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Song of the Day # 378

From: bb (@ on: Wed Feb 4 02:04:21 EST 2004

Song of the Day: kanni raasi en raasi from Kumara Vijayam.


- Saravanan writes:

‘kannirAsi en rAsi’ from kumAra vijayam. Sung by KJY & PS. Music by G.Devarajan.

‘Perumaale Saatchi’ was an uproarious stage drama by Komal Swaminathan that did its rounds in the various Sabhas in the 70s. It found celluloid adaptation first in Malayalam in 1975, and the success of the film ‘Paalaazhi Madhanam’ prompted its remake in Tamil in the following year. Sree Murugalaya’s Kumara Vijayam, released on 30.7.1976 starred Kamal, Jayachitra, VKR, Sukumari, Thengai Srinivasan, Surulirajan & others. It was jointly produced by E.K Thyagarajan, Sasikumar & V.P. Chandrasekharan, and directed by A. Jaganathan.

Slightly reminiscent of Ooty Varai Uravu, Kumara Vijayam was an amusing story of the respectable VKR’s unsavory past coming back to haunt him in the form of his illegitimate offspring, and both Kamal and Jayachitra enter in his household with rival claims. The entertaining antics that follow, with VKR trying hard to hide the facts from his wife Sukumari, and the climax where the truth is revealed form rest of the fun- filled yarn. Thooyavan’s mirthful dialogues added to Komal Swaminathan’s hilarious story ensured the success of the film. The same story was remade in Telugu in 1978 as ‘Allari Pillalu’.

* * * *

With all this, however, if today, 28 years later, if one does recall the film, it is due to this enticing song composed by G. Devarajan.

Govindan Devarajan (born 27.9.27) is easily the most prolific composer of Malayalam Cinema. He was born in a family where music was revered and nurtured. His father Paravur N. Kochu Govindan Aasan was a formally trained singer and accomplished Mridangam player, and was also Devarajan’s Guru in classical music. Devarajan had his arangetram as a vocalist in 1948, and he started singing in stage concerts and temple programmes. He gradually moved to composing songs for stage plays and non-film albums of O.N.V.Kurup’s lyrical outpourings. He made his debut in mfm in the film ‘Kaalam Marunnu’ in 1955 and there was no looking back ever since.

The 70s, as a whole, was a decade of refreshing renaissance for tfm- it was an exciting time when an amazing array of MDs and singers could get wonderful openings to prove their mettle. And Devarajan Master was amongst those musicians who wove some vibrant hues into the varied tapestry that formed tfm of the 70s. Devarajan ventured into tfm in 1969, first with the dubbed Kumara Sambhavam, followed it up with with Kaaval Deivam, and then made a telling statement with his haunting score for Thulabaram, all in the same year. However, it was the unprecedented popularity of the Annai Velankanni (1971) album that saw Devarajan arrive with a bang in this side of the Western Ghats. The awe-inspiring religious fervor of ‘Neelakkadalin orathil’, the marvelous melange of piety and romance that ‘Vaanamenum veedhiyile’ manages to summon, the soulful plea to the Virgin Mother in ‘Karunai mazhaye Mary Madha’, the catchy choral beat of the folksy ‘Thaneer kulatharuge’, the classical euphony of the short ‘Kadal alai thalaattum Velankanni’, and the final, irredeemable loss that ‘Deva maindan pogindraan’ recounts - each one of them was a winner.

Over the years, other Tamil films that had music scored by Devarajan were:

Kasturi Thilakam- 1970, Vijaya-1973, Paruvakaalam- 1974, Swami Iyappan and Antharangam- both 1975, Alavudeenum Arputha Vilakkum- 1979, Viliyanoor Madha- 1983 and the unreleased Vaazhvu Malarndhadhu. Though the number of his films in Tamil would perhaps add up to only a trifling dozen, Devarajan’s works therein bespeak his creative skills. Right from the serene vistas of a rural love that finds endearing portrayal in the voices of Dharapuram Sundararajan & PS in ‘Ayyanaru neranja vaazhvu kodukkanum’ (Kaaval Deivam) up to the swagger of a youthful urban romance that Jayachandran jauntily proclaims in ‘Ethanai muththukkal aval sindhiya punnagaiyil’ (Vaazhvu Malarndhadhu), Devarajan has stamped his unmistakable class in each album, each song.

* * * *

This song was among the many songs that were frequently aired in the 70s, and then slowly faded into oblivion. As to the other songs of this film, I don’t ever recall hearing any song other than the SOTD on radio. However memories of watching the film on TV seem to bring in a vague recollection of a female solo ‘Mannaargudi machaan vandhu ninnaru’ (Madhuri?), and also another duet, perhaps by KJY & Madhuri. The 70s seem to be an accursed decade in this regard; even noteworthy songs of this period seldom find time either on the numerous TV channels or Radio stations.

The situation of the song is almost identical to ‘Angey maalai mayakkam yaarukkaga’ of Ooty Varai Uravu. Here Kamal and Jayachitra are a married couple, but enter VKR’s house, each claiming to be VKR’s illegitimate child, as part of a pre-planned strategy to force the truth out of VKR. In this song, they pretend to fall in love, much to the watching VKR’s chagrin and despair, as he is under the impression that they are actually brother and sister!

Imaginative lyrics (Kannadasan?) taking advantage of the levity of the sequence, drawing astrological suitabilities into playful banter, innovative arrangements by Devarajan (how astute of him to bring in the morsing to reflect the lightheartedness of the scene!), and KJY & PS sounding delightfully playful (hark at the cajoling note that creeps in his essay of ‘konjum sarasam saagasama?’ and the exaggerated petulance in her ‘ mangala melam muzhanga vidu, un madiyinil ennai mayanga vidu!’), all go to make this song an alluring aural treat.

Discussion Pages in TFMPage on this Song