Song of the Day: dEvan thiruchabai malargaLE from avar enakkE sondham.
http://www.dhool.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl? ... anthiru.rm
Sung by Poorani & Indira.
Lyrics by Panju Arunachalam. Music by Ilayaraja.
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avar enakkE sondham (1977/ P.A. Art Productions) starred Jaishankar, Srividya, Fadafat Jayalakshmi, Thengai Srinivasan and others. It was the time when Panju Arunachalam had begun to don many hats besides lyrics writing; avar enakkE sondham was among those early films for which he wrote the screenplay, dialogues and lyrics, besides being the producer.
‘iru kaNgaL ondRaaga, iru kaatchi thaniyaaga’ this line from a song in the film succinctly summarizes the plot. Anand (Jai) and his wife Kavitha (Srividya) are at constant loggerheads. Kavitha rules the household with an iron hand and the children too resent her stringent disciplinary measures. Both Anand and the kids find comfort in the affection and care that they get from Elizabeth (Fadafat J) who is a typist in Anand’s office. Kavitha misunderstands this relationship; but gradually realizes the error of her own ways. All is well that ends well.
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It was ‘annakkiLi’ Selvaraj who introduced IR to Panju Arunachalam. Selavaraj, who had earlier been highly impressed by IR’s talents when IR had composed music for his stage drama, had words of high commendation for IR. And thus was born the prolific Panju- IR association that saw so many landmark collaborations in the coming years.
From 4 films in 1976, IR had progressed magnificently to 12 films in 1977. And most of those 12 would not merit even a dusty rear corner in memory had it not been for his wonderful songs. The year would also remain special to IR for the reason that it was in 1977 that he bagged the TN Govt’s Award for his outstanding work in 16 vayathinilE.
avar enakkE sondham had 6 songs, and the SOTD being the piece de resistance. I have a hazy recollection of watching this song in oLiyum oliyum- Fadafat J singing with the kids, with Jai looking on. P.Suseela’s alluring ‘thEnil aadum rOja’ is the other divine creation that bestows upon the album the boon of immortality. The jaunty baila ‘suraangani’ (MV/Renuka) found instant favor with the youth of the time, and Radio Ceylon, quite understandably went to town with it. TMS too found place in the album- while the melancholic and meditative ‘kuthirayilE naan amarndhEn’ was perhaps a characteristic TMS number, the uproarious ‘kabhi kabhi mErE dil mEin’ captures TMS at his mischievous best- he simply freaks out in the swift classical passages culminating in a delightful dappankuthu! SPB’s wry ‘oru veedu iru uLLam’ was the last song in this unforgettable album.
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Poorani and Indira were regular singers in IR’s troupe. In 1975, a year before annakkiLi, IR, along with his brothers, had come up with an album called ‘Pop Hits of 1975’. GA had penned the songs, and along with TMS, SPB, MV and R.D.Baskar, Poorani was the only female singer to feature in the album. After ‘dEvan thiruchabai malargaLE’, it was GA who gave Poorani a few opportunities like ‘adi ennOda vaadi’ (oru vidukathai oru thodarkathai), ‘vaanam poo sindhattum’ (malargaLilE avaL malligai’ and ‘veLLam polE thuLLum uLLangaLE’ (kanavugaL kaRpanaigaL). As for Indira, prior to ‘dEvan thiruchabai malargaLE’ she had sung ‘dear uncle’ in uRavaadum nenjam. Poorani and Indira continued in IR’s troupe as chorus singers, and sang in his stage shows too. Perhaps they are still part of IR’s chorus singers; ‘dEvan thiruchabai malargaLE’ being their fleeting tryst with tfm history.
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As a small boy in 1977, I was creating a racket at home when my parents had left me for a few days in the care of my grandmother and uncle. To give some respite to my paatti, and to put a temporary end to my tantrums, my uncle, who had got in his college two tickets for IR’s show, took me to the Music Academy. I admit I didn’t go too willingly and was fidgeting restlessly in my seat. But when the curtains were raised, and as the strumming of the guitars began in the dim light, I remember falling silent and sitting transfixed as the entire hall listened in rapturous silence to ‘dEvan thiruchabai malargaLE’. As the violins faded in the end, the lights came on and the entire hall rose to give a standing ovation to IR, Poorani and Indira. (This was the song that IR featured as the invocation in all his shows till 1982; he switched over to ‘janani janani’ thereafter)
Whenever my craze for tfm is the topic under discussion in the family circle, my uncle invariably recalls this incident! Looking back, I don’t wonder at it, for the sheer magic of the song is such. The guitar which forms the mesmerizing mainstay of the song, the flute which beguiles at every note, the accordion which teases and tantalizes playing hide and seek, and the violins which seem to go berserk methodically in the end…what a masterpiece! And the church bells toll approvingly in divine benediction, lending the song an aura of heavenly intervention. As a child I could not have surely appreciated the intricacies of this composition (not that I know much now!), but this song was probably my initiation to the enchantment of tfm, and I have been hooked ever since :)
Even now my fingers falter when I attempt to describe the excellence of the song. Mere sober words and meager labels are inadequate to the task; pompous terms, jeweled exotic phrases rise to the excited fancy. The song has the vivacious vagueness of art and the sharp precision of science. It quickens the blood and clears the head; it fills the soul with blissful well-being….oh well, in short, the song has the warmth of a good heart..