Raja Paarvai and Kamal–Ilaiyaraja combo

   The unlimited access to the internet has ensured that i have round the clock access to all kamal Haasan’s work i haven't seen and also to YouTube videos too. The more I see the man’s work, the more is the respect i get for him. Sometime back i bumped into this song, “Azhage Azhagu” from Raaja Paaravai. I really wanted to watch the film because i have heard a lot about it from my father. I was really shocked at the kind of vision the producer, Kamal and the director, Singeetham Srinivasa Rao had as early as 1981 when running around trees and singing duet were the norm, truly a "Royal vision" as the title suggests . Not to mention the same guy directed Pushpak aka Pesum Padam starring kamal, which was also way ahead of its time. The film contains no dialogue and is mime based.

   It is a love story between a budding writer (Madhavi) and a blind violinist (kamal) The film is devoid of any unwanted songs and very natural. This could have been easily a sob story with the sympathy angle but not, thank goodness. The Entire cast of the movie needs to be congratulated for putting such a quality performance unheard of 30 years back! The camera work is also very novel. If you are one those people who haven't seen this movie, watch it and be amazed by the brilliance which was shown 30 yrs back.
Lets go into the second limb of the post, Kamal- Raja combo. To be honest I’ve started listening to Ilaiyaraja only lately and have unearthed a few gems. Out of those gems, for me the kamal-Raja combo songs stand apart. Let me list a few songs which I love here.

Azhage Azhagu – Raaja Paarvai - Yesudas : I love this song a lot, especially the way it is enacted with subtle touches. The song is about a blind guy describing the features of his lover by feeling her through his senses. There is so much kavithuvam in the lyrics, no wonder it was written by Kaviarsu himself. The only other song in this film,  “Anthi Mazhai” by SPB and S.Janaki is also my favorite. The theme music of the film has Raaja written all over it. MASTERPIECE. Let me digress and share a thing I noticed in the song. Around 2.10 in the video I linked above, Kamal and Madhavi sit near the steps. In a playful way he tries to elbow her. If it was any other actor he would have elbowed at the first go but not Kamal. He misses the first time and then connects the elbow the next time. If you notice, there is also a noticeably halt and then the song picks up as soon has he connects the elbow. This level of genius is unheard at least for me.

Valaiyosai – Sathya – SPB & Lata Mangeshkar : This song was a chart topper back in 1988. As told by dad, no radio programme is complete without playing “Valaiyosai” once. The way in which the song was shot, surely must have been first of its kind. Once again the song sequence is so natural. The chemistry between Amala and Kamal was great. I really want to grow a beard like him in the film. But alas it isn’t growing as thick as he has!

Nee Oru Kaathal Sangeetham – Nayagan – Mano & Chithra: Yet another kamal-raja combo magic! The song was extensively shot in Mumbai and stuck to the narration of the film perfectly. Mano for me has done a commendable job! My favorite part of the song is were they both stand at the beach and Kamal shows something to charanya and the line "KadarkaRai kAtrE vazhiyai vidu dhEvadhai vandhAL ennOdu"

Nee Paartha Paaravai – Hey Ram – Asha Bhonsle & Hariharan : This film “Hey Ram” is one of my all time favorites. When i first saw this film as 10 yr old i just couldn’t appreciate it. But when i watched it after i knew something about the world, I just realised it was a treasure I walked past without noticing. This song is so sweet and has really wonderful lyrics penned down by Kamal himself. My and most of the people’s favorite lines are “Naan endra sol ini vendaam. Nee enbadhe ini Naan dhaan. Inimelum varam ketka thevai illai. Ithu pothum vaerengum sorgam illai” Truly magnificent, isn’t it?

Sandiyare Sandiyare ( Shreya Ghoshal) & Unna vida (Kamal & Shreya Ghoshal) – Virumandi : A film that was least appreciated but once again one of favorites. Kamal- Raja combo was a hit here too! There is a scene were Abirame ogles at Kamal's childhood pick and kamal notices it and the reflection is shown on the picture frame. Brilliant! Just a brilliant shot.

Ore Naal unai Naan – Ilamai Oonjal Aadukirathu – SPB & Vani Jayaram: Though i despise the way it was shot with kamal and Sripriya just walking about in a park like morons and lip syncing, i absolutely loved the audio version. One of the best ever as far as audio is concerned!

Inji iduppu azhagi – Thevar Magan – Kamal & S.Janaki : Need i say more. I just love this song especially duet version sung by Kamal. Pure awesomeness! The voice modulation was brilliant!

Poongatru Pudhidanathu – Moondram Pirai – Yesudas : This proves good films will always contain good songs. I really like the way in which the songs gathers pace and slows down. The shift is quite amazing! Also not to miss out on another song from the same album “Kanne Kalaimane”

Sandu Pottu – Thevar magan – SPB : This is a really peppy song, which I have added for the purpose for breaking the monotonous pattern of melodies here :-)

Apart from these i’ve mentioned here, I do a like a lot more. But for me these are the songs which stand out as of now, personally. Bottom line is Kamal-Raja combo = *respect* period!


  1. Unna nenachaen paatu padichaen - Aboorva sagodharargal.
    aboorvamana padam. adha nee marandhu vutadhu innum aboorvam. :D appuram sundari neeyum, sundaran njanum. :D okkandhu listen. :P

  2. @Keerthi: I told la. I like a lot more. These were the once that struck me. I listen to them too.

  3. Kamal is matchless da. His splendor is uncomparable.The way he puts himself into the character!! I love almost all the movies you listed. Hey Raam was far ahead of its times and even if its released today it will seem so.

    Raja sir, I don've words to describe only. He does magic. For every moment that you go through in your life, Raja sir has a song for you.

  4. @Vignesh: Yeah so true. But his collaboration with Rahman didn't produce music of this level!


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