Vijay: You see a film is the result of teamwork and
this applies to songs also. When you have many songwriters,
you get songs of different hues, which adds to the overall
appeal of the film. Yet, the trend of one person for
the entire film has not died out completely. I have
myself written all the songs in Thulluvadho ilamai,
There are many talented poets and at times, even time
constraints make the producers approach two or more
lyricists. However, it must be accepted that writing
all the songs in the film is more satisfying as it gives
you a sense of control over the film.
What is your answer to the criticism about increasing
vulgarity in film songs?
I disagree completely that today’s songs are obscene.
Songs like Nattusarakku or Chinna veeda varattuma were
written by me and I am not ashamed. These were written
keeping in mind the setting for the song and incorporating
some folk elements from our traditions. I can say with
confidence that it is only now that Tamil movie songs
are becoming better and such criticism is unwarranted.
If you didn’t like the song, leave it alone. Do
not blame the songs as they only act as a point of linkage
for moving the story forward.
Do you say that song writers do not have any responsibility
for providing quality fare?
See, as a songwriter I only have to write what the screenplay
demands. In most circumstances, a song is used as a
bridge in the story. When you have such fun songs, they
are meant to break the tedium and keep the audience
guessing about the next development. Providing quality
literary fare in films is not in the primary line of
How do you feel on being conferred the National award?
When I started writing in films, I wanted the biggest
prize which was the National award. Also, for long,
there has been a tradition of poets who were forty-plus
to be recognized. I broke the mould and became the youngest
award winner in my category. There is also a prevailing
view that today’s young poets cannot produce songs
of the same intensity and variety as say, Kannadasan
or Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram. This award has reinforced
my strong belief in the talent available today.
Tell us something about how the song, Ovvoru pookkalume…
The greatest advantage for the song was the placement
in the screenplay. It has the effect of moulding the
hero’s perspective. After I heard the setting
and the excellent tune by Bharadwaj,
I was motivated to come up with a song which would form
the soul of the film’s message. The song clicked.
The song has almost become the anthem for youth yearning
I am happy that the song is helping the youth. I also
have unconfirmed reports that from the next academic
year, this song will be included in the Tamil syllabus
for class III.
Your other literary pursuits are also gaining momentum.
I always wanted to be a part of the literary world.
I have published five books so far and I wanted to bring
out an anthology of my earlier unpublished works. I
approached Kalaignar Karunanidhi to be the chief guest
for releasing the books. He is a living legend and we
have all imbibed several elements from his genius. I
was honoured to be a child at the knees of a towering
personality like him.
Your other projects…
Apart from films, I have started weekly poetry series
in four Tamil magazines. I am also involved in translating
great works in English into Tamil verse.
How do you manage to accomplish so much?
Allocating time is the biggest challenge. But when I
think about the achievements of great literary figures,
time constraint seems immaterial.
Your favorite songs…
Mayakkama, kalakkama or Malarndhum malaradha is an all-time
favorite. Then there is Andhi mazhai from Rajaparvai
and there are several others.
Your advice to budding writers…
Anyone with talent can win in cinema. Decide on your
goal and work steadily for achieving your objectives.
Never compromise on your sensitivity to your environment.
Without a fixed aim, there can be no sustained effort
and without effort there can be no lasting success.
signed off by thanking behindwoods for giving him the
opportunity to talk to his Tamil brethren around the