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Topic started by On behalf of Sankar (@ 188.8.131.52) on Mon Dec 30 07:11:34 EST 2002.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
Kaaviyathayin Illaya magan
- Old responses
- From: R. Mahendra Raj (@ 184.108.40.206)
on: Thu Apr 3 04:35:48 EST 2003
Puvanes, it is heartening to know that you are a fan of Kannadhasan and that too in Malaysia (are you from KL?).
Re - Jasmine Productions. This unassuming group comprising the late Alen Kandiah, Karu Kaarthik (a distant relative of kaviarasar) and Thangamani have religiously presented the 'Tribute to Kannadhasan' function since 1986 in Kuala Lumpur.They were usually held on June 24 or October 17 to coincide with kaviarasar's birthday or deathday. The attendance at these memorials were usually very good. No admission charges were levied and on top of it local artistes and literary figures are honoured annually with golden shawls, token monetary gifts, mementos and garlands. Apart from this, classical dances, patti mandrams, and poetry reading sessions are held. Invited guests take the liberty of speaking about the greatness of kaviarasar. The sessions usually lasts for about 6 hours until midnight and refreshments are served.
This was made possible through contributions from local business fraternities who are fans of Kannadhasan.
About two years ago the catalyst of this event, Alen Kandiah, met his untimely death as a result of a road accident. Although after his death things began to slacken for a year nevertheless, it was held last year. I was assured by Karu Kaarthik that the event will go on for this year although the organisers of the "Tribute to Kannadhasan" (held last year at PWTC on September 29, 2002) are planning to have a grand one in Bukit Jalil Stadium, Puchong on May 21, 2003.
We only hope that the latter event will not be a repeat of the earlier one where most of the invited guests were blowing their own trumpets instead of speaking on kaviarasar.
You have re-kindled my memory regarding the 'Poi Varugireyn' article by kaviarasar. It is actually the preface to the book written by him under the same title. You can recall that on January 16, 1996 when Mydi Sultan, the veteran boroadcaster,who needs no introduction to Malaysians and Singapaoreans, went on air in Radio 6 for the last time the day before he retired he used this page as a farewell to his fans. Just before he retired he became even popular through the way he presented Kannadhasan's songs over the radio.
The moment he finished reading this extract he was flooded with numerous emotional calls from his fans whilst on the air itself. One fan who could'nt control his emotions drove down to the radio station and hugged him. They were all emotional because they feared that after his retirement less info on Kannadhasan will be forthcoming on the air.
But some months after his retirement he was re-called as a part-timer to present the 'Kannadhasan Neram' programme which ran for 8 months and he became even more popular. He intimated to me that although throughout his career he was known to be serious literary and sports broadcaster he never dreamt that he will be popular just because of Kannadhasan! The irony is that he is an ardent fan of Bharathidasan but became Kannadhasan's admirer during last days of his retirement after reading on him from my books!
That reminds me of kaviarasar's statement which was recorded. During the early period when he was in DMK it was the norm those days to condemn all things puranic. He deliberately started to read on 'Kambar Ramayanam' just to find faults in it and expose the same. However, he ended up falling in love with Kamban! Thats the reason you can find many songs by kaviarasar quoting Kambar.
More next folks!
- From: R. Mahendra Raj (@ 220.127.116.11)
on: Thu Apr 3 10:19:20 EST 2003
Some add ons on TR Mahalingam - Kaviarasar which just struck my memory.
When kaviarasar booked TRM to act as the hero for his maiden film 'Maalayitta Mangai' (1958) the latter was in a bad financial shape. Kaviarasar lent a helping hand to TRM much against the advice of fellow producers because the latter was branded an 'unlucky hero'. TRM's financial position was so bad that he had had even hocked his wife's 'thaali' for some immediate financial relief. Kaviarasar came to know about his position when he went to the latter's house to book him for his film.The first thing he did was to ask TRM to go to the pawn shop to redeem the 'thaali'. Kaviarasar was of the opinion that the 'thaali' should never be traded off under any circumstances. But the pawn shop owner had already sold it off. Kaviarasar immediately bought a new 'thaali'and asked TRM to tie it around his wife's neck. He wanted his prospective hero and his family to be happy when he started the project on 'Maalayitta Mangai'. Such thoughtfulness of a novice producer!
Kaviarasar added a feather to his cap when he wrote the song "Engal Dravida Thirunaadae" for this film sung by TRM, the hero who is a Brahmin by birth, at a time when sentiments were running high against the Brahmins and vice versa by DMK. A real achiever indeed!
Later for the film 'Thiru Neelakandar' (1968?)he wrote the lines "Kozhikkul muttai undu Muttaikkul kozhi undu" for a song to be sung by TRM who was the hero of this film. K. Selvarasu, the producer-cum-director of this movie,humbly pointed out to kaviarasar that this line, which smacked of things non-vegetarian, will not go down well with the audience because it was supposed to be sung by a shaivite nayanmaar and that even TRM the hero is a Brahmin himself.
Kaviarasar agreed with the arguments put forward and on the spot substituted the line to read as "Neerukkul kallum undu Kallukkul neerum undu Paarvaikku theriyaathu".
Bye for now folks, more later on kaviarasar's humour.
- From: Ramki (@ 18.104.22.168)
on: Thu Apr 3 13:00:31 EST 2003
Muktha srinivasan's article about Kannadasan
- From: Manisekaran (@ 22.214.171.124)
on: Thu Apr 3 20:48:41 EST 2003
Dear Kannadasan Fans
A few comments. There are three stories to the background of Ettadukku Maaligayil song by Kannadasan. One story goes that Kannadasan penned this song keeping Annadurai in mind. The other is that he had written when a friend disappointed him. The third is the background related by Mahendraraj. Knowing that different and often conflicting stories prevail for cinema incidents I do not want to comment in the affirmative on some matters. We can see new stories surfacing after the passing of the key players. I have mentioned this worst fear in the beginning of the thread.
Kannadasan's peotic lines overpowered the censorship board's decisions on many occassions. Even before the Pasa Malar Song, the Malayittu manam Mudichi song from Malayitta Mangai escaped the scissors.
The line is "Palliyaraiyil Paditha Paadal Palanalichaachu-Purushan Pakkamirunthu Kodutha Paadam Uruvam Kondachu"
As in the case of Pasa Malar's
Malaratha Penmai Malarum-Munbu
Theiryatha Unmai Thyeriyum,
Mayangaatha Kankal mayangum-Munbu
Puriyatha Kelvi Puriyum
the censorship board member commented, "When we looked at the meaning were tempted to use our scissors, but when we pondered upon the poetic beauty, our hands were tied.
T.R. Mahalingam was not a natural or deliberate choice for Malayitta Mangai. Apart from Sivaji Ganesan and MGR, it was Nageswara Rao who was riding high in the cine market. When Kannadasan approached him, he was very arrogant, and so Kannadasan went for TR Mahalingam. Being a Brahmin, oppostion came from the DMK circle. Kannadasan said he would make the DMK members accept the hero. Thats how he penned the title song that opened with a dashing high spirited musical orchestration.
Kannadasan went ahead and sat in the theatre to see for himself the reactikon and response from the DMK fans. As the film opened with title music, accompanied by Kannadasan's name and TRMahalingam's song, there was tremendous applause from the theatre. Imagine TRM singing in high pitch:
Engal Dravida Pon Naadey!
But the DMK flame in Kannadasan was extinguished in the next two years- for reasons very intimately known to very few people.
- From: Manisekaran (@ 126.96.36.199)
on: Thu Apr 3 21:57:23 EST 2003
The events in kannadasan's life could be approached in any angle. Whatever masala mix of kannadasan is always interesting to read.
I had mentioned that Kannadasan and Karunanithi had problems after the film Illara Jothi. In fact the movie ushered a four cornered undercurrent situation-Sivaji, Karunanithi, Kannadasan and MGR.
Karunanithi went to jail for the Kallakkudi Porattam. It was at this time that Kannadasan wrote story, dialogue and songs for Illara Jothi. That movie was a novelty altogether for Kannadasan had attempted something new altogether. The prose took a poetic style. The songs were fantastic. Although G Ramanathan was a genius Music Director, Kannadsan seldom had opportunity to sit and produce songs. This was one of those rare occasions. Kannadasan himself has said that it was in this film that he first composed a song based on Carnatic raga. That song is Ketpathellam Kathal Geethangale by P.Leela (I have mentioned details of this song in many threads).
Kannadasan had also written Anarkali drama in this film. Apparently it is aid that Karunanithi also had written one drama similar to this. Kannadasan had the habit of passing his literary works to Karunanithi for comments- in theeraly days. In the same note, he sent the Anarkali drama to the prison to be read and commented by Karunanithi. When Karunanithi read this , he returned it without comments, but the matter was twisted in the DMK press. Kannadasan was sad, confused and depressed. However, when the film was released, Kannadasan went inside the prison, and Karunanithi came out. Kannadasan saw the movie only after he got released. The fact of the matter is that battle lines were already drawn for Kannadasan and Karunanithi- though it did not surface to the open.
Kannadasan continued to be influenced by DMK philosophy. He then wrote story and dialogue for Naane Raaja, acted by Sivaji Ganesan. This was an attempt to rewrite Ramayana upside down, with a motive of belittling the epic. The film censorship heard about this and a warning came. Kannadasan quickly tried to rectify the situation. However the story got mutilated, distorted and twisted. The film became a flop.
It was at this time that Sivaji Ganesan, who was a DMK supporter went to Thiruppathi. Kannadasan, along with other DMK members took exception to this. Kannadasan started Thendral magazine in which he attacked and heaped humiliation upon Sivaji Ganesan. Kannadasan had also written dialogue for one more Sivaji Ganesan Movie-Thenali Raman. In Thendral Kannadasan had mentioned that Thenali Raman was sure to dig its own grave. When both Kannadasan and Sivaji Ganesan met at the Vahini Studio, there was almost a fist fight, if not for the timely dispersal caused by the onlookers. This was exaggerated in the papers. That was the end of Sivaji Ganesan- Kannadasan team work-at least for a few years.
MGR feared the rise of Sivaji Ganesan. When news reached MGR of this fight, he phoned up Kannadasan and requested him to pen dialogues for him. That was how Kannadasan ended up writing dialogues and songs for MGR, starting with Madurai Veeran and going with Thaaikku Pin Thaaram (part dialogue) Nadodi Mannan, Mahadevi, Raja Desing and Rani Samyukta.
During this period Kannadasan and Sivaji Ganesan could not see eye to eye. But the enmity took an unexpected proportion when Kannasan took Sivagengai Seemai- as a continuation of Veerappandiya Katta Bomman and released it when Katta Bomman was still running. Sivaji Ganesan saw this as a direct challenge. His supporters started to hit Cow dung on the posters of Sivagangai Seemai. Kannadasan supporters reciprocated in similar note. (Later this event laid the basis for the fight between Sivaji and MGR fans.)
By this time Kannadasan was already a towering strength for the cinema industry. Although Kannadasan and Sivaji Ganesan were not in taling terms the producers and directors started using Kannadasan to write songs for films acted by Sivaji Ganesan. Baga Pirivinai, Paava Mannippu and Padikkatha Methai were of this kind.
In Baga Pirivinai Kannadasan had written a song for his wife-
Thalayam Poo Mudichu Thadam paarthu Nadai Nadanthu
Vaazhai Ilai Pola vantha Ponnamma
En Vasalukku Vangivanthathu ennamma (Ponnamma is his wife’s name)
When the son asked Kannadasan what about asong for me Kanndasan said I have written for you too in the same film. The song is :
Yen Piranthaai Magane Yen Piranthaayo”
This film won the silver medal of the Indian government and Sivaji was selected the best actor by Cinema Kathir and Chennai Cinema Fans club.
Then came Padikkatha Methai-also with great songs by Kannadasan.
Sivaji Ganesan was chosen the best actor, by Cinema Kathir. Pesum Padam selected him as the best actor.
No need to mention the sensation and success of Pava Mannippu. Kalangalil Aval vasantham by PB Seeenivas became the best song in 1961. This song was translated into English by lawyer Ashe Nadarajan and published in Sunday Times Weekly and those who were learned and lettered in the English language came to appreciate Kannadasan.
The song Athaan Ennathaan Avar Ennaithaan has its own background. When Anna and Kannadasan were on theior way for election meeting in Pondicherry, they stopped to by mixture from a roadside peddler. After eating the mixture, Kannadasan was glancing through the paper that served as a wrapper. In it he saw an old poem by Ramachandira Kaviraayar :
Kallaithaan Mannaithaan Kaihithaan
That was the inspiration for the song Athaan Ennathaan where “thaan”apears in 18 places. This song also became the favourite of Raj Kapoor.
There is another song-Silar Sirppaar that was written when Kannadasan received a bankruptcy notice.
This film received the All India best film certificate from the Indian government. Cinema Kathir selected Pava mannippu as the best film.
Then came Pasamalar with some of the best songs. This film cemented the hearts of Kannadasan and Sivaji Ganesan.
While Sivaji Ganesan was ignoring Kannadasan, MGR was making full use of Kannadasan for his films. At the same time the closest friends of Sivaji Ganesan indicated in no uncertain terms that the success of Sivaji Ganesan starred films to a large extent was made possible but the great songs by Kannadasan. They told him to patch up with Kannadasan. Within short notice Sivaji Ganesan arranged for a private dinner where there was free flow of mathurasam. When Sivaji Ganesan was fully loaded he hugged Kannadasan and remarked “Neeethanda Piravi Kavingyan” From then onwards both of them called each other vaada-poda. They became so close. Sivaji started demanding the use of Kannadsan for his won films- (Kungumam, Puthiya Paravai). Their friendship grew thicker. Sivaji Ganesan paid his head on the lap of Kannadsan when both were listening to the composing of songs and muscin for Thillana Mohanambaal. Such was their closeness. But what happened to Sivaji Ganesan when he came down to Singapre a few years ago?
He had this to say to Vairamuthu “Nee Kannadasanukku Mun Piranthirunthaal Nee Kannadasanayum Minchi Iruppaai. Ippothuthukooda Minchivittaai” I am sure there was no mathurasam this time. Kumudam or Anantha Vikatan (not sure) commented “Singappooril Sivaji Ganesanukku Paithiyam Pidithuvittathu”
One thing is clear. In cine world there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy. Nadakame Intha Ulakam!
- From: bb (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Thu Apr 3 23:53:21 EST 2003
Manisegaran, what role did MSV play in patching up between Sivaji and Kannadasan? Did MSV force Sivaji and his producers to use Kannadasan's lyrics instead of others?
On a tangential note, was MSV a naive onlooker in this political/power struggle?
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