Shooting film songs

Picture the song: ‘Yenna Satham’ from ‘Punnagai Mannan’ is a superb Ilaiyaraaja-SPB collaboration

The composer and singer are scrapping over copyright, but there is complete harmony in this composition from K Balachander’s 1986 movie.

Renowned music composer Ilaiyaraaja has sent singer SP Balasubrahmanyam a legal notice for singing his compositions without permission during a concert tour in America. The copyright tussle marks a low in the mutually enriching relationship between the musician and the singer. Ilaiyaraaja has used several crooners for his film soundtracks, such as KJ Yesudas and Mano, but some of his best tunes have been rendered by Balasubrahmanyam, who varied his voice to suit the mood and situation.

Balasubrahmanyam has put on his dancing shoes for Ilaiyaraaja, sung lachrymose numbers, and lent his voice to various amorous heroes. Yenna Satham from K Balachander’s Punnagai Mannan is love song, lullaby and dirge rolled into one.

The 1986 production opens with a double suicide that is only halfway successful. Kamal Haasan and Rekha play star-crossed lovers who have decided to plunge to their deaths at a waterfall. Balasubrahmanyam’s voice, recorded in such a way that it appears to be echoing through the valley, follows images of nature and sounds of the couple’s playful voices, almost like an afterthought. What is this sound, is it of the cuckoo or the gushing stream or kissing parrots, wonders lyricist Vairamuthu in his final collaboration with Ilaiyaraaja.

The lovers come into view, enjoying their final moments together. They take a boat ride, gambol through the lushness with the innocence of children, and make love. Balachander frequently interrupts the song with the lovers’ thoughts. Are you scared, he asks her. You’re the one who is afraid, she replies after an unconvincing pause.

Balachander eschews lip-syncing, allowing Ilaiyaraaja’s simply arranged composition and Balasubrahmanyam’s haunting voice to waft over the imminent sadness. One of the composer’s greatest love songs is also one of his most tragic. Only one of the lovers dies, setting into motion a mourning process that ends only with the arrival of another romantic prospect.

Play
Yenna Satham from Punnagai Mannan (1986).
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The quirks and perks of travelling with your hard to impress mom

We must admit that the jar of pickle always comes in handy.

A year ago, Priyanka, a 26-year-old banking professional, was packing her light-weight duffel bag for an upcoming international trip. Keen to explore the place, she wanted to travel light and fuss free. It was not meant to be. For Priyanka was travelling with her mother, and that meant carrying at least two extra suitcases packed with odds and ends for any eventuality just short of a nuclear war.

Bothered by the extra suitcases that she had to lug around full of snacks and back-up woollens, Priyanka grew frustrated with her mother. However, one day, while out for some sight-seeing Priyanka and her family were famished but there were no decent restaurants in sight. That’s when her mum’s ‘food bag’ came to the rescue. Full of juice boxes, biscuits and sandwiches, her mother had remembered to pack snacks from the hotel for their day out. Towards the end of the trip, Priyanka was grateful to her mother for all her arrangements, especially the extra bag she carried for Priyanka’s shopping.

Priyanka’s story isn’t an isolated one. We spoke to many people about their mother’s travel quirks and habits and weren’t surprised at some of the themes that were consistent across all the travel memoirs.

Indian mothers are always prepared

“My mom keeps the packed suitcases in the hallway one day before our flight date. She will carry multiple print-outs of the flight tickets because she doesn’t trust smartphone batteries. She also never forgets to carry a medical kit for all sorts of illnesses and allergies”, says Shruti, a 27-year-old professional. When asked if the medical kit was helpful during the trip, she answered “All the time”, in a tone that marvelled at her mother’s clairvoyance.

Some of the many things a mother packs in her travel bags. Source: Google Images
Some of the many things a mother packs in her travel bags. Source: Google Images

Indian mothers love to feel at home, and create the same experience for their family, wherever they are

“My mother has a very strange idea of the kind of food you get in foreign lands, so she always packs multiple packets of khakra and poha for our trips. She also has a habit of carrying her favourite teabags to last the entire trip”, relates Kanchan, a marketing professional who is a frequent international flier often accompanied by her mother. Kanchan’s mother, who is very choosy about her tea, was therefore delighted when she was served a hot cup of garam chai on her recent flight to Frankfurt. She is just like many Indian mothers who love to be reminded of home wherever they are and often strive to organise their hotel rooms to give them the coziness of a home.

Most importantly, Indian mothers are tough, especially when it comes to food

Take for instance, the case of Piyush, who recalls, “We went to this fine dining restaurant and my mother kept quizzing the waiter about the ingredients and the method of preparation of a dish. She believed that once she understood the technique, she would be able to make a better version of the dish just so she could pamper me!”

Indian mothers are extremely particular about food – from the way its cooked, to the way it smells and tastes. Foreign delicacies are only allowed to be consumed if they fulfil all the criteria set by Mom i.e. is it good enough for my children to consume?

An approval from an Indian mother is a testament to great quality and great taste. In recognition of the discerning nature of an Indian mum and as a part of their ‘More Indian Than You Think’ commitment, Lufthansa has tailored their in-flight experiences to surpass even her exacting standards. Greeted with a namaste and served by an Indian crew, the passengers feel right at home as they relish the authentic Indian meals and unwind with a cup of garam chai, the perfect accompaniment to go with a variety of Indian entertainment available in the flight. As Lufthansa’s in-flight offerings show, a big part of the brand is inherently Indian because of its relationship with the country spanning over decades.

To see how Lufthansa has internalised the Indian spirit and become the airline of choice for flyers looking for a great Indian experience, watch the video below.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.