29 December, 2011

the genius that 'Mottai' is...

Posting after ages , but am writing this with so much energy, so much happiness and probably bliss is the right word… barely 8 hours after attending `mottai’s (as he is fondly called) concert, here I am at work listening to almost the same songs that were performed last evening, yet they seem fresh like am listening to some favorite lullaby of mine, like the warmth that I receive when my mother hugs me, the smell of filter kaapi, the smell of soil before rain-the rawness of it, the beauty of all this… I will die in peace because I was at an ILAYARAJA concert… history happened and I was there to witness it.

About the concert:

Well like any other concert here, this too kept the audience waiting for solid 70 mins… we did get irritated and bored with those Malabar gold and Banjaras rose bacial kit (err, they said facial like that only) and by  ~6.10 the concert started with the symphony from Budapest performing and oh my what a beautiful sync to ‘ninnukori varanam (agni nakshatram) 15 minutes of that and then a slight tension started building up, we wanted to see THE man, for whom we had come all the way, cancelling so many other things, not bothering about the cyclone warnings , darn every other thing in life, it was indeed important, this MAN mattered so much to each and every person there…
   We saw a bunch of people arriving to sing the chorus, 2 minutes later…there was actual tension and you suddenly hear a very familiar voice reciting ‘OM’, the rawness, the base pitch, you know he is there, but you exactly do not know from where is this GOD of music gonna emerge, you hear it again… the OM… and something which was a projector screen till then opened and there he was, clad in his usual white and white.. so simple, so elegant as always… with his trademark vanakkam… and with no botheration he sat on the floor with his harmonium (his only true friend –as he referred it to) and started singing the famous ‘Janani jagam nee’ – all of us went silent, the crowd which went maniac and mad seeing this man, became silent once this man started singing, talk about pied piper effect?!… almost everyone was singing along…such is the impact of the song, such is the composition, such is the voice, such is the fame and when the lines ‘alaimaagal nee, kalai maagal nee-the chorus bit almost everyone sitting was singing those lines… MAGIC is what you call it… like my friend rightly put it `Deivam yaa ivan’ (yes, He is GOD) I nod in agreement.

Surprises... a bag full of it!

After that performance from the MAN himself comes in a surprise, there he was another living legend who had been singing for the past 50years… K.J.Yesudass ! We did expect him to sing `Amma endrazhakaadha’ … he did. It is indeed very sad to witness what age does to people and KJY was no exception. Old age has definitely affected the quality of his voice… And then came the man with golden voice SPB… *touchwood* his singing was flawless and sings effortlessly… WOW was the word… and oh my there was the nightingale on stage next…Chitra, she indeed is Chinnakuyil! BEAUTY…

Importance to words.. The beauty of poetry:
 The importance that `mottai’ gives to lyrics… poets would be really happy and pleased to actually write for IR, because his compositions actually enhance and add beauty to their poetry, you appreciate the lyrical beauty, you appreciate the beauty of thamizh… there is no jarring music (read noise) which will over-shadow the lyrics, music by mottai gives life to words penned by those poets, to have been a poet in that era would have been THE epitome of happiness, a life to-die for! 

Orchestration and its brilliance:
Only after you attend a concert by `mottai’ you realize and understand that NO music composer now actually puts an effort to arrange such orchestration.  Sheer brilliance, the arrangement was such that you actually could see how organized mottais recording theater would be!
Violins, guitars, tabalas, veena, sitar, tavil, -you name it they had it all! On one stage… `madai thirandhu’, `poongadhave’, `putham pudhu kaalai’ , poove sempoove, china kannan azhaikiraan, ayiram malargale… to name a few. BLISS!!!! The orchestration and chorus were excellent, mind-blowing, flawless, and brilliant! Am running out of adjectives to praise them… A standing ovation was the best we could do to them… they do deserve more… and like director Balki rightly pointed  it was the BGM of mottai that saved SO many movies in the late 70s and 80s… there were flaws from the singers but there was NO flaw, absolutely  no flaw from the musicians who played… one word- RESPECT!

I do know that every song of mottai deserves a separate blog post, but practical difficulties hence I have highlighted just a few…

This song was almost like the love anthem for the ones who grew up in the 80s, such a simple song… a young couple jogging early in the morning and this man composes the entire song just with the tap of those footsteps! Composed during a time when there weren’t much of technological advancements and story on how this song was composed, how beautifully percussion was used to bring the actual `tok.tok.tok.tok’ throughout the song, aahhh… what can you say, brilliance… sheer brilliance! A master piece from mottai.

En iniya pon nilave…
You know it even when the guitar starts playing… you know that you are going to fall in love again… you know that you’ll hum along when KJY sings `dharadharthatha’….  You know the song by heart, and you probably sang this to your first crush or to your partner when you both snuggled up in one cozy corner, yet when you hear this song sung by the KJY himself, its magic! Goose bumps, a beautiful memory flashes in front of your eyes- you smile to yourself… happiness!!!

Sundari….kannal oru seidhi!!!
The moment you hear the flute in the BG you know that you are going to witness an EPIC. This song is one of the reasons why SPB is GOD…  `naan unnai neenga maaten, neenginaal thoongamaaten’, aahh, the way he sings it, with so much soul, the pangs, you actual can feel it and you start missing your loved one… the way mottai has arranged the music for this song, well what do you write about something which is legendary? You can actual feel the exact situation! The war, the tension, the mountain of emotions the warrior(protagonist) is undergoing, the pangs of separation, this song gets you too emotional… and when Balu sings`varuven annaal vara koodum’ , you see the ray of hope, the confidence… and the improvisation which he gave towards the end… waaaah… SPB-shashtaaga namaskaaram kodi to you…

The maniac that  `Mottai’ is –
Yes, this man is a maniac when it comes to music… heard about aging gracefully? This man has indeed aged… but with so much grace, but the energy that he has! Gosh… you know that it is no rock music concert, and he is no rockstar. So much silence, so peaceful is the looks but amazing energy for a man who has crossed 60. Not even a second did he disappear, no rest, there was nothing stopping him from what  he was doing… the adjectives like `legend, maestro , Mozart of south’ should be added right for this man… ONLY for this man! And  this man is not able to tolerate flaws in music… be it anyone, even the legendary KJY gets corrected ON stage before 1000s of his die-hard fans, a perfectionist `mottai is , for sure a hard task master!

There were a lot of things which could have been better… I was not able to sit through fully… 35 songs were supposedly performed… but you know what, this man ruled this industry for decades especially the period from late 70s to the 80s… golden era! Which would you ignore and it is hard to bring it under an umbrella and perform a selected few on one evening, the task is almost impossible. The concert might not have been the best according to many, but it was memorable for sure… damn the flaws by the singers, damn the vidyagarvam or whatever mottai is supposed to have, oh come on, why not???? A man who has composed ~2700 songs, who has done symphonies, who gave life to so many soppy scripts, who revolutionized thamizh film music, who made everyone listen to his songs without even any proper publicity, who brought in the raw flavor into existence, who explored so many new arenas, who crossed boundaries effortlessly… seriously for all this, this man is mightily calm and composed…

Mottai… I have no exact words to conclude, all I can say is (From a person who believes that there is NO god… now here is the written statement)
“If music is a religion, Mottai is GOD”!

“Deivamyaa nee”

A poetry dedicated to mottai by one if his greatest fan- posted with due permission

ஆதரவின்றி அழுதுக் கொண்டு
அனாதையாய் நினைக்கும்போது
ஆதரவாய் அணைத்துக் கொண்டாய்

எண்ணங்கள் வெள்ளம் போல்
கரை புரண்டு ஓடும்போது
அணையென நீ தடுத்தாய்
ஆரய்யா நீ?

வயிற்றினில் பட்டாம்பூச்சி
உதடுகளில் புன்சிரிப்பு
அதைக் காதல் என்றாய்,
அனுபவித்தேன் – என்
காதலனா நீ??

மனம்தான் சஞ்சலப்பட்டு
மௌனமாய் நின்றபோது
ஒரு நிலையில் எனை கொணர்ந்தாய்

துக்கம் அது தொண்டைதனை
அடைக்கும் வேளையில் துணையென
அருகினில் அமர்ந்தாய்
துணைவனா நீ??

கவிதை எழுதும் எனக்கு
உனை நினைக்க தூண்டினாய்
நாடினேன் கை பிடித்து உதவினாய்
ஓவியம் தான் நான் தீட்டும்போது
வர்ணங்களாய் நீ தோன்றினாய்

உன் பாடல்களால் எனை
சாந்தப் படுத்துகிறாயே
எனது யோகியா நீ?

பயம் என்னை நெருங்கும்போது
கை கொடுத்தாய், மற்றும்
க்ரோத கசடுகள் எல்லாம்
நெருங்கா வகையில் செய்தாய்

உலகின் அழகை நான் இங்கு – இரு
கண்களால் ரசிக்கும் வேளையில்
அருகிலிருந்து பல கோடி கண்களால்
அணு அணுவாய் ரசிக்கச் செய்தாய்
படைத்தவனை உணரச் செய்தாய்

யார் ஐயா நீ எனக்கு?
கவியா? புலவனா? படைப்பாளியா?
காதலனா? துணைவனா?

ஒருபோதும் துணையாய் நிற்கும்
நீ எனக்கு கண்காணா
தெய்வமா நீ? ராக தேவனா நீ?
ராஜ ராஜனா நீ? இளைய ராஜனே
யார் ஐயா நீ எனக்கு??

- original poetry by Devi ravi 

 P.S: sorry for not supporting with any photo from the event, cameras weren't allowed and none of our mobiles could do any justice! sincere apologies 


  1. Excellent post...I am not a writer....whatever I feel about IR, I could read here.

    PS: Rajan Leaks referred this post in his tweet. His vulgar tweets are forgiven by doing this.

  2. உணர்ச்சிபூர்வமான எழுத்துக்கள். Thank you.