Interviewer : S. Sudhakar | Camera : P. Ganesh Babu | Text: Jyothsna
Lyricist Naa Muthukumar is on cloud nine. He has achieved the distinction of having penned lyrics for most number of films in 2009. With prestigious films in his kitty, this talented young lyricist spoke to

In earlier days, songs were pivotal to taking MGR and Sivaji to the audience. Does the trend continue even now?

Naa. Muthukumar: Even now, lyrics play a major role in films. In those days, there was Dravidian movement on one side and Communism on the other. It was the time when films songs were used as a vehicle for spreading the principles and ideas of various political movements. For instance, Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram penned a lot on communistic principles and Kannadasan, Pulamaipithan and others, who wrote for MGR, eulogized Dravidian ideas. Hence poets were given prominence in public meetings. Secondly, many lyricists were in active politics and they had an opportunity to talk to people directly.

" We are given

good recognition

in the society now "

Now, there is more importance given to poets. People appreciate verses in songs and actors call the lyricists and appreciate their work in their respective films. We are given good recognition in the society now. Currently, there is an increase in various types of media. The spotlight, which falls on actors, falls equally on poets as well now.

Can you tell something about the dialogue-poetry you have written in Endhiran?

I cannot talk about it as the film is being made on a very big budget.

Poets play an active role in the societal development. As a poet what is your contribution to the society?

" My works are useful

to the society "

It is not necessary that poets will have to take to streets to improve society. I feel my works are useful to the society. I have released 13 books as of now. It is being said that when the literature of a county is of superior quality and works are produced for the welfare of the people, that county is said to tread on a healthy path. Whenever Hitler wanted to invade a nation, he would ask his general to destroy the culture, language, literature and traditions first. When these four important features are destroyed, the county will automatically be ruined. So I am contributing to literature in my own way. Through my lyrics in films, I am conveying good things to society.

Your contemporaries like Snehan and Paa Vijay have featured in films too. Do you have any such alternate liking in film industry?

Penning lyrics itself was like an alternate profession for me. I worked as an assistant director to Balu Mahendra and by sheer accident I have taken up writing lyrics for films for the past six years. This situation, like holding on to a tiger’s tail, seems to extend. I am planning to direct a film, perhaps in 4-5 years.

" Penning lyrics was like an

alternate profession for me"

Among the various music directors, who are you comfortable working with?

" I am comfortable

working with everyone "

There is nothing like that. However, I have worked with Yuvan Shankar Raja for an entire film many times. Even now I am working with him in Paiyya and Thillalangadi. When you work with someone for an entire film, the limelight would naturally fall on us. That aside, I have worked with AR Rahman and Harris Jeyaraj. I have penned lyrics for ten films for Raja sir’s music. I am also comfortable working with the next generation music composers like Selva Ganesh, Sundar C Babu, Vijay Antony, Imman, Srikanth Deva etc. All of them like my writing and poetries. I am comfortable working with everyone.

Can you predict the success of a song while writing?

Yes, to a certain extent! When a star director, a star music composer and a star actor are involved, one can be sure that the song will be heard by many people. And while the music is being scored, you can almost feel it. Sometimes, when newcomers are working in a film, the tunes would be extraordinary. You can feel that despite the result of the movie, the song would definitely be a hit.

What is the book that you are currently working on?

I am writing an English novel now. The work is going on for almost seven years now. In Dinakaran Vasantham, I am writing my experiences as a film lyricist.

" I am writing an

English novel now "

What are your other interests?

I travel a lot. Whenever I am working continuously on something, I take a break after a while and take a trip to many places which help get recharged.

About the Sri Lankan Tamil issue and your message for Tamils all over the world?

The ethnic cleansing has affected all the Tamils. The Sri Lankan Tamils are scattered all over the world today. All the Tamils should unite and render all possible help to the affected people.

Your interaction with Rajni?

Rajni has appreciated me for my work in Sivaji. After Endhiran, I have not met him.

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