Vamanan’s Thirai Isai Alaigal – a trove of gems – T. K. Pugazhendhi

Posted: October 16, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Music Director T. K. Pugazhendi’s
foreward to Vamanan’s
Thirai Isai Alagal (Volume one)

I find many details in ‘Thirai Isai Alaigal’ that people like me should have known but have not. It is a work that shows up the calibre, individuality and efforts of the great masters and achievers of Tamil film music.

I wonder at the turn of events that have bestowed the honour of writing the foreword to a work in which the author has met people involved in film music and conveyed to the public the knowledge he has gained.

(I feel so honoured that I think of this opportunity) as the blooming of a rare flower. (Or should I say that such a thing can happen to me) only when the ever-agitated oceans come to rest. Or should I say that it is it the grace of Mother Parasakthi who showed the full moon on the new moon day to prove Abhirama Battar right?

Even though times have changed and situations have changed there are certain things that have indelibly become part of (my) consciousness (that one is unable to forget them).

The films of the first stage of the Tamil talkie had music, story and histrionics in that order of importance. In that period, it was the respected Papanasam Sivam, who deserved the title of the ‘parent of film music’ and our tribute and reverence, who gave us songs that should be treasured and preserved.

This box of gems that we have with us in the form of a book refers to Papanasam Sivan indirectly * . To pay tribute to that confluence of Muthamizh (literature, music and histrionics) in whom letters, music and acting commingled, ‘one must lisp the name Sivan at least once every day and hour’ (Oru Naal Oru Pozhudhaaginum Sivan Naamam Ucharikka Vendum’.

Don’t those who know Carnatic music know about Tiruvaiyaaru Thyagarajar? (In the same way, can lovers of film music) forget Thiagaraja Bhagavathar. As for Chinnappa, I would call him him Appa (father) my Ayya (master).

Such milestones in the history of Tamil film music are not just some stones of the past..they are priceless jewels. They are wish-fullfilling trees for those who learn them..very productive feasts to the creative imagination. I think of this when time travels from Kattrinile Varum Geetham to Gangai Karai Thottam!

…….In this way, film music down the decades has become an ocean-like immensity…Thirai Isai Alaigal engages itself in showing what it is to future generations…It has done this task with culture and humility, love and depth.

I see that the author of Thirai Isai Alagal has put his heart and soul into the work. Music lovers and researchers will heartily welcome this book. I believe that music colleges and universities will also benefit by it.

May Vamanan’s Thirai Isai Alaigal which gives a map of the musical stars shining in the heavens, triumph….paving the way for the birth of wisdom, culture and devotion.

(* In Thirai Isai Alaigal Vol. 2 , I have written as extensive article on Papanasam Sivan. My culling of Papanasam Sivan’s film songs ‘Papanasam Sivan Thiraippaadalgal’ (out of print now) also has an extensive introduction).

(The above is a gist of music director T. K. Pugazhendi’s foreward. He took part in the release function of the second volume of Thirai Isai Alaigal…and said… ‘I can imagine the forests and dales that he must have trudged through to all this’…
Vamanan :Today…I myself wonder at what madness got into me.)

  1. A.Vijayaragavan says:

    Please let me know where I can purchase this book. I would prefer the English version if there is one.
    Thank you
    Dr A Vijayaragavan

    • vamanan81 says:

      Thanks…The book has been published by Manivachagar Pathippagam….They can be contacted at 044-2356 1039 ; The main office is on Stringers street, opposite HC and Kuralagam. They have a retail outlet on Sivagnanam Street near T.Nagar head post office. The book is in Tamil.