The twin celebration of Maestro Ilaiyaraaja’s birthday (2nd June) and the release of a couple of books penned by him were held at Chennai’s Music Academy recently. One of the books, titled Paal Nilaa Padhai, was released by ‘Ulaganayagan’ Kamal Hassan and was received by Iraiyanbu I.A.S., the Secretary of the Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms of the Govt. of Tamil Nadu.
Veteran lyricist Mu. Metha released the other book titled Enakku Edhuvo Unakkum Adhuvae which was received by another lyricist Muthulingam. In a rare show of open celebration of his birthday, the Maestro then cut the ‘birthday cake’ in front of jam-packed audiences. Ilaiyaraaja never celebrates his birthday in a grand manner but the case was different this year.
Known for his interest in various other fileds, Iraianbu praised the Maestro’s talents sky-high. “Ilaiyaraja is credited with presenting music and songs in a simple yet lovable manner which appealed to all sections of the audiences. The fusion of folk and western type of music attempted by Ilaiyaraja isn’t an easy one. By the sheer quality of his music, he has taken film music and songs to such dizzying heights, which is a phenomenal achievement.
“Ilaiyaraja is the one who made the audiences flock to theatres to watch the films for the songs in those films. Music is omnipresent: it’s in the art, dance, sculpture and even in meditation. Music has the power to bring about great changes in society. Birds sing for their own happiness whereas man sings for others. In that sense, I feel that there’s nobody better than Ilaiyaraaja to create ever-lasting, immortal music through his various songs,” concluded Iraiyanbu.