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An Immortal Partnership: Mani Ratnam and Ilayaraja

Sunday, June 2, 2019 • Tamil Comments

2nd June, 2019. When the birthdays of two geniuses fall on the same day, there is no doubt that the day needs to be celebrated. Because these two people don’t just excel in their fields of direction and music, they define them to a great extent. I refer to none other than director Mani Ratnam and ‘Isaignani’ Ilayaraja. When apart itself they deliver hits, you can be sure that when they come together, they weave pure magic. On this special day, let’s take a look at ten songs that the dynamic duo will always be remembered for. 

Naguva Nayana - This song from Mani Ratnam’s debut film in Kannada, ‘Pallavi Anupallavi,’ is a breezy romantic melody that transports you to the beautiful scenery that it has been shot in. The soothing vocals are the perfect culmination to the even the most tiring day. 

Theeram Thedi Olam Padi - Language is no barrier for the maestros as they show with this song in Malayalam. What stands out in this song is the amalgamation of various instruments that results in pristine harmony. 

Poo Malaiye Thol Serava - This is not just a song. It is a musical journey. Starting off with the exquisite mingling of the violins and the flute, this song is an Ilayaraja classic that feasts your ears with a myriad of tunes, only to take you back to where it all began. 

Vaanuyarntha Solaiyile - Heartache cannot be rendered better by many. In this song, the duo has brought alive the pain of a young man with such flair. Mohan who is known for such roles has pulled off his part with aplomb. SPB’s soulful voice interspersed with the sweet tones of S. Janaki is quintessential. 

Oho Megam Vandhadho - If the word flawless had a tune to its name, I think this song would be the result. This entry song of heroine Revathi rejoicing in the rain is a timeless classic. A high-spirited melody, this one is infectious with its energy and was definitely the song of the period. 

Nila Athu Vanathu Mele - Will you believe if me if I tell you that this song was actually an alternate lullaby to 'Thenpandi Cheemaiyile' which was converted to a dance number? Because this is exactly what it is. When Mani Ratnam asked for it to be converted to a peppy song, Ilayaraja agreed. But no one would have thought the result would be a masterstroke that would be so popular. 

Raja Rajathi - Ilayaraja proved with this song that nothing is beyond him. This Western-style track starring ‘Navarasa Nayagan’ Karthik is a perfect motivation. The beats and rhythm will lift your spirits in an instant. 

Oh Priya Priya - Mano and K. S. Chithra are truly super singers. They have emoted this song impeccably, embellishing all the musical nuances to a tee. Mani Ratnam and Ilayaraja have stolen our hearts again in this beautiful rendition from ‘Idhayathai Thirudathe.’

Anjali Anjali - This vibrant song portrays the innocence and joy of children wonderfully. The synergy of the music and the direction in this song shows us how well the two legends complement each other. 

Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu - With all good reason, this colourful and catchy song has been voted number 4 in the BBC’S World’s Top Ten (2002), above songs such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Believe.’ This was the last time the virtuosos collaborated to the disappointment of fans. But on a positive note, we have a wealth of their music to keep us going. 

On this festive occasion, wishing our all-time favourites, Mani Ratnam and Ilayaraja, a very happy birthday. May the pride and recognition they have brought Tamil Cinema with their creations, and the happiness they have brought us, always remain in the hearts of people. 

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