Gautham Menon knows the art of evoking nostalgia and making it look like a reality show tailor made for television. The audio launch of RS Infotainment and Photon Kathas Neethaane En Ponvasantham (NEP) at Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday Night (Sep 1) turned out to be a ride down memory lane with haunting Ilayaraja music.
Gautham Menon and Ilaiyaraaja were coming together for the first time for the music of NEP. Hundreds of Ilayaraaja fans and top directors who had worked with Raja sir like Balu Mahendra, K Balachandar, Bharathiraja, RV Udayakumar and others recalled their connection with the maestro.
The celebrity guests at the function included the hero and heroine of NEP Jeeva and Samantha along with Santhanam, Surya, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja, Venkat Prabhu, Samuthirakani, Ravi K Chandran and a host of others.
Gautham was a perfect host as he anchored the entire show with singer Karthik backing up to sing all yester year Raja favourites of celebrities who came for the show. The show started with a spectacular instrumental rendition of Raja’s super hits by the London and Hungary based musicians, who were flown down for the function.
Later Gautham Menon introduced Ilayaraja to the audiences and made the maestro sing five of his favourite numbers. The medley consisted of Kodai Kala, Athadi, Oru Poongavanam, Thenpandi Seemaile, Raja Kaiyya Vecha etc.
Ilayaraja was the cynosure of all eyes and he started by singing the classical Janani Janani. Raja sir requested audiences not to whistle instead to enjoy the music. Next each song from the NEP album was introduced to the audiences. The song Pudikkala Machan was introduced by Santhanam, who plays Jeeva’s friend in the film.
Suriya introduced the next song, Katrai Konjam and shared some Ilayaraja anecdotes. Similarly Yuvan Shankar Raja, Na Muthukumar , hero Jiiva, heroine Samantha too introduced other songs from the album.
Gautham Menon went up to legendary directors like Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra, K Balachandar and few others and interviewed them on Ilayaraja music and their favourite song which was rendered immediately by Karthik. This evoked a strong feel of nostalgia among the viewers.
The curtains came down with Isaignani Ilayaraja himself singing Vaanam Mella and bidding goodbye to the audiences with very meaningful Yennodu Vaa Vaa Endru Solla Maaten, Unnai Vittu Veru Poga Maaten.
NEP audio release by Sony Music is sure going to be a chartbuster.
Jaya TV will be telecasting the NEP audio launch, a fitting tribute to Ilayaraja showcased with a touch of class by the genius Gautham Menon.