Part XVI naan nallavar illaRam nalamuRa vENdugiREn
The next album of ’73 that we’ll be looking up is pon vaNdu
(Maniyam Pictures). The film starred Jaishankar with a bevy of heroines- Bharathi, Jayachitra, Usha Nandini, Subha and Jaikumari. Manorama, Cho, Thengai Srinivasan, Srikanth, Surulirajan, Ashokan, M.N.Rajam and Chachu were the others in the cast. The film was scripted and directed by N.S.Maniam.
Jai played with finesse the carefree, debonair Kannan. His father is at his wits end to make Kannan a responsible, principled human being; and as a brilliant ruse, challenges him to earn Rs.20, 000 within six months. How Kannan sets about winning the wager forms rest of the tale. In the process he meets numerous women who fall for him. In the end, however, he emerges a wiser, compassionate man.
The fliers advertising the film however, harped only upon the numerous women and their charms thus: malaraith thEdi vaNdu paRappadhu iyaRkai! vaNdaith thEdi malar pOvadhu pudhumai! ondRalla! iraNdalla! azhagazhagaai aindhu malargaL! malligai, thaamarai, seNbagam, rOja, kuRinji yena aindhu vagaigaL! sutRi sutRi vandhana vaNdai! maatRi maatRi mayakkina vaNdai….
Lyrics were by Vaali & Alangudi Somu. There were 5 songs in all; let us listen to 3 of them here.
The first song is the stylish vaadiyamma malligaipoo
: the song where the afore-mentioned malligai, thaamarai, seNbagam and rOja take their turns in flirting with the ponvaNdu (Perhaps kuRinji was not informed of this orgy!) VK works on Vaali’s lyrics and comes up with a song that is beguiling in its composition and breezy in its mood and pace. TMS
sings for the preening ponvaNdu, while LRE
take turns in singing for the flowers anxious to be deflowered. VK strings together 4 charaNams, each distinct in its unique appeal. The fourth charaNam begins deceptively like the first, but veers away soon enough to charter a captivating conduit of its own. The four charaNams, so diverse in their structure, all flow so flawlessly into the pallavi; TMS’s hummimg and LRE’s ponvaNdu.. ponvaNdu
aid VK in this endeavor. Each interlude is dashingly different from the other.
http://www.dhool.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl? ... adiamma.rm
I believe the song was hugely popular in its time, though I confess I don’t recollect any of the songs of the album being aired from the time I started listening to the radio in the late 70s.
The next song is a take off on vasantha maaLigai’s famous yarukkaaga idhu yaarukkaga
. Playing the well past her prime Rathna who is jilted by Kannan, Manorama
has a blast singing this one. And a delighted VK panders unabashedly to her melodramatic excesses! Lyrics by Alangudi Somu.
http://www.dhool.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl? ... rukkaga.rm
The third song is the soulful pani malarO kuLir nilavO
, sung by TMS
. The song seems to be heavily inspired by the R.D.Burman classic chingaari koi bhadke
; nonetheless VK intersperses it with signature flourishes of his own. The violin driven first interlude itself is a treasured VK moment. The charaNams, of course, are wholly original. Lyrics by Alangudi Somu. TMS summons up vistas of a languorous nightfall of leisurely love….
http://www.dhool.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl? ... imalaro.rm
Another song in the album is the folksy paLLathooru ponnaaththaa, pakkam vandhu nillaaththaa
. Vaali brings in Manorama’s native village into the lyrics to add adds to the authentic touch by mentioning for good measure neighboring places like Ponnamaravathi and Valayappatti!
The last song is naan oru thaniragam, neeyoru pudhumugam
lazily doing her sultry siren routine; but here too VK saves for us an element of surprise by making TMS
bounce in suddenly with a rustic sangili karuppanum maduraveenum enakku sondhamadi
; and the song thereafter swings happily between the club dance and the countryside carnival. Lyrics by Alangudi Somu.
* * * *
Our glance now falls on another VK album of 1973: kattila thottila
(Arul Films). The film starred Gemini Ganesh, Bhanumathi, Sivakumar, Kalpana, Srikanth, Master Shekar, Master Ramesh, Thengai Srinivasan, Manorama, V.S.Raghavan, Kanthimathi and others. Malliyam Rajagopal, besides directing the film, wrote the screenplay and dialogues for P.S.Vaidhyanathan’s story. The film was produced by Rama. Arangannal.
The story takes us inside the household of Advocate Sundaram (GG) and his wife Dr. Meenakshi (Bhanumathi). They keep bickering from morning to night and their ego clashes wreck the tranquility of the family. Their three children, the grown up Pappi (Kalpana) and her younger brothers Gopi (Master Shekar) and Babu (Master Ramesh) suffer in silence. Things take a serious turn when Sundaram and Meenakshi want a divorce. However their family friend Sadasivam (VSR) counsels patience and suggests they live apart in separate wings of their house for 2 months. By a toss of a coin, it is decided that the children would stay with Sundaram for the first month. Hilarious scenes follow depicting Sundaram’s pathetic attempts at testing his (non-existent) culinary skills! Reels roll by, and the children’s attempts at bringing about a rapprochement between their parents are in vain. Out of desperation, the children stage a mock kidnap drama, and the parents finally come to their senses and cast away their differences.
Many thanks to Sathya Kabali for sending me the songs of this film, as well as acquainting me with the finer details of the story.
The film had 6 songs, and we’ll be listening to 5 of them. Lyrics were by Vaali.
The first song is the soft oru vidha mayakkam
, sung by PS
. The song shows Pappi singing to her lover Sambasivam (Sivakumar). PS portrays with panache the delicious longings that falling in love brings in its wake, and VK creates an attractive melody:
http://www.dhool.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl? ... ruvidha.rm
The next song is the forlorn amma appa saNdaiyilE
sung by Swarna
, singing for the famished children as they suffer the pangs of hunger due to their parents living apart. They sing lamenting their sorry state, and also condemn their parents’ uncaring attitude.
http://www.dhool.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl? ... mmaappa.rm
Raja (Srikanth) and Vasu (Thengai Srinivasan) are Sundaram’s and Meenakshi’s respective choices as a suitable pair for Pappi. Both Raja and Vasu try to woo Pappi, and sing this song ambikapathi pOla naan
. VK gives this comic song to the under-utilized singers Rajesh
one sings classical, while the other presses his suit singing in pop style!
http://www.dhool.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl? ... /ambika.rm
For their 25th wedding anniversary, Sundaram and Meenakshi agree to a brief cessation of hostilities. A grand function is arranged; and in the light of the temporary truce, Pappi sings a song. Behind the façade of the happy greeting is the poignant plea to her parents to bury the hatchet and live together again as man and wife. PS
brings out the inner angst fetchingly in this song, arguably the most popular one from the album: naan nallavar illaRam nalamuRa vENdugiREn
. Thoughtful lyrics by Vaali.
http://www.dhool.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl? ... naannal.rm
Seeing all their efforts to make their parents see reason go in vain, the children leave the house in the middle of the night. An old beggar is doing his nocturnal rounds, ruminatively singing this song yENda dEi thanimaram thOppagumOda
. His lines seem singularly apposite to the shameful happenings in Sundaram’s household. Who else but Seergazhi Govindarajan
can do ample justice to this soliloquy!
http://www.dhool.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl? ... endadei.rm
The last song in the album is a solo by Bhanumathi
: enakkum avarkkum vazhakku, oru vazhakku konja naatkaLaaga irukku; avarkku mattuma serukku? andha thalaiganam enakkum irukku!
- to be continued-