The three big Bs of Tamil cinema - Balachander, Balu Mahendra and Bharathiraja - shared their thoughts on Ilayaraja at the audio launch of 'Neethanae En Ponvasantham' in Chennai on Saturday evening.
In his address, Bharathiraja said no one could beat Ilayaraja in background scores. "Many music composers may come. But no one can beat him. My friendship with Ilayaraja dates back to 40 years. We had fought many a time. But our friendship can't be separated," he said.
Bharathiraja added that Ilayaraja outdid his expectations in the background scores of 'Tick Tick Tick', 'Kadhal Oviyam' and 'Mudhal Mariyadhai'. "He was particular about not repeating his work. And he is doing it till today," Bharathiraja said.
Balachander, who enjoyed the show with child-like enthusiasm, read out his experiences with Ilayaraja.
When asked about his favourite song among those composed by the maestro, KB said his vote was for 'Pooongatru Thirumbuma...' from his good friend Bharathiraja-directed 'Mudhal Mariyadhai'. Balachander, referring to Gautham Vasudev Menon, said the right age to direct love stories was 40 and it was during his 40s he made romantic films such as 'Ek Tujhe Keliye'.
Balu Mahendra said Ilayaraja was so close to his heart than anyone else in the industry.
"When I started a film institute, I invited Ilayaraja alone. He came to light the lamp and to sing a verse. That was enough for me."
Balu Mahendra said Ilayaraja composed music for his all his films, starting his third movie. "I would like to share here that Ilayaraja will compose music for my upcoming film. Even he doesn't know this," Balu Mahendra said, amid thunderous applause.