Me Thinks

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hindi Music in TamilNadu

Actor Parthiban once during some award ceremony or something talked about how Tamil girls in the 70s were enamored by anything Hindi. "They even sneezed in Hindi", he said. And then came Ilayaraaja with a bang with Annakkili and the interests and the faith of people in Tamil music were restored.

I love researching on subjects that are extremely insignificant and inconsequential. So I wanted to see if there was any truth in what Parthiban had said and if so, find out the reasons. An extremely reliable source told me that around late 60s and 70s, MSV wasn't giving as many hits as he used to before. He was on the decline. He did compose a few gems but they were very infrequent. At the same time RDBurman was on a roll. And after Rajesh Khanna broke into the scene around '69 with Aradhana (MD - SDBurman), whatever song he starred in became a hit. Amitabh's "Tere bindiyan re" and "Kaike paan banaraswala" only helped the situation. And people suddenly paid more attention to hindi music. I have to agree with this because even people who don't understand hindi or listen to hindi music know at least 2 songs from that period - Mere Sapnon ki Rani kab and Pyaar kiya to darna kya. And once they found that hindi music was better than current tamil ones, they rewound a little bit to early 60s and started listening to music from that time. Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi became popular in a state like TamilNadu suddenly. This was probably a phenomenon restricted to Chennai, I am not sure. So the unofficial starting decade of "Old Hindi" is the 60s. It stretches till late 70s or early 80s because of movies like Bobby and all. So anyone that says "I love old hindi songs" is probably talking about music that were made in these years. 80s and early 90s, forget it. IR's golden period made sure Tamil music stayed superior. With SPB, Yesudas, Janaki and Chitra, music lovers of TamilNadu stayed loyal to Tamil music industry.

Then came programs like Super Hit Muqabla that helped sustain some interest in hindi music among college goers. With the death of DD and evolution of regional channels the divide is now complete. We have no clue whats going on. Unless of course ARR comes up with some breathtaking numbers like he did in Dil Se, Taal, Lagaan etc. When you listen to songs like "You are my mind-lowing maahiya", you know why you don't listen to latest hits in hindi and you go back and reminisce the old songs and leave yourself open to sobriquets like "Perusu", "older generation", and suddenly these terms make you happy.

Thats my personal experience dear friends. I still listen to old numbers in both hindi and tamil. I've always been a big fan of Mohammed Rafi and sadly, I've never found a partner. Anybody that listens to old hindi worships Kishore. Although there is no comparison between the two, I still feel Rafi's voice had more magic than Kishore's. Even Sachin Tendulkar, a big fan of old hindi music, loves Kishore the most. No doubt Kishore was more versatile. Whenever I am cornered in a situation where majority of the people around are Kishore fans, I think about a Rafi song and feel happy about my choice. "Abhi Na Jao" from Hum Dono is one such song. Rafi is scintillating in this. If you've never heard this song, do yourself a favor, and click on the video below.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I've always loved movies. And I used to be a big fan of KB. KB, Kamal Hassan and Ilayaraaja combination, I feel, is God's gift to mankind.

Even today when I watch good acting or good execution, I get tears. The scene might be a funny one but I think I shed tears in appreciation of the talent. "Silly Feelings". Maybe its a sickness I have. Every time I watch Enna Samayalo song my eyes well up. Great acting, great music, great direction and great rendition of the song. Ilayaraaja apparently wrote the song and one can see his brilliance. The swarams Sa-Da-Ma-Ga become Sadhamaga brilliantly. Please watch the song and indulge your soul.