Next destination – Tamil

Idu idu yeh Pallavi

Agram ippo sigram

Ilaya Nila

My readers must be confused whether I have gone berserk? No, in fact all the above are iconic Tamil songs sung or composed by the only one – the legend S P Balasubrahmanyam ! As I grieved his untimely death due to Corona virus, I attempted to explore his work outside Bollywood and was amazed at his repertoire, more particularly in Tamil.

My search on YouTube took me to certain videos concerning the maestro’s 2019 tour of Singapore. Accompanied by ever dependable Chithra and another legend K J Yesudas, it’s a performance by SPB to be seen to be believed. The way he regales and enthrals his audience with his on stage mannerism and antics, but more precisely with his music, is to be seen to be believed. The concert I believe happened at an open ground near CODDISIA converted into a concert hall boasted of excellent setting, stage and acoustics that were the highlights. My search told me that SPB had acted and composed music for Tamil blockbuster SIGRAM, for which KJY sang this immortal song Agram ippo sigram achu composed by now immortal SPB. Towards the end of the song as SPB joins his vocals with KJY, it’s a surreal experience with one master, SPB, bowing to touch the feet of another master, his senior KJY!

SPB’s rendition of Ilya Nila made me ecstatic as it has the same tune as “Neele Neele Amber pe” sung by my favourite Kishore Kumar. Without going into the controversy of whether Tamil version was a copy of Hindi version or vice versa or whether one was reproduced after taking permission from another, rendition by SPB at Singapore concert is a must for all music lovers.

Let me clarify here! Unlike Bangla that I can speak and understand, I do not know even abc of Tamil and all the above songs are just musical journeys for me and not poetic, though my sense is that some of these songs could be poetic masterpieces. I also know that Tamil is not an easy language to understand or learn. But late icon SPB has inspired me now to dwell deeper into his work, especially in Tamil and more specifically that he co-created with another master Illaiyaraja ! My Tamil lessons will start soon but till then nothing can stop me from enjoying these pearls of melody!

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