Thursday 13 August 2009

Isaignani takes a 'dig' at A R Rahman

Kollywood observers feel that there has been a marked change in the public conduct and speeches of 'Maestro' Ilaiyaraaja for the past few months. The 'Isaignani', as he is popularly known, seldom involves himself in any activities other than composing music and making a rare appearance at functions. Of late, though, his speech appears to have been 'aimed' at having a go at his peer and junior A.R. Rehman, his one-time keyboard player.

For the first time in more than three decades of his musical sojourn, Ilaiyaraaja has appeared in an entire song in his recent film 'Azhagarmalai'. The melodious title song in the film not only features him but also is sung by the Maestro himself. Even the lyrics were penned by himself and had lines such as "whosoever wishes to go away from this country may do as they please; I would remain here forever in the service of my people".

These lines could be taken as against no particular individual; but his recent remarks at an event to launch a carnatic music-based album were unmistakable. Speaking at the launch, Ilaiyaraaja said that "Some persons claim that all the fame 'goes' to the Lord. This is wrong; why would be a God be in need of fame. Isn't He the one who showers on us fame and popularity and money? How can we 'return' to Him the fame given to us by Him? It won't be proper at all!"

While all these queries raised by the Maestro might sound genuine, the reference to the man is unmistakable. When even a child knows that it's Rahman's popular habit to admit on stages that "all fame goes to the Lord", it's highly surprising as to what the Maestro expected the people to think of his reported remarks!


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