The Nice Song Who Finished First

In its opening chapter of biography of Rahu dravid called "The Nice Guy who Finished First" the author credits the great Indian cricketer of 1970s, Gundappa Viswanath. He says in any other team or if he played at another time, Viswanath would have been a mega star of the game. But just because he played alongside a even bigger star called Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, he never received his due credit.

Another unlucky peer is Gordon Greenidge who was a great opener, but could never come out of the shadow of another great opener, Desmond Haynes.

He explains how Rahul Dravid who, for most of his cricketing career played with a bigger icon, Sachin Tendulkar still managed to finish first in his own right.

There are lots of Ilaiyaraaja songs like the Viswanaths and Greenidges and the Dravids.

"Nee thaane endhan pon vasantham" is always the second best after "Panivizum malarvanam"...
A song like "Azhago Azhagu" can never be heard on top of "Andhimazhai Poligirathu"...
"Ilaiyanila" dominates you and stops "Thogai Ilamayil" from becoming one of the all time great songs.
"Poove Sempoove" overpowers all the other good songs in that movie (like "Thenmozhi"/ "Enadhu vizhi"/"Kuyilukkoru") and so on and so on...

Today's song is in the same category.

Not many people have look beyond "Ilamai enum Poongatru" from the movie "Pagalil Oru Iravu". There is an unbelievable Mohanam in that movie and that is this week's pick.

From the very first listening, the song "Thaamtha theemtha" has intrigued me.. Everything about the song - Its Rhythm and its jumbled usage of Mohanam, abundant usage of 12th note in a rather classical song etc., are unique and there is no other song till date from the Maestro with all these properties. If I have the authority, I would prescribe this song along with "Geetham Sangeetham" for the class of 'Thaatu varisai' in Carnatic music learning.

Apart from this, the hero(ine) of the song is of course S Janaki. If you are an aspiring (or even professional singer) out there, you should try this song and emulate her clean execution at the same pitch (F).. It would do you a world of good and that's the same reason why I attempted it in Piano though its far from perfect :-)

And a while ago, I wrote an article on Ilaiyaraaja's jazz waltz. I deliberately didn't talk about this song in that article, because this is biggest of them all and one of the early works of Raaja. So I wanted to give this song its due focus at a later time.
Just like Dravid, I want to ensure that this song also finishes first :-)
So here I am..

Happy weekend.

With Love