Ilaiyaraaja’s melodious triumph: 1000 films in Indian cinema

Big B took the stage to ask Kamal & Rajini about their experiences with Ilaiyaraaja

In a historic event for the Indian film industry, actors Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Sridevi jointly felicitated music maestro Ilaiyaraaja on his long and successful innings in Indian cinema.

The event, held in Mumbai on Tuesday evening, marked Ilaiyaraaja’s personal milestone — of 1,000 films. While the trend these days seems to be of musicians being replaced in films as often as actors are, Ilaiyaraaja has maintained a firm foothold and now completes a journey, that is nothing short of legendary.

Big B took the stage to ask Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth — who have each done over 100 films with the maestro — to describe their experiences of working with him. The very first thing he asked them was if they had ever recorded a song with Ilaiyaraaja (Big B himself has rendered the song Piddly for Shamitabh and previously, Mere Paa in Paa — both scored by the maestro). To this, Rajinikanth replied, “Only once did I have the opportunity to sing with Ilaiyaraaja sir — and I sang only four lines, which took eight hours.”

Kamal had a more elaborate response. “He’s been a friend and a brother to me… I thought I knew singing — till I met Raaja. I sing sometimes here and there, which makes me look like I have mastered the art. But in reality, I don’t think so.”

Kamal’s reply brought Bachchan Senior to admit that he didn’t initially dare to sing in front of Ilaiyaraaja. “He caught every little moment and wanted to correct it,” the Bollywood veteran said. Kamal Haasan, however, had an interesting anecdote.

“This one time, I made a film and all the songs were prepared and ready to sync with the footage, but the tracks were not going well with it. I went to Raaja and he dubbed fresh songs for me just by looking at the lip-sync and the music was a hit.”

( Source : dc )
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