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Andha Naal Gnyabagam – Music in my college days (Part 4)

With less than 24  hours to go for the largest alumni gathering of PSG Tech outside India, we are down to the final post in this series- the songs that made an impact during my final year in college. The PSG Tech alumni event, M4M is fully sold out and features the singing talents from over the years at Tech.  Without further ado, here are the songs that made it big in the 1999-2000 time frame.

 1999

After a Spring loaded with big hits, we entered our final year of college, hopeful of a job, an admit to a good university abroad and a ton of fun with friends- one last time.  A job was the first thing in mind from the first day of college. Campus interviews kicked in instantly and the focus was all on that. But there was always time for music – be it while celebrating someone getting a job or waiting hopefully for the interview call after the written test or getting over that day’s dejection and preparing for the next day’s written test in the morning.

June did not have very many releases – Vijay had a movie with Isha Koppikar called Nenjinile. While the movie went nowhere, there was one standout song that was very hummable – Manase Manase. The big release for July was ARR’s compositions for Kadhir’s Kadhalar Dhinam. The movie was pretty bad by any standard but a couple of songs stuck around in the cassette recorders in the hostel for a while. Oh Maria was a internet generation piece (pretty amusing to look back at it now). Enna Vilai Azhage was the best piece of the lot.

In what now seems like a very rare occurrence, ARR had two releases in the same month- Kadhalar Dhinam and Sangamam. The latter was a Suresh Krishna dance musical that ended up failing at the box office. ARR had some good classical and folk compositions that were quite popular- it wasn’t the college type songs but there were so many ARR fans then that it did not matter. Mazhai Thuli,  and Varaha Nadhi karai oram were two good songs from Sangamam.

August 15th brought Bharadwaj’s music for Saran’s Amarkalam. Two SPB songs made it very big – Megangal and Satham illadha. The gaanaish Mahaganapathi piece featuring dance master Lawrence was quite popular too. With final year love stories abound, Amarkalam songs were huge.

ARR reused some of his music from hindi for a tamil movie, Jodi and while the songs were not upto ARR’s high standards of the day, they were still pretty popular. Of note were Kai Thatti thatti and Velli Malare.  And then there was a lull of good music for a couple of months.

November again brought two ARR releases. Both of them were huge musically. The first was Shankar’s megahit Mudhalvan. This was a typical Shankar movie with a strong message packaged in an audience friendly masala manner and the songs were huge – be it the Sushmitha Sen dance piece Shakalaka Baby, or the romantic number Azhagana Rakshasiye, or the lavishly mounted title song.

The second November ARR release was the debut of Bharathiraaja’s son Manoj in Tajmahal. A horrific movie by every possible standard, it featured some hummable village tunes with a modern twist by ARR. Three songs stood out and made it big at Tech – Kulirudhu, Sotta Sotta and the addictive Thirupachi.


December brought with it a landmark Tamil movie from a debutant director and the relaunch of a big star, Vikram. Bala’s Sethu arrived in December and completely took over. Everyone was talking about the movie and its music by the Maestro. Illayaraja gave a huge soundtrack with songs that suited the overall feel of the movie. Some of the notable songs were Maalai Yen,   Sikkadha Sittondru and the hugely popular Kaana Karunguyile.


2000

Ilayaraaja continued his hit streak after Sethu with two musical hits in January 2000. The first was a movie called Kadhal Rojave. The movie was forgettable but for two hummable and popular tunes- Izhavenil Idhu and Ninaitha Varam Kettu.  Fazil tried to repeat his Kadhalukku Mariyadhai success story with Vijay and Shalini in Kannukul Nilavu. The movie didn’t live up to its expectations but had some relatively popular songs- Roja Poondhottam and Oru naal oru kanavu.

February saw Raaja’s big season continue with his brilliant score for Kamal Hassan’s magnum opus, Hey Ram. The movie bombed but the songs were just fantastic. The romantic piece Nee Partha Paarvaikku was awesome as was the period piece, Isayil Thodangudhamma and the controversial title piece. To me though, the one song that captured the entire gamut of musical composition and being the right fit for the scene is Vaishnava Janato. I wrote an entire post about this song and I cant recommend it enough.

February saw a big hit for Deva in the form of Mugavari. Some of the songs were lifted from other sources but the songs were very successful  and college audience friendly nevertheless.  Of note were Hey Keechu Kiliye, A Nilave, and Oh Nenje Nenje.

All of this was soon going to be engulfed in the monster hit that was to be Alaipayuthey. Manirathnam’s ode to love and the ups and downs of marriage was a huge success with the younger crowd. It was a rage in college and ARR’s music topped the charts in a big way. Every single song was a mega hit and it is almost impossible to pick one over the other. From the title piece Endrendrum Punnagai to Swarnalatha’s soulful rendition in Evano Oruvan to  the colorful Pachai Nirame and the utterly gorgeous Snehidane, everything was just fantastic. To me though, two songs standout even amidst these awesome pieces – the small but utterly divine Mangalyam Thanthunanena and the playfully sexy Kadhal Sadugudu.

Nothing that year was going to stand up to Alaipayuthey. That much was certain. In the waning days of my undergrad life and in the company of my future wife, this was all that I could have asked for. The only thing that came close before I left college was another ARR soundtrack- one that was steeped in melody and simplicity, Kandukondain Kandukondain. Rajeev Menon’s gorgeous take on Austen’s Sense and Sensibility was given the best support by ARR’s music. Be it the Shankar Mahadevan sung Enna Seyya Pogirai or the peppy Konjum Mainakkale or the retrospective Enge Yenadhu or the Hariharan title track Kandukondain Kandukondain, the songs were simple yet spectacular. My personal favorite was and continues to be the Chitra piece, Kannamoochi Yenada.  The Yesudas-Chitra duet version of the same song sounds even better.

With Alaipayuthey and Kandukondain, I left college. Four years of friendship and memories. Never before and never again would life be the same. I will sign off here. In less than 10 hours, the stage for the evening alumni event will start getting set. I will get to meet friends, old and new and hopefully relive some of these wonderful memories of my college life through the music.

Hope all of you enjoyed this walk down memory lane as much as I did, putting it together for you (and me). I thoroughly loved this project- so many memories came flooding back. The feeling was just awesome.

As always, the public Youtube playlist with all the songs featured in this series of posts can be found here. Enjoy.

Posts in this Series:

Andha Naal Gnyabagam-Music in my college days (Part 1)

Andha Naal Gnyabagam- Music in my college days (Part 2)

Andha Naal Gnyabagam- Music in my college days (Part 3)

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