Tuesday, July 28, 2020

 A Walk Down Rahman Lane: September Madham

I am a Kannadiga and it was hard for us in the 90s and early 2000s to even get hold of Tamil songs. The only way ARR songs reached us was when those Tamil movies were dubbed to Hindi. Sometime in the year 2000, my brother had come to know through his friend, that “the new Mani Rathnam – AR Rahman movie” had good songs. Our parents had planned a week long pilgrimage and we did not have any new cassettes to play in the car during the travel.  When dad gave us an opportunity to buy 1 or 2 cassettes, my brother and me rushed to a small cassette shop in Bangalore and asked the shop owner to give us “the latest Mani Rathnam – AR Rahman movie cassette”. Luckily, he instantly identified our query like today’s Google and gave us the Alaipayuthey cassette.

All through the travel, we played Alaipayuthey songs from A side to B side. My sanskaari parents immensely loved the Snehithane track which probably appeared on both sides. We willfully kept “fast forwarding” the fast paced September Madham since we feared our parents may not like it. My brother warned me that “fast forwarding” will damage the tape. Also, if we changed the side, we would miss one good song on the other side. So, we allowed September Madham to play and that’s when my parents started a grand lecture on the topic - “Music, Melody, Decency and Old Hindi Songs”.  My dad started, “there are so many good old Hindi songs. But you people choose to play such indecent songs here. The melodious songs of Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Latha Mangeshkar…” Mom continued, “and Asha Bhonsle…”

At this point, I found a good opportunity and said, “mom, this song is sung by Asha Bhonsle only”. Both dad and mom were instantly angry on me and asked me to stop the music and my speaking. For about an hour, there was dead silence and no songs played. I then played a cassette compilation of old, sad Hindi songs. After a while, dad got bored and asked me to stop playing it. I immediately went back to playing Snehithane and parents did not complain. We however kept skipping September Madham to keep them happy. For the next two months, we played mostly Alaipayuthey songs in our car. Every time I listen to the songs of Alaipayuthey, I get reminded of the greenery, hills, mist and water falls on the roads of Western Ghats. Twenty years later, Alaipayuthey songs sound like they were recorded recently. But due to non-listening of September Madham, this is the only song in this album I am not fond of.


About the author: Dr. Gagan K is a lawyer by qualification and a law lecturer by profession. His initial connection to Tamil music was through AR Rahman. And now he listens to Ilayaraaja, Harris Jayaraj, Anirudh, Yuvan and others. Link to his blog.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

That '70s show - Ungalil Oruthi

I love '70s, particularly when it comes to Tamizh films.
This is the decade of epic films by Sivakumar, Lakshmi, Jai Ganesh, Sujatha, Muthuraman, Jai Sangar, Thengai Srinivasan, K.R.Vijaya, AVM Rajan, Suruli Rajan, Ennatha Kannayya etc.
Also this is a decade, where one could see a glimpse of Madras of the '70s - the occasional car that would drive past Mount Road or the occasional human who'd be walking along in one familiar Madras road.

As a true fan of '70s films, I've decided to watch some epic padams and write about them. Today's film is 'Ungalil Oruthi'

Kya Re... Setting a?

Sujatha whose parents died off long ago, lives with her uncle, aunt, cousin.
They don't want her to get married, reject all proposals. But.. but…take money from ‘Ennatha Kannaiya’ and try one setup with Sujatha at their house only.

She beats ‘Ennatha’ who runs away. Sujatha moves out.

3 Idiots

Randomly, 3 men - Suruli Rajan, Thangavelu, R.S. Manohar make unwelcome advances at Sujatha and she invites them home, calls the police to teach them a lesson.
But after cop comes… she decides to lets them go.
But these men being villains hold a grudge against her.

When Sujatha became Sowcar

In the meantime, for some 1 hour, Sujatha cries.. and cries about.. what…I don’t know. Her neighbour Mr. hideous wig and Kannadi, Sivakumar falls in love with her and goes around calling himself her purusan. Sujatha is thrown out of her job thanks to him, but she falls in love with him. Wow, surprise!

Remember the 3 villains? They’re back and now they hatch a plot and convince Sivakumar that Sujatha is a sex worker.

Here's a pic of the louly Sivakumar from the film, for all of you.

I'm a Baaaaadddd Cousin

She is arrested and is thrown into a Remand home. She meets a lot of other "bad" women singing a song… She also meets her cousin! Vogaad, her cousin is a cigarette smoking-drinking bad girl who was also a sex worker. Sujatha escapes the home and hides in Jai Ganesh’s house. 


Forgot to say, this Jai Ganesh made his appearance in the first scene I don’t know why. Cops are on the lookout for Sujatha. She vows to ‘serthuvechify’ her cousin and Jai Ganesh. She vows to prove to the world is not ‘Vibaccchaaareeeee’. She hatches a plot with Mr.hideous wig, her lover Sivakumar. Yeah she is back with Sivakumar although he got her arrested calling her a ‘Vibachareeee’.

Pure Tamizh Ponnu

After long, tiring scenes, the three villains are exposed at her wedding where she calls the entire town. Ofcourse one old man had to call her ‘Vibachareeee’ and she puts one long dialogue that she is not one and she is ‘Pure’.

Oh that "bad" cousin doesn't smoke-drink and is a "good cousin" now & is in lou with Jai Ganesh.

There is also Manorama for kaamedy.

Final Verdict

Excellent, must-watch film for Tamizh pen-ness, empty Madras roads and Sivakumar's wig.