Category Archives: Nostalgia

Rajinikanth Intro songs – Part 1

We are merely days away from the launch of Rajinikanth’s next blockbuster, “Kabali.” With music by Santhosh Narayan, the trailer has already been a huge hit racking over 20 million views in the matter of weeks. The songs have also become a rage with its innovative and local sounds concocted by Santhosh. While we wait with bated breath for the movie, here is a trip down the memory lane of Rajinikanth’s introduction songs over the years.

 A big part of the allure of many a Rajini movie has been the title track, also known as the “Rajini intro song” This song which appears at the beginning of the movie is what introduces the Superstar to its audience. It typically boasts a strong message and is set to peppy beats. This is after all the song that will resonate from cities to towns to villages for months to come. Many other stars have tried the intro song to limited success. No one does style like Rajini and a song that is designed to showcase all of that is just a perfect start to the movie. This song is the life-sized portrait of the star in that movie, captured in a Pallavi and a couple of charanams. From the dozens of Raja compositions to the few Deva and ARR pieces, this intro song stands as the historical reference to the movie for years to come.

In the first of a two part series, I am going to attempt to chronicle some of the most enjoyable Rajini intro songs from the eighties. This is a daunting task. As I added one, yet another popped up as equally worthy. In the end, this is not a “best ever” list. Instead, it is what has lasted all these years, fresh in my memory. So here we go.

The Eighties
While there will never be the one greatest intro song, there has never been a dispute on the one that started it all. Rajini’s first major blockbuster, the one that catapulted him to superstardom also bore testimony to his first ever intro song. “Podhuvaga en manasu” from “Murattukalai” has its place in the books. And it shall never be forgotten. Only played over and over again.

 As a side note, there is the awesome intro song, “Engeyum Eppodhum” for a Rajini movie in “Ninaithale Inikkum” but Rajini really plays a secondary role in the movie and the song isn’t shown as a classic Rajini intro piece. But an awesome song nevertheless. As a side, side note, if you are looking for a non-song BGM driven start to a Rajini movie that is epic, look no further than Netrikkan.

After the 1980 release, Murattu Kalai, Rajini had a slew of releases in the next few years that didn’t make use of the intro song to full effect. Surprising move and maybe a missed opportunity in hindsight. Audience had to wait three long years before the next big intro song kicked in. And what a song it was. Set to tune by Raja and sung with full gusto by Malaysia Vasudevan in a career defining song, “Aasai Nooruvagai” from Adutha Varisu deliver a blockbuster for Rajini. In today’s terms, it doesn’t carry the message driven introduction but it is a powerful entrance if any. And yes, with a lot of glitter ?

This was followed by yet another 3 years of no solid Rajini intro song (while he churned out half a dozen movies a year, many of which were big hits). The next intro song was ironically for a damp squib of a movie, Maaveeran where the intro song doesn’t kick in until about 30 minutes of the movie. This song, “Vangada Valanga” in a rudimentary form offers the hero glorifying lyrics that will come to be a signature trait of the intro song in future years. The year 1987 brought us Velaikkaran which kicked off with a message-laden “Velai illadhavan” While 1988 boasted big hits in the form of “Guru Sishyan” and “Dharmathin Thalaivan”,and early 1989 gave us the beautiful “Malayala Karayoram” from “Rajathi Raja”.

The Nineties
One could argue that this was the decade that had Rajini in his full glory, embracing his super stardom carefully constructed over the previous decade. It all started with this setup.
“Ethanai per senjanga?”
“Oru aalu”
Then this happens. The rest as they was history. This also kicked off a prolific run of intro songs that continue to age well.

The Rajini intro songs of the nineties and the 21st century. Coming soon….

Remembering Malaysia Vasudevan

This fifteenth of June,we will be celebrating the 71st birthday of the late Malaysia Vasudevan. I had always wanted to do a post on him. I was just waiting for the right excuse. No better than his birthday. You can read all about him in this wikipedia entry but I am not hear to talk about his life. I am here to talk about his music. The special voice that formed the backbone of many a Tamil hit.

Remembering Malaysia Vasudevan

Malaysia Vasudevan started his career as a stage singer at the age of eight in Malaysia. Soon, he found himself in Chennai as an actor in a tamil play. Soon he joined the Pavalar Brothers troupe, run by Ilaiyaraaja and Gangai Amaran. Vasudevan’s first big movie appearance came in the debut film of his close friend, Ilaiyaraja’s “Annai Kili” but his first big hit came soon after when he sang the song “Aattu Kutti Muttai Ittu” for Kamal Hassan under the music direction of Ilaiyaraaja for “Padhinaru Vayadhinile” Over the next 34 years, until his untimely death, Malaysia Vasudevan sang over 8000 songs, many for Ilaiyaraaja and quite a few for other music directors.

Image courtesy:

In this post, I will highlight some of my personal favorites of Vasudevan. As always, this list is incredibly subjective. Feel free to leave comments with your favorites that didn’t make this list. This list is in no particular order.

1. Pothuvaga en manasu from Murattu Kaalai

Every Malaysia Vasudevan playlist needs to start with this timeless classic from Murattu Kaalai. The first movie to portray the larger-than-life image of Rajinikanth, this song and everything about it is mounted large. The song is as rustic as it gets and much of the credit will go to the Ilaiyaraaja-Malaysia Vasudevan combo that totally rocks  this piece.

2. Poove Ilaya poove from Kozhi Koovudhu

This movie has some excellent music overall. Be it the sensual “Edho Moham” or the zany “Anne Anne”, Ilaiyaraaja has composed some interesting pieces for the movie. To me though, the standout is this Malaysia Vasudevan piece featuring Prabhu and a young Silk Smitha. Great, great song.

3. Aagaya Gangai from Dharmayudham

Another Ilaiyaraaja composition that showcases the best of Vasudevan. The instrumentation at the start of the piece and throughout the song offers the right foil for the singers, Malaysia Vasudevan and S.Janaki to let it go. Watch Vasudevan pick up with “Kadhal Nenjil…”It helps to have Rajini and a young Sridevi on screen too.

4. Mamavukku Kuduma from Punnagai Mannan

If you wanted a feel for the attitude Malaysia Vasudevan could bring to a song, look no further than this piece from “Punnagai Mannan.” Ilaiyaraaja concocts a whimsical composition that befits the Kamalhassan character on screen and Vasudevan completes the picture by delivering the song beautifully.

5. Poongatru Thirumbuma from Mudhal Mariyadhai

Possibly the one really slow song in this list, it had to be featured because of how big it was during its time. A movie that boasted a stellar everything, Ilaiyaraaja, Malaysia Vasudevan and S.Janaki weave magic set to the words of Vairamuthu. Spend some time listening to the words and you can feel the depth and much of the credit goes to the simple tune and the clean delivery of the singers.

The same movie features another classic Malaysia Vasudevan-Janaki piece in “Vetti veru vaasam

6. En Soga Kadhaya Kelu from Thooral Nindru Pochu

Another popular song from the 80s that got a lot of radio time was this gaana-precursor composed by Ilaiyaraaja and sung to perfection by Malaysia Vasudevan. The song starts off completely differently and I have set the link to play from where the “En soga kadhaya” portion starts.

7. Panju mittai from Ettupatti Rasa

A rare non-Raaja song in this list, but nevertheless a nice showcase for Malaysia Vasudevan’s grasp of the medium and how the song played out in the screen. A rustic tune from Deva and featuring a much-in-love Napolean and Khushboo, see how Vasudevan makes you feel what is happening on screen – the playful sensuality and romance.

8. Ramarajan hits

I wanted to bundle two Ramarajan songs in this list. They are not spectacular but still a good couple of songs to demonstrate Malaysia Vasudevan’s range. The first is “Ooru vittu ooru vandhu” from the massive hit “Karakattakaran.” The second song is a much more romantic number from Ramarajan-Revathi starrer, Gramathu Minnal- “Nee pogum padhayil

9. Oru thanga radhathil from Dharmayudham

Another Malaysia piece for Rajini (of which there are very many), this song is an evergreen classic for Malaysia’s rendition and Ilaiyaraaja’s instrumentation.

10. Kadhal Vandhiruchu from Kalyana Raman

Ilaiyaraja had immense faith in Malaysia Vasudevan to deliver complex songs with character. Look no further than this song for “Kalyana Raman” where simpleton Kamal Hassan is wooing Sridevi. In less than 5 minutes, Vasudevan and Ilaiyaraaja weave a complex tapestry that conveys a lot.

11. Mappilaikku Maaman manasu from NetriKann

A fantastic movie set in Coimbatore and shot on location, 100 feet from where I used to live, this song is really a solid P.Susheela song but the reason to include it here is to showcase Malaysia Vasudevan’s classical leanings. Look for him to chime in past the mid point of this song. If you have not yet seen this movie, check it out. Rajinikanth kills it.

12. Madana mohana roopa sundari from Indru Poi Naalai Vaa

Another fantastic comedy that features an utterly brilliant Bhagyaraj, this song demonstrates Malaysia Vasudevan’s comic timing when it came to song delivery. Another song that deserves to be seen and heard. And yes, see this movie if you have not. As the teacher says, “Ek gaon mein ek kisan raghuthatha”

13. Nila Kayudhu from Sagalakalavallavan

Malaysia Vasudevan had three key genres where he excelled- rustic, playful and sensual. This song showcases the sensual side of the singer. Composed by Ilaiyaraaja for the evergreen romantic in Kamalhassan, Malaysia Vasudevan and Janaki are key cogs in the wheel to make sure the experience is complete.

14. Ennama Kannu from Mr.Bharath

What a wonderful song that showcases the playful banter not just between the stars on screen, Rajini and Sathyaraj but also the singers behind the screen, SPB and Malaysia Vasudevan. In an interesting play, Ilaiyaraaja entrusts the job of doing vocals for Rajini to SPB instead of Malaysia Vasudevan and Sathyaraj gets to counter punch with the vocals of Malaysia Vasudevan. I could write a lot about how awesome this song is,. Instead, just check it out. One of those songs that feels complete with the visuals.

15. Aasai Nooru Vagai from Adutha Vaarisu

It can be argued that Malaysia Vasudevan was a bigger voice for Rajinikanth in his early years than SPB. One got to associate Rajini’s on screen songs with Vasudevan’s voice. And this Ilaiyaraaja composition is probably the best example.

I chose to end my list with this song because it represents exactly how I remember Malaysia Vasudevan. The tease, the flourish and the playful delivery- very much like Superstar made him a musical superstar. One whose songs, we continue to listen and cherish to this date.

Full Youtube playlist for the post can be found here or you can watch it below.

Love is in the air (Part 1) – A selection of romantic songs from old Hindi movies

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. More importantly, the weather outside is awesome enough that there is a need for good music to keep us snuggled in until Spring comes along. Over the next few weeks, I am hoping to put together a set of good songs that are romantic by definition, but really are a set of wonderfully composed and well sung pieces that are well worth revisiting. One really big caveat for all these posts-they are incredibly personal and my own view of things. Your set of best songs of this era might not match mine and that is definitely expected. Music is as subjective as any other art form. Its joy is in the ear of the listener. One other note before we kick things off, this set is what came to my head when I put this list together. I am sure I missed some of my own personal favorites. It happens all the time. With that out of the way, let us get to the music.

I am kicking off this series of posts with some classics from old Hindi movies. The list is in no particular order and if you have songs to add, please add them in the Comments section or in the social networks where this post is syndicated.

1. Aaja Sanam from Chori Chori
I have listened to this song a few hundred times and I never get tired of it. The music by Shankar-Jaikishan is outstanding. Lata and Manna Dey offer their vocals to lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri. Manna Dey’s voice comes through when he opens up with “Bheegi Bheegi raat mein.” Note the lyrics from Hasrat Saab, “Zindagi hai ik safar, kaun jaane kal kidhar…”

2. Chaudvin ka Chand from Chaudvin ka chand

Chances are, if you have ever listened to this song, you would share my take on its sheer brilliance. A gentle composition that is as paean to the woman in his heart (in this case, the gorgeous Waheeda Rahman in the mind of Guru Dutt), it boasts lyrics unlike most other. And the pace is languidly romantic. Lyricist Shakeel Badayuni weaves a tune for the ages, set to the tune by Ravi. And yes, the golden voice of Rafi saab makes it the piece that it is. Sample this- “Jaane bahaar tum kisi shayar ka khwab ho…”

3. Jo vaada kiya oh from Taj Mahal

Celebrating the immortal love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, Taj Mahal boasts fabulous songs composed by Roshan saab. None more romantic than this classic piece boasting the classic romantic vocal pairing of Rafi and Lata. The song is relatively short by 1963 standards but leaves a lasting impact, thanks to the wonderful lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi.

4. Aadha hai chandrama from Navrang

What a composition by C.Ramachandra. This gorgeous song from the movie Navrang directed by V.Shantaram features the nimble Sa
ndhya (his wife) dancing to the wonderful piece. Definitely stay on for the whole song. The last portion features some great dancing by Sandhya. As a big fan of Malkauns (Hindolam) , this song sung by Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhonsle has been a lifelong favorite of mine. The lyrics by Bharat Vyas are wonderfully romantic. Sample the start of the song, “Aadha hai chandrama raat aadhi, rehna jaaye teri meri baat aadhi, mulaqaat aadhi”

5. Abhi na jao chod kar from Hum Dono

A young and dashing Dev Anand romancing the gorgeous Sadhana is all one needs to get going with this song. Throw in the voices of Asha Bhonsle and Rafi singing a gentle and teasing piece by music director Jaidev with lyrics by the inimitable Sahir Ludhianvi saab, this song is pure gold. “Yehi kahoge tum sadaa, ke dil abhi bara nahin…” for sure.

6. Hum Aap ki Ankhon mein from Pyaasa

Another personal favorite featuring an all star crew. A young and vibrant Guru Dutt romances Mala Sinha to a peppy romantic number set to tune by S.D.Burman saab. The lyrics by Ludhianvi saab sets a benchmark. This movie boasts a soundtrack that is as good as it gets. Rafi saab and Geeta Dutt do full justice and much more to the song in a way that just warrants multiple listens.

7. Yeh Raatein yeh mausam from Dilli Ka Thug

I was starting to worry that I had front loaded this collection with very many Rafi saab songs. Then I remembered this wonderful piece by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle from Dilli Ka Thug. Featuring Kishore Kumar romancing a young and beautiful Nutan, the song just tantalises.  The composition by Ravi glows with the lyrics by Shailendra. Sample this- “Yeh kya baat hai aaj ki chandni mein, ke hum khogaye pyaar ki raagni mein”

8. Pyaar Hua from Shree 420

Iconic imagery. Superstars. Epic music by Shankar Jaikishan. A song for the ages featuring the so-much-in-love Raj Kapoor and Nargis. The vocals of Manna Dey and Lata that make it special. A complete experience for the hopeless romantic in you. I want that rain and the tea that goes with it. Oh, the umbrella too.

9. Dil kya kare from Julie

I was definitely leaning towards an all black and white collection. That would seriously date me (IMHO, not in a bad way). So I figured a few hits from the 70s might be worth inclusion here. The first and foremost of that lot is the evergreen romantic  piece from Julie. Rajesh Roshan scores music set to the lyrics of Harindranath Chattopadhyay. The song belongs to Kishore Kumar. He conveys all the romance and so much more.

10. Jaane Jaan from Jawaani Diwani

A classic composition by R.D.Burman for the movie Jawaani Diwani, this is just one heck of a number. R.D’s expertise in crafting a completely unique take on romance is fully evident here. Featuring a young Randhir Kapoor and a gorgeous Jaya Bhaduri, the romantic piece is sung with gusto by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle. The pitch variations on this song are just epic.

11. Teri Bindiya Re from Abhimaan

What do I say about this song that hasnt been already said? An onscreen romantic song that reflected the offscreen romance of the leading couple – Amitabh and Jaya, this song is just so beautiful. Written to perfection by Majrooh Sultanpuri saab and set to a great tune by S.D.Burman, this song is the definition of love, as good a combination of lyrics, tune and vocals can deliver. The entire album features some fabulous music worth many listens. As a counterpoint to this young romantic piece, “Tere Mere Milan” offers a more mature take on the same romance. I had a hard time picking “Teri Bindiya Re” over “Tere milan”

12. Dekha Ek Khwab from Silsila

As I was typing my text for the previous song from Abhimaan, my thoughts naturally drifted to this song from Silsila. There is so much history here in real and reel life that I will let you, the reader and listener debate that with your spouse 🙂

I will just wax eloquent about how wonderful a piece this one is- a composition by the Hindustani giants Shiv-Hari that boasts some fabulous visuals and actor eye candy in the form of Amitabh and Rekha. You throw in the lyrics, nay, poetry of Javed Akhtar and romance as seen by one of the greatest romanticists of our era, the late Yash Chopra, and you have romantic gold.

13. Kabhi Kabhi from Kabhi Kabhi

To finish the triumvirate of Amitabh Bachchan romantic movies that were box office and music gold from the era, here is another magical piece from Kabhi Kabhi. The real star in this song is the lyricist, Sahir Ludhianvi saab and the music director, Khayyam. Mukesh does the singing honors. An evergreen song that reverberates even today.

14. Mere Sapnon Ki Rani from Aradhana

I debated long and hard between this song and “Roop Tera Mastana” It is hard to pick one over the other. Both are the epitome of romance with the former more playful while the latter is sensual. In the end, I went with the playful version of love.

S.D.Burman creates a fast paced tune set to the lyrics of Anand Bakshi and leave the rest to Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna. A smiling Rajesh Khanna woos Sharmila Tagore in a song that brings an instant smile to the viewer. The ultimate song to woo your woman!

15. Chura Liya Hai from Yaadon ki baaraat

And to wrap up this list that I never want to conclude, the romantic song of a complete generation of lovers. Is the magic because of Asha’s sultry rendition of the song or is it the way Mohd. Rafi jumps in mid way and just takes it to a whole another level or is it the composition by R.D.Burman or Majrooh saab’s lyrics? Is it the incredibly gorgeous Zeenat Aman who seals the deal? Or maybe, just maybe, everything came together in a package that will be remembered as a definitive love song for the ages.

I had a difficult time not including so many songs because I didn’t want this list to be never-ending. The point was to let you revel in romantic thoughts while listening to this small collection. There are so many more fabulous songs from the era that it deserves a new set every year.

Until then, have a great Valentine’s Day.

As always, the entire playlist (and many more songs) can be found here for your listening enjoyment.

A Republic Day Music Quiz

My original plan was to have a nice post on patriotic songs across multiple Indian languages. But given the popularity of the audio quizzes over the past couple of months, I decided to tweak the post to be a simple audio quiz. The theme here is all things India and patriotic. Each song/audio clip has a specific question associated with it. So listen to the clips while you look at the questions. As always, please message me the answers in private (Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, google plus message, email, whichever works for you). And please, in the spirit of fun, try not to google the answers.


Here are the clips. Read below for the questions.


1. Which Indian Prime Minister inspired Manoj Kumar to direct “Upkar”? Clue: The theme in question is “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”

2. Which 1882 book by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay featured this poem (Vande Mataram) that went onto become  huge patriotic piece?

3. As many of you know, this is the popular “Mile sur” piece made by DD for national integration. The recording heard from the beginning of that piece features a doyen of Hindustani music. Can you name him?

4. Gandhiji’s use of this Ram Dhun, “Raghupathi Raghav”  made this piece closely associated with him and the freedom struggle. What event was the one where Gandhiji started using it and is closely associated with the piece?. Bonus Point question: In the rendition of the song you listened to, who is the artist playing the reed/ woodwind instrument?

5. This is of course, the popular piece “Vaishnava Janato.” Who wrote the song? Bonus Point question: Who are the two main singers featured in this version?

6. This song has less to do with the freedom struggle (it came after it). It does get closely associated with the nationalistic fervor though. This song and the tune are from the piece, “We Shall overcome” Which movie featured this particular audio version ofthe song? Bonus Point question: What was the context in which the original song was written?

7. This piece(original recording) was first performed by the famed Carnatic vocalist, M.S.Subbulakshmi. The recording was performed in front of an august gathering and got a lot of press when it happened (clue: in 1966). What was the event or where was it rendered? Bonus point question: Who wrote this song?

8. A.R.Rahman created this piece aimed at repairing relations with our neighbor. Who was the much celebrated singer whom he collaborated with?

9. This song was originally written to celebrate and honor the lives of our Indian soldiers who fought and lost their lives in the Sino-Indian war. It was written by Kavi Pradeep and sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Which celebrated music director composed the tune?

10. Final question, an easy one. A.R.Rahman collaborated with a bunch of Indian artists to deliver his take on our National Anthem, “Jana Gana Mana” Who are the singers of this particular version? If you really need a clue, they are sisters.

Good luck and enjoy.

Happy Indian Republic Day folks.

Other Quizzes

1. Audio Quiz- Part 1: TV Serial Theme songs

2. Audio Quiz- Part 2: Popular Indian TV ad jingles (1-10)

3. Audio Quiz- Part 3: Popular Indian TV ad jingles (11-20)

4. Audio Quiz- Part 4: Dialogues from Hindi Movies

5. Audio Quiz- Part 5: Dialogues from Tamil Movies


Audio Quiz (Part 5): Dialogues from Tamil movies

I am pretty excited to present the fifth in my series of audio quizzes. In addition to the quiz itself, I had so much fun listening to these clips while preparing them. There is humor and pathos and satire and what not in the few seconds you hear from each movie. I really hope you get to enjoy these clips as much as writing the answers back to me.

I took a break from posting these quizzes but the responses continued to flow which is very heartening to note. If you think you know tamil movies, this is the quiz to take. This one is probably the easiest quiz of the lot. I have run it twice and both groups got all answers right. Par for the course would be 13/15.

devar magan

Rules of the Game:

Each clip is about 30 seconds long with some rare exceptions. Here is how you can play it and keep it interesting for everyone else too.

  1. Listen to each of these clips and make a note of your answers.
  2. Once you are ready, message me your responses.
  3. While you are at it, would love to hear your feedback on how the quiz was and how I can make the next few episodes better.
  4. If you can, do respond to the original posting on Facebook or Google Plus with the fact that you sent me the answers. I will respond back with your score.
  5. Please come back for future episodes of the quiz.

Other Quizzes

1. Audio Quiz- Part 1: TV Serial Theme songs

2. Audio Quiz- Part 2: Popular Indian TV ad jingles (1-10)

3. Audio Quiz- Part 3: Popular Indian TV ad jingles (11-20)

4. Audio Quiz- Part 4: Dialogues from Hindi Movies

Maargazhi Maasam

It is that time of the year. Yes, it is the Holiday season, the rainy season (in the West Coast) and the snow season (in the East Coast). But that is not what I am referring to. Around this time of December, the Tamizh month of Maargazhi kicks in, bringing with it a beautiful mix of devotion, music and a weather that perfectly complements it.

The Tamizh calendar is a Hindu calendar used predominantly in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and a few other places across the world. The Tamizh New Year kicks off usually on the 14th of April and a new month arrives around mid month of the Gregorian calendar. Maargazhi is the month that falls between mid-December and mid-January. It is followed by the month of Thai which has the popular harvest festival of Pongal (Makara Sankranthi in other states of the country). Margazhi and Thai together form the brief winter time in south India also referred to as Mun Pani (early dew) months.

srivilliputtur temple

Maargazhi gains its prominence in Hindu culture with its close association with the works of Sri Andal Aazhwar, a lady poet saint who lived many centuries ago. Aandal was born to Sri. Periazhwar, the head priest at the Srivilliputtur temple dedicated to the Lord Vatapathrasayee. The story of Godai (as she was known before becoming Andal) is interesting in itself and you can read all about it here. Of interest from a musical standpoint is her love for Lord Krishna and desire to marry him. Story goes that in the month of Maargazhi, Godhai woke up before dawn everyday and sang the glory of the Lord walking around town as she made her way to the temple. This set of thirty hymns is called as Thiruppavai.  At the end of the thirty days, the Lord is said to have taken her to be his consort.

Sri Andal, image courtesy

Growing up, Thiruppavai was an integral part of our life during Maargazhi. The local Ramnagar Ramar Kovil Bhajana Goshti (relegious song group) would walk around the neighborhood singing not just Thiruppavai but very many songs in the praise of the Lord. Residents would wake up earlier than usual, take a quick bath and wait with rice outside the house. When the Bhajanai Goshti walked past each residence, the people in the house would come out and offer Bhikshai (alms). Concerts would happen all around town and the spirit of Maargazhi would be all pervasive at temples.

Image courtesy The Hindu. Art by Keshav.
Image courtesy The Hindu. Art by Keshav.

Coinciding with the month of Maargazhi, Chennai kicks off its annual tradition, the December music season. For the month of December, the large city of Chennai lives, breathes and thrives on music. Artists of all stripes and experience give concerts across the many Sabhas (music venues) around town. Crowds cram these concerts from late in the afternoon to late at night. While the music season itself is not directly affiliated to Maargazhi, it kind of works hand in glove to make the time all the more glorious. On TV and radio, concerts are a mainstay from 6 in the morning. Even the non-Carnatic-music-lover would find it hard to escape the joy that the season brings.

Over the years, many artists have offered their renditions of the full set of 30 hymns that constitute the Thiruppavai. From Maargazhi Thingal in a brisk Nattai through the elevated experience of Maayanai Mannu in Shri and the subtle Thoomani Maadathu in Amir Kalyani to the upbeat Pullin Vai in Atana, the peppy Maale Manivanni in Kuntala Varali culminating with Vanga Kadal Kadaintha in Surutti, Thiruppavai offers something for everyone. So here are some versions of the Thiruppavai for you to listen and enjoy.

Sri Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar’s Version

The definitive version rendered in Ariyakudi’s inimitable style, this is my go to rendition every year. You can hear it here <Part 1><Part 2>.

M.L.Vasanthakumari’s Version

As good as the Ariyakudi version, it boasts the talent and voice of the one and only MLV. An excellent way to experience Thiruppavai. You can listen to it here.

Sudha Raghunathan’s Version

Sudha, a disciple of MLV offers her own version of Thiruppavai. As much as her tutelage and style owes it to MLV, this version is good but not on par with her teacher’s. Nevertheless, it is very popular due to its wide availability.  You can listen to it here <Part 1><Part 2>.

Audio Quiz (Part 4): Dialogues from Hindi movies

This is the fourth in my series of audio quizzes. We are finally getting to the meat of the show starting with dialogues from Hindi movies. If you think you know hindi movies, this is the quiz to take. It is definitely not hard- there are a couple of challenging ones here. Everything else is fairly straight forward. Par for the course would be 10/15. Anything more is great. 13/15 would be eagle.


Rules of the Game:

Each clip is about 30 seconds long with some rare exceptions. Here is how you can play it and keep it interesting for everyone else too.

  1. Listen to each of these clips and make a note of your answers.
  2. Once you are ready, message me your responses.
  3. While you are at it, would love to hear your feedback on how the quiz was and how I can make the next few episodes better.
  4. If you can, do respond to the original posting on Facebook or Google Plus with the fact that you sent me the answers. I will respond back with your score.
  5. Please come back for future episodes of the quiz.

Other Quizzes

1. Audio Quiz- Part 1: TV Serial Theme songs

2. Audio Quiz- Part 2: Popular Indian TV ad jingles (1-10)

3. Audio Quiz- Part 3: Popular Indian TV ad jingles (11-20)