Monday, June 13, 2005

The TFM tag

With great power comes great responsibility. I am no Spiderman and I certainly don’t have an uncle who I fondly call Uncle Ben. But that line ought to fit anybody and it certainly does in my case.

Last week Shwe seemed to be in the midst of a voyage of discovery in the world of Tamil Film Music. She had some questions for me and by answering those questions, it seems that somehow I gave her the impression that when it comes to TFM, I am second to none. It certainly did not help that (as I am prone to do) I did “put” some fundaes regarding TFM and a few trivia junkets too. Now, it turns out that Shwe was bored enough to do another of those now common memes, this time a South Indian Music tag. She tagged me and here is my version!

I am certainly not an “expert in South Indian music” as Shwe has kindly described me on her post. I can however be described as a “not so knowledgable” diehard fan of TFM who is sometimes considered a pain in the posterior, especially if you had to work in the same room as me (like her) and more so if your workstation was right next to mine (like her again). It does not really help that I also get a bad case of the earworms from time to time that sometimes last for the most part of a whole day. In fact, last summer, Ally, a co-worker was flustered after she heard me whistling this song for the entire duration of a work day.

This might be an exaggeration, but I suspect that it is much closer to the truth than you would expect. After sighing and coughing loudly to stop me (she was successful a number of times, before I involuntarily started again after a small hiatus), she interrupted me to ask me what the song was. Considering she was getting disturbed, she thought she might as well learn the words so that she can sing along. Unfortunately that is easier said than done, particularly when the song is in Thamizh. But I think hearing a exasperated voice saying "Anti......." more than a dozen times a day these past few years has slowly started curing me.

Anyways, this is perhaps the toughest meme that I’d have to face, ever. It was a challenge to list all my likes without missing out on anything. All the lists given are in no particular order. I would be doing grave injustice if I were to choose one among them to be the best. They are all equals in my eye. And if you would notice, most are songs by ARR and Ilayaraja. These are two MDs that I have grown up with and though some of you might consider it sacrilege for me to ignore the works of MSV or his predecessors, I simply have not heard enough of them for me to be influenced by them. And regardless how big a fan of Deva's that I might be, I still consider IR and ARR to be the ultimate gods when it comes to TFM. So, here goes.

No. of albums I own
  • Does mp3 count? If it does, I possess an insanely huge collection, thanks to several friends.
First Album that I bought:
  • Recorded combo tape of Roja (A.R. Rahman) and Annamalai (Deva) in 1991
Last Album that I bought:
  • Kannathil Muthamittal (A.R. Rahman)
Currently Listening to:
  • Iyengaru Veetu Azhagu – Anniyan / Hariharan, Harini / Harris Jayaraj
Clever lyrics in this song. For example – Unpol evarum idhuvarai illai, inimel pirandhaal adhu nam pillai!

Albums that I'd want to take with me if marooned on a deserted island:
  • Minsara Kanavu – AR Rahman (ARR)
  • Alaypayuthey – AR Rahman
  • Iruvar – AR Rahman
  • Agni Nakshatram – Illayaraja (IR)
  • Kannukkul Nilavu – Illayaraja
  • Alaigal Oivathilai – Illayaraja
Songs that you are most likely to hear me sing or hum (Song – Movie / Singer(s) / MD):
  • Raja Raja Chozan – Rettai Vaal Kuruvi / Yesudas / IR
  • Vellai Pookal – Kannathil Muthamittal / ARR / ARR
  • En Kanmani – Chittukuruvi / SPB, Susheela / IR
  • Uyirum Neeye – Pavithra / Unni Krishnan/ ARR
  • Kadhalin Deepam – Thambikku Endha Ooru / SPB / IR
  • Ilaya Nila – Payanangal Mudivadhillai / SPB / IR
  • Marghazhi Poove – May Madham / Shobha Shankar / ARR
  • Anbe – Kadhal Desam / SPB, OS. Arun, Rafee / ARR
  • Andhi Mazhai – Raja Paarvai / SPB, Janaki / IR
  • Kannamoochchi – Kandukonden Kandukonden / Chitra / ARR
  • Ondra Renda Asaigal – Kakha Kakha / Bombay Jaishree/ Harris Jeyaraj
  • Minnal Oru Kodi – VIP / Hariharan, Chitra / Ranjit Barot
Favorite Singer(s):
  • SPB – For the songs he has sung for IR
  • Hariharan – For his wide repetoire!
  • Yesudas – The man oozes melancholy when he wants to!
  • ARR – The man tugs at my heart strings sometimes!
To listen to these songs, all you have to do is to go to and search for the particular movie's name under the Tamil section and listen to the particular track mentioned. And its appropriate that I ask someone to continue this tag. And I also know that this game of tag is sort of become stale to a lot of people. So, let me pass this on to just two four people, Arun, Nithya, Curses and Ferrari Prabhu - all hardcore fans of TFM.


Ram.C said...

So, you hv initiated the next wave.... TFM tag..

Nithya Swaminathan said...

thank u..:) my list is done:)

Zeppelin said...


paavi.. give me sometime and will b back with moi list !


Harish said...

I was kinda hoping u'd tag me.. thanks :)

IBH said...

Jeez, I love that dialogue from Spidey!
ur list is awesome..i love nithya's too!

GratisGab said...

believe it or not, I can hum almost all the songs you named :)

Illayaraja rocks.

Twin-Gemini said...

Thats a damn infectious song. Have you heard her latest in ABCD?

Saranya Kishore said...

Wo, nice list.
And you have been tagged too!! :)

anantha said...

Ram.C: Tagging seems to be the game of the year ;)

Nithya: Your list totally rocks!

Zep: Machi, take your time. There is also this other post that you promised me ;)

Harish: Paathu pannu machi :)

IBH: Thanx :)

Gabby: Where art thou? I was starting to get worried about your absence. And wow, IR hit you too, huh? He totally rocks!

Twin: Dude, that particular ear worm hit me again man.. I have been humming that song under my breath since I made that post! And its damned impossible to stop. I try and stop and then five mins later I go "ondraaa renda asaigal"! Its a disease! Btw, I seem to have heard this song, i.e the basic tune somewhere before! I can't pinpoint it!

SK: Thanx.. And I saw ur tag.. And I have been tagged twice before on the book thingy :p So what do i do? :)

D said...

I wouldn't have expected you to know that I like some Tamil Film Music (TFM, as you call it). At IBM we have what we call TLAs (three letter acronyms) which I usually dislike, but then I am losing myself.

Anyways I also love Margazhi Poove from May Madham, which is a very nice movie. Although I wouldn't like to carry it with me while I am marooned, I also like "Madrasa sutti pakka poren" from the same movie. There is also "Pudhu Villai Mazhai" from Roja, which I have seen being shot and hence have special memories of. There's also "Sree ranga ranga nathanil pada vandanam" from Mahanadi, which nicely sums up my traditional upbringing. Actually you could include all songs from Kamal Hasan's movies and give it to me on my island :) Before I end up making this a post, I shall stop.

VC said...

"en kanmani" from Chittukuruvi totally rocked/is still rocking/will continue to rock forever. Talk about innovation which was actually good, rather than innovation just for innovation's sake!!!

anantha said...

Dhammo: Thalaiva! For a non-Tam, u have such a cultured interest in TFM! "Sri Ranga ranga nadhan" indeed! :)

Before I end up making this a post, I shall stop.

Wanna do one of these tags too? Seriously, it would be cool to know how much of a TFM fan have u become after 4 yrs in Trichy ;)

anantha said...

VC: True, totally true.. And SPB singing "Iru maangal pesumbodhu, mozhi en amma" gives me goosebumps!

kaatss said...

hey anti...thanks for visiting my write great articles....i am adding you to my blogroll

anantha said...

Katts: Thanx.. Will do the same on mine... And I think we have something else in common too....send u an email about that...

Anonymous said...

en kanmani from chittukurvi is a great song. Although, not many people would put in it in their list. The layering/overlapping of voices in the song, to me, was kinda u see rahman and his clones using them quite often..i'm not a music person but i thought that was pretty cool...


Me said...

oh boy my first was also tape of roja....great list....except that ondra renda asaigal...i have listened to others many many times.....

Sunil said...

Ananthu Kutty...

I remember your "gaana" post some time back..But pona poradhu nu oru gaana include panni irukalaam..


"Gokka,engakka,ungakkavum sendhukuttu ukkandhu adichaale...chaaya, chaaya chaaya"

Fantastic song.

Balaji said...

anti, first time here. nice list that got me humming a few numbers myself. especially liked that u've mentioned 'en kanmani' from chittukuruvi. 1 of my absolute favs with the conductor's interludes adding a great touch... oldie but goldie.

nithya tagged me already but i'm still not done with my list :-(

anantha said...

Balaji: Welcome :) Been reading your reviews for sometime now. Been too much in awe to actually comment, but I think i will from now on! About En Kanmani, I can't explain what endears that song to me. To think I "saw" the song on TV first just before I came here and ever since I got to hear it online again, I have been hooked. There are more songs that suddenly appear outta nowhere. I mean, I would think I have never heard them before (looking at the names), but once the song starts, I start singing along. Ellam early 80s la AIR Ungal Virrupam dhaan karanam! Not to mention a couple of cousins who were hooked on TFM too.

Sunil: Is that really you? Ennada! Cricket posts la oru response kooda illa...! And that song, did I hear you sing it when we met? The familiar. And indha post la, Deva va izhukka vendam nu specifica a paathen. Two different parts of my life da ;) But I will listen to this song that u hav mentioned! Now that I think about it, I think I should do one full post on Vennilave Vennilave and the comedy time at Harmony 97! Badri oda inputs konjam thevai, cos some of the details are vague ;)

Me: Ennoda scale la, Harris Jayaraj romba kammi! But somehow that song seems to come back to me everytime. Last two days a again, its back as an earworm! Damnnnnnnnnnnn!

Varun: Welcome.... Ya, have heard that En Kanamani was the first song in TFM with a dual track! Am not sure though...

Nithya Swaminathan said...

Balaji has started a movies tag now, and I have pulled you into the game! Ensoi!:D

dev2r said...

My first tape was 'Roja' too...

Saranya Kishore said...

anti.. u have been tagged by me!! :)

anantha said...

Nithya / SK : Saw ur tags.....

Dev: Those were the days man... I bought the tape a day before a school trip Kodaikanal in my 9th std. And whole trip it was Roja that was playing and one particular song at that ;). The reason - my school princi was called Rukmini and the XII std students were having fun :D

Zeppelin said...


finally my tfm list out today...:)

cheers !

Manoj said...

Recorded combo tape of Roja (A.R. Rahman) and Annamalai (Deva) in 1991

Landmark combo tape, in a way. I remember having pooh-poohed both albums when they came out. Maniratnam & Rajini without Raja?? Derogatory jokes were made in haste. I might have even said something about the "impending downfall of 2 big-wigs" (at 17, I was quite stupid, see.) And later, I remember having had to bite my tongue in bitter acceptance when I discovered my arms sporting 'Pudhu Vellai Mazhai' goose bumps and feet tapping to the 'Vandhaenda Paalkaaran' rhythm.

anantha said...

Manoj: It was a recorded tape. At this point of time, I don't remember whether it was the songs from Roja or the "vandhenda paalkaaran" or the "khushboo" song (which was getting more airwaves that point of time) that made me buy the recording. But I remember that my mom wanted me to buy butter from an Aavin outlet on Usman Road. The outlet did not have the particular pack size my mom wanted so I had to pass Ranganathan St. (and ergo a basement cassette store in the corner) to get it from the Aavin outlet thats opposite Archana Sweets. There was also a store in the same basement that sold "foreign stamps" and coins in the same basement and i was in "stamps" mania at the same time. Passing the recording store, I dropped in (if it still exists today, it's actually so small that more than 3 ppl cant stand in there) and found this guy having the recorded combo tape. I went back home and begged my mom for Rs.25 (if i remember right) and bought the tape for my Kodaikanal school excursion, in spite of not owning a walkman. My excuse was my cousin's tape player at home! It was fun seeing the 12th std guys (i was in the 9th) singing Rukumani Rukumani and playing the song from MY tape on the tour bus repeatedly! Rukmini was my school princi's name and she was on the trip too. She was a sport though and I don't remember any repurcussions later!

Manoj said...

Nice. It was a good time to be a teenager in Madras, right in the eye of the Rahman storm. Every cassette bought was a musical discovery in itself, and worth every paisa. My personal favorite Rahman-Kodaikkanal trip anecdote is when a bunch of enthusiastic (& possibly drunk) Communication engineers decided to challenge the ladies in the bus to Paatukku-Paatukku. Ms.S, the 4'8" bundle of energy, and source of constant irritation to the men-folk, belted out "Naetru Ilaadha Maatram Ennadhu". To which, a friend retorted..."Enna, oru inch valarnthittiya?".

anantha said...

Manoj: favorite Rahman anecdote is when me and this friend, in abject boredom after getting done with most of our own events at the 97 edition of Harmony (the CIT culturals) decided to enter the Pattukku Paatu event. First of all, neither of us could understand what "Kuril" and "Neril" (god, I don't even know if I am putting it right here) was, but found ourselves placed 9th in the two round prelims. What happened in the finals is hilarious and I think I should probably devote a post for this. Next one!

Manoj said...

Harmony 97, eh? I've been to Harmony 3 years in a row starting '94. Used to play the keyboard for my college back then. I sported a 'Kuridhipunal' haircut in '94, and our college won first place. The 'Priyasakhi' Madhavan hairstyle only got us second place in '96. Yeah, I'm pretty sure my hairstyle did us in!

Jupe said...

Hmmm...I am sure this comment is gonna be lost in the multitude but still I enjoyed your choices a lot so the silent reader in me was forced to make this comment...Keep penning dude...

ps: Kaadhalin Deepam is a song not many seem to have appreciated hence the reason for me to drop in and comment. Marooned island and Minsara Kanavu was the only disapp but to each our choices :-)