajini.1978 dawned and when his first release Shankar Salim Simon came out on Feb 10th, he had become a star of reckoning. One month later on March 10th, Aayiram Jenmangal [remake of Sheela directed Malayalam movie Yaksha Gaanam] came out and it saw audience rooting more for second hero than the hero. This was when Rajini was booked for not one but two films of NT. They were Justice Gopinath and Naan Vaazha Vaippen, the film in discussion. Incidentally D. Yoganand directed both the films.


    But the accident that happened to NT made Rajini wait for a longer period to start shooting. The adopted sons character in Justice Gopinath (again to use the same phrase) did not set the screen on fire. But the period that intervened between his booking that happened in March 1978 and subsequent release of Justice Gopinath on Dec 16th of 1978 had seen Rajini grow in stature. In between he acted in Maangudi Minor, Bhairavi, Ilamai Oonjalaadugirathu, Sathurangam, Vanakkathukkuriya Kaadhaliye, Mullum Malarum, Iraivan Kodutha Varam, Thappu Thalangal, Thai Meethu Sathyam and Aval Appadithan. There was one more film Paavathin Sambalam in which Rajini had played a guest role and it also got released one week prior to Justice. Readers can very well imagine what would have been his impact on the audience. But poor screenplay was the reason for Justice Gopinath not getting the required attention of the public.

    After this and before the commencement of Naan Vaazha Vaippen shoot, Rajini had done En Kelvikkenna Badhil, Priya and Kuppathu Raja. He had almost finished Ninaithale Inikkum. NVV, Dharma Yudham, 6 to 60 were half way through and Annai Oru Aalayam was about to start. During this period, on March 10 and 11 of 1979, there was a conference held in Madurai to celebrate the 200th film of NT (i.e.) Thirisoolam and the second day was for cine field. The first day was dedicated for political leaders and their speeches. Rajini had attended the meeting on the second day (In fact yours truly had attended the meeting and till date happens to be the only time I have seen him in person) and he spoke and told that he was a great fan of NT.

    After the conference was over certain incidents happened that put a question mark over Rajinis future. Vested interests wanted to use this development and urged the producer and NT to drop Rajini. But NT put his foot down and he as the President of Nadigar Sangam deputed Major the then Secretary of the Sangam to do all the required help for Rajini. He told the director and producer that Rajinis portions could be shot after some time. Rajini after fulfilling his pressing commitments then joined the shooting and completed NVV. [Rajini was always a great fan of NT right from his younger days. He had the highest respect for NT. That aside, the reason NT stood by his side and helped him to come out of the troubled phase made him determined to pay back his gratitude to NT and his family. We can classify Mannan, Padayappa and Chandramuki as a token of gratitude].

    Now with all the problems getting solved, shooting commenced on a full swing. Now coming to the songs part, this being a remake made the job of fixing the song sequences easier. There was one duet, one song for comforting the sister, one birthday song, one song for Michael character and the repeat of the song sung by the brother. IR decided to use all the top three male singers and PS for female voice. While SPB PS sang Thirutheril Varum Silaiyo, KJY rendered Aagayam Mela song. TMS sung the two solos Endhan Pon Vanname and Ennodu Paatu Paadungal.


    Ennodu Paatu Paadungal comes in at the birthday party of Neela. Ravi is asked to sing. But he had just got back from the doctor, who had told him for all his efforts, Ravi might not live longer. While others are oblivious of this happening, Ravi tries to be cheerful outwards but in his heart of hearts, he is crest fallen. TMS had sung the song along with a chorus. The song in discussion happens when the handicapped sister speaking of a prize in lottery and the ways she would spend it only to be brought crashing down to harsh reality by an innocuous remark from her younger brother. Seeing the hurt in her eyes, the elder brother Ravi sings Endhan Pon Vanname.


    The tune was simple and catchy. Kannadasan as usual flowed. When the recording took place, TMS understood the mood of the situation and he caressed the words and made them soothing to the ears of not only the sister character but also to the listeners ears. Hear the following lines

    கோவில் இல்லை என்றால் தெய்வம் இல்லை

    இங்கு நீ இல்லையேல் கண்ணே நானும் இல்லை

    வானம் இல்லை என்றால் மதியும் இல்லை ; உந்தன்

    வார்த்தை இல்லையென்றால் ஒரு கீதம் இல்லை

    having said that he compares his sister with the flower and when you hear it you feel the soft touch of the flower on your face

    நீ வந்ததால் தானே பூ வந்தது

    நீ வாடினால் வண்ண பூ வாடுமே

    and then the caressing words

    என் ராஜாத்தி கண்ணே கலங்காதிரு

    In the second charanam, he compares gold and rays of sun with his sister and how he does it with a soft voice that touches you

    பொன்னை கண்டேன் அதில் உன்னை கண்டேன்

    காலை பொழுதை கண்டேன் இந்த கதிரை கண்டேன்

    என்னை கண்டேன் நெஞ்சில் உறவை கண்டேன்

    நீயும் இல்லையென்றால் நானும் எங்கே செல்வேன்

    Then he highlights his mothers role and see the softness in TMS voice

    தாய் செய்ததே தவம் நாம் வாழ்வது

    தாய் கொண்டதே வரம் நாம் வாழ்வது

    In the third and final charanam, he instills confidence in her by saying since they are honest, they dont need to fear anything. TMS brings gambeeram into his voice and says

    கள்ளம் இல்லை நெஞ்சில் கபடம் இல்லை; நீ

    கண்ணீர் சிந்த ஒரு நியாயம் இல்லை

    காலம் வரும்; அந்த தெய்வம் வரும்

    அந்த நாளும் வரும் நல்ல வாழ்வும் வரும்

    When the charanam comes to an end, the brother makes a promise. He assures that he will take care of her future.

    காலம் தனை நான் மாற வைப்பேன்

    கண்ணே உன்னை நான் வாழ வைப்பேன்

    TMS always brought out the emotions very clearly and even in a light song like this, he expresses clearly the emotions. The song with a simple tune rendered emotively by TMS with a soft voice lingers in our mind long even after a long time.


    During the earlier discussions we have seen that though many singers have done playback singing for NT, it was TMS who had the lions share of the songs. Especially after 1960, it was out and out TMS not only for NT but also for MGR, Jai, Ravi, and Sivakumar etc. After the advent of SPB in 1969, things began to change and SPB began to slowly climb up the ladder. Director CVR when compared to other directors, who were doing NT films, always made it a point to give a youthful look to NT films. As a part of that exercise, he was responsible for bringing SPB to sing for NT in Sumathi En Sundari. After Pottu Vaitho Mugamo became such a roaring hit in 1971, CVR used SPB in Raja (1972) for Irandil Ondru song. This prompted VV Sundaram to use SPB for Gowravam (1973) for Yamuna Nadhi Inge song. Again it was CVR who brought SPB again with Ethhanai Azhagu Kotti Kidakkuthu in his Sivakamiyin Selvan in 1974. In the same year CVR this time used Kovai Soundararajan along with TMS in En Magan for Sonpapdi Sonapapdi song. If the following year (1975) beginning saw Manidhanum Deivamaagalam which had Seerkazhi singing for one of the dual roles, the year end saw a sweet voice debuting for NT. Yes, K.J. Yesudas sang Malare Kurinji Malare in Dr.Siva. The last NT movie of 1975, Paattum Bharathamum had a SPB song. CVR again made SPB sing Kaadhal Kadhai Solveno in his Unakkaaga Naan in 1976 beginning. The same year saw, SPB sing Padagu Padagu in Uthhaman. 1977 totally belonged to TMS except for Naalu Pakkam Vedarundu in Annan Oru Koyil but of course it was a background song. 1978 started with Andhaman Kaadhali and we heard KJY sing Andhmaanai Paarungal Azhagu and Ninavaale silai seithhu songs. Thirisoolam in 1979 again brought TMS, SPB and KJY together as they sang for the three different roles. But one thing if we have noticed is, all these films mentioned above had TMS singing the major songs. NT and his director/producer were particular that TMS should be there. First time this was broken in 1979 when Kavarimaan, the film after Thirisoolam came out without TMS. While KJY rendered the classical Brova Baaramma, SPB sang Poo Pole Un Punnagaiyil. Fans were shocked. The reasons were not hard to find.


    At the beginning of this discussion, we saw that TMS did not sing as per the wishes of IR during Annakili. But IR had high respects for TMS. He used to say that any musician who grew up listening to the cinema songs of 50s and 60s could not but love TMS. So he used him in not only NT films but also for others. IR made TMS sing Kanakku Paarthu Kaadhal Vandhadhu for Muthuraman in Alukkoru Aasai in 1977. TMS again sang Nandooruthu Nariyooruthu for Rajini in Bhairavi in 1978. So what made IR turn away?

    In 1978, TMS had gone to Srilanka and the he gave an interview to the daily newspaper Veera Kesari. Ponnu Oorukku Pudhusu directed by Selvaraj (the story writer of BR camp) and the song Oram po had become a huge hit. The paper had asked for TMS comment on the song. TMS would not have imagined that his reply is going to permanently ruin a relationship. Veera Kesari gave a sensational heading to the interview and the words mentioned (as if spoken by TMS) deeply hurt IR. The reactions were swift.


    The first to get the axe was the song IR had recorded on April 14th of 1978. Old timers would be aware that even after MGR became the CM of Tamilnadu, he expressed his desire to act in movies. There were different opinions about this and political observers were expressing their doubts about the constitutional validity of such a move but there was no explanation given in the constitution regarding such a scenario. When questioned about this, the then PM Morarji Desai said that Central Government would not stand in the way. This emboldened MGR and he announced the film Unnai vida Maatten. This was to be produced by G.K.Dharmaraj of Yoga Chitra films, who had earlier produced Ilaiya Thalaimurai with NT. IR was booked as the music director. On April 14th of 1978, the pooja of the film was held and a song written by Vaalee, tuned by IR and sung by TMS was recorded. When this controversy broke out, IR made Malaysia Vasudevan sing the same song. Since the film didnt proceed further, the song also never came out.

    Then IR turned his attention to Ennodu Paatu Paadungal song and the same was again recorded with SPB singing this time. When TMS came to know of this development, he went and asked the director about this. He was told that the earlier song had a chorus along with the song. Since NT felt that chorus could be avoided so that it reflected the mood of the situation, they had done the recording again. Since TMS had gone out of the country and since they had to complete the shooting, they did it with SPB. Though TMS was not satisfied, he couldnt do anything. NT never interfered in these matters. Moreover he had taken a liking for IRs music. He was answering a regular Q & A session in Bommai magazine in 1978-79 periods and for a question asking about his favourite song of 1977, he had replied that it is Sendoora poove. This reply had put the lyrist Gangai Amaran and IR on cloud nine. Moreover NT was the chief guest for the jubilee celebrations of Kizhakke Pogum Rail held in Kamala theatre in 1978 and from thereon BR and IR had become close with him. NT rarely ever interfered in music and this also played a part in the subsequent happenings.

    From thereon IR rarely used TMS. He avoided TMS wherever he could, like in Kavarimaan (being SpM- Panchu combo) and Pattakathhi Bhairavan (producer director VB Rajendra Prasad, the maker of Engal Thanga Raaja and Uthhaman, was a Telugu and he couldnt object). When the producer was strong like Balajee and SS Karuppaswamy he used TMS like he did in Nallathoru Kudumbam (the classic Sindhu Nadhi Karaiyoram) and Rishi Moolam respectively. We can also add Vetrikku Oruvan in this category. IR had to face this problem only in NT films. For others he managed with SPB and KJY. But when Devar Films who booked IR for the first time for Annai Oru Aalayam (1979 Deepavali) wanted a TMS song as a matter of sentiment, IR gave the song Amma, Nee Sumandha Pillai to TMS.

    The last film to come out of NT-IR-TMS combo was Rishi Moolam in Jan 1980. People still remember Neramidhu Neramidhu and 50-lum Aasai Varum from the same. After this there was a long gap of almost 3 years before IR did another NT movie. Gangai Amaran who did music for Balajees Neethipathi in 1983 used TMS (remember Paasamalare song?) but in the very next NT film Imaigal for which again GA was the MD, he used Malaysia Vasudevan (Maadapuravo illai Manjal Nilavo?). This prompted IR to plumb for MV in subsequent movies that started with Vellai Roja (1983 Deepavali). The only exception was Thaaikku Oru Thaalaattu, where bowing to pressure from producer KRG, IR used TMS PS for Pazhya Paadal Pola Puthiya Paadal Illai, which had the same tune as Unnai Ondru Ketpen from Puthiya Paravai. But for reasons best known to the director, the song was not there in the movie except for a brief part.


    The picturisation was easier as it was an indoor song. There are a section of the readers who feel that any NT film after Thirisoolam is trash. They should see this song. NT even after completing 27 years in the industry was able to bring out the life of the character. He does it casually. The face and the lip movement convey the emotions. You should also check the scene when he talks to the doctor (Poornam Viswanathan), the way he expresses his shortcomings regarding his family is worth a watch and more.


    What does TMS say about this? In the book (Oru Kuyilin Vaazhkai Sangeetham) he talks about this. He says that he told that songs like Oram Po and Machhani Paatheengala may bring fame for the MD temporarily but in the long run, people would identify the MD with only such songs and if he tries to give a classical song, he may be rejected. So there is a danger of being side lined with a dappankutthu muthirai. TMS says that the sentence Oramaaga Poi vida vendiyadhu varum was twisted and reported as some other word. He feels that IR could have contacted him and checked the veracity of the report. Another incident that further distanced the two was a musical night at Coimbatore. Out of 3540 songs, TMS was given only 5 songs and this was filmed for a movie called Ilaiyarajavin Rasigai (of course it never came out). On coming back to Chennai TMS called IR and asked him not to call him (TMS) for light music concert anymore and hung up.

    IR on his part never came out with his side. But once when questioned about not using TMs, he had to say the following

    "TMS அவர்கள் மிகவும் பெரிய கலைஞன் என்பதில் சந்தேகமில்லை. எல்லா விதமான உணர்ச்சிகளையும் பாவங்களையும் தன்னுடைய குரலில் கொண்டுவரக்கூடிய ஒரே பின்னணி பாடகர் TMS மட்டும்தான். அந்த பெரிய கலைஞன் என்னுடைய இசையில் பாட முடியாமல் போனது அவருடைய துரதிர்ஷ்டம். அவரை என்னுடைய இசையில் பயன்படுத்திக்கொள்ள முடியாமல் போனது என்னுடைய துரதிர்ஷ்டம்."

    But all said and done it was the fans, who were unlucky to have missed out this combo.


    Coming to the film, the same was released on August 10th of 1979. There were slight skirmishes here and there in theatres and of course a section that always wanted to run down NT said that it was Rajini who saved the film. Neither NT nor Rajini answered and on the 100th day celebrations. Rajini confessed that whatever he had done in the movie was taught by NT and he simply did what he was told to do. NT - Kannadasan combo this time joined with IR and proved that performers would score irrespective of the period and situation.

    Before signing off, my personal experience. I had seen the movie on the opening show that was the matinee of August 10th, 1979 at Madurai Sridevi. We thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

    Here is the lyric

    எந்தன் பொன் வண்ணமே அன்பு

    பூ வண்ணமே

    நெஞ்சில் போராட்டமா

    கண்ணில் நீரோட்டமா

    அதை நான் பார்க்கவா

    மனம் தான் தாங்குமா


    கோவில் இல்லை என்றால் தெய்வம் இல்லை

    இங்கு நீ இல்லையேல் கண்ணே நானும் இல்லை

    வானம் இல்லை என்றால் மதியும் இல்லை உந்தன்

    வார்த்தை இல்லையென்றால் ஒரு கீதம் இல்லை

    நீ வந்ததால் தானே பூ வந்தது

    நீ வாடினால் வண்ண பூ வாடுமே

    என் ராஜாத்தி கண்ணே கலங்காதிரு.


    பொன்னை கண்டேன் அதில் உன்னை கண்டேன்

    காலை பொழுதை கண்டேன் இந்த கதிரை கண்டேன்

    என்னை கண்டேன் நெஞ்சில் உறவை கண்டேன்

    நீயும் இல்லையென்றால் நானும் எங்கே செல்வேன்

    தாய் செய்ததே தவம் நாம் வந்தது

    தாய் கொண்டதே வரம் நாம் வாழ்வது

    என் ராஜாத்தி கண்ணே கலங்காதிரு


    கள்ளம் இல்லை நெஞ்சில் கபடம் இல்லை; நீ

    கண்ணீர் சிந்த ஒரு நியாயம் இல்லை

    காலம் வரும்; அந்த தெய்வம் வரும்

    அந்த நாளும் வரும் நல்ல வாழ்வும் வரும்

    காலம் தனை நான் மாற வைப்பேன்

    கண்ணே உன்னை நான் வாழ வைப்பேன்

    என் ராஜாத்தி கண்ணே கலங்காதிரு



  6. #14
    Senior Member Veteran Hubber mr_karthik's Avatar
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    Dear Muarli sir,

    Wonderful cover-up about ‘Endhan pon vaNNamE’ from Naan Vaazha VaipEn’.

    Your detailed writing has took me to the past, and I am still there, even after finished reading of your article / analysis / history.

    Because, for the previous songs you have covered earlier, all the incidents which you have described are heard (from various sources) and read (from various books and magazines).

    But for these incidents what you have described in this song analysis, I am the living witness for all those happenings. Yes from Thangai film to 100th Day function of Naan Vaazha VaippEn, I am the witness, and was watching all those happenings in those period, especially initial period of NT – IR relationship. Wow, what a golden memory they are. I already told here and there in out NT thread about the happenings at Chennai during Thiyaagam, Kavariman, Andhaman Kaadhali releases.

    I have attended the 100th day function of ‘Naan Vaazha VaippEn’ which was held on 102nd day at Chennai Chitra Theatre, during the interval of its evening show. It was not arranged in any star hotel, but celebrated in the theatre itself. (I strongly hope, Mr. Raghavendhar might be there. He already told he was in 100th days function of Viswaroopam at Shanthi).

    NT, K.R.Vijaya, Rajinikanth, D.Yoganand, Jaiganesh, Thengai Srinivasan, and other artists and technical crews were participated and awarded 100th day shields. When the show was started, all of us waiting for the interval (we already saw the movie in several number of times, but this time mainly for the function). After interval, the function started and nearly one and half hour the speeches and award function took place. They were the happiest moments in life, watching our idols in real.

    Let me live for some more moments there. Even though there were many films for Deepavali 1978, the main competition was between Pilot Premnath (Alankar) and Sigappu RojaakkaL (Devi Paradise). Other movies are Thaai Meedhu Sathiyam (Wellington) , Vandikaran Magan (Gaiety), Thanga Rangan (Plaza), Kannamoochi (Midland) and Thappu ThaalangaL (Pilot)… wow what a golden period it was.

    Thanks a lot Murali sir.
    Your service always Priceless.

  7. Likes RAGHAVENDRA liked this post
  8. #15
    Senior Member Platinum Hubber RAGHAVENDRA's Avatar
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    கார்த்திக் சார் சொன்னது போல் சில நிகழ்ச்சிகளில் நாம் சம்பந்தப் பட்டிருந்து அல்லது அதில் பார்வையாளராக இருந்து அதை மற்றவர்கள் விவரிக்கும் போது நம்மையும் அறியாமல் நம் மனதுக்குள் ஒரு விதமான பெருமிதம் நம்மை ஆட்கொள்ளும். அந்த நினைவுகள் மனதில் ஏற்படும் இனம் புரியாத உணர்வுகளில் சந்தோஷமும் பெருமையும் நிச்சயம் இருக்கும்.

    அதை நானும் பல முறை உணர்ந்திருக்கிறேன்.

    என்றாலும் அதை முரளி சாரின் எழுத்துக்களில் படிக்கும் போது அதன் சுவையே தனி.

    கார்த்திக்கின் நினைவலைகளை இன்னும் சுவையாக்க...

    இதோ சித்ரா திரையரங்கில் நான் வாழ வைப்பேன் நூறாவது நாள் விழாவில் நடிகர் திலகம் கேடயம் வழங்கும் காட்சி.

    Last edited by RAGHAVENDRA; 17th May 2014 at 09:18 PM.
    விமர்சனங்களுக்கு அப்பாற்பட்ட இறைவன் நடிகர் திலகம்.. கடலின் ஆழத்தை அளந்து விடலாம். நடிகர் திலகத்தின் செல்வாக்கை அளக்க முடியாது... அது பயனளிக்கும் போது தான் அதன் ஆழம் புரியும்....

  9. #16
    Senior Member Senior Hubber
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    கிட்டத்தட்ட மூன்று வருடங்களுக்கு முன்னர் நான் எழுதத் துவங்கிய இரு கட்டுரைத் தொடர்களுள் ஒன்றான நடிகர் திலகத்தின் மிகச் சிறந்த வித்தியாசமான நடிப்பில் உருவான பாடல்கள் கட்டுரைத் தொடரைத் திரும்பவும் துவங்குவதில் பெரு மகிழ்ச்சி கொள்கிறேன். முதலில், இத் தொடரில் நான் ஏற்கனவே எழுதிய 8 பாடல்களை முதலில் மீள் பதிவு செய்து விட்டு பின்னர் மற்ற பாடல்களை பதிகிறேன்.

    நடிகர் திலகத்தின் வித்தியாசமான மிகச் சிறந்த நடிப்பில் உருவான பாடல்கள்

    மீண்டும் ஒரு புதிய கட்டுரைத் தொடர் மூலம் உங்கள் எல்லோரையும் சந்திப்பதில் மட்டற்ற மகிழ்ச்சியடைகிறேன்.

    நடிகர் திலகத்தின் அற்புத நடிப்பை வேறு வேறு பரிமாணங்களில் இப்பூவுலகம் உள்ளவரை ரசித்துக் கொண்டே இருக்கலாம். இன்னும் சொல்லப் போனால், அவரது ஒவ்வொரு படத்தையும், திரும்பத் திரும்பப் பார்க்கும் போதும், ஒவ்வொரு முறையும், ரசிப்புத் தன்மையுள்ள ஒவ்வொருவருக்கும், வேறு வேறு கோணங்களில், அவரது அற்புதத் திறமையை புதிது புதிதாக ரசிக்கும் பாக்கியம் கிடைக்கும்.

    நான் இங்கு எழுதப் போவது, நிச்சயம் அனைத்து நடிகர் திலக ரசிகர்களும் ஏற்கனவே ரசித்தது தான் (திரு. முரளி ஸ்ரீனிவாஸ் அடிக்கடி குறிப்பிடுவது போல், அனைத்து நடிகர் திலக ரசிகர்களும் ஒரே கோணத்தில்தான் அவரை ரசிக்கிறார்கள்.) இருப்பினும், அந்த அற்புதத் தருணங்களை மறுபடியும் எழுத்து வடிவில் இங்கு கொணர என்னால் இயன்றவரை முயல்கிறேன்.

    நடிகர் திலகம் பெரிய/அகன்ற திரைக்கு அறிமுகம் ஆன கால கட்டத்தில், பெரும்பாலும், அனைத்து நடிகர்களும் நாடகத்திலிருந்துதான் அறிமுகம் ஆனார்கள். நாடகம் என்கின்ற ஊடகம் எதையும் உரத்துச் சொல்லுவதிலும், சொல்ல வந்த விஷயத்தைப் பாடல்களின் மூலமும் சொல்லிக் கொண்டிருந்தது. காரணம் எல்லோரும் அறிந்ததுதான் - கடைசி இருக்கையில் இருப்பவருக்கும் கேட்க வேண்டும் என்பதால். இந்தக் காரணத்தால், நாடகத்திலிருந்து வந்த நடிகர்களின் நடிப்பில் ஒரு வித செயற்கைத் தன்மை இருப்பதாக சொல்வதுண்டு. இது சரியான கூற்று அல்ல. நாடகத்திலிருந்து வந்தவர்களிடம் இருந்த சரளமான நடிப்பு நேரே வெள்ளித்திரைக்கு வந்தவர்களுக்கு ஒரு போதும் இருக்காது. இதற்குக் காரணம், நாடகம் அளிக்கும் அனுபவம் மற்றும் தைரியம் - நேரே லைவாக ஆடியன்சை எதிர்கொள்ளவிருப்பதால். அங்கு தான் ரீடேக் எல்லாம் கிடையாதே.

    அதே சமயம், நாடகத்திலிருந்து நடிக்க வந்த நடிகர்கள் பாடல் காட்சியில் நடிக்கும் போது, அவர்களுடைய உடல் மொழி இயல்பாக இல்லாமல், கைகளை மனம் போன போக்கில் ஆட்டி, அசைத்து நடித்துக் கொண்டிருந்தார்கள் - இல்லை ஒரேயடியாக எந்த வித அசைவும் இன்றி நின்ற இடத்தில் அப்படியே சிலையாக நின்று நடித்துக் கொண்டிருந்தார்கள் - அதாவது ஒரு உயிரோட்டமான நடிப்பு அந்தக் காலத்தில் பாடல்களில் இல்லாமல் இருந்தது. அப்படிப் பார்த்தால், இந்த நிமிடம் வரை, பெரும்பாலான நடிகர்களுக்குப் பாடல் காட்சியில் அந்த அளவிற்கு நடிப்பதற்குத் தெரியவில்லை என்று தான் சொல்ல வேண்டும். அதே நாடக உலகில் இருந்து வந்த நடிகர் திலகமோ, தன் முதல் படத்தில் இருந்தே, பாடல் காட்சியில் நடிக்கும் போது, அளவோடு கை கால்களை அசைத்து, அந்தப் பாடல் வரிகளுக்கேற்றார் போல் முகம் மட்டுமல்லாமல், மற்ற உடல் மொழிகளின் மூலமாகவும், சரியான பாவங்களைக் காட்டி நடிக்கலானார். அதாவது, அந்த முதிர்ச்சி, அவரது முதல் படத்திலேயே இருந்தது. நடிப்பில் எல்லையை முதல் படத்திலேயே தொட்டவரல்லவா அவர்! பாடல் முழுவதுமே, ஒரு நாற்காலியில் உட்கார்ந்து கொண்டே பின்னர் நடித்து விட்டவராயிற்றே! (பொன்னை விரும்பும் பூமியிலே - ஆலய மணி).

    திரைப்படங்களில், பாடல்கள் மூலம் கதையையும், காட்சியின் வீரியத்தையும் காட்டி அதன் மூலம், மக்களை ஒரு சேர சென்று சேர ஆரம்பித்தது, நடிகர் திலகம் - பீம்சிங் - கண்ணதாசன் - மெல்லிசை மன்னர்கள் விஸ்வநாதன் / ராமமூர்த்தி - டி.எம்.சௌந்தரராஜன் - பி. சுசீலா கூட்டணி தான் என்றால், இதற்கு மாற்றுக்கருத்துக்கு இடமேது? இதே போல், பாடல்களின் மூலம், காட்சியின் வீரியத்தை மட்டுமல்லாது, அந்தப் பாடல்கள் இடம் பெற்ற காட்சிகளின் சூழலை சுவையும் சுவாரஸ்யமும் இருக்கும் வண்ணம் பார்த்துக் கொண்டதும், நடிகர் திலகம் தான்.

    அப்படிப்பட்ட பாடல்களின் மூலம், ஒரு இயக்குனர் (அவர் தானே அந்தக் கப்பலின் கேப்டன்) சொல்ல வந்த விஷயத்தை, மிகச் சரியாகப் புரிந்து கொண்டு, வெறுமனே நடித்து விட்டுப் போகாமல், அந்தப் பாடலில், எவ்வளவு முடியுமோ அவ்வளவு கலைத் தன்மையை, கிரியேடிவிடியைக் காண்பிக்க நினைத்து, அதில் நூறு சதம் வெற்றி பெற்ற பாடல்களை இந்தக் கட்டுரையில் பதிவிட முயல்கிறேன்.

    1. "சக்கப் போடு போடு ராஜா"; படம்:- பாரத விலாஸ் (1973); இயக்கம்:- ஏ.சி.திருலோகசந்தர்

    புதிதாகத் திருமணம் ஆன ஒருவன், முதன் முதலாகத் தன் காதல் மனைவியைப் பார்க்கும் முன், அவன் மனதில் எழுகின்ற உணர்வுகளைக் காட்டுவதாக அமைந்த பாடல். இந்தப் பாடலைப் புதிய கோணத்தில் சிந்தித்து எடுத்திருப்பார் இயக்குனர் ஏ.சி.டி. - அதாவது, அவனும் அவனது மனசாட்சியும் பாடி, பேசுவதாக அமைந்த பாடல்.

    இந்தப் பாடலின் தனிச் சிறப்பு - பொதுவாக, அனைத்து படங்களிலும், சம்பந்தப்பட்ட மனிதனும் மனசாட்சியும் நேருக்கு நேர் வருவதாகக் காண்பிப்பார்கள். அதனால், அந்த இரண்டு பாத்திரங்களும் அதாவது நடிகர்களும், கொஞ்சம் சுலபமாக யோசித்து, நடித்து விட முடியும். ஆனால், இந்தப் பாடலிலோ, மனசாட்சி அசரீரியாகக் குரல் மட்டுமே கொடுக்கும். அதை அவர் கவனித்து, ரியேக்ட் மட்டும் செய்ய வேண்டும். இங்கு தான், நடிகர் திலகத்தின் அபார கற்பனை வளம் அவருக்குக் கை கொடுக்கிறது.

    பல்லவியில், சக்கப் போடு போடு ராஜா என்று நிஜ மனிதனாக நடிகர் திலகம் பாடத் துவங்கியவுடன், "டேய் டேய் என்னடா பாட்டுல பேச ஆரம்பிச்சிட்ட" என்று மனசாட்சியின் குரல் வரும். அப்பொழுது அவருடைய ரியேக்ஷனை கவனியுங்கள். அபாரம்!

    சரணத்தில், "நல்ல சமயம் இதை விட்டு விடாதே நாளும் தெரிந்த நீ நழுவ விடாதே" என்றவுடன் "என்னடா என்னடா நல்ல சமயம்" என்று மனசாட்சி கேட்டவுடன், அவர் இரண்டு கைகளையும் பின்னி "வெள்ளி நிலாக் காயுது வாடைக் காற்று வீசுது" என்று நடிக்கும் நடிப்பு, அது வரை அவர் காட்டாத - நடிக்க வந்து 21 வருடங்களுக்குப் பின்னர், 150 படங்களுக்கு மேல் நடித்த பின்னும், காட்டிய ஒரு புதிய பாணி நடிப்பு!

    அடுத்த சரணத்திற்கு முன் வரும் தருணத்தில், அந்த மனசாட்சி இவரது கழுத்தில் இருக்கும் துண்டைப் பிடித்து இழுப்பதாக நினைத்துக் கொண்டே அந்தத் துண்டைப் பிடித்து இழுத்து தன்னை விடுவித்துக் கொள்வதாக கற்பனை கலந்து நடித்திருக்கும் விதம் - நடிகர் திலகத்தின் அபார கற்பனை வளத்திற்கு ஒரு மிகச் சிறந்த எடுத்துக் காட்டு.

    கடைசியில், கட்டிலைச் சுற்றி ஒரு மாதிரி கைகளை இழுத்து இழுத்து காட்டிக் கொண்டே பாடலை முடிக்கும் விதம் மிகவும் நகைச்சுவையோடு இருக்கும்.

    மொத்தத்தில், ஒரே நேரத்தில், அபாரமான கற்பனை வளத்தோடும், அற்புதமான நகைச்சுவையோடும், ஒரு முதல் இரவுப் பாடலாக இருந்தாலும், தரம் கொஞ்சமும் குறையா வண்ணம், நடித்த பாடல். அதுவும், எந்த வித அதீத முயற்சியும் இல்லாமல் (effortless) நடித்த பாடல்.

    எதையும் வித்தியாசமாக சிந்தித்து, மக்களுக்கு அறுசுவை விருந்து படைப்பவர் நடிகர் திலகம் என்பதற்குக் கட்டியம் கூறும் பாடல்.


    இரா. பார்த்தசாரதி

  10. #17
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    நன்றி ராகவேந்திரா சார்!

    சாரதி அவர்களே! வருக! தொடர்க!

    நன்றி கார்த்திக்! நான் முதன் முதலில் இந்தப் பாடலை பதிவிட்ட போது நீங்கள் இட்ட பின்னூட்டத்தை மீண்டும் இங்கே மீள் பதிவு செய்ததற்கு நன்றி!

    அது போன்றே இந்த பாடல் பதிவு முதன் முதலாக வெளி வந்த போது சகோதரி சாரதா அவர்களின் பின்னூட்டம் இதோ

    டியர் முரளி,

    'எந்தன் பொன் வண்ணமே' என்ற ஒரு பாடலைப்பற்றி அலசுவதற்காக திரையுலக வரலாற்றையே திருப்பிப்போட்டிருக்கிறீர்கள். அடேயப்பா, எவ்வளவு விவரங்கள். எவ்வளவு தகவலகள்.

    ** நடிகர்திலகத்தின் படங்களுக்கு இளையராஜா இசையமைக்க நேர்ந்ததற்கான காரணங்கள். அது தொடர்பான நிகழ்வுகள்.

    ** பாலாஜியின் திரைப்பட தயாரிப்புப்பணிகள், அதில் அவருக்கு ஏற்பட்ட ஏற்ற இறக்கங்கள். அவர் படம் மூலமாகவே இளையராஜா, நடிகர்திலகத்துக்கு இசையமைக்க துவங்கிய சம்பவங்கள்.

    ** இளையராஜாவின் ஆரம்ப கால வரலாறு, அவரது திரைப்பட பிரவேசம், அதில் அவர் கண்ட வீழ்ச்சிகளும் எழுச்சிகளும். அவருக்கும் டி.எம்.எஸ்ஸுக்கும் இடையே ஏற்பட்ட பிணக்குகள், அவ்ற்றையும் தாண்டி அற்புதப் பாடல்கள் (நடிகர்திலகத்துக்காக) உருவான சரித்திரங்கள்.

    ** ரஜினியின் திரையுலகப்பிரவேசம், அந்நேரத்தில் அவர் நடித்த படங்களைப்பற்றிய பட்டியல் மற்றும் அவற்றின் சுருக்கமான ஆய்வுகள். இப்படத்தில் அவர் பங்கேற்க நேர்ந்த சூழ்நிலைகள்.

    ** நடிகர்திலகத்துக்கு மலையாளப்படப்பிடிப்பில் நிகழ்ந்த விபத்து, அதற்கான ஓய்வு, அதனால் அவரது படங்களுக்கு ஏற்பட்ட கால தாமதங்களும் சிரமங்களும். ('தச்சோளி அம்பு' படம் பார்த்திருக்கிறேன். இந்தப்படத்துக்காகவா அவர் கையை ஒடித்துக்கொண்டார் என்று எண்ணியதுண்டு). அந்நேரத்தில் தயாரிப்பில் இருந்த அவரது படங்களின் நிலைகள் பற்றிய விளக்கம். கூடவே அப்போது நிலவிய அரசியல் சூழ்நிலைகள் குறித்த ஆய்வு.

    அப்பப்பா.... இவ்வளவு விவரங்களும் இத்தனை சிறிய மூளையிலிருந்தா வந்தன..?. உங்கள் அபார நினைவாற்றல் பற்றி என்ன சொல்வது. 'என்னோடு பாடுங்கள்' பாடல் எஸ்.பி.பி பாடியதல்லவா? இவர் டி.எம்.எஸ் பாடியதாக சொல்கிறாரே. சரிதான் வாத்தியார் மாட்டிக்கிட்டார் என்று நினைத்துக்கொண்டே படித்தால், பின்னர் அப்பாடலை எஸ்.பி.பி. பாடியதைப் பற்றி விளக்கியிருக்கிறீர்கள். என் சிறுமதியை நானே நொந்துகொண்டேன். அதானே... முரளியா கொக்கா?. ஒரு சின்ன தவறுக்குக் கூட இடம் கொடுக்க மாட்டீங்களே...!!.

    பாடல் துவங்குவதற்கு முன் நடிகர்திலகம் தன் தங்கையிடம் பேசும் அந்த வசனத்தில்தான் என்ன கனிவு எவ்வளவு குழைவு..!. 'உனக்குதான் நடக்கவே முடியாதே. எப்படி பனிமலையில் ஓடுவாய்?' என்று வாய்தவறிக் கேட்டுவிட்ட குட்டித்தம்பியின் வார்த்தையில் திடீரென சோகம் கப்பிய முகத்துடன் பார்க்கும் தங்கையிடம், "அம்மா... உனக்குத்தான் எவ்வளவு பெரிய மனசு. கோடிக்கணக்கில் பணம் வந்ததும் அம்மாவுக்கு அது செய்வேன், அண்ணனுக்கு இது செய்வேன், தம்பிக்கு அது வாங்கிக்கொடுப்பேன்னு சொன்னியே தவிர, உன் காலை சரி பண்ணிக்குவேன்னு சொல்லலியேமா..." (எந்த வசனத்தை எப்படி பேசணும்னு மற்றவர்களுக்கு பாடம் நடத்திய ஆசிரியன் நீதான் தலைவா).

    நடிகர்திலகத்தின் கதாபாத்திரம் இப்படத்தில் ரொம்ப பரிதாபத்தை உண்டாக்கும். தீராத BRAIN TUMER நோயால் சாகப்போகும் தன் மரணம், தன் குடும்பத்தை தூக்கி நிறுத்த உதவட்டும் என்று முடிவெடுத்து, கொலைக்குற்றத்தை தன் தலைமேல் போட்டுக்கொள்ளும் பரிதாபம் என்ன?. தன் நோய் குண்மாகிவிட்டது தெரிந்ததும், தானே உருவாக்கிய சாட்சியங்களில் இருந்து தப்பித்து விடுதலை பெற போராடும் சோகம் என்ன?. ஒவ்வொரு இடத்திலும் மிகையில்லாத இயல்பான நடிப்பு. திருட்டு நகை வியாபாரியான எம்.ஆர்.ஆர்.வாசுவை மிரட்ட அவர் குளிர்க்கண்ணாடி அணிந்து வரும் ஸ்டைலே ஒரு அழகு.

    பல படங்களில் அஃறிணைப்பொருட்களும் கூட கதையின் பாத்திரங்களாக மாறுவதுண்டு (அழகன் படத்தில் டெலிபோன், பூவே பூச்சூட வா படத்தில் காலிங் பெல்) அதுபோல இப்படத்தில் முக்கிய தடயமாக வரும் அந்த முக்கோண கல் பதித்த மோதிரம், அழகோ அழகு (உடனே, 'பெண்கள்னாலே நகையில்தான் கண் போகும்' என்று நினைக்காதீர்கள்)

    படத்தைப்பற்றியும், உங்கள் ஆய்வு பற்றியும் இன்னும் நிறைய எழுதலாம்.

    அதனால் மீண்டும் வருவேன்....

    Anbudan.. Saradha Prakash


  11. #18
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    எங்கே நிம்மதி



    1. Mellisai Ma Mannar M.S. Viswanathan The Music Genius who was kind enough to speak about the background and the incident behind the composition of this song.

    2. Mr. Mohanram


    4. Thottal Poo Malarum Saroja Devis cinema memories which was serialized in Mangaiyar Malar.

    5. Various Film Magazines of yesteryears

    6. NT thread in our own forum, which had thrown up many interesting information about the film Puthiya Paravai.

    7. Mr.Manisegaran His many posts about the various aspects of this song.


    To Mr. Murali Shanmugam & Mr. Giri Shanmugam, sons of Mr. VC Shanmugam (brother of NT). But for Mr.Shanmugam, this song or for that matter this movie would have never seen the light of the day.


    A song that had stood the test of the time. A song that saw NT, Kannadasan, VR at their best. A film that was the launching pad of a great Production company. A song that is repeatedly telecast almost as a ritual in all satellite channels. A song that is dear and near to many of the people. We can go on giving introductions. But this song has one more dimension.

    Normally we have heard of songs being composed based on the situations. The director, storywriter along with the poet and Music director do sit for the composition. At times the Hero also makes an appearance to input his thoughts. But there have been very few occasions like it happened for Puthiya Paravai. People must have very rarely heard of the Film Hero enacting the scene for which the song needs to be composed. Here the Hero did the acting part and thus by guided the poet and the Music director to compose the song to the satisfaction of everyone concerned. Before moving on to the composition, let us delve in to the project background.


    The film Parasakthi not only saw the debut of a great actor but it also launched a successful career of a star. Successive films which made the cash registers ring also underlined the Box office potential of NT. If Parasakthi was released in 1952, 3 years later saw the family of NT also entering the Film world. But that was into the production side. By this time the entire Tamilnadu had come to recognize NT and the name Sivaji had come to be identified with NT. Therefore the family launched Sivaji films Private Limited and the main business was distribution of films, especially NT films for the Chennai city. [Sivaji Films started in 1955 celebrated its Golden Jubilee year in 2005, when Chandramuki was released]. NT and his well wishers felt that a dedicated distribution arm would help in streamlining the publicity that would take the film to the public and ensure its success. They wanted to get into production also. But there was nobody who could devote his entire time towards the production side. NTs brother in-law (Elder sisters husband) was the person who was helping him in this business as NTs younger brother VC.Shanmugam had been sent abroad for studying. NT had a complex like feeling about not being properly educated and so he decided to make available the best possible education to his brother since he was very fond of him. Another reason being there was a big gap of almost 10-11 years between their ages and VCS was born when NT was already with Bala Gana Sabha. VCS after his studies came back and took charge of the business. Designated as Managing Director he not only revamped the distribution angle but made sure that by foraying into film production, the company would be there for a long time and would become a big name to reckon with. And this was the starting point of a successful tenure at the helm that saw both the cinema business dealt by the family as well as the career of NT flourishing.


    Now, what made NT or his family to get interested in distribution or production? Those days there were established production houses like AVM, Gemini, Jupiter, Pakshiraja, and Vijaya Vahini and Chittadal. The irony was all these companies had a studio of their own. Everything was family owned. In fact the artists themselves were constructing their own studio or buying them after they became successful. Banumathi started her Barani studios, MGR bought Sathya Studio (actually renamed the studio he bought as Sathya), director B.S.Ranga built Vikram Studio, Vasu Menon built Vasu studio and KSG built Karpagam studio. Venus Pictures had Venus Studio. Probably the trend was derived from North where Rajkapoor launched RK studios. Even in Telugu, NTR owned a studio Ramakrishna and ANR had his Annapoorna studio at Hyderabad. Not to be left behind Krishna built Padmalaya studios. In Kerala, actor Madhu owns Uma studio and now Mohanlal has his own Vismaya Max. Why this long list is, NT too might have planned something in those lines when he ventured into distribution but the family instead of a studio ended up in buying a theatre in Mount Road. As discussed earlier in these columns, Shanthi theatre built by Umapathy was bought by NT and his brother in - law Mr.Venugopal took charge of the same and he still continues to manage it.

    Having been associated with the film world for nearly 5 years, NT had the idea of venturing into distribution at the back of his mind and Amara Deepam occurred at that time. The persons who were at the helm at the production side were all close to NT. He was living in Shanmuga Mudali Street at Royapettah at that point of time. His next door neighbour Mr.Govindarajan was one of the partners of the movie. This particular street falls at the rear side of Besant Road, where they bought a house for Sivaji films office and it still continues there. The house where NT lived in Shanmuga Mudali Street is still used by NTs brother In- law Mr.Venugopal.


    Venus Pictures produced Amara Deepam that came out in 1956. Director Sridhar, Govindarajan (known as Venus Govindarajan, he is the father of Thiagarajan and Saravanan, the men behind Sathya Jothi Movies. Thiagarajan also happens to be the son-in-law of RM.Veerappan), Krishnamoorthy were the persons behind the Venus pictures. There was another partner Mr.Rathinam, who was the brother of Krisnamoorthy, and who later grow up as one of the torchbearers of this organisation. Again better known as Venus Rathinam Iyer, he happens to be the father of one Subramanian, who later went on to become a top most director in the Indian cinema field and is better known as Manirathinam. They produced so many films that were BO hits and they owned a large piece of land in Alwarpet that came to be known as Venus Colony and still the name exists. The reason all these details are mentioned here is just to highlight that the business started by Venus Pictures is still active but in different names. The company, which was formed by starting their business with the film of Venus Pictures (i.e.) Sivaji films is still active to date.


    During those days the process of starting a movie was simple and casual. They would be scouting for good stories and whenever they could lay their hands on a good thread or knot, they would immediately announce a movie and start work. Sridhar had written the script for Ethirpaarathathu. It was an anti- sentiment film where the hero finds her lover becoming his stepmother due to circumstances beyond her control. When such a film was received well by the audience, Sridhars stock grew up. So when Venus Pictures was looking out for a suitable story, Sridhar came up with the thread of Amara Deepam and it immediately got everybodys approval. The triangular love story talked about Amnesia some 58 years back when such a medical condition was not very popular even among the city audience. Attracted by the novelty of the story, NT immediately gave the dates.

    Now coming back to Sivaji films, NT while acting in Amara Deepam could sense the success potential of the film and so Amara Deepam became the first film to be distributed in Chennai by Sivaji films. Not only that, they got the remake rights of Amara Deepam and produced the same in Hindi as Amar Deep. Dev Anand, Vyjayanthi Mala and Padmini acted in that. It was a big hit that saw the companys name getting entrenched in Bollywood. The company went on to produce many Hindi films. They were also distributing Tamil films of NT in Chennai. They did not venture into production of Tamil films for a solid period of 7-8 years. One thing was NT was very busy, with round the clock shooting. Second thing was NTs brother VCS had finished his studies and had come back in the late fifties. He very much wanted to produce a film but a good story was eluding them [Sivaji films]


    During his stay in London, VCS was very much attracted by Hollywood and he wanted that stylish way of film making to be introduced in Tamil. His exposure to such genre had initiated a thought in his mind that NT should do such type of films in Tamil. He was waiting for the opportune time to carry out his plan.

    During those times, there was a Hollywood flick called To Chase a crooked shadow. A murder mystery, it had a novel storyline and a suspense that startled the viewers. VCS had already seen the movie and the idea of remaking the movie in Tamil got firmly entrenched his mind. NT was a cinema buff and he used to see almost all English movies that were getting released in Chennai. He had a small theatre at his home and he used to get the prints of the movies he wanted to see and screen it there. So NT and friends saw the movie and everybody liked it. The group that saw the movie consisted of some producers and directors. But when VCS broached the subject of producing the film, there were no volunteers. They felt that though NT had done roles with shades of grey in his earlier films, it would be a riskier proposition, considering his status at that time. VCS, who had almost decided to produce the film on his own, firmed up his mind and announced the launch of the movie under Sivaji films Banner. How to go about remaking the movie in Tamil, keeping in mind the Tamil audience, was the point that was occupying VCSs mind. At that time, they heard a news.

    Inspired from the Hollywood flick, there was a Bengali movie with a same storyline. On hearing this, they went and saw the movie and purchased the rights of the movie for producing it in Tamil. Thus the Pillayar Chuzhi for Tamil film production was put and the preliminary steps started.

    The novelty of the film or main attraction of the film was the screenplay. It was like a Chess game. The moves and the counter moves were simply fascinating. For the first time viewer, the movie made him to think. Think in the sense, he would replay the sequences again in his mind and try to solve the puzzle. This is what primarily attracted NT and VCS. But there was a catch. The Hero at the end becomes an anti hero.

    As for as NT was concerned, he would never mind about the image and he had done quite a no of films where his characters had shades of grey. Thirumbi Paar, Andha Naal, Thuli Visham, Pennin Perumai, Nalla Veedu and Rangon Radha are a few examples. Even the Vikraman character of Uthhama Puthiran was a negative one till the end. But all those films happened in early and middle fifties but they were in 1964, when this proposal was mooted. NT and VCS were nevertheless determined to go ahead. Aroordas was assigned to the dialogue and Nannu the screenplay. Dada Mirasi who had directed Ra(k)tha Thilagam earlier was put in charge of wielding the megaphone (Some 7 years later, he did another NT movie, Moondru Deivangal in 1971).

    Having decided to do the movie under the own Banner, VCS decided that the film should not lack in any respect and so they chose to make it in colour. Casting of the characters mattered a lot. The wife and later the impersonator was a crucial one. A westernized woman with all that goes with such a character in the first half, she changes completely in the second half. Not many heroines would come forward because image mattered. NT knew that one actress who can pull off this role was Sowcar and pull off she did! They did not even think twice regarding Rangan character. MR Radha was taken in. VKR was booked as the father of the heroine and later as you know what. With OAK Thevar, SV Ramadas, Nagesh and Manorama, casting was complete

    The other heroine would simply look like filling the bill but in the climax, the viewer will be in for a surprise. Saroja Devi was an automatic choice. But she was very busy. She was doing 3 shifts a day and there was no way she could give lump call sheets. Also the story demanded combination scenes with major characters and therefore her mother politely refused. But VCS was one man who would never give up. He met Sarojadevis mother Rudhramma and narrated her the entire story. She was very much impressed and when VCS told about the climax where Saroja Devi would reveal her true identity, she was thrilled. VCS also told her only if Saroja Devi acts, the audience would not be able to guess. Her mother managed to adjust the then existing call sheets and Saroja Devi acted as Latha. She says that she would never forget VCS because but for him, she would have missed out a movie, which till date brings bouquets for her.


    Normally a murder mystery story would have a set pattern and would concentrate more on investigation. This normally puts off women audience and in turn would affect the family audience attendance also. So the screenplay was written keeping this in mind. So till 2/3rd of the movie, the investigation would not be there. Even the last part would be more focusing on the make or mar relationship of hero and heroine. So songs were planned in such a manner that it would suit the mood of the movie.

    A song in the ship which makes the hero and heroine understand each other better, a song at Ooty where the heroine comes to stay at the heros place, a night club song at Singapore during the flashback when the hero tells his story, later the same song getting repeated in a different mood at heros place in Ooty, the song between the hero and heroine when the marriage is about to be fixed and finally the song under discussion. Let us have a look at the story leading to this situation.


    The story opens up in a ship that is on its way from Singapore to Chennai. The hero Gopal is traveling in the ship and he gets to meet Latha and her father. Gopal is a multi millionaire who is returning back to India after spending some years at Singapore. At Ooty, he again runs into Latha and her father and he takes them to his home. Gopal and Latha start moving closer and on certain occasions Latha finds Gopals behaviour odd and perplexing and she demands to know the reason. Gopal who initially tries to hide it, later confesses the truth and tells his story. Gopal after the death of his mother is crest fallen and visits a night club in Singapore for solace where he happens to meet a singer by name Chitra and falls for her. They get married but rude shock awaits Gopal. He finds her as a drunkard and wayward in her behaviour. His efforts to make her see reason fail miserably. The final straw happens on Gopals birthday, and when Chitras behaviour crosses all limits, Gopal lets out his rage resulting in the suicide of Chitra. Gopal after this suffers another jolt and that is his fathers passing away. After this he had returned to India and during that travel back, he had met her and her father. Latha initially shocked to learn that he is already married, later gives her consent when he proposes to her. Her father also agrees.

    Come the betrothal day, everybody is in for a shock. Chitra surfaces along with her Chittappa and the betrothal is stopped. Chitra claims that she had not died and had taken treatment for her injuries and later knowing that Gopal had gone back to India, had come here, she says. Gopal refuses to believe her and tries to prove that his wife is indeed dead. But his efforts repeatedly fail and the intruder cleverly builds up her case. Worse, the person accompanying her, Chittappa proves to be a thorn in the flesh and Gopal is literally driven to nuts. On the advice of his friend cum Police Inspector, he tries to catch the fingerprints of the woman but in the altercation with Rangan, the glass tumbler falls down and breaks. Worse, Latha seeing him moving closely with Chitra (for getting the finger print on the glass tumbler) is crest fallen and runs away from the scene. Gopal unable to prove the true identity of the intruder, unable to tackle the truants of Rangan, unable to convince Latha (she now had started believing that Chitra has come back), is a broken men now and this where the song comes in.


    Dada Mirasi was not a native speaker of Tamil and he used to operate through English in the shooting spot. But he was a good technician. So VCS had to take additional responsibilities now. In addition in making the movie sleek, he had to sit with VR for songs composition. It was a blessing in disguise because he had a good taste in music, recalls MSV. In the cine field, they always talk about the so-called sync or gel when it comes to teamwork and it seems that MSV and VCS had that sync which lasted till the 80s. With Kannadasan giving out his best, it was a pleasure to compose the songs. VCS, VR and Kannadasan sat together to compose.

    The song at the ship. At the penultimate day of travel, the captain of the ship throws a party and asks somebody to sing. Inevitably the dice falls on the heroine. She reluctantly agrees to sing. Kannadasan seizing this opportunity opened with Unnai Ondru Ketpen. MSV inspired by the pallavi decided to go full steam. Reading the situation very well, he decided to use more western instruments. So the song opened with piano. Later he used saxophone and a host of other instruments. [Remember how NT plays the instruments to perfection? MSV recalls that NT used to come to recording and observe the instrument players. At the shooting spot, MSVs assistant Joseph Krishna would be there whenever a western instrument had to be played by NT. But he would hardly have any corrections to tell because NT would do it perfectly, MSV recalls. He adds up இது என்ன சார் பிரமாதம்? தில்லானா-லே நாதஸ்வரம் வாசிக்கும் போது அசல் வித்வான் மாதிரி கழுத்து நரம்பு பொடைக்குமே. அதை விடவா சார் வேணும்?] PS simply excelled in the song. Especially when she sings the lines it was pure honey. Ilaiyaraja was so fond of this song and when he got an opportunity, he used it. Yes, 22 years later in 1986, producer KRG produced Thaikku oru Thalaattu directed by Balachandra Menon. NT and Padmini were the leading players and when the situation came up for a song where they do a trip down the memory lane, IR choose the tune of Unnai Ondru Ketpen and the song Payazha paadal pola Puthiya paadal illai was written by Vairamuthu. TMS and PS sang the same. But unfortunately only a bit of the song was used in the movie. Saroja Devi was clad in a red sari and red blouse during that song and that was a sight to behold. Saroja Devi recalls that even after 50 years, when she meets people, the one movie that everybody mentions is Puthiya Paravai and the one song is Unnai Ondru Ketpen.

    The next was again a solo by heroine though the situation was a duet like one. Hero and heroine get a reception from the tribal people and heroine ties up a piece of cloth in the tree of wishes. There comes the song where the heroine expresses her mind albeit indirectly. Chittukuruvu Muthham Koduthhu was born. Cameraman Prasad beautifully captured the song picturised in Ooty. If I am not off the mark, this was the first song that saw hero and heroine change their costumes in between the pallavi and different charanams.

    The next song was the nightclub song. Here VCS clearly explained to the poet and the MDs the situation. Hero is under a mental stress because he had lost his mother and comes to the club for some relaxation. Here he listens to the song and that makes him forget all his worries. Not only that, the song haunts him and he actually falls for the singer. Again it was a westernized song with a lot of instruments. Here MSV created the tune that was truly haunting and Kannadasan simply came up with Paartha Gnabagam Illaiyo lines. Again PS was outstanding and whenever you hear the lines, it would haunt you. If MSV did a grand orchestration for the first version, he made it simple when it would be repeated under different circumstances. But that would add to the beauty of the song and haunt more it did. See the picturisation of the song. NT who walks in with a heavy heart slowly gets transformed and you have to look at his expressions. It is another song where the cigarette dangling in NTs lip also did the acting. It was style personified. There was one review of this song, which said that people employed in corporates should watch this scene and learn table manners.

    Then came the song before the betrothal day. Here the hero sings alone. First song for the hero. Song focused more on style and NT with his characteristic stylized walk simply turned Aha Mella Nada into a style statement. The shirts used in the film (Terylene) became a rage and many youngsters started wearing such shirts without banians (inners). Actor Sivakumar was one among them and he also started following the trend. (Sivakumar mentioned this in an interview with MSV in a program called Thirayum Isayum. He referred to the other song Enge Nimmathi as well) If the Terylene shirt attracted men, women were fascinated by the China silk sari with printed material worn by Saroja Devi.

    Now only one song remained that would come as a lead song to the climax and the flow that was going smoothly (as for as song composition) suddenly got struck. VR and Kannadasan tried their best but they could not hit upon the correct wordings that would satisfy everyone. Days passed but no progress could be made. This went to NTs ears and he called up MSV and asked him to come to Annai Illam and left. He asked Kannadasan also to accompany the MDs. So the next day morning, all the three went to Annai Illam and the composing was intend to start.


    The next day morning, MSV made sure that Kannadasan was on time for the appointment and all reached Annai Illam. NT and VCS were there. NT asked MSV whether he has any ideas for the proposed song situation. The tunes that MSV created did not get the approval. NT had something in his mind and he was not getting satisfied with the tunes. Here was a situation song which he had thought about and in fact he wanted to do certain gestures and body movements. So he wanted nothing but the best from Kannadasan MSV. In order to get the required output from the duo, he started enacting the scene. I think that should be described in Tamil because it would bring out the exact mindset of NT at that point of time. Let us hear NT in his own words. It seems that he described to the duo in the following manner.

    நாயகனுக்கு வாழ்க்கையிலே பணம் கிடச்ச அளவுக்கு நிம்மதி கிடைக்கலே. எங்கே அன்பு கிடைக்கும்-னு ஏங்கினான். தன் மனதுக்கு சாந்தி கொடுத்த பாடகியான பெண்ணை விரும்பி கல்யாணம் பண்ணிக்கிட்டான். ஆனால் அவன் நினைச்ததக்கு நேர்மாறா அந்த வாழ்கை அமைஞ்சிருச்சு. அவ ஒரு விபத்திலே இறந்து போக, தாய் நாட்டுக்கே திரும்பற அவன் தன் மனதுக்கு பிடித்த ஒரு பொண்ணை பாக்கிறான். அவளுக்கும் அவனை பிடிச்சுப்போயிடுது. கல்யாணம் பண்ணிக்கிட்டு ஒரு புது வாழ்க்கையை ஆரம்பிக்கலாம்-னு நினைக்கும்போது, பழைய மனைவி மாதிரியே இருக்கிற ஒருத்தி நான்தான் உன் மனைவி, நான் சாகல-னு வந்து நிக்கிறா. கூடவே அவ சித்தப்பன்-னு சொல்லிட்டு ஒருத்தன். அவ தன் மனைவி இல்லை-னு நாயகன் நிரூபிக்க எடுக்கிற முயற்சியெல்லாம் பெயிலியர் ஆகுது. ஆரம்பத்திலே நம்பின காதலியும் அவன் மேல் சந்தேகப்பட்டு விலகி போறா. ஒவ்வொரு சின்ன விஷயத்திலும் அவனுக்கு டென்ஷன் ஆகுது. வாழ்க்கையே வெறுத்து போய் எங்கியாவது நிம்மதி கிடைக்காதா-னு அலையறான். சுவத்திலே தலையை முட்டிக்கிறான். அழுகிறான் எங்கே நிம்மதி-னு புலம்பறான். இது பாட்டிலே வெளிப்படனும்.

    While saying this NT it seems was actually enacting the scene in front of them and suddenly MSV got that spark. He told Kannadasan கவிஞரே இதுதான் பல்லவி but Kannadasan didnt catch it. He asked Ennada solre? and MSV replied that Pallavi is Enge Nimmadhi. Kavignar just looked at him and without saying anything went on to write

    எங்கே நிம்மதி எங்கே நிம்மதி

    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்

    And went on to add something on his own

    எங்கே மனிதர் யாரும் இல்லையோ

    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்

    This suited the situation because here Kavingar adds that Hero doesnt believe in the entire human race. Such is his frustration level.

    MSV immediately tuned the lines with his harmonium and there was flash of happiness in NTs face. NT now realized that Kannadasan had come back to form and with a help of little guiding, this song can be brought up to the required level. So he again started to describe the situation and mindset of the hero. He went on to tell them that now the hero is not only depressed but he has also become self-pitying. He broods over his ill luck and he feels that he has been cursed like that. He laments why all this for me?

    Kannadasan now very much interested (earlier he was bit off colour because he was not getting it right and in fact he reluctantly came to Annai Illam, MSV recalls) and with his mind now firmly in his control, words as usual started flowing from him. For the above mentioned charanam, he wrote

    எனது கைகள் மீட்டும்போது வீணை அழுகின்றது

    எனது கைகள் தழுவும்போது மலரும் சுடுகின்றது.

    என்ன நினைத்து என்னை படைத்தான் இறைவன் என்பவனே

    கண்ணை படைத்து பெண்ணை படைத்த இறைவன் கொடியவனே

    ஓ! இறைவன் கொடியவனே

    Here the third and fourth lines, Kannadasan wrote from his own experience as it always happens. He could not forget the love failure he experienced at a young age and he carried this as a baggage till his lifetime. But that was blessing in disguise for Tamil film music lovers because, it helped him to write so many poetic beauties, which are adored till today. Everybody was so happy. But it also brought brickbats later, about which we will discuss after this.

    NT, now realizing that this method is paying rich dividends then told Kannadasan that the hero is thinking of both the women in his life. While the very thought of earlier woman brings him nightmares, the girl whom he had met afterwards has provided him all the love and affection and he could find solace in that relationship. The resurfacing of his so called wife, whom he firmly believes is dead, had completely robbed him of his peace of mind and his sleep. He literally pleads with the supreme power to give him peace. The poet in Kannadasan was in full flow now and as he always does symbolized the women with the birds deriving this inspiration from the title of the movie planned. He wrote

    பழைய பறவை போல ஒன்று பறந்து வந்ததே

    புதிய பறவை எனது நெஞ்சை மறந்து போனதே

    என்னை கொஞ்சம் தூங்க வைத்தால் வணங்குவேன் தாயே

    இன்று மட்டும் அமைதி தந்தால் உறங்குவேன் தாயே

    ஒ! உறங்குவேன் தாயே

    With MSV completing the tune for the same, the entire team, which was present there were happy and know they have a Super hit song in their hands. With Kannadasan successfully completing his part, MSV, though he had tuned it well, knew that the job is not yet complete. He realized that this song requires orchestration of the highest caliber, otherwise the entire effort would go as a waste. He also decided that it should have a live orchestra with instruments playing a major part.


    MSV had reasons to think on those lines. He had done music for Neethipathi (old one) produced by Vijaya Pictures. It had a song Thaayum Seiyum Pirinthadhai Paar that was rendered by CS.Jayaraman. There he used western musical instruments and he used a live orchestra with a chorus. He brought Anglo Indians and used them for chorus. It was very well received by the public. So MSV decided that he would use live orchestra for this song and he also wanted to make it rich. He planned a live orchestra with a plethora of instruments. Till that time only basic instruments like violin, tablas were used. He wanted that to change. But it would cost much but he had a willing producer who was willing to go that extra mile in ensuring the quality the musician was seeking to bring in. Having got the green signal, MSV arranged for a live orchestra of 100 people who would handle the instruments. Later on this trend caught up and MSV himself used more than 100 instruments for Pattathhu Rani song in Sivandha MaN. It is rumoured that on coming to know of this MGR wanted the same type of orchestration (i.e.) using more instruments for his song also and MSV did the same for Ninaithathai Nadathiye Mudippavan song in Nam Naadu.


    The recording date was fixed. It started at 9 am. TMS had a few rehearsals and then the recording started. VCS had come. As most of the readers must be aware, during those days all the concerned people must be there as there was no facility for track or independent recording. And when the orchestra is big, the synchronization becomes more difficult as all parameters have to fall in place to make the recording successful. At times 3 or 4 takes would be required for a perfect song. Here also the same thing happened. The recording, which started at 9 am in the morning, went on till 12 midnight. TMS as usual was excellent in rendering the song and later in an interview said, MSV told him to concentrate on the words in the song. H was told to bring out the sound of veenai when he sang Veenai Azhugindrathu. And veenai sound was there in his voice. It also shows the range and stamina of the singers of that golden period. With recording completed successfully, the scene now shifted to the picturisation. MSV told VCS that if the song is not properly filmed, it would lose all its charm.


    VCS, well aware of the pitfalls in the picturisation decided that no stone should be left unturned to make it long lasting. He sat with director Dada Mirasi and cameraman Prasad and discussed. They decided that it should be a set that would depict both the extreme moods of the character. While the wife character tortures him, it is hell recreated with all its terrifying inmates, whereas he believes that the lover character is from the heavenly abode surrounded by the angels and brings eternal bliss for him. They also decided that instead of putting a grandeour set (as it was vogue in those days), they should concentrate more on colours and lighting, which would bring the desired impact. Even they decided upon the costumes of the women. It was black for Sowcar and cream for Saroja Devi.

    As planned, the shooting was arranged and sets readied. Though NT had enacted the song during composition, he now literally raised his performance by taking it to another plane. The very start of the song was fabulous with the BGM slowly growing up in volume and when it suddenly breaks into high decibel music, NT slowly getting up with his eyes searching the place used to bring down the roof. He wears light blue colour silk trousers and very light blue Terylene shirt with sleeves rolled up to the biceps. The camera captures him from the low angle with his eyes almost closed and with his two hands stretched out. In this posture when the words come out Enge Nimmadhi, again the theatre would roar.

    See the lightings for this song. The colours used would be indicating the mood swings. Predominantly red and blue were used as background colours. The cream and yellow colours were used when they show the gate of heaven (?) from where Saroja Devi comes out. When she is near NT, the background is cream and the moment when she disappears and Sowcar enters, the red background light flashes. Even at the end when the song closes and the last line அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும, we see NT lying down on the lap of Saroja Devi and the background light is blissful cream and blue. It changes when the shadow of Sowcar super imposing on them and suddenly it is red and we see NT lying in the lap of Sowcar and he jumps up with fear with the BGM rising to the highest decibel. The cameraman Prasad deserves special mention for his work and it is said that he never even used Light meters for his shots. It was sheer mind calculation and the resultant product is there to be seen till today with all glory.

    If we analyse NTs acting in this song, we have to write essays. To put it simply the walk, the gestures, the lip sync and the body language were top class. To point out just an example, watch the first charanam. When the first two lines come up,

    எனது கைகள் மீட்டும்போது வீணை அழுகின்றது

    எனது கைகள் தழுவும்போது மலரும் சுடுகின்றது,

    see his gestures with his hand and his facial expressions at that time. Is there any better way to show how one self pities himself? When the next line arrives

    என்ன நினைத்து என்னை படைத்தான் இறைவன் என்பவனே

    his right arm does a clock wise rotation with the fingers pointing up and people at the theatre would be ready to explode for this particular shot.

    We can categorically state that no other song has come out with this amount of perfection in portraying extreme depression both in action done by NT and the mood created by the music of MSV-TKR. (A few examples of songs in this genre are - Thukkathilum Sirikkanum in Nalla Idathu Sambantham, Mayakkama Kalakkama in Sumaithangi, Thannai Thane Nambahathu in Deiva Piravi, Avanukkenna Thoongivittan Agappattavan in Peria Idathu Penn).

    Now coming to the controversy part, the lines of the first charanam were the one that made some so called Tamil pundits to criticise Kannadasan. They argued that the usage in the line எனது கைகள் மீட்டும்போது வீணை அழுகின்றது, is totally wrong as fingers only can pluck the string and not the hands. This was a hot topic even after many years after the release of the movie. Seeing all such farce, one always had a doubt that the so called pundits were jealous of Kannadasan and so they wanted to show off their superiority. But Kannadasan never took such things seriously.

    The movie as I said earlier was ahead of its times. Here was a man who was ruling Tamil cinema but he literally choose to do a negative character. Especially the climax, he was simply outstanding. Which actor will have the guts to clear his nose in front of the camera? Again a shot, which will generate deafening, claps. A watertight screenplay backed up by splendid performances from all actors. Sowcar and MRR would be outstanding (in fact audience if given a choice would like to kill the Rangan character for all the trouble he creates).


    The movie was released on 12.09.1964 and it celebrated 100 days. The biggest achievement of PP is, on subsequent releases it had been a BO wonder. During the mid 70s, the film re-released in Chennai, had run for 75 days. All over Tamilnadu, it evoked tremendous performance and I am sure even now this movie would create Box office magic if theatrical release is arranged. The song Enge Nimmadhi was a Super Duper hit right from day 1.


    Sivaji Films in spite of making its maiden venture a success did not venture into production for almost another 6 years and when it did come out with Vietnam Veedu in 1970, its name was changed to Sivaji Productions. In fact there was a gap of exactly 24 years between Puthiya Paravai and the next venture, which carried the Sivaji films banner name. The next venture was En Thamizh En Makkal, which came in 1988 September. Then another 5 years elapsed before Kalaignan (starring Kamal) was produced under this banner [1993 April]. The usage of Sivaji brings us to another interesting information.

    NT who assumed the name Sivaji because of playing the Maratta Emperors role used the Kings sitting posture on a horse as the emblem of the company. But later it was removed as that emblem is Maharashtra Government's official one and for Kalaignan, they used a emblem of NT himself dressed as Sivaji, which came in the Telugu film Baktha Dhukkaram. NT had donated the Sivaji statue at Sivaji Park, Mumbai. The Maharastra Government celebrated the 300th year of Sivaji ascending the throne in 1974 and they wanted a skit for the TV. Dr.T.S. Narayanaswamy prepared a script, which depicted the situation at the time of Sivaji ascending the throne. Here it should be noted that the drama written by Annadurai [Sivaji Kanda Hindu Samrajiyyam] dealt about the hurdles Sivaji faced in coming to power. On a similar note the skit enacted by NT as Sivaji in Raman Ethhanai Ramandi also dealt about the hurdles Sivaji faced in crowning himself as King (though RER skit was primarily written in view of the political situation that prevailed then in 1970 and it was sort of a reply to a sarcastic comment by then CM of Tamilnadu against NT). Now coming back to the skit prepared by Dr.TSN, Thanjai Vanan wrote the dialogues. The beauty of the script was it was in Tamil and it was telecast in the same manner and even the Siva Sena did not object to it when it came on air on July 21, 1974 (see the date). When Chennai (Madras then) had its own TV station opened on Aug 15th of 1975, the same skit of NT acting as Sivaji was on the air on the very first day.

    Before signing off, my personal note. Since release was in 1964, did not see it then. My first tryst with PP happened in 1969 at Madurai City Cinema. I could not follow the movie for the simple reason it was sheer festival mood inside the theatre. Especially there was riot during the song sequences. After a year or so, saw the same in Madurai Chandra (which was later named as Shanthi) and from there on, I have lost count of the no of times, I have seen it.

    Here goes the lyric

    எங்கே நிம்மதி எங்கே நிம்மதி

    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்.

    எங்கே மனிதர் யாரும் இல்லையோ

    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்

    அங்கே எனக்கோர் இடம் வேண்டும்

    (எங்கே நிம்மதி)

    எனது கைகள் மீட்டும்போது வீணை அழுகின்றது

    எனது கைகள் தழுவும்போது மலரும் சுடுகின்றது.

    என்ன நினைத்து என்னை படைத்தான் இறைவன் என்பவனே

    கண்ணை படைத்து பெண்ணை படைத்த இறைவன் கொடியவனே

    ஓ! இறைவன் கொடியவனே

    (எங்கே நிம்மதி)

    பழைய பறவை போல ஒன்று பறந்து வந்ததே

    புதிய பறவை எனது நெஞ்சை மறந்து போனதே

    என்னை கொஞ்சம் தூங்க வைத்தால் வணங்குவேன் தாயே

    இன்று மட்டும் அமைதி தந்தால் உறங்குவேன் தாயே

    ஒ! உறங்குவேன் தாயே

    (எங்கே நிம்மதி)


  12. #19
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    Mar 2006
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    யார் அந்த நிலவு



    1. Mellisai Ma Mannar M.S. Viswanathan The Music Genius who was kind enough to speak about the background and the incident behind the composition of this song.

    2. Mr. B.Lenin Editor cum Director and s/o of Bheemsingh who was kind enough to throw light on the backdrop, the creation, execution and celebration of this film

    3. Mr.Mohanram

    4. Mellisai Mannar MSV written by Rani Maindhan

    5. Oru Kuyilin Vaazhkai Kavitha Albert

    6. Various film magazines of yesteryears


    கலை தாயின் தவப்புதல்வனுக்கு, நடிப்பு கலையின் நாயகனுக்கு காணிக்கை


    I dedicate this great song to Fellow Hubber Mr.Ramaswamy, a great fan of TMS.


    A song that is immortal. A song that has been discussed, analysed and dissected for more than 4 decades. A song that proved that even a small sliver in a great artist's hands can act and fill the mood. A song that still makes people think of what they lost for eternity by the breakup of VR. We can add much more to this. Let us start from the conception.

    Again we are going back to the great combo. Yes friends, this again is from the kitty of NT- Bheemsingh- Kannadasan VR TMS. A song that truly challenged the capability of everyone, (and ultimately everyone came out with flying colours) and yet the winner was ----


    The combination of the jambaavans was making waves and no wonder many producers were more than willing to engage the full complement. There were many producers who benefited immensely by this combination. Take the case of Velumani. His Saravana Pictures produced Baagha Pirivinai and Paalum Pazhamum. Bheemsingh, MSV, Velumani were the partners of Buddha Pictures, which produced Pathi Bakthi and later Paava Mannippu. Rama. Arangannal and Mohideen Pitchai were the producers of Pachhai Vilakku under the banner of Vel films and later due to certain circumstances it became a joint venture with AVM. Mohan of Mohan Arts and M.R.Santhanam (F/o of director Santhana Bharathy) were the people behind Rajamani Pictures, which produced Paasa Malar. Paarthhal Pasi Theerum came under AVM Banner. Ranganathan Pictures started by NT's costume designer Ramakrishnan produced Padithhaal Mattum Pothumaa. Bandha Paasam was under the banner of Shanthi Films owned by Periannan, V.C. Subburaman of Kasthuri Films produced Paar Magale Paar and Bharatamatha Pictures was stared to help cameraman Vittal Rao and Thirumalai (associate director of Bheemsingh who later along with Mahalingam became a director duo and did Saadhu Mirandaal and Aalayam) and under its banner came Pazhani. It shows that all sorts of producers were more than happy to be a part of this bandwagon because almost all of them tasted success. It is no wonder that every producer wanted to produce a film with this wining combination to cash in on its tremendous success and popularity.


    In-between, there was Petra Manam and Senthaamarai, which had the same combination, but since the films didn't do well, they did not get the required attention. Of the two mentioned, AL.Srinivasan produced Senthaamarai. Kannadasan was having his own production company but all the films he produced bombed at the Box office - Sivagangai Cheemai, Karuppu Panam and Kavalai Illaatha Manidhan to name a few. As readers are aware Kannadasan's brother was AL.Srinivasan and his AL.S Productions was actively into production. Senthaamarai was in production for too long and that adversely affected the movie in its BO performance. Now AL.S wanted to produce a film with this combination to offset the losses he incurred in Senthaamarai. He was vigorously pursuing NT regarding this. VCS gave the call sheet and the usual combination was fixed. But at that time little did they realize that this would be the last movie the combination would do.


    Having decided to produce the film, they were scouting for a story. Every Paa series movie had a good story and so this also should have a strong story, it was decided. Again the asthaana storywriter of Bheemsingh movies, M.S.Solai Malai came to the rescue. The story he had in mind was family oriented but the difference was this time it concentrated on emotional struggle between the two (or shall we say three) main characters and this was the basis on which the screenplay was developed. As was vogue, this Bheemsingh film was also discussed threadbare and screenplay arrived at.

    After Pathi Bhakthi in general and Baagha Pirivinai in particular, the Bheemsingh-NT jodi were doing a lot of films and it was quite common that a couple films were on the floor at the same time at any given point of time and every calendar year saw more than one film featuring this team getting released.


    Thus after Pachhai Vilakku that came in 1964, two films of NT directed by Bheemsingh were under production. One was Pazhani and the second was Shanthi a film produced by AL.S. While Pazhani was a village story that depicted the travails of innocent farmers migrating to the city, the other film was out and out a city based one. It starts in Chennai but moves to Madurai, where the entire story happens. Readers would remember that we discussed about Madurai being used as a backdrop of Bheemsingh films and we had taken Baagha Pirivinai, Paava Mannippu and Paalum Pazhamum as examples. Going further, Pathi Bakthi was Madurai based (remember the hero's name Pandiyan?) and Paar Magale Paar had its story happening at Madurai. Again this film Shanthi was based at Madurai. The reason was that writer M.S. Solaimalai was from Madurai and during those times, Madurai was the city that was easily recogonised by the common man. Added to it was the fact, it served as a lucky mascot for Bheemsingh.


    The story starts in Chennai. The film opens with a set of students going back to their respective hometowns having finished their graduation. Out of these there are two who are very close, more like brothers. They even eat their food from a single plate. While Santhanam (NT), from a well to do family who only has his mother to take care of belongs to Tiruchi, his friend Ramu (SSR) is from Dindigul. Ramu's parents are no more and his uncle MRR (Chittappa) is his guardian, who has a daughter. Ramu is fighting a legal battle over his ancestral property.

    Santhanam's mother wants to get him married and they leave for Madurai to see a girl. At the doorstep of the house, Santhanam bumps into a girl and mistakes her to be the girl they have come to see. But when he goes in, he finds out that the girl he is supposed to see is another girl, Shanthi and he also learns that Shanthi is blind. Shanthi, as a child, had been struck by lightning and had gone blind but the marriage broker had not disclosed this information to them. Santhanam and his mother express their inability to proceed with the marriage proposal. The visually impaired girl Shanthi is shattered. Her cousin, who Santhanam had bumped into, consoles her.

    On his way back, Santhanam stops at Dindigul to meet Ramu but he is not there. He meets his uncle and casually talks about the girl he had seen and about her condition. The information that the girl is quite rich makes the uncle devise a plan. He, knowing that his nephew has lost his legal case on his ancestral property, now goes and meets Shanthi's father. He informs them that his nephew is ready to marry the girl. He also shows Shanthi's photo to Ramu and makes him agree to marry her (without divulging to him the fact about her blindness). Ramu gives his marriage invitation to his servant to post it to Santhanam but the servant forgets to post it.

    Meanwhile, Santhanam again comes across Mallika, Shanthi's cousin, at Tiruchy and falls in love with her. Though she is initially upset with him for rejecting her cousin Shanthi, later reciprocates the love. She comes to know of her friend's marriage and she shares it with Santhanam. But both of them don't know that it is Ramu who is marrying her. Santhanam's mother meanwhile arranges for another alliance but on hearing that his son is in love with Mallika, informs the girl's father that they are not interested in the marriage, not knowing that Mallika is girl they are rejecting. But before they could do any damage control, Mallika and her father move out of Tiruchy and she on her way wishes her cousin Shanthi at Madurai and goes to Srivilliputtur for a teacher training programme.

    Just after tying the mangalsutra, Ramu finds out the truth about Shanthi and he is totally shattered and leaves her without informing anybody. Shanthi is again crestfallen. Santhanam on knowing about Mallika's move to Madurai, comes to Shanthi's house only to be told of the developments and he goes in search of Ramu. He finds him in a common friend's house. He injects sense into his friend's mind and Ramu agrees to go back to his wife. Ramu sends a letter of regret for what he had done and promises to be there shortly. The entire family is happy. There is more happy news for the family. A specialist doctor on examining Shanthi opines that an operation could bring back the vision for her and the same is arranged. Shanthi is happy that she would be able to see her husband.

    Before going back the friends plan a hunting expedition. There a tragedy strikes. A tiger on the prowl on seeing the men, tries to attack them and in the ensuing melee Ramu slips and falls down a waterfall and the friends fail to find him.

    Assuming Ramu to be dead, Santhanam comes to Shanthi's house burdened with the job of informing the tragedy. On hearing the news Shanthi's father passes away. Shanthi on being told of her father's death breaks down. Doctor warns that any further shock would jeopardize her chances of regaining vision. Ramu's uncle, the scheming man that he is, asks Santhanam to impersonate as Ramu. Santhanam shocked by this refuses; but the uncle using all his cunning convinces him and even blackmails him to make him fall in line. Just to save Shanthi, Santhanam agrees to act as Ramu for a short period. The operation takes place successfully and Shanthi regains her vision.

    But Santhanam finds himself in deeper trouble than he imagined. Shanthi taking Santhanam to be her husband Ramu is all love for him thinking that he had indeed made a sacrifice marrying a blind girl like her. This adds up to the troubles. Even Santhanam's mother is unaware of what has happened. Shanthi happens to see the photo of Ramu in Santhanam's room and he tells her that he is his close friend and is now dead.

    As luck would have it, Ramu had actually survived the fall and returns to Shanthi's house. He understands that his uncle is behind the impersonation and other problems. On seeing him Shanthi is very happy as she feels that her "husband" would come out of his shell. Santhanam's joy, on hearing that Ramu is alive and that could save him from the situation he is in, is short lived because Ramu asks him to continue the drama. Ramu argues that if the truth were told, it would result in the death of Shanthi, however much one tried to reason with her. Santhanam even talks about ending his own life, but Ramu again warns that that may also result in the death of Shanthi. Santhanam's mother, on hearing this, summons him and he promises her that he has not done anything wrong and he will tell the truth. On his way back, he happens to meet Mallika and requests her to help him. But Ramu is stubborn and Santhanam is now at a dead end, not to say at his wits' end. How this tangle is resolved forms the climax.


    The story after thorough discussion was transformed into an absorbing screenplay as could be seen above and it gave a lot of scope for the artists to perform. Unlike the other Bheemsingh movies, which used to have multiple characters, here it was restricted to 4 persons. While NT was already there and with the Santhanam character being assigned to him, Bheemsingh choose his other favourite SSR for Ramu and Vijayakumari was apt for Shanthi. Who else but MR.Radha can do the scheming villain? The pair for Santhanam didn't have much of a scope and in the second half she literally vanishes only to appear in the climax and Devika fit the bill. With Nagesh (as the servant at MRR's house) together with Manorama providing comic relief (but one must admit that the fare they dished out was below par) and Nagaiah appearing as the father of Shanthi, the casting was complete. Sandhya as the mother of Santhanam and SV Sahasranamam as the doctor did guest roles.

    The picturisation pattern of Bheemsingh's films is simple and straight. They would completely finish the paperwork and then do the song composing and recording. With these ready, the shooting would start. In the case of Shanthi too, once the screenplay was ready, they sat for composition of the songs. Bheemsingh was be very clear about the song situations. He knew that the subject was heavy and he was treading a risky path. The story centered around, what they call in cinema circles, anti-sentiment. A man "acts" as a husband of a married woman, when the real husband is alive. So they decided that the latter half of the cinema would not have songs. The situations were like this:


    A song, which would come at the very beginning. The students having finished their graduation sing happily while traveling in a vehicle that goes around the city. Kannadasan came out with the apt Pallavi "வாழ்ந்து பார்க்க வேண்டும்" .TMS and PBS sang the song. A simple tune but a catchy one at that. I would like to point out one thing here. NT was into politics and he had his own views regarding issues that dominated the political landscape of Tamilnadu. SSR, the other hero was in the opposite camp (ie) DMK and when this movie was released, he was a member of Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly (MLA), having been elected from Theni in the 1962 General Elections. This movie was released when Tamilnadu was experiencing the heat of anti-Hindi agitation, which had started some 3 months before (Jan 25th of 1965) this movie was released [April 1965]. Congress and DMK had taken diametrically opposite stands on this issue. Coming to this song, in the charanam there is a line தமிழும் வாழ வேண்டும், for which SSR would lip-sync with folded hands, while standing in the open jeep. It was a political statement by SSR. While NT and Kannadasan were Congressmen, they had the utmost respect for Tamil. If you check, at this point NT leaning on the rails above the driver seat would just smile. Again goes to show how magnanimous he was. He could have very easily put his foot down but he being the gentleman never imposed his views on others. As for the song, both TMS and PBS oozed energy and Mellisai Mannargal had even used the car horn sound to enhance the beauty.

    The second song situation was brought into the scene after the hero and his mother leave the bride's home after expressing their inability to proceed with the marriage proposal. Shanthi is totally dejected and her cousin consoles her by singing ஊரெங்கும் மாப்பிளை ஊர்வலம், where the marriage rituals are superimposed during the song. PS by her honey soaked voice used the right mix of the pathos to make it haunting number.

    There need to be a duet for the hero and heroine. It was a normal practice and also after this the moods drastically change. Bheemsingh used a different approach. MSV and Bheemsingh had attempted a novel way of song composition, when they tried to do a song only through whistle without any lyrics. This was considered for Paar Magale Paar but Kannadasan negatived that thought and so they could not test it. This was at the back of Bheemsingh's mind and during Shanthi he decided to go ahead with it. But he made a slight change. The heroine would sing and hero would just whistle on his part. MSV did a beautiful composition on the basis of western beats and the arrangements attempted made it unique. நெஞ்சத்திலே நீ நேற்று வந்தாய் was born. Again PS did a wonderful job and listen to the way she sings the line நூலிடை மீது ஒரு மேகலையாட and listen when she finishes the charanam with the husky voice. MSV did the whistling part and NT was style personified. The walk, the look and the lip-sync for the whistle, wow! Such types of nuances remain etched in mind as vignettes.

    The next song was conceived when the letter from the husband arrives informing about his change of heart and his impending arrival. Again MSV went for a simple tune and செந்தூர் முருகன் கோவிலிலே was born. A linear song (when compared to others) but nevertheless a huge hit. PS and PBS combined together to give a beautiful melody. The same song with slight variation sung only by PS comes in the second half when Vijayakumari believes NT to be her husband.


    With the screenplay getting over and songs composed, the shooting was kick-started and it was going at a brisk pace. As mentioned earlier both Pazhani and Shanthi were on the floor. Both of them had almost the same actors. When the shooting was nearing the end, the think tank team had a session. During those days, the team would watch the movie rushes and would decide upon corrective steps, if required. Shanthi was also reviewed in the same manner. The team felt that somewhere something was lacking. They could feel that the second half was a bit dry and felt that the audience was needed to be told why the hero was doing the things he was doing. So how would you go about it? There were some suggestions. While one section wanted a song included, the other spoke about a scene comprising a monologue by the hero.


    Bheemsingh took this matter up with NT. He was ok with both the suggestions and they decided to go for both. It was decided to have a monologue or soliloquy. NT and Bheemsingh knew that Solaimalai, though a talented person, could not write for such a situation. NT suggested the name of Thanjai Vanan. He was a powerful writer involved with Sivaji Nataka Mandram. He had written Kalam Kanda Kavignan and he was the one who later wrote screenplay and dialogues for Chatrapathi Sivaji that was telecast by Mumbai Doordharshan Kendra [discussed during the last song]. Thanjai Vanan was apprised of the story and the situation that led to the scene where a monologue was to be. He came up with a piece that was apt and devoid of any literary bombardment. It was conceived as a dream sequence when the protagonist unable to withstand the mental agony speaks out. NT would stand in a staircase, his back facing the camera. Dressed in full black, he would turn towards the camera and start Varugiren, Irangi Varugiren.

    Bheemsingh by this time had become equally busy in Hindi films also. He was remaking his own Tamil movies in Hindi and during this time he was doing the movie Khandan, the Hindi remake of Baagha Pirivinai. So his associate Thirumalai (who also was related to Bheemsingh) took care of the shooting. There was one problem. The cameraman of the film Vittal Rao had taken ill and so was not in a position to crank the camera. Cameraman Karnan was a friend of Bheemsingh and on Bheemsingh's request, he accepted to do the camera work. Karnan by then had worked for another NT film "Kai Kodutha Deivam" (released in 1964) and his camera angles (especially for the song Sindhu Nadhyin misai Nilavinile- in the charanams picturised on the boat) were noticed and appreciated. Here also in Shanthi the two scenes (soliloquy and song) for which he wielded the camera would look different compared to the work done by Vittal Rao. While Vittal Rao's work was plain and bright, Karnan used subtle shades of light and shadow effectively to capture the mood and ambience.


    At the shooting spot, NT as usual did a good job of the monologue and everyone was happy. But not NT. He told Thirumalai that he was not fully satisfied. He wanted to do it again. He asked Thirumalai to do it the next day and sent a person to MSV with a message that asked MSV to meet him. MSV went and met NT. There NT explained to him about the scene and he made a request that MSV come with his orchestra to the shooting spot. The next day MSV went to the shooting spot and NT asked him to play the orchestra the way he would for a re-recording exercise. Normally the scene is shot and later re-recording will be carried out in the recording studio. But here on NT's advise, re-recording sort of orchestration was done at the time of shooting. NT this time out performed himself giving expression to the dialogue and the way he did it was a treat for the onlookers. Especially when he says, "Am I a scape goat?" Everybody was more than happy. But it must be noted here that during the regular re-recording, MSV changed the earlier BGM and did it in a different manner.


    Now came the song part. Almost all movies of NT would have a song, which expressed the protagonist's mood, and Bheemsingh's movies were no exception. Till that time the songs were more or less on similar pattern, including in Bheemsingh's movies. The public in general had a perception of how the hero would sing such a song and they would almost make up their mind to expect it in a similar fashion. Bheemsingh wanted to change this perception. He told NT that he would inform him once the song was ready.

    Having made up his mind, Bheemsingh told MSV about his thinking and asked him to think out of the box. MSV was a music director who always loved to experiment but at the same time he would only do it if the director/producer/actor agreed with that. Now with a director like Bheemsingh to back him up, MSV was more than happy to experiment. There arose a plan in his mind. At that period, he was very much impressed by a musician from West, who was making waves in USA and UK.

    Before proceeding to that, let us delve into one of the most talked about separation in the entire history of Tamil film world. Yes, I am talking about the separation that happened between two of the greatest music directors that Tamil film world has ever produced (i.e.) Viswanathan Ramamoorthy.


    We have to go back in history, albeit briefly, to the period when cinema shooting was taking place outside Chennai. AVM studio was initially at Devakottai Raastha, Modern Theatres was in Salem (till it closed down, Modern theatres continued to function at Salem) and Jupiter Studio was in Coimbatore [they were producing their own films from Coimbatore Central Studio, which they had taken on lease]. As per the practice prevalent during those days, the artists and technicians were on monthly hire. SM Subbiah Naidu was the aasthana Music director for Jupiter movies. MSV, who had come to Coimbatore in search of greener pastures from his native village of Ilapulli village in Palakkad District, was working as an assistant to SMS. He was musically trained but never got any chance to exhibit his skill. Instead he was assigned to look after bigger artists and technicians and he was doing all sorts of sundry jobs. He was close to SMS and would be near him when he composed. This was making him more determined and the urge to become a music director was growing in him.

    During that period, the movie Veera Abhimanyu was in the making and one particular song was proving difficult for SMS. Repeated attempts failed to break the impasse. MSV was witnessing all these happenings. One night, when everybody had gone, MSV took the harmonium and sang the song in a tune he composed. His companions GK Venkatesh and CR Gopalakrishnan were with him. Suddenly they realized that someone was watching them and found SMS there. MSV was frightened to the core and thought that he would be sent out. But contrary to his expectation SMS was very happy when he learnt that MSV had composed the tune. But what he told next shocked MSV. SMS asked him to take care of the recording the next day but he had to say that SMS had composed the song. That song was புது வசந்தமே வாழ்விலே இனி புதிதாய் மணமே பெறுவோமே. Tiruchy Loganathan and U.R. Jeevarathnam were the singers. MSV had no other go but to heed what he was told to do. SMS now started using MSV's talent to compose the tunes but it would come out only in the name of SMS.

    Jupiter found that operating the studio in Coimbatore was not a viable proposition and they decided to shift to Chennai. All the technical staff were asked to leave. MSV didn't know what to do. SM Subbiah Naidu took MSV to the Jupiter Studio owner and he told the whole truth about the song composition and when the owner heard that MSV was behind the famous songs, he didn't even think twice and took MSV along with him. MSV who was sulking at the treatment suddenly realized how great his guru was. He came to Chennai and continued to work for Jupiter. He was the primary assistant for CR Subburaman. His first break came when Chandra Pictures owner Eepachhan gave him the break by making him the Music director of Jenova. MSV accepted and composed songs for the film. Everybody liked it and his name was getting popular. But the humble man that he is, MSV continued to work for CR Subburaman.

    [An interesting info about Jenova songs is the hero of the movie did not accept MSV as music director. Yes, MGR was shocked on hearing that MSV would be the music director because he had seen MSV in Jupiter Pictures as an office boy and he had his own doubts about the boy's capabilities. But when he heard the songs he was more than happy. The same MGR who had said NO to MSV later was recommending him for all his movies].

    Again fortune smiled on him through Kalaivaanar N.S.Krishnan. NSK was planning to direct a movie. He had come out of prison where he had been imprisoned along with M.K.Thiagaraja Baaghavathar, on the charge of murdering Lakshmikanthan, the owner of Indhu Nesan, a shady newspaper, which prospered on publishing vicious gossip on prominent personalities of Tamilnadu. NSK had booked one V.C.Ganesan, a drama artist as hero and the second one of Travancore sisters- Padmini as heroine. At that time V.C.Ganesan was doing another movie Parasakthi. NSK wanted Krishnan-Panchu to direct his movie titled Panam. KP busy with already committed movies asked NSK to direct the movie himself and they advised him to take their associate director Bheemsingh as an assistant. NSK readily agreed and Bheemsingh came with him. NSK wanted to give a chance to a new music director and he immediately thought of MSV, whom he had seen at close quarters at Jupiter and called up MSV. MSV was thrilled but he politely told NSK that he intended to include T.K.Ramamoorthy, who was also working as an assistant to CR Subburaman and proposed that they work as musical duo like ShankarJaikishan of Bollywood. TKR was a violinist and a classic one at that. He was seven years older than MSV. So MSV had great respect for him (still continues to have). TKR initially was not inclined favourably to this proposal but later relented and agreed. While MSV wanted the name card to be Ramamoorthy-Viswanathan, NSK suggested that it should be ViswanathanRamamoorthy, because it would reflect that the senior standing behind the junior backing him up; moreover, this the sound of Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy had a musical rhyme. Thus Panam heralded the arrival of Mellisai Mannargal. It so happened that these music directors started their musical journey from a film acted by NT and co-directed by Bheemsingh. In fact it was NT who gave the title Mellisai Mannargal to VR in a function organized by the Triplicane cultural academy. The Golden period of Tamil cinema started from there and the musical duo soon touched great heights hitherto unconquered.

    Panam (1952) was NT's 2nd film and Shanthi (1965) was his 103rd film. Mellisai Mannargal did 25 films out of this. It so happened that the great combination came to an end where it started. VR were uncrowned kings of TFM in the late 50s and with the Paa series of Bheemsingh, they touched new heights. Their very name in the title card brought applause. Most of the readers must be aware of the songs they composed and the quality of the songs, which are still green in memory. But as it happens there started to emerge differences of opinion and the vested interest groups waiting to fish in troubled waters swung into action and they succeeded in driving a wedge between the two. Things came to such a pass that they decided that it would be futile to continue in this manner and decided to part ways. They were completing the committed movies and Pazhani and Shanthi were among them. It was not only because of commitment to the films but their love towards Bheemsingh. Bheemsingh knowing that the inevitable was going to happen had finished all songs. But now arose a situation for which he needed them again (i.e.) for the new song he proposed to include.


    Now we come back to where we left off. Bheemsingh approached MSV and TKR and out of sheer love and affection for Bheemsingh they agreed to do it. Remember we were talking about a Western musician who was making waves at that time and MSV getting impressed by him. He was none other than Cliff Richards, a vocalist cum guitarist. He was born in British India [Lucknow] but moved out to Britain after India's independence. Music was such a passion for him and he learnt music and started to compose and sing. He had his own troupe "The Shadows" and he was gaining popularity day by day. His usage of guitar was so good that MSV wanted to compose something in that style. Now when Bheemsingh came up with the situation, MSV decided to do it then. He asked Kannadasan to come and he came.

    Their song composition session would always be cheerful with both of them trying to pull other's legs. Normally when they sit for composing, Kannadasan would ask "சந்தத்துக்கா இல்லை சொந்தத்துக்கா?" meaning whether the tune has already been composed (சந்தம்) or he had to write the lyrics first (சொந்தம்). When Kannadasan came for this song he asked the same question and MSV wanting to make fun of him said வந்ததுக்கு ஏதாவது எழுதுங்க. Kannadasan retorted என்னடா என்கிட்டயே வார்த்தை விளையாட்டா?

    MSV making use of the guitar had composed the tune already and Bheemsingh had approved. Bheemsingh explained the situation and MSV played the tune. Kannadasan looked up and said சாதாரணமா நீ போடற மாதிரி இல்லையே for which Bheemsingh replied இந்த மாதிரி different-a வேணும்னு நான் தான் சொன்னேன். Kannadasan reading the situation quickly decided to do away with ethukai monai (i.e) not being particular on that but still came out with powerful words that were apt for the situation. The opening line யார் அந்த நிலவு itself caught the fancy of the people present. Bheemsingh simply loved the lines in the pallavi

    யாரோ சொல்ல யாரோ என்று

    யாரோ தந்த உறவு

    காலம் செய்த கோலம் இங்கு

    நான் வந்த வரவு

    it seems. When they finished, the song had come out well. Now recording was fixed.


    TMS came to the studio and MSV just gave him the song and the tune. TMS was adjusting his tone when MSV approached him with a request. அண்ணே இந்த பாட்டை நீங்க வேறு பாணியிலே பாடணும்.வழக்கமா நீங்க பாடுற கட்டையிலே பாடாம, அதை கொஞ்சம் குறைச்சிக்கிட்டு half open voice-nu சொல்லுவாங்களே அப்படி பாடணும். TMS on hearing this was shocked and angry. He said என்னடா நீங்க ரெண்டு பெரும் சண்டை போட்டுக்கிட்டு பிரிஞ்சிட்டிங்க. அடுத்து என்ன பண்ண போறீங்கனு தெரியலே. என்னையும் field- ஐ விட்டு தொறதரதனு முடிவு பண்ணிட்டியா?. MSV said என்னண்ணே, இப்படி சொல்றீங்க?. TMS replied அப்புறம்? இந்த மாதிரி நான் பாடினா அதுவும் இந்த situation- க்கு இப்படி பாடினா எடுபடுமா? But MSV was firm and in a polite tone told TMS that the song had to be sung only in that manner. TMS was senior to MSV and he knew him from Coimbatore Jupiter Pictures days and he had a soft corner for MSV. It is not that TMS had not sung such soft or half open voice songs. He had in fact sung ஞாயிறு என்பது கண்ணாக, பூப் போல பூப் போல பிறக்கும், மடி மீது தலை வைத்து , வெள்ளி நிலா முற்றத்திலே etc. But all the above mentioned songs (except poo pola, which was done by Sudharsanam) due to some sheer coincidence were under KV Mahadevan. Moreover having heard about the song situation, he felt that it should be high pitched. Knowing MSV, he did his part as desired by MSV.


    Just to highlight the part of TMS, look at the way he pronounces the words. Instead of his usual அழுத்தமான உச்சரிப்பு, he would have caressed the words. Especially in the charanam when the word தெய்வமே comes, first time listener would expect TMS to hit the roof but TMS in a half open voice would caress தெய்வமே as if he is doing it with a மயில் பீலீ. Then come the lullabies at the end of each charanam and again you feel the emotion of the protagonist caught in no man's land. With TKR taking care of orchestration, recording ended perfectly.


    Thus this song became the last song composed by the Mellisai Mannargal for an NT film. The journey that started in Panam ended with Shanthi. As mentioned earlier Shanthi was released in 1965. NT had 5 films in that year. Pazhani was the first one that had VR music. Second one was Anbu Karangal that had R.Sudharsanam scoring music. Shanthi was the third that eventually turned out to be the last for the duo. Thiruvilayadal followed it and being an APN film had music by Mama (KVM). The last film of NT in the calendar year 1965 was Neelavanam that saw MSV doing music alone for the first time for an NT film.

    Ayirathil Oruvan is listed as the last film of this duo because it was released on July 9th of 1965, whereas Shanthi was released on April 22nd of 1965. But technically speaking Yaar Andha Nilavu might be the last song they did together. Why this doubt is raised is because AO was announced in Nov 1964 and the work started for the movie immediately. All the songs were recorded and the entire crew left for GoaKarwar Mangalore where the shooting was carried out. This was in JanuaryFebruary of 1965 and in fact there was a section in DMK which murmured that while the party men were organizing protests against Hindi and getting arrested and jailed, MGR was singing duets in Goa. This section had not taken kindly to MGR resigning his MLC seat given by the party and his subsequent announcement காமராஜர் என் தலைவர். அண்ணா என் வழிகாட்டி. MGR had to issue a statement that he had taken the permission of the party high command to go for the shooting. In this context the song Yaar andha Nilavu was done only a month before the release and therefore it was recorded in March 1965. So the chances of Yaar Andha Nilavu being the last song of Mellisai Mannargal cannot be ruled out and at the same time it cannot be confirmed either because MSV doesn't remember the dates of recording for both the films.


    The breakup of the Mellisai Mannargal had sent shock waves throughout the cine world and outside it. Even friends who were outside the industry but still were close to the duo advised them against the break up. One among them was Mr.V.P.Raman, the advocate and father of actor/hubber Mohanram. But more than MSV, it seemed that it was TKR who was more adamant and wanted to go it alone. So Mr.V.P. Raman, a close friend advised them to carry out the separation in the proper manner and he drafted a dissolution deed between the two and Mohanram recalls the sad day when the drafting and signing of the same happened at their Lloyds Road residence. But as irony would have it, when they decided to join together after 30 years, director Vasanth decided to do a promo film on their joining together and the shooting was held at Mohanram's residence at Alwarpet. So Mohanram happens to be a witness to both break up and merger of the duo.


    As mentioned earlier Bheemsingh was having a shooting clash of dates with his Hindi film and Shanthi and asked Thirumalai to take care of Shanthi. He informed NT that the song was ready and NT came and listened to the song. He wanted the song to be played a second time. No one could read his face. He left the studio. Bheemsingh discussed with Thirumalai about the pasteurization and he asked him to do the shooting in the park set created for the song. It had a lake, trees and flowers and looked like a real garden/park. Karnan was informed about the shoot as Vital Rao was still unwell and having made all arrangements, Bheemsingh not aware of what was in store went for the Hindi film shooting. The production manager went next morning to Annai Illam and informed NT about the shooting. But NT told him that he could not come on that day and asked him to defer the shooting to the next day. Bheemsingh's unit did not think much of it and thought perhaps NT was busy. The next day the production manager again went to Annai Illam only to be told of another postponement. He came and reported the same to the unit. Now the unit started suspecting that something was wrong and neither Thirumalai nor Mahalingam could bring themselves up to go and meet NT and find out the reason. The matter was conveyed to Bheemsingh. He was surprised because NT's sincerity and commitment to his profession were well known and his postponement of shooting for the song was something unheard of and one that Bheemsingh could not decipher. He decided to go and find out for himself what was holding NT up from shooting for the song.

    The next day Bheemsingh went to Annai Illam. NT received him with his usual cheerfulness. (வாய்யா பீம்பாய்). Bheemsingh, after a brief exchange, came to the topic of cancellation of the shooting. He straightaway asked him about the song. ஏன் சிவாஜி பாய் என்னச்சு உங்களுக்கு? ஏன் ஷூட்டிங் வேண்டாம்-னு சொன்னீங்க? பாட்டு உங்களுக்கு பிடிக்கில்லையா? அப்படினா சொல்லுங்க மாத்திடலாம். வேற பாட்டு ரெகார்ட் பண்ணிக்குவோம் NT looking at him replied இல்லை பீம்பாய். எனக்கு பாட்டு ரொம்ப பிடிச்சிருக்கு. பார்த்தீங்கனா நம்ம படத்திலே இந்த மாதிரி பாட்டு வந்ததில்லை. விசு இருக்கானே அப்படியே மனசை தொடர மாதிரி ஒரு ட்யூன் போட்டிருக்கான். கவிஞன் இருக்கானே அந்த கேரக்டரின் மனசாட்சி பாடற மாதிரியே வார்த்தைகளை போட்டு எழுதியிருக்கான். அட நம்ம டிஎம்எஸ் பாருங்க, தன்னுடைய கம்பீர குரலையே ஸாப்டா மாத்திக்கிட்டு நம்மை எங்கேயோ கொண்டு போயிட்டார். தியேட்டரிலே படம் பார்க்கிற ஆடியன்ஸ் இவங்க performance-ஐ தான் பார்ப்பாங்க. இந்த ஸீன்லே நான் என்ன வித்தியாசமா பண்ணா ஜனங்க மனசிலே நிக்க முடியும்-னு ரெண்டு நாளா யோசனை பண்ணிட்டிருந்தேன். இப்போ ஓகே. ஷூட்டிங் நாளைக்கு வச்சிக்கோ.

    Bheemsingh was stunned. An actor par excellence, a person who had done more than 100 films was thinking and doing homework for trying to establish his excellence over the lyrist, music director and singer. Bheemsingh was bowled over. NT asked him to fix up the shooting for the next day. Bheemsingh told him that he would not be available and NT assured him that all would be well.


    The next day NT came for the shooting. He asked the song to be played again. He listened keenly and informed that he was ready. The camera was switched on. The song started with a guitar beat (which is now the lead bit for Amudha Ganam a programme on old songs hosted by Aadhavan in Mega TV). NT would enter the park with a stylised walk with a cigarette dangling in his fingers. NT was dressed in black trousers and grey colour full-sleeved shirt. For the initial beat NT after entering the park would walk towards the interior. He would take a puff and when the prelude stops, he would exactly open his mouth when the first line starts யார் அந்த நிலவு and smoke would just roll over his face. For the next line ஏன் இந்த கனவு he would slightly jerk his shoulder and lip-sync. When the lines follow like யாரோ, he would do a gesture with his left hand holding the cigarette that would convey that யாரோ was there back at home. With the same left hand gesture and with a minimum effort would indicate that he had been entangled in this vicious web, during the lines இங்கு நான் வந்த வரவு.

    He would slowly walk and you could read his mind struggling to find a solution and even at this juncture his steps would adhere to the தாள லயம, which we have been used to. In the charanam at the end of the first two lines, he would do a unique style with the cigarette.

    மாலையும் மஞ்சளும் மாறியதே ஒரு சோதனை

    மஞ்சம் நெஞ்சம் வாடுவதே பெரும் வேதனை.

    He would hold the cigarette upside down and with a slight jerk would spill the ash. A style unmatched and unparalleled so far. For the second charanam he would sit in the bench when he utters தெய்வமே! and the lullabies expressed with a pleading expression.

    He would get up and turn his back toward the camera and start the pallavi again. Can you think of any actor worth his salt turning his back to the camera and still able to convey the expression he is supposed to show? No way. Without showing his face and again with a left-handed gesture he would continue to emote. Only after that he would turn his face and start walking back. Imagine any actor in this scene and you know why he is the greatest. Even the smoke emanating from the cigarette would mirror the fluidity of the situation. His observation and timing as usual would be astonishing. Especially when the song comes to an end, it would look as if he was going put the cigarette to his lips while singing but he would delay it to the last moment and put it to his lips only after he stopped singing and this was done in a single continuous shot.

    Cigarette smoking was stylized by NT (Sorry, Mr.Anbumani). Even a teetotaler would be fascinated and tempted to light up when one sees NT doing a puff. Some classic examples are Paartha Gnabagam Illaiyo from Puthiya Paravai, Padaithane from Nichya Thamboolam, Appadi enna paarvai angum ingum from Paaladai and Thedinen Vandhadhu in Ooty Varai Uravu. In this category we can also include Mayangiraal oru Maadhu in Paasa Malar.

    Another factor to be noted is Enge Nimmadhi and Yaar Andha Nilavu belong to the same genre but see how differently he had done both. That is Nadigar Thilagam for you.

    Bheemsingh though was in another set had second thoughts after he had met NT. He was curious and wanted to witness first hand how NT was going to emote. He came when the song was half way through. He asked Thirumalai to continue and sat there as a spectator thoroughly enjoying the acting. He always used to say that NT was a performer first and foremost and then only a star. How true!


    On a statistical note this film would be always remembered for being the last NT film that Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy did music for. But there are certain "lasts" that are attached to this film. Nadigar Thilagam and Nadigavel shared screen space for the last time in this film. Again call it as an irony, this combination of NT-MRR that came together in Bheemsingh directed Baagha Pirivinai in 1959, had their last act together in the same Bheemsingh directed Shanthi in 1965. In the same manner, for SSR, who had acted with NT in many films starting from Parasakthi, this was the second last movie and as far as characterization was concerned this can be termed the last because, in the last movie they acted together which was KB's Edhiroli, SSR didn't have a meaty role to boast of. Even for Bheemsingh-NT combination, Shanthi was the last talked about film of substance. After Shanthi, there were two films from this combo. One was Paaladai that came in 1967 and second one was Paadhukaappu that was released in 1970. For Paaladai two factors worked against it. One, it was in the making for long and two, when it finally released, its story was almost similar to Pesum Deivam, which had preceded Paaladai by 2 months. As for Paadhukaappu, it was a heroine-oriented story and NT was only one of the three men connected to the heroine. So by all counts, Shanthi was a film to be remembered for all times.


    During the release of Shanthi the situation in Tamilnadu had undergone a sea change when compared to the previous year. The previous year 1964 had turned out to be an eventful one for NT. He had 7 films released out of which 5 crossed 100 days. Out of the remaining two, Aandavan Kattalai though didn't run for 100 days was a successful venture for the producer/distributor. Muradan Muthu was the only movie that failed to strike rich at the BO. The year also saw NT successfully completing 100 movies and the 100th movie Navarathiri saw him donning 9 different roles. But as readers know this had created the rift between NT and BR Panthulu and BRP crossed over to the opposite camp.

    1965 Pongal saw Pazhani getting released. Based on the problems faced by the farmers and the dreadful effects of farmers' migration to urban areas, the serious movie didn't go down well with the viewers. The fact that it had to compete with one of the best entertainers from a big production house and that it was released against the backdrop of the antiHindi agitation that started on Jan 25th of 1965 directed against the Congress Governments both at the state and central level also went against the movie. It is quite another story that Pazhani on subsequent releases did extremely well. The next movie Anbu Karangal (Feb 1965) also didn't help NT. Again it was in the midst of antiHindi agitation and again an emotional drama didn't do so well. Vested interests were claiming that with BR Panthulu crossing over and even Bheemsingh failing at the BO (Pazhani), it was an uphill task for NT. So all eyes were on Shanthi. To make matters worse, Shanthi was awarded "A" certificate by the censors. Bheemsingh was shocked. He had a word with the board members. Eminent personalities like Soundara Kailasam were in the board and she told Bheemsingh that it was awarded "A" certificate for the theme. Though nothing untoward happens in the story, the fact that another person "acts" as a husband of a married woman when the real husband is alive is a sensitive issue and hence the "A' certificate. The team was a little bit worried because during those days A certificate was very rare and it indicated adult-only scenes, which would be a deterrent for the women audience, the backbone of NT films.


    But proving everyone wrong, the film released on 22.04.1965 was well received by the audience and when the women audience came to know that it was an emotional saga, they came in droves and Shanthi went on to complete 100 days and put a stop to speculative comments and wishful thinking. And with the next film Thiruvilayaadal rewriting BO history, NT firmly established that he was not only King of acting but also King at the BO. Sivaji Films went on to produce the same film in Hindi. Titled Gowri, it starred Sunil Dutt, Nutan and Sanjeev Kumar. It was a success but not as great as the original.

    Before signing off, my personal experience. Since it was a 1965 release, I didn't see the movie then and this was eluding me for a very long time. What I heard about the movie and the songs that were being aired through radio kept me guessing and finally when I caught up with the movie in 1979 when it was released again in Madurai New Deluxe theatre, it was worth the wait.

    I started with the question of who would be the winner in this competition and by now everyone would be aware that it was NT who stole the thunder.

    Here is the lyric

    யார் அந்த நிலவு

    ஏன் இந்த கனவு

    யாரோ சொல்ல யாரோ என்று

    யாரோ தந்த உறவு

    காலம் செய்த கோலம் இங்கு

    நான் வந்த வரவு

    (யார் அந்த நிலவு)

    மாலையும் மஞ்சளும் மாறியதே ஒரு சோதனை

    மஞ்சம் நெஞ்சம் வாடுவதே பெரும் வேதனை.


    யாரிடம் யாரை நீ தந்தாயோ

    உன் கோவில் தீபம் மாறியதை நீ அறிவாயோ

    ஒ! ஒ !

    கோவில் தீபம் மாறியதை நீ அறிவாயோ

    (யார் அந்த நிலவு)

    ஆடிய நாடகம் முடியவில்லை ஒரு நாளிலே

    அங்கும் இங்கும் சாந்தி இல்லை சிலர் வாழ்விலே


    யாருடன் மேடையில் நீ நின்றாயோ

    இன்று யாரை யாராய் நேரினிலே கண்டாயோ.

    ஒ! ஒஹோ1 ஒ!

    வாழ்வது போல் ஒரு பாவனை காட்டும் நெஞ்சமே

    கண் பாராதிருந்தால் நிம்மதியாவது மிஞ்சுமே

    அய்யஹோ கானலை நீர் என நினைத்தாயோ

    உன் ஏழை நெஞ்சில் உண்மை ஏதென அறிவாயோ...

    (யார் அந்த நிலவு)


  13. #20
    Senior Member Veteran Hubber
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    Feb 2012
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    தொழில் சார்ந்த பெருங் கவலை வாட்டி கொண்டிருப்பதால் ,இரவு 2 மணிக்கு அகால முழிப்பு வந்து விட்டது. சுமார் இரண்டு மணி நேரங்கள்...நலந்தானா,எல்லோரும்,தாழையாம்,தெய்வமே,அந் தநாள்,எந்தன்,எங்கே நிம்மதி,யார் அந்த நிலவு என்று.பெருமையாக சொல்கிறேன்.நீ எழுதிய திரியில் நான் பங்கு கொண்டதில் எனக்கு பெருமையே.

    ஒரு காலத்தின் அரசியல் சூழல் ,சினிமா சூழ்நிலை,காலத்தின் பங்கு,சுவாரஸ்ய அழகியல்,மொழி கட்டமைப்பு,பாட்டுடை தலைவனின் பெருமை மற்றும் பங்களிப்பு,அது சார்ந்த மற்ற கலைஞர்களை பற்றி வேண்டிய குறிப்புகள்,வேண்டிய தகவல்கள்,(வேண்டாத மண் வெறி அவ்வப்போது),ஒன்றை ஒன்று சார்ந்த பின்னல் முடிச்சுகள் ,தெரிந்த விஷயங்களை படிக்கும் பொது கூட அடுத்து என்ன சொல்ல போகிறாய் என்று எதிர் பார்க்க வைக்கும் தந்திர எழுத்து முறை,most comprehensive and complete writing ....

    முரளி ,அகால விழிப்புகளை வெறுத்தே வந்த நான் ,இன்று அந்த விழிப்பை விரும்பி ஆனந்த தொல்லையாக்கி ,இந்த இரவை என்றென்றும் நேசித்திருப்பேன்.

    இந்த நாள் ஞாபகம் என்றுமே தங்குமே நண்பனே...நண்பனே...நண்பனே...
    நெஞ்சமெல்லாம் நிறைந்த நடிகர்களின் நடிகன்.

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