Ilayaraja celebrated his birthday in style
Dressed in white, the legendary musician known as ‘Isaignani’ by his fans, planted saplings before releasing the books in Tamil. The planting of saplings is part of the drive by fans of music composer Ilayaraja who plan to plant 71,001 saplings across the state of Tamil Nadu on the occassion of the maestro's birthday.
The first book titled ‘Ilayarajavai Kelungal’ is a composition of Ilayaraja’s letters to his fans while the second one ‘ Palli Elluchi Pavai Padalgal’ is about his collection of songs in praise of Lord Shiva. Both the books were published by Kumudam publications and released by director Bala.
Speaking during the occasion, Ilayaraja said the composition for Palli Elluchi Pavai Padalgal was born after his visit to Tiruvanamalai.
“This gave me a different feeling,” said Ilayaraja. While the idea to compose the songs was born in Tiruvanamalai, it took another three months before it actually happened.
“It happened one day, I composed 10 songs and in the next day another 10 songs,” said Ilayaraja. “Later I was asked to complete it with 10 more compositions as such the book came into being,” the maestro added.
The occasion was also special as Ilayaraja cut the cake to mark his birthday. Initially, he was shy to cut the cake and refused but after his fans and celebrities in dias pestered him and he gave in.
During the event, Ilayaraja hailed producer Panchu Arunachalam who was instrumental in giving Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan's hit flicks. He also disclosed that it was during one of the occasions when both the actors parted ways Panchu Arunachalam, unaware of it, had planned to cast them together.
“He had a call sheet and when both of them refused to do a film together, he immediately made two separate films. One with Kamal in the lead role in Kalyanaraman and another with Rajini (Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai),” said Ilayaraja.
Interestingly, Arunachalam later told reporters that it won’t be possible to cast both the actors (Rajnikanth and Kamal) in a single film now. “Both have separate fan base besides the expectation from the actors would be too large as such it won’t do justice to their fans,” he said.
Arunachalam also paid tribute to Ilayaraja while recollecting his acquaintance with Ilayaraja in 1974. “Although he may be 71 but I still consider him as 21-year-old. He always tries to bring in something new,” said Arunachalam.
Earlier, actor Parthiban, Bala and others paid tribute to Ilayaraja and his contribution to the music world.